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10 Best Sites That Offer Gorgeous Free Images for Blogs

10 Best Sites That Offer Gorgeous Free Images for Blogs

In our modern world, everything seems to move at hyper-speed. Most people decide whether they will keep reading something within just a few seconds. To keep readers’ attention on your blog, one of the best way is to use eye-catching visuals. A study conducted by Hubspot revealed that “photos on Facebook Pages received 53% more Likes than the average post[1] The same study also found that “photo posts attracted 104% more comments than the average post.” If you want to keep your readers’ engaged and attract new readers to your blog, the answer is simple: add more high quality visual content. The following are some great sites that offer free images for blogs.

Pixabay

    Pixabay is one of the largest and most comprehensive photos sites on our list. They offer almost one million free photos from subjects as diverse as fresh asparagus and mountain goats to stunning cityscapes and portraits. All photos on the site are completely free and you are not required to credit the source in any way. Pixabay is one of the best resources for grabbing awesome photos in a short amount of time. Their search feature allows you to filter results based on your exact needs.

    Unsplash

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      Unsplash is another great resource for free images for blogs. When you scroll through their site, you see only one photo at a time, which can be less overwhelming. They also have a search feature so that you can find specific subjects. If you don’t find what you are looking for on Pixabay, Unsplash may have just what you need. They also add new photos regularly and have a section where you can view the most recently added photos.

      Foodies Feed

        This site is amazing for everything food related. While some of the photos can be downloaded and used for free, this site also offers something called Foodiesfeed premium. After paying a one time fee, you have access to hundreds more photos, conveniently organized by type of food, holiday, or country of origin. If you regularly write about topics related to food, cooking, or restaurant dining, Foodiesfeed provides high quality images to pair with your posts.

        Photogen

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          This site varies somewhat on the quality of their photos. However, you can search for photos based on simple categories and all photos are free with no attribution required. Their photos also have more of a unique, local feel than some of the other stock photography sites. If you need a specific image, but don’t want it to look like a professional photographer staged the shot, this could be a great site to use.

          Skitterphoto

            From delicious-looking sushi to adorable newborn puppies, skitterphoto offers an impressive variety of public domain images. They offer a range of quality, from amateur to professional looking photographs. You are also able to see how many times each photo has been viewed and downloaded, so you have any idea how many other sites are using that photo. This feature is useful if you want to find a photo that will make your site more unique.

            Freeimages

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              Although the name implies all images are free, the site actually offers many different types of photos with different rates and attributions. This site is helpful if you need different types of quality in your photos. For example, you may want several basic photos that you don’t want to spend money to get. Then, you may need one or two extra high quality or rare images. This site allows you to browse and satisfy all your photo needs in one place.

              Flickr

                Flickr is another site with an overwhelming quantity of photos – in a good way. According to their homepage, flickr currently boasts 13 billion photos. Not all of these, however, are available for public use. If you want to find free, no attribution photos all you need to do is search for photos that have the creative commons license. Since most of the photos on this site are not free for public use, it’s important that you search correctly and check each photo for any necessary attributions.

                Public Domain Pictures

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                  The photos on this site are conveniently categorized and the site lets you filter results further by popularity, rating, and date. Most photos are available for free download at moderate sizes. If you need larger file sizes, you can download the premium version for a low fee, usually $.05-$.10. Under the “professional photos” section, the site features photos from other stock photography websites, so you can easily access a broad range of photos all from one place.

                  Ancestryimages

                    If you are looking for specific historical images, ancestry images is a great place to start. This site is different than the others mentioned so far, because it does not include general stock photography. Instead, the site focuses on highly specific historical documents like antique maps and decorative prints. If you need an image of an engraving from the mid 1800s or a three hundred year old map of China, ancestry images is the place to go!

                    Rgbstock

                      Rgbstock is more than just a stock photography site. Contributors to the site include graphic designers and other artists as well as photographers. As a result, the site has a higher ratio of graphics and abstract art than the other sites mentioned. The site does require you to register, but registration is completely free. Rgbstock is a great resource for blogs that need a lot of graphics or abstract images, in addition to more typical stock photography.

                      Reference

                      [1] Hubspot: Photos on Facebook Generate 53% More Likes than the Average Post

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                      Lindsay Shaffer

                      Freelance Writer, Artist, Photographer

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                      Last Updated on October 21, 2019

                      How to Be a Good Leader and Lead Effectively

                      How to Be a Good Leader and Lead Effectively

                      U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination, is a reminder of why I am so drawn to leadership as a topic. Whenever I think it is impossible for me to be more impressed with her, she proves me wrong.

                      Earlier this week, a former marine suggested that he had been in a long-term sexual relationship with the Senator. She flipped the narrative and used the term “Cougar,” a term used to describe older women who date younger men, to reference her alma mater.

                      Rather than calling the young man a liar, or responding to the accusations in kind, she re-focused the conversation back to her message of college affordability and lifted up that “Cougar” was the mascot for her alma mater. She went on to note that tuition at her school was just $50 per semester when she was a student. Class act.

                      But by the end of the week, news broke that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, another contender for the presidency, had a heart attack. Warren not only wished Sanders a speedy recovery but her campaign sent a meal to his staff. She knew that the hopes of staff, donors and supporters were with the Senator from Vermont and showed genuine compassion and empathy.

                      To me, she has proven time and time again that she is more than a presidential candidate: she belongs in a leadership hall of fame.

                      What makes some people excel as leaders is fascinating. You can read about leadership, research it and talk about it, yet the interest in leadership alone will not make you a better leader.

                      You will have more information than the average person, but becoming a good leader is lifelong work. It requires experience – and lots of it. Most importantly, it requires observation and a commitment to action. Warren observed what was happening with Sen. Sanders, empathized with his team and then took action. Regardless of the outcome of this election, Sanders’ staff will likely never forget her gesture.

