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5 Free Resources for Creating Great Blog Content
Posted on October 18th 2013
You need supplies in order to create things. Pictures, sounds, video, themes, a lot of time, and more! When you’re creating content for a company blog, podcast, or promotional video, sometimes it seems like your choices are either free to use and crappy quality, or expensive (because of copyright, among other reasons) and high quality. Thankfully, since this is the internet, there are a lot of places you can go to get these supplies (except for more time) that won’t land you in hot water because of copyright infringement, and are very good quality. Here are five of our favorite places to go below.
This is a godsend for bloggers and content creators who know that breaking up text is important to keep readers interested, but who don’t have the time, knowledge, and/or equipment to take their own photos and also don’t want to accidentally break copyright rules by just Googling an image and pasting it on their company blog.
Creative Commons are free for anyone to use in any way they please, not just on their blog, so feel free to use images found here and tweak, adjust, or otherwise change them for promotional purposes and commercial purposes. Just be sure that when do your search there, you have both boxes underneath the search bar checked, to make sure you weed out all the pictures that have any kind of copyright on them.
Also, though the photo is free, putting in a credit, either at the end of the blog post or in the caption of the image, is still the polite thing to do.
Sometimes you find a really great picture on Creative Commons for your company blog, but there’s just a little flaw in it. Pixlr is a free-to-use, browser-based photo editor you can use to quickly fix your photos. There are three different versions of it, increasing in difficulty of use and range of control over effects and edits. It’s much more powerful than the default image editing software you might find on your computer (ie: Microsoft Paint or Macintosh Preview), and allows you to easily darken, lighten, crop, and tint photos, as well as add text, different layers, borders, effects, stickers, and even touch up red eye and skin blemishes.
The most advanced version of Pixlr works pretty much like Adobe Photoshop, with many of the same tools and also the same set up, but unlike Photoshop, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to use. Just an internet connection.
You likely won’t use this site very often, but when you really need it, it comes through. Freesound is a huge library of, you guessed it, free sounds that you can search through for sound effects to use in your company podcast or video blog. The one caveat is that you must register with the site to download sounds (and/or upload them, if you really want to). Here you can find all sorts of sounds, ranging from the every day (keys jingling, bird calls, a door knob being turned) to the heavily produced (news or radio announcement jingles, actual musical compositions).
Free Music Archive is very similar to Freesound, but it specializes in only composed and arranged music, rather than sounds and sound effects. You can search by artist, instrument, style, genre, and more to find the perfect soundtrack for your video blog or promotional video. Searching on this site, however can be a bit more tricky, and there are a few more boxes you must tick in order to find music that is actually free.
When you’re just starting out, and you don’t have a whole lot of designing or coding knowledge, the free themes on WordPress are your best friends. There are dozens and dozens of different designs to use that are ‘responsive’ (i.e.: customizable, to a certain extent), so even if you use a free theme, you can still adjust it to your own tastes. These themes run the gamut of tones and styles, so it’s isn’t too difficult to find one appropriate for your website or company blog.