This post is important… really important. Share it with every internet marketer, blogger, or website owner you know.
Why? Because if they don't have this information, they are taking a big risk and they don't even know it…
I'll tell you more about that in a minute…
But first… how to get dirt cheap images for your marketing.
Most sites charge an arm and a leg for good stock images, but I recently found a site called Fotolia where you can download millions of images for less than $2!
Why Pay For Images At All? I Can Download Them Free From Google!
The images you find on Google are NOT FREE. They are copyrighted works of art… and if you use them without a license, you can end up with a huge issues on your hands.
When you get “caught” using copyrighted photos on your blog or website, you don't get a warning letter – you get a letter demanding payment for the use of the image – sometimes in the thousands of dollars. And if you don't pay, you can be sued… (from what I've read it doesn't happen often, but it does happen).
I won't get into details here, but if you want more info about this very real issue that very likely affects you and a whole lot of people you know, check out this blog post How to Avoid Getting Sued By Getty.
Most people don't even know what they're doing is “wrong…”
…they innocently download a pretty picture from the internet, thinking that because it's in the Google Image Search it's free for the taking.
Well, most of the time, those images are not free. They are copy written works of art, and you have to buy a license to use them.
Which is cool – photographers need to be paid for their work too, and if we're using their photos, we should pay for them.
The problem is, licensing images is EXPENSIVE! It's not uncommon for a single photo to cost more than $50… for just a year license! That can get pricey if you're blogging regularly, and can become a big recurring cost!
Thankfully, I recently found a site that has great stock images at a very low price.
Fotolia is literally a fraction of the price of other stock image sites… the image on this post for example, cost me a whopping $1.40.
The Fotolia image library is huge (as of right now claims to have 24,083,156 images available), so you should have no trouble finding something that suits your needs.
If spending $2 for a photo doesn't appeal to you, there is a way to get free photos… take them yourself!
Personal photos are a great way to engage with your audience too, so pepper them in with your stock photos from time to time just for fun 🙂
If you're ever confused about whether an image is copyrighted, heed this advice from Aviva Weinman, CEO and owner of ‘Image Bank Israel: “The law is simple and the rules are very straight forward. Either you took a picture – and then it belongs to you, or you didn’t take the picture – and then you must obtain rights in order to use it.”
And if you're ever again tempted to download a “free” image for your blog, consider what the cost could be if you get busted. It's well worth spending the $1.50 to cover your ass.
PS. If you're reading this too late and have already received an extortion… err… settlement letter, click here for information on how to deal with it.