We have an unprecedented amount of information available at our fingertips. Between blogs, social media, our mobile devices and the power of almighty Google, we can learn almost anything, anywhere, at anytime. Given this technology, it’s no wonder we now receive FIVE times as much information every day as we did in 1986.
This ability to expand our knowledge and skills is excellent, but it can lead to a serious problem for entrepreneurs and businesses trying to stand out & generate serious income in a varied, international marketplace.
How do you keep web visitors interested in AND engaged with your website and offerings?
The simple answer:
Beautiful images can TRANSFORM your website. That’s because the brain actually processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does text. We actually see the pretty pictures first. We’re wired to consume images quickly and efficiently.
Just take a look at successful social media and blogs. An article by BufferApp reveals that content with images receives 94% MORE views than content without, and two-thirds of all social media consists of just IMAGES. Another reason why the success behind visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram should come as no surprise. Imagery choices in your company are very important.
But it’s not just blogs and social media that need high-quality images. This is where our audience is becoming accustomed to seeing beautiful photos. Incorporating stunning graphics and photos throughout your website is a total game-changer.
If you don’t have a graphic design background, then sourcing fantastic, impactful images can seem like a nightmare. But there are lots of incredible resources available that streamline the process—once you know where to look.
Free Stock Photo Websites
Another free resource that rates these sites can be found here: 32 Best Sites for Free Stock Photos – The Secret List!
YES! We said free. We know many of you are startups and the bottom line is important. Who wants to waste precious money buying images? There are countless websites that offer fantastic FREE stock photos available for commercial use. Some of these databases allow you to search for a picture on a specific topic; others offer packages of bulk images from which you can pick and choose. A few of my favorite stock photography websites include:
Death To Stock: Enter your email address to receive a new pack of gorgeous FREE photos each month. There’s also a premium option that provides access to their entire photo library for $20 a month. My fav!
Unsplash: Get 10 high-res photos EVERY 10 days when you subscribe. They also have a bunch for download on the site.
Gratisography: New photos by Ryan McGuire are added to this fantastic collection of images weekly. All photos are free of copyright restrictions.
Life Of Pix: More high-res photos available for public domain use, particularly in the art, travel and nature niches.
Start Up Stock Photos: Free photos available for download that are especially relevant to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Pikwizard: Mostly free stock images and videos, all copyright free. Their paid option also hosts their Design Wizard photo editing tool to help you tweak your chosen photos.
And if you still can’t find what you are looking for in these databases, then one of these free stock photography websites is sure to have what you’re after.
Though there are many free stock photography sites available, don’t hesitate to purchase an image if you feel it perfectly embodies your brand. Typically you’ll only pay between $3 and $20, and it can make all the difference in setting you apart from the masses. You can also buy access and download a bunch to stock up!
Hire A Photographer
Stock images are great, but they are not a substitute for fantastic images of YOU and your actual company. Hire a photographer at your next workshop, tour or live event so you can have a professional collection of photos of you and your audience. Schedule a photoshoot for your property or product. Capture who you are and what you do. Sometimes this can be very affordable and give you hundreds of photos for your website, social media and email marketing needs.
I have a database of photos with me speaking, working one-on-one with clients, on retreats…I even have an image of my actual hands typing on a computer! I love the personal touch of these images.
We’ll be talking more about branding all next month, but for now know that the value of these unique and personal images will pay for themselves again and again – and really add more of YOU in your website.
Create Your Own Shareable Graphics
Throughout your website, consider including images that are specially crafted for sharing on social media. (This is especially important for your blog posts.) For these images you don’t just want a beautiful photo; you also want to include a catchy title, a headline or a quote. Again seriously, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create stunning images. And you don’t need to teach yourself Photoshop because I know I have tried! You just need access to the right resources.
Three of my favorite places to create gorgeous graphics are Canva, PicMonkey and Pixlr. Canva comes with numerous pre-made image templates specifically designed for social media, blog graphics, banners and more. The site is free to use, and premium design elements only cost a few dollars. PicMonkey and Pixlr don’t have the same variety of pre-made templates, but you do get advanced photo editing capabilities and filters.
Don’t Forget Your Font
One final component when it comes to sourcing the perfect graphics and photos is to remember your font. Used on its own, a gorgeous font can completely transform the look and feel of your website, even serving as its own eye-catching graphic. Don’t settle for a run-of-the-mill font that everyone has. Take the time to find a typeface that represents you and your brand, and catches your visitor’s attention. And use it consistently! I mean use it in everything you put online.
A few great places to look for free fonts include Font Squirrel, Google Fonts and Free Typography. If you need some help, this extensive post by Creative Bloq details 100 of the best free fonts available.
While it can be fun to play around with different fonts, don’t go crazy with the options available. I recommend sticking to two different fonts ONLY that complement each other well for all of your website graphics and photos. One can be more intricate and fancy, but one must be readable and great for large blocks of text. Always make sure your fonts are easy to read!
With so many incredible resources available for free website graphics and high-quality images, there’s no reason not to incorporate them into your site! What additional resources do you use for finding free website graphics and photos? Do you have other tips for creating stunning visuals? Share your feedback in the comments below!
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