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                      You would have had to work on a political campaign in order to appreciate the stress and anxiety that comes with it. In this moment, staff may not remember everything that Warren said throughout the lengthy campaign, but they will remember what she did during an unforgettable time during the campaign.

                      If this model of leadership is appealing, and if you are searching for how to up your own leadership game, read on for six characteristics that good leaders share:

                      1. Good leaders are devoted to the success of the people around them.

                      Good leaders are not self-interested. Sure, they want to succeed, but they also want others to succeed.

                      Good leaders see investing in others just as important as they see investing in themselves. They understand that their success is closely tied to the people around them, and they work to ensure that their peers, employees, friends and family have paths for growth and development.

                      While the leaders may be the people in the spotlight, they are quick to point to the people around them who helped them (the leaders) enter that spotlight. Their willingness to lift others inspires their colleagues’ and friends’ devotion and loyalty.

                      2. Good leaders are not overly dependent on others’ approval.

                      It is important for managers to express their support for their teams; good leaders must be independent of the approval of others. I explained in an article for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, that:[1]

                      “While a desire to be loved is natural, managers who prioritize approval from subordinates will become ineffective supervisors who may do employees harm. For example, a manager driven by a need for approval may shy away from delivering constructive feedback that could help an employee improve. A manager fearful of upsetting someone may tolerate behavior that degrades the work environment and culture.”

                      In yet another example, a manager who is dependent on the approval of others may not make decisions that could be deemed unpopular in the short run but necessary in the long run.

                      Think of the coaches who integrated their sporting teams. Their decision to do so, may have seemed odd, and even wrong, in the moment, but time has proven that those leaders were on the right side of history.

                      3. Good leaders have the capacity to share the spotlight.

                      Attention is nice, but it is not the prime motivator for good leaders. Doing a good job is.

                      For this reason, good leaders are willing to share the spotlight. They aren’t threatened by a lack of attention, and they do not need credit for every accomplishment. They are too focused on their goal and too focused on the urgency of their work.

                      4. Good leaders are students.

                      In the same way that human beings are constantly evolving, so too are leaders. As long as you are living, you have the potential to learn. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge you think you have; you can always learn something new.

                      I have the experience of thinking I was doing everything right as a manager, only to receive conflicting feedback from my team. Perhaps my approach was not working for my team, and I had to be willing to hear their feedback to improve.

                      Good leaders understand that their secret sauce is their willingness to keep receiving information and keep learning. They aren’t intimidated by what they do not know: As long as they maintain a willingness to keep growing, they believe they can overcome any obstacle they face.

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                      As both masters and students, good leaders read, listen and study to grow. They consume content for information, not just entertainment purposes. They aren’t impressed with their knowledge; they are impressed with the learning journey.

                      5. Good leaders view vulnerability as a superpower.

                      It means “replacing ‘professional distance and cool,’ with uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure,” said Emma Sappala in a Dec. 11, 2014, article, “What Bosses Gain by being Vulnerable” for Harvard Business Journal.[2] She went on to note the importance of human connection, which she asserts is often missing at work.

                      “As leaders and employees, we are often taught to keep a distance and project a certain image. An image of confidence, competence and authority. We may disclose our vulnerability to a spouse or close friend behind closed doors at night but we would never show it elsewhere during the day, let alone at work.”

                      This rings so true for me as a woman leader. I was raised believing that any show of emotion in the workplace could be used against me. I was raised believing that it was best for women leaders to be stoic and to “never let ‘em see you sweat.” This may have prevented me from connecting with employees and colleagues on a deeper, more personal level.

                      6. Good leaders understand themselves.

                      I am a huge fan of life coach and spiritual teacher Iyanla Vanzant. In addition to her hit show on the OWN network, Vanzant has authored dozens of books. In her books and teachings, she underscores the importance of knowing ourselves fully. She argues that we must know what makes us tick, what makes us happy and what makes us angry.

                      Self-awareness enables us to put ourselves in situations where we can thrive, and it also enables us to have compassion when we fall short of the goals and expectations we have for ourselves. Relatedly, understanding ourselves will allow us to know our strength. When we know our strengths, we will be able to put people around us who compliment our strengths and fill the gaps in our leadership.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Being a good leader, first and foremost, is an inside job. You must focus on growing as a person regardless of the leadership title that you hold. You cannot take others where you yourself have not been. So focusing on yourself, regardless of your time or where you are in your career will have long term benefits for you and the people around you.

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                      Further, if you want to become a good leader, you should start by setting the intention to do so. What you focus on grows. If you focus on becoming a better leader, you will research and invest in things that help you to fulfill this intention. You will also view the good and bad leadership experiences as steppingstones that hone your character and help you improve.

                      After you set the intention, get really clear on what a good leader looks like to you. Each of us has a different understanding of leadership. Is a good leader someone who takes risk? Is a good leader, in your estimation, someone who develops other leaders? Whatever it is, know what you’re shooting for. Once you define what it means to be a good leader, look for people who exemplify your vision. Watch and engage with them if you can.

                      Finally, understand that becoming a good leader doesn’t happen overnight. You must continually work at improving, investing in yourself and reflecting on what is going well and what you must improve. In this way, every experience is an opportunity to grow and a chance to ask: ‘What is this experience trying to teach me?’ or ‘what action is necessary based on this situation?’

                      If you are committed to questioning, evaluating and acting, you are that much closer to becoming a better leader.

                      More About Effective Leadership

                      Featured photo credit: Sam Power via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] The Chronicle of Philanthropy: Why Good Managers Overcome the Desire to Be Liked
                      [2] Harvard Business Journal: What Bosses Gain by being Vulnerable

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