Jan & Monika

BLOG: Everything You Need to Create a Successful Blog

I began writing my blog about repurposing FREE content and using Public Domain sites so you can have an easier time creating incredible content.


During my research I came across a blog by Ramsay, a blog master, and man it was amazing and comprehensive! So I am sharing some of it here with you, and adding my own helpful tools I have acquired in the hopes that you benefit from it too.


Ramsay shared: “The first thing to consider is that whenever you do anything creative allow for the time and space to do what you need to do. Many times when we place ourselves under a deadline to help us get it done it also thwarts our creativity. So once you know it is your time to sit down to finish it, release all the pressure associated, to the best of your ability, so you can openly and freely innovate.”


What do Royalty Free, Creative Commons, and Public Domain mean? Is it all free? Do I need to add a credit? Help!


As you might know, you can’t just find an image, photo, song, etc. on Google and use it on your blog like it’s your own. Pretty much anything that has been “created” has copyright protection, and using it without permission, payment and/or a credit can land you in trouble unless the creator has expressly said “Do whatever you want without a credit!“.

Let’s have a quick look at the main types of licenses we want to keep an eye out for when using different items like photos and videos on our blogs:


1. Royalty Free – This is usually where you pay a one-time fee to the owner and they grant you a license to use their copyrighted item in certain situations. You usually can’t resell it or use it as a logo, branding, etc. Most stock photo sites use some version of this, for example. Learn more.


2. Creative Commons – These are a series of licenses where an otherwise copyrighted work is made freely available to distribute under certain conditions. There are several types of CC license such as Non-Commercial and Zero, which all have different ways they can and can’t be used. Learn More.


3. Public Domain – This generally refers to a resource that falls outside of copyright and intellectual property laws, and doesn’t belong to any one artist but actually belongs to the public at large. Learn more.


When going through the websites mentioned in this post it’s very important to do your own research and pay attention to the type of license it is under, and what restrictions that places you under. You might need to give credit, pay a fee, or you might have to do none of that. But make sure you check! Sometimes the rules vary from country to country, and I am not a lawyer so you’ll have to read the terms on each site as you go.


So here we go… 


Blog Content


Keeping your blog fresh, fun and interesting is part of the bloggers rule book!! Here are 10 amazing ideas for blog content. Try one, or try them all, and find what is easy and works best for you.


1. Answer the questions everyone is asking. A FAQ post shows you’re responsive and it saves customers’ time.


2. Pose your own question. What would you like to know about your customers? Just ask, and let your readers create the content.


3. Talk about trends. You convey authority when you talk about how things are evolving in your industry.


4. Post a video. Create variety with a video post. You can give a sneak preview of a new product, or show a promotional event.


5. Make a podcast. Record a quick interview with an expert, or just give a few of your own useful tips.


6. Create an infographic. Fact-filled, graphic posts get shared a lot on social networks. This infographic company makes it fun and easy and gives some great tips to get you started.


7. Customer success story. When you receive a great testimonial from a customer, ask for permission to turn it into a post. Use the post to solicit more customer stories.


8. Riff on the news. How are current events affecting your customers? Run a Google Alert on certain keywords related to your business or industry to find relevant news items to discuss.


9. Compile a link roundup. If you notice several interesting opinions on a topic, you can pull them together into a single post of the best ideas.


10. Write a series. If you’d like to teach customers something complicated, break the topic into several parts. Series are an effective way to turn casual readers into subscribers.



Websites with Photos and Images


When you run a blog or website one of the most difficult issues can be finding consistently beautiful photos and images to use in articles, eBooks and other forms of content.


What follows is a huge list of websites that publish photos under Royalty Free, Creative Commons, and/or Public Domain licenses that have millions of photos and images that you can use on your blog. NOTE: make sure you read through all the terms and conditions before throwing an image up on your site to make sure you understand how it should be correctly used.


