Source For Free Images That Will Knock Your Socks Off

maldivespavilliononpierI’ve mentioned Unsplash.com before as a site to get copyright-free stock photos.  Indeed, there are several sites that have sprung up over the last couple of years that provide excellent photography with either no copyright restriction or with very generous royalty-free licenses.

But today, I want to talk just about Unsplash.com.  It has become a repository for spectacular landscapes.  That’s not its mission.  It serves up all kinds of subjects.  However, more landscapes appear to be submitted than other kinds of photos.

This is a great opportunity in so many ways.

Think about it this way: look at the photo at the top of this post.  What associations does it bring up for you?

When I first saw it, I thought I could smell the wood of the pier and the salty sea water under it.  I could almost hear a gull cry.  I thought how nice it would be to take a book and a folding chair down to that pavilion at the end of the pier and just sit, read and enjoy the silence, solitude and sea breeze.

Pictures like this are wonderful for inspirational posters.  Or inclusion in inspirational videos (maybe even with the sound of a gull dubbed in.)  They’re great in greeting cards and postcards. They are valuable to use as conceptual art for stimulating ideas for posts and articles of all sorts. They make fine backgrounds for compositing to create illustrations for books and ebooks.

There is no end to their uses.  They are a treasure trove for putting together products quickly.  Or making a point that you can’t fully express with just text.

Their greatest value, however, is in the fact that they make you feel something.  They speak to the emotions of your readers or viewers.

Nature photography — especially landscape– and art actually has been shown in scientific research to quickly and effectively reduce stress and lift spirits.

Because of the emotional connection, folks who read your articles and books may be more engaged and more likely to write comments or reviews.  People who view your nature/landscape themed videos may be more attracted to see more of your channel.  The products you make from photos that are excellent in and of themselves will probably sell better.  Especially if you are good at enhancing them and fitting them to the right products.

As I said, free public domain photos that are so good are a real opportunity.  What are you waiting for?

Take it.  Create something even more wonderful than the photos per se.

Can I quote you? Tools for writing articles based on quotations.

Photo Source: iclipart.com
Photo Source: iclipart.com

Do you use the technique of starting an article or blog post with a quotation?  It’s a fine way to generate content quickly. With the quotation, you already have the main idea and theme.  And if you use a template with it, you can almost “fill in the blanks” without a lot of effort.  (If you haven’t picked up my free template for writing with quotations, go get it here.)

I’m quite fond of using quotations and I came across one today that I wanted to use:

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

It was attributed to Albert Einstein.  But I was skeptical.  I can’t count the number of times that I’ve found misattributed quotations online.  Including on quotations sites, which apparently don’t check them.  I probably have a few in past articles and posts that I wrote before I caught on that nobody was doing any fact checking on the quotations sites.

These days, I check the quotation source myself.  If I can’t find the origin, I’ll publish the quotation as “attributed to.”  Or, if it’s fairly certain that the most usual attribution is in error, I might mention that the origin is unknown but usually “mis-attributed to.”  After all, a good quotation is a good quotation, regardless of who originally said it or wrote it.  So I don’t throw away a perfectly good idea.

But, back to the supposed Einstein quotation. I did some searching and found many instances of the quotation.  With the same attribution. And I found some sources that questioned if Einstein was the author of the quotation. Then I found a tool that I’m recommending to you today.

QuoteInvestigator.com  is Garson O’Toole’s website.  He meticulously researches the origins of quotations and publishes his findings in detail.  He also has a “resources” page with links to other tools and sites.

I’ve added the site to my own resources.  I found it by using my usual method of simply typing the quotation into a search box with the words “who said” or “did x say.”

But, it’s a good idea to start with specialized sites like O’Toole’s.  A “who said” search on your favorite engine usually turns up a lot of hits, but it takes time to research them.  If you start with a site like his and find he’s already done the investigation, you may be all set.

If you don’t want to investigate the origin of quotations, at least start using “attributed to” instead of declaring authorship that you don’t know for certain.  If you are trying to build trust and authority with your content, you want to keep your facts straight.

A New Productivity Tool: List of over 200 blog post ideas

Photo Source: iclipart.com
Photo Source: iclipart.com

I follow Ryan Deiss’s blog at DigitalMarketer.com.  He and his team constantly come up with interesting ideas and share a lot of content for free.

A couple of days ago, Digital Marketer published a list article by Russ Henneberry: “The Ultimate List of Blog Post Ideas.” (http://www.digitalmarketer.com/blog-post-ideas/)  It’s a very long article.  In fact, he ought to rewrite it enough to meet Amazon’s standards for avoiding duplicate content and publish it as a Kindle booklet.

I know I’d pay for something of this quality — if he hadn’t already made it free.

It’s 212 blog post ideas. Explained and categorized. Not to mention that he has a downloadable mind map version.

If you have a site or blog that you have to fill with content, you can really use this handy tool.  Go get it.