It’s been said pictures are worth 1,000 words, but we’d argue that pictures are worth exponentially more than that in your online marketing. According to Xerox, visuals with color increase a person’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80 percent. And social media platform Buffer found that visual content is 40x more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. At this point, there’s really no question that incorporating high-quality, relevant images can do wonders for your blog readership and site traffic.
Still, other factors can sometimes stand in your way of using imagery as much as you’d like to. Maybe you don’t have the time to take high-quality images or a sizeable enough budget to purchase images or hire a professional photographer.
Well, gone are the days when you need to worry about that! Below, we’ve compiled six of our favorite free resources that can help you find and edit pictures that will catch your audience’s eye (and we promise, none of them will look like cheesy stock photos!).
This is one of our very favorite sites, because all of the images have an artistic slant. You can search for pictures by using either phrases or keywords, and keep scrolling until you’ve landed on the artsy image of your dreams. Let your imagination run wild with all of this eye candy.
This is another site that displays beautiful images. Pexels separates them into a variety of categories so you can comb through each one that could be relevant to your needs. It also displays a leaderboard of the top photographers whose images have the most views in case you want to check out certain photographers’ styles.
Pixabay allows you to search based on whether you want pictures, illustrations, vector graphics or videos. So if you’re looking for a particular style of photo or artwork, you’ve come to the right place. The site also has an “editor’s choice” section we love, in case you could use some
With Kaboompics, you can search even more specifically for the exact photo you’re seeking. Narrow down your choices by photo orientation, color and category. This is a great choice when you need an image for a very particular use, and don’t want to spend a lot of time culling through endless options.
This site offers multiple free photo editing features you can use in a snap. You can easily crop your photos, rotate them and resize them however you wish. You can also make an image’s background transparent, and change the output format to either png, jpg, gif, or bmp depending on what you need.
BeFunky is the holy grail of free photo editing, in our opinion. Use it to edit photos masterfully, or piece together a stunning collage. You can also use their designer tool to make pretty graphics and text blocks when you need them and can’t afford a graphic artist (or don’t have the time to commission one).
So, there it is, our shortlist of stock photo and photo editing winners! Now that you have all these tools at your fingertips – and they don’t cost a dime – we encourage you to start adding relevant and eye-catching imagery to your digital content today. We have no doubt that your readers, page views and social media shares will reward you for it in spades.