Most people love images; free images are even better. How about high quality images that are free? Even better.
Humans are visual creatures; our brain simply processes images quicker than plain text. You would see almost every content marketer and blogger use at least one image in their post.
Why? To simply grab attention, break up the content, engage the viewer and get more social shares. Content with images get shared more often than those without.
Most blogs that talk about blogging related topics like how to blog and how to make money with a blog always have at least one post on where to find free images.
The irony is that none of these blogs have a visual guide, so we went ahead and created one. So here it is without further ado a visual guide to finding free images online.
A Visual Guide to 28 Free Image Sources – An Infographic from YourEscapeFrom9to5.com
- Pexels– This is one of my favourite sites with quality images that are creative common zero (CC0) licensed. This means you can use the image without any restrictions even for commercial purposes. No links required.
- Wikimedia Commons– A bit of a hit and miss in regards to quality and engagement levels of images.
- GettyImages – With over 50 Million images that are searchable. You will need to copy an embed code to use the image. The embed code includes the proper attribution link.
- Public Domain Archive – Images collected by bloggers with both contemporary and classic images.
- Free Images– In my humble opinion a bit of a hit and miss when it comes to quality and variety of free images.
- Open Photo – Great pictures of nature and more. Tags from arts and weather.
- New Old Stock – Awesome for vintage, black and white pictures. Use only for personal or non-commercial use.
- Picography– Great high resolution pictures with CC0. No categories but has a handy search feature.
- Creative Market– Free weekly images, themes and fonts with a paid service.
- Stokpic – Free images, videos and vector files for both personal and commercial use.
- Foodies Feed – The name says it all. Food bloggers take note.
- Stockvault – Modern images rich in colour. They are not all free so do check the license.
- Unsplash– Great for travel bloggers with iconic locations such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Statue of Liberty. There is no search feature and at times it is hard to find exactly what you want.
- Photopin– Searches Flickr creative common images and provides attribution links.
- A Prettier Web – Free images and themes targeted at the female population. As they say ‘everything is prettier in pink’.
- Picjumbo – Image categories range from animals to wedding and everything in between. Easy to navigate site with tags and a search feature.
- SplitShire – A bulk image download option that lets users download 500 images is pretty cool. Images can be used for personal and commercial use with no attrition or links.
- Death to the Stock Photo – Free monthly image packs on email or get access to the complete image library for $15 a month.
- Gratisography – Quirky images that are outside the box is what Gratisography is known for.
- Morguefile– Another source for quirky images that are of high quality. Some images require attribution and a link back to the author so do check before using them.
- Dreamstime – Well known for their paid image library. Check out their free images tab, free logos and banners.
- Pixabay – Great collection of free images and vector files for designers. Categories range from architecture to travel.
- FreeFoto – 3,640 image categories to choose from. All images require attribution and a link back.
- iStock – Free stock files every week that include audio, video, cartoon and animated image and multimedia files.
- Boss Fight – Great image collection that can be used without any hooks. The objective of this site is to be the boss of all image collections in one place.
- Flickr Creative Commons – Check the creative common licensed images and some pictures will need an attribution link. Flickr can be great source for vibrant images as anyone can contribute to their image gallery.
- Stock Snap – By now you must love the term ‘creative commons zero’ or CC0 – that’s exactly what you get here with great high resolution images.
- Google Images– Good old Google, be aware of licensing restrictions as not all images are free. If you click on ‘Search Tools’ under Google images then you can select a ‘usage right’ that suits your need.
Wrapping it up
There are many ways you can spot a new blogger; one way is to look at the quality of the images they use – traditionally the image quality is not great. New bloggers normally depend upon Google image search without knowing not all images can be used free of cost or restrictions.
I am sure you will find at least one site that satisfies your free image search ‘taste bud’ from the list. Images are not only good for user engagement but they also have SEO value, think about Google search where images are listed for most searches you perform. Use the image sources wisely as some may be better for certain niches than others; some require attribution and links.
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Successful Blogging: EXPERIENCE and Learn
Do you know how people tell you to live and learn? Not the best advice. EXPERIENCE life and observe your lessons. THEN learn. Successful blogging is observing, learning then moving forward with those lessons firmly impressed on your mind. All that sweet blogging money only appears if you experience blogging by diving in, and blogging every single day for hours daily. After, you need to observe your experience. What did you learn? Take those lessons with you to succeed online. Living is useless unless you learn from experiences. EXPERIENCING blogging and learning from experiences separates successful bloggers from everybody else.
