Cheerfully colored or classic black-and-white, sophisticated or plain, images enhance the impact of the written content, stirring your readers' interest.
I am not a bad photographer myself, but my family, friends and fishing themes never seem to find their place with the content I write. So, it's only common sense for me to use images that are the work of professionals.
You're probably suspecting I had fun looking for this picture. Well, this time I actually did!
Let me tell you about a smart tool I recently discovered, that helped me save precious time when searching for images. It all started with…
Every time I prepared a new article, finding the perfect image proved to be an exhausting task. I had to go through several resources and set up tons of search filters, hoping that the images I liked would meet my three republishing criteria:
Be meaningful for the content
Have a decent quality and size for the blog; and
Be free for share and reuse
As you can imagine, a lot of the pictures I found to be relevant for my articles had some restricted republishing rights, or, to my frustration, they were too small for reuse.
… came up unexpectedly. I learned about the search tool that Creative Commons provides while reading through the comments section of an interesting article on the Portent Blog.
This tool reunites several search services for different types of content, like Images, Videos and even Music, returning items that are labeled for reuse.
It's a gold mine for content writers, if you ask me :)
How it works
After you enter your term in the search box, just click on the resource that is relevant for the type of content you need and hit Enter. Then Creative Commons runs the search directly with the relevant privacy filters applied.
Switching to a different resource is very simple if you are not happy with the results returned.
For example, to find the image for this blog article, I typed colorful and selected first the Google Images service.
But the images I found were not exactly what I needed, so I returned to the search window and clicked on Flickr.
The query on images licensed for commercial use was performed instantly, without me having to go directly to the search service page and set up the filter manually.
Once I decided which image to choose from the search on Flickr, I saved it along with the author's credits to be mentioned in the article.
Easy as pie!
Image Search Services available
Now that you've seen how to quickly find free images you can share, let's take a look at the three most important search services that you have access to with Creative Commons:
This is a photo management service owned by Yahoo!, that currently has over 5 million items shared. Besides high quality pictures of real life items, you can also find here graphic works that are very useful to render abstract concepts.
This is a photo encyclopedia designed for photographers all over the world to promote their content. At this point, it gives access to 700,000+ images which approach a wide variety of themes.
3. Google Images
This search service is provided by Google. If the previous two services also host the images they provide, Google Images is not a resource in itself, but an engine that returns Image results from millions of sources it indexes.
Of course, there are several other search services that you can prospect with Creative Commons, but these three are the most relevant for finding images.
Regardless of the source you choose, running the searches through this tool will provide results that have the "labeled for commercial reuse with modifications" filter applied.
With so many free image resources available just one click away, finding visual elements that boost the value of your written content becomes a child's play.
An alternative to using free images from search services is to make your own photos for the products, services or concepts you write about. I'm planning to use one of mine someday… when I find a way to blend SEO and fishing :)
In the meantime, to show appreciation for a professional' s work, it is a good practice to give credit to the author of the content shared.
Photo credit: Vectorportal
Aura Dozescu was a Customer Care Specialist for AWR. Passionate about Internet Marketing and SEO technologies, she worked closely with SEO software developers to implement the feedback received from customers.
stay in the loop