Pexels // Old Book Illustrations // Gratisography // WikimediaCommons // Unsplash // LibreShot // Dreamstime // NASA // Freerange // Flickr Commons // // Public Domain Pictures // Pixabay // Magdeleine // ISO Republic // Public Domain Vectors// FancyCrave // 1 Million Free Pictures // Camarama // CreativeCommons.Photos // Crow the Stone // Epicantus // FindA.Photo // Free Stock Photos // Jay Mantri // Realistic Shots // Reusable Art // Skitterphoto // Medical Heritage Library // Europeana Collection // Free Media Goo // Free Nature Stock // Free Stock Image Point // FreeImages.Pictures // FreePhotosBank // // Startup Stock Photos // The British Library // The Public Domain Review // Viintage // Public Domain Archive // Pic4Learning // Photogen // ABS Free Pic // Image*After // Publicdomainfiles // ShotStash // // // Negative Space // Death to the Stock Photo // SpaceX // Stockvault // Foodies Feed // FreeImages // Fancy Crave // // // Pic Pac // PDPics // Picdrome // Burst // Yale University Art Gallery // Unrestricted Stock

Icons, logos and vector images


Here’s a bunch of websites that provide free logos, clip arts and icons which you can use on your site, or for creating graphics. This is great for eBooks, infographics or other illustration purposes that you may include as links from your blog. Icons are really great for bringing a site to life and can often increase conversions.

Smashing Magazine // Flat Icon // MrIcons // Pixeden // Vecteezy // Material Design Icons// Glyphsearch // Endless Icons // IconBug // Perfect Icons // Soft Icons // Free Clipart Now// Webweaver // Freerange Stock // Logodust // Freepik // Gravual // WPClipart // Behance// Free Vectors // Vector4Free // Web Design Freebies // Captainicon // Good Stuff No Nonsense // DeviantArt // Dribble // Best PSD Freebies // Iconfinder // GraphicBurger // Designbeep // Oxygenna // Dafont // Free Goodies for Designers // FreebiesBug // Iconmelon // PixelsMarket // GraphicsFuel // Fribly // Icojam // Blurgraphic // Public Domain Vectors // Icons Shock // CSS Author // Creative Tail // All Free Download // Ego Icons // AlienValley// Aiconica // Public Domain Clip Art // Dreamstale // DuckFiles // Open Clipart Library // Clker // Open Photo // 1001 Free Downloads

Blog Success Tips


There are 3 key points a successful blogger needs to follow.

1. Create excellent content

So you have started your blog… now what? First you add high-quality content (as described above). On a blog, this content comes in the form of blog posts. Your blog posts must stand out and have something to be desired, and in essence, need to be excellent. But remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t try to be perfect first, try to capture your voice so your ideal audience can find you. A huge mistake bloggers make when getting started is trying to appeal to their audience before actually understanding what they love to write about. In order to make money, you have to have visitors, but in order to have visitors, you must have content that is worthwhile to visit.

2. Build and promote your brand

While you create your content, start building sincere, no-strings-attached relationships via social media by commenting, promoting others and engaging with other like-minded people. After all relationship building is at the core of all following. If no one knows you exist, it’s unlikely you’ll get many visitors. People won’t naturally find you if you don’t put yourself out there. Get noticed… by noticing others.

3. Choose and implement streams of income

Developing income streams is the last key point. Many people want to focus only on this point, but without the other three, it won’t work. Successful bloggers are constantly exploring new ways to make money. The key to making good money as a blogger is to have multiple streams of income. Even small trickles of money coming from various places over time, can really add up. Bloggers also use their blogs as springboards to launch other projects that bring in income, such as ebooks, books, speaking, products, etc. What do you most get inspired by? Use this to choose how you wish to inspire others.


I really hope this collection of Royalty Free, Creative Commons, and Public Domain sites is useful to you, and helps you find some great free stuff to make your content interesting and meaningful. If you think anything is missing from the list please let me know and I’ll make sure to add it. I’d like to give a big thank you to Ramsay for his amazing amount of resources to support this blog. I look forward to hearing from you on what helped you the most, and please send me a link to your blog in the comments below and you may find that I feature your content!