The Writer’s Guide to Royalty Free Images
Blog posts with images get almost twice as many views as ones without. Because of this, many clients ask writers who work with them to provide images to go with the content. While you should always make sure you are being adequately compensated for the time and effort involved, picking good images is a way to ensure that your written content gets the exposure it deserves.
Finding Images That Are Fair Game
There are a lot of misconceptions about images on the internet and how they can be used. Many people are familiar with the term “public domain” but think that it refers to any image that’s publicly available online. Others are more savvy about copyright law but are not aware of the hundreds of thousands of images that can be used, by anyone, for free.
First, only images whose copyrights have expired are considered “public domain” under U.S. law. That doesn’t include very many that would be relevant, since U.S. copyright lasts for 70 years after a creator’s death. But, royalty free and Creative Commons images fill the gap nicely.
FreeImages.com and MorgueFile are among the best-known royalty-free image sites. Unsplash is a lesser known site that offers 10 new royalty-free photos every day. I’ve also had luck finding fresh and enticing images at Picjumbo. When using images, always check the terms. Some photos cannot be used for commercial purposes. In other cases, attribution is required. There seem to be new free stock image image sites popping up every day. Google regularly to find new ones that are less picked over than better known sites.
Getting Your Image Into Your Post
This part of the writer’s guide gets a little more technical. One of the first things to consider is image size. You want something large enough to be effective but small enough to avoid lag when loading web pages. Do not just upload a full-size 2400X3600 pixel image and use the on-site text editor to make the image appear smaller. This will result in an overly large file that will make your blog post load slowly. Instead, use a utility like PhotoShop or the free option, GIMP, to manually reduce the size.
When it comes time to use the image, you can upload it to the WriterAccess file library. Open the image icon in the editor and paste the file’s URL where directed. You can make changes to the spacing around the image, the border and how the image is aligned.
With experience, sourcing and adding images becomes quick and easy. You get a sense for which providers have the images that work best with which content. Your clients will notice the increased traffic and you’ll noticed increased content sales.
Lara S is a freelance writer who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida. She is adept at writing content in niches that include marketing, health, food service and more. Contact her for white papers, ebooks, blog posts and articles.