Let me explain…..
Me and my wife house sit in Brooklyn for 3 weeks now. The homeowners have a car. I need to move the car to find a new parking spot once weekly as alternate side of the street parking rules are in effect due to weekly street cleaning. The owners simply told me it’d be easy to find a spot early in the afternoon. Cool. But their advice did nothing to prepare me for the EXPERIENCE of actually trying to start the car, and find a new parking spot. I never used a key-less car before. I had no idea you need to press on the brake while pushing the start button because I had no experience doing so, and the owners did not give me instructions to do this. I know you place a key into ignition and turn it because that is my experience for 30 years as a driver. Anyway, 45 minutes later, I figured how to start the car. But wait! I had a new experience to…..experience. I had lessons to learn. Because after exiting the parking spot, I drove side streets for another 50 minutes before finding a spot. Frustrated and agitated, I learned a valuable lesson *from* my experience; change parking spots from one street side to another immediately after the street sweeper comes through. Cool.
But I had another lesson to learn. Traffic cops give tickets if you park on the alternate side before 1 PM; even if the street cleaner plowed through. Being burned by yesterday, I drove around for 90 minutes today to ensure I’d have an entire city block of open parking to choose from. OK; I also illegally parked on that open block for about 45 of those minutes. Why? Yesterday’s agitating experience told me it’s wiser and less time consuming to circle for 90 minutes to guarantee I get easy parking. Wait! I learned another lesson based on today’s experience. Never leave your parking spot at 11:30 AM when street cleaners move thru because you’ve 90 minutes to kill before legally parking on the alternate side. I asked a traffic cop. He offered the answer. More experience. Next week, I hop in the car only if the alternate side seems to fill up fast but based on prior experience, this only happens at about 12:50 PM, 10 minutes before the expiry time.
Blessed experience wins again. Life-wise. Blogging-wise. Seize it. Capitalize on it. Succeed. Blogging is no spectator sport.
1 Blogging Lesson I Learned from Parking a Car in NYC
Alternate side of the street parking day here in NYC. This means you need to move your car to the other side of the street for street cleaning. Cool. I heard it on the radio many times. First time I had to experience it in person, though. We house sit for a couple in Brooklyn. This couple owns a car. Cool. But the car did not start for a good hour because I did not know one steps on brakes while pressing key-less start buttons. Oh well. But after that, I drove around for 45 minutes looking for a new spot on the other side of the road because you get a nice ticket otherwise. No spots availed themselves for 45 minutes. I spoke to my wife. She told me cars need be parked 15 feet from fire hydrants. I was 5 feet away. Shoot. On returning to the car, a bus moved in front of me. I slid in to a parking spot. Phew. Relief.
What lesson did I learn? No matter how calm you THINK you are, agitation arises in you. Unless you’re enlightened. Alas I am not. I am a regular guy. Calm? Yep. But I routinely find events feeling uncomfortable to navigate. Sometimes, aka rarely, I experience events triggering deeper fears. Today was one such event. I did not flip out, scream, panic or throw a tantrum. I did however feel super agitated about needing to spend almost 2 hours driving around NYC and trying to start a key-less car because 2 hours are precious to me. I hate wasting time. Inefficient actions disgust me. BUT perfect place, perfect time. I needed this experience to trigger fears for feeling, hugging and clearing, to make me even more calm. No matter how much growth and success you experience, leveling up introduces you to new fears. Deeper fears. More unpleasant fears.
With deeper fears comes greater responsibility and even more success. I suspect if I do become a billionaire blogger how I’ll keep nudging into unpleasant-feeling fears along the way. But inspiring millions and making billions? Worth it. I am humble enough to know my calm demeanor a good 95% of the time may-does evolve into agitation some 5% of the time. Maybe less. Progress has been attained. Because I have not genuinely screamed at someone in about 1 year and I have been agitated like today about 5 times over the past year. I am calm most of the time. Agitation arises rarely because I am human and apt to be afraid of stuff. Sue me, LOL.
Be with fears as you grow. Energies arise. Anger. Terror. Horror at the future. Blanket disgust. Never resist these energies. I stumble across non-enlightened folks who hold self to enlightened standards. No way guys. Never be surprised at your getting angry or upset because only enlightened souls and repressed people never anger or feel agitated. Burying fear stifles your growth. Hugging fear accelerates your growth. You know I hug my fears. NYC parking agitation still subsiding now.
