How to Find Quality Blog Images For Less

There are endless listicles out there cataloging the good, the bad and the just plain stupid of the stock imagery world, but there’s very little in the way of practical advice for those of us who want to find original, high-quality blog images without having to remortgage our house.

Adding good quality images to your blogs is a simple way to boost the visual appeal of your content. Images support your post by providing additional information, enhancing the emotional tone and breaking up large blocks of text in an online world where no one wants to read more than they have to.

But how do you find quality images that really add something to your copy, and what are some of the best tools and resources to use…?

The power of a good picture

If you want your content to look the part and hook the reader, you need to have a good hard think about how you’re illustrating your shiny new copy. There are so many reasons why image-heavy content is more effective than plain text. Here’s a list of 3 compelling reasons why image-heavy content is so powerful, courtesy of clever Hubspot

  1. Images boost retention – When people read information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. If a relevant image is paired with the same information, they retain 65% of it after three days.
  2. Moving images matter – Posts that use moving images attract up to three times as many inbound links than those that don’t.
  3. People love pictures – 40% of visitors respond better to posts which include a visual element

The fact is that high-quality, relevant blog images are a must. There’s no point investing in good content if you’re simply going to let it sit there looking naff. But what if you don’t have a big budget to spend on stock imagery, or a photographer or an illustrator to knock you up some unique images? Well, we’re here to help.

The TYHC guide to creating penny-pinching, visually pleasing content

Forget stock imagery

Not only does it look naff, predictable and a little depressing – it can also prove unexpectedly expensive and completely bizarre. This chap has clearly lost his mind.

Go retro

We love Creative Commons and Google’s Usage Rights search function at TYHC. It gives us instant access to all sorts of vintage gems (often from Wikimedia Commons which is another fabulous resource). These images are free to use and are fine for commercial reuse. You do need to think a little outside of the box to find the right image, but when you find the perfect fit, it looks fantastic, eye-catching and different to everything else out there.

Fiddle with colour and contrast

Images licensed for modification can be toyed with to your heart’s content. If you’ve chosen a fairly standard snap, try a few simple tweaks to make it stand out. Ramping up saturation and contrast in Photoshop (or a free image manipulation tool like GIMP) works well. Adding contrasting colours to make text stand out is also a handy tip to remember.

Red leaf trees on a winding road. An example of an image with altered colours and contrast.

Format the blog properly

It’s not all about the pictures either, you know. If you’re putting time into creating cracking content and choosing the right blog images, rubbish formatting is unforgivable. It makes your content less readable and frankly unpleasant for visitors to wrap their eyeballs around. Not fantastic if you want to cut down on that bounce rate. Get it right with consistent spacing, regular emboldened headings and bullet points to break all your great text up and make it extra-accessible.

Interested in creating powerful content with visual appeal to give your content marketing strategy a boost? You’re already in the right place. Get in touch with TYHC to find out more about how we can help you create picture-perfect content.