Social media content images make your articles more appealing not only to your readers but to search engines as well, whether they are photographs, illustrations or clip arts. But how do you find great pictures for your blog or content sharing articles?
You can get images from stock photography websites two ways – you can either pay for them or download them for free.
Free stock photos for your social media content
The only advantage of using free stock photos is that they won’t cost you a thing. Here are the disadvantages:
1) Poor quality. Free stock photos tend to be grainy, blurry and out of focus. These are pictures that were probably not good enough to be sold on paid sites.
2) Low resolution. Most free stock photos are only available in thumbnail-sized pixels.
3) Copyright violation. Most free stock photo sites publish a disclaimer that they cannot be held responsible for any copyright infringements. In other words, use these photos at your own risk. If you get sued by the rightful owner of these photos, the website will not be liable and you will have to deal with the legal consequences yourself.
Free stock photos of people are especially risky to use because they are not covered by a Model Release statement. A Model Release form is a contract in which the subject of a photograph consents to the use of his or her photo by a third party. If you are using a free picture that has a person in it, you could potentially get sued for tens of thousands of dollars by that person for using that picture.
4) Spyware. Some free stock photo sites embed spyware and viruses on your computer every time you download an image.
All of these issues can be avoided by simply buying photos from reliable stock photography houses.
Paid stock photos for your social media content
Stock photos used to very expensive. They cost somewhere between $300 and $10,000 several years ago. Today you can get them for under a buck!
iStockPhoto has one of the biggest libraries of royalty-free content on the Internet. They offer photos, illustrations, video, audio, and even flash.
You can purchase photos through pay-as-you-go credits or subscription plans. An extra small picture at 353 by 340 pixels will cost you around $1.13-$1.60. Medium-sized photos with 1409 by 1363 pixels are available for $6.78 to $9.60.
If you want to build a photo library for long-term use, you might want to consider signing up for a subscription plan. For only $979, you get 30 extra small pictures per day for three months. Or you can choose other plans that allow you to download 10 images per day for six months or one year.
When buying stock photos, make sure that the images are royalty-free. Some stock photo services set a limit on the number of people who can view a particular photo.
Clip arts for your social media content
One of the cheaper ways to add images to your social media articles is the use of clip arts. At ClipArt.com you can get up to 250 clipart images per week for only $15. Clip arts may be cheaper than photographs but you have to exercise caution when using them because they tend to look cartoonish which could harm the serious image of your business.
The Social Profit Formula course features a few more highly recommended stock photo sites that you can use to enhance the look and feel of your social media content so you get better readership and better response out of your articles.