5 Greatest Landing Page Optimization Tools For Your Blog
Landing pages can steal people’s attention. And if you play your cards right, these pages hold the ticket to attracting more customers.
However, let’s be clear:
Landing pages are double-edged swords. While they can help you, they can also harm you — unless you’ve optimized them accordingly.
So if you know your landing page needs work, why not get around it?
Well, there are plenty reasons for this, and there are also many landing page plugins that can help to further critique your LPs as well.
As you go through this article, you’ll find five landing page optimization tools for your blog. With them, you can revamp your landing page then have it increase conversions and your blog’s income.
Optimizing landing pages is not possible if you haven’t built them yet. So to construct great landing pages, the tool for you is Unbounce.
And Effin Amazing, a Florida-based agency that specializes in analytics and growth, will tell you all about the tool’s power.
When one of its clients, Chupa Mobile, asked for help generating new leads, Effin Amazing used Unbounce. The team’s idea for its client involved a lead nurturing strategy and a content calendar. That and Effin Amazing wanted to get it done as quickly as possible.
True, it was a rather ambitious plan. However, it was realistic. And get this:
The marketing agency reached its goal. Chupa Mobile was satisfied with its landing page. It also began generating dozens of new leads. Plus, it also walked away with a 44% increase in conversions.
Electronic Arts is a successful media company that knows that Crazy Egg lets you set up an A/B test in minutes. It also knows that the tool features Visitor Insights and Heatmaps. Both of which provide information about user behavior on landing pages. So before launching SimCity 5 in 2013, it set up an A/B testing process to maximize revenue.
For the control version of its landing page, it merely focuses on promoting the simulation game. While on the other version, the company offers a 20% discount.
Here’s the control version of its landing page:
Here’s the variation:
After a while, the media company discovered that its landing page’s variation was a hit. Compared to the version that brings an incentive into the table, the landing page design without a 20% discount performed 43.4% better.
If you combine Google Analytics and Google Adwords, a powerful tool is in your hands. You can use it to track landing page performance to haul in leads even after they exit your site.
To demonstrate the power of Analytics, let’s explore Marketo’s conversion increase that happened after using the tool.
So here’s the story:
As a go-to company for many B2B and B2C folks when it comes to marketing and automation, Marketo’s goal is to help its clients improve conversions. And to reach that goal, the plan was to use Analytics and real-time personalization.
So it took its clients’ website data such as industry vertical and top products. Then it merged all of it with the user behavior data it got from Google Analytics.
Because of what the analytics tool reveals, Marketo provided audiences with relevant data. From what it gathered, it also created topnotch remarketing campaigns. The fruits of the marketing company’s labor? A 10x conversion rate improvement for its clients!
Thrive Architect is a WordPress page builder. And if you’re searching for a tool that can help you create visually impressive, high-converting landing pages, it’s the tool you need.
Take it from Louise Hendon. She is a solopreneur who uses Thrive Architect to whip up topnotch landing pages for Nourishing Brands. That’s why, over the years, she succeeded in building a sizeable six-figure business.
An upside is this:
Thrive Architect features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you build your page quickly. If you want detailed instructions on how to use the page builder, this article from ProfitBlitz will come to your rescue.
Did you know that Refinery29, a globally recognized brand for smart, creative women, uses Pingdom? And because the tool provides insights about how to increase page loading speed, the brand welcomes 36 million monthly visits.
So if your landing page loads slowly, Pingdom can help you. The tool works by taking your site out for a spin and pointing you to the root of the problem.
The excellent news is Pingdom is free and easy-to-use. All you must do is paste your site’s URL where the tool specifies, and you’re good to go.
To see it work in action, let’s check the page loading speed of a random site. For this, let’s go with Goliath National Bank’s website. So let’s paste its URL on the appropriate field and click START TEST.
After the tool is done with the analysis, scroll down the same page to see the results.
And if you scroll down some more, you’ll find suggestions on how to improve page performance. If you want a detailed explanation on how to improve page performance, expand the suggestion.
Put yourself in a potential customer’s shoes and think of a landing page as a gateway to something unknown. Now, if someone herded you toward this gateway, would you want to see what’s on the other side of the fence if the entry point is dreary?
Chances are, you won’t. By the looks of it, choosing to pursue the dark path won’t lead to anywhere promising.
Remember, creating landing pages and creating landing pages that convert are two different things. So as you build your landing pages, make sure to implement nothing but the best landing page optimization practices.
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