Where to get free stock images

Stock images for your website, social media or digital profiles, can get pricy! We are sharing our favourite free stock image sites with you. Yes, you read that right, FREE stock images.

I can see some of you are super pumped, others a little sceptical. Rightfully so! If you have ever used someone's image without their permission it can get very expensive! Most people are happy as long as you take it down. Some are not and will send legal letters.

With the free stock images, they are uploaded by amateur and professional photographers all over the world. They submit their work to these sites knowing it can be used by downloaded by anyone. You can link back to the photographer or even send them a tip if you like. We normally give them a shout-out as a professional courtesy BUT you don't have to. The image we have used in the header is by Photo by Krisffer Aeviel Cabral on Unsplash

Here are two sites we use often for ourselves and clients:

Paid stock images

If you are looking for paid stock image site we use Adobe stock. Great for web designers, content creators or company that use a lot of stock images. We have also used:
Stocksy
Shutterstock
stocksy

Our stock image experiment

As an experiment, we started an account with Pixabay and uploaded 3 images. Have a look below at how many times they have been seen, downloaded, liked or commented on. These images were taken on one of our many trips to our home town.

Our images

Highly recommend setting up an account if you are a budding photographer, you never know where it will lead you! Although it is an experiment for us it is also getting our name out there in a creative space. We will have libraries down the track! Misfit stock sounds cool, don't you think?

Get a professional email address

It drives me insane to see a nicely designed website or signage and it all looks professional until you get to the email address… You’re either nodding or going WTF? My email address is fine and I don’t have to pay a cent! goatfucker200@hotmail.com has served me well. I did just make that email address up but you get the picture. An unprofessional email address that you think was funny, cute or sassy could be losing you business BIG TIME!

Is your business legit or dodgy AF

I know its not just me that thinks twice before emailing a dodgy-looking email address. When I look online for say a business, lets say a company that make a film of your pet dog. I find one. They have a nice website but their email address is dogfilm69@hotmail.com I am going to think twice. Am I emailing the actual business or is it some weird sex thing? Or are you going to spam the shit outta my email address if I email you? I might be a little paranoid but that happens when your job involves working in web design on the daily.

The other thing that frustrates me is you have a website. Let’s say its www.dogsonfilm.com.au You already own the domain name! Why not turn that into a professional email address??? Its so freaking easy!

SEO! You have to be in it to win it!

Imagine how much business you would lose if someone with a similar business name had a professional email address and a registered domain name similar to yours? So what if dogfilm69@hotmail.com is your email and only point of contact other than a Facebook or Instagram account. What if another business starts called Dog on fil Brisbane.  Then they register the domain name dogsonfilm.com.au and set up the email: book@dogsonfilm.com.au They are going to rank higher than you on the Google search for one. They also have created ownership of that name. Sure you could have been in business longer, but unless you have some kind of digital footprint, you will fall behind. Yep there could also be trademark issues as well from either end but that’s a whole new story.

So if it’s purely for the sake of being found online or even existing online. Buy your domain name now!

Branding

Strengthen your brand with your professional email. The email address bark@dogsonfilm.com.au incorporates the business name. As soon as you see that email address you know what their website is because you have their domain name. If you’re really into digitally stalking a business, you can probably guess what their social media pages would be called as well. So simple!

Junk mail

How many of the emails you send from your free email address are going directly to junk mail? Why? Because your clients or suppliers email providers are putting your cheap ass into the junk folder. You will be forever written off as spam until the receiver sees your email and tags it not spam. But it is a process to do that. How often do you check your junk folder? I can tell you I do once a month if that. Unless a client insists they sent an email and it’s not in my inbox, I will check junk.

Setting up a shiny new email address

If you have a web designer/developer or IT person that has all your domain name details, they can help set up your email address. If you have all your domain name details you can most probably go it yourself. Just follow the prompts from your domain name provider and your email provider.

If you don’t have a domain name yet, what are you waiting for?! They start from around $15 per year. I highly recommend Ventriap They are an Australian based company and their support is amazing! I do have an affiliate with them, pop in my email address at the end of your purchase if you want to help a sista out 🙂

I use Google Workspace for my email. I like it because it's easy to use, affordable and you can access it anywhere. From your phone, tablet or computer. I also like that it comes with online storage and office programs like Sheets (equivalent to MS excel), Docs  (equivalent to MS word), calendar and more. Prices start from $9.40 AUD per month.

My email advice:

WTF is a domain name

We’ve all heard the term Domain name, but WTF is it? And why is it important for your business? The dictionary explains it as ‘the part of a network address that identifies it as belonging to a particular domain’. Well, that still doesn’t really say what it is exactly.

I’m not doing to deep dive into a nerdy explanation. I want you to walk away confident, you know what one is. I always find visuals way easier to understand.

Check out the diagram of my web address.

WTF_is_a_domain_name_explained

You can see misfitbranding in red is my domain name. It’s my business name. It is my unique IP address.

Pretty simple really.

Why are domain names important for my business?

Because without one you risk not being found on the web. You can still be found without one but usually, you will have some kind of online page like social media. Facebook for example, if you have set that up properly your page will be your business name and that can be found by Google.

You need one if you want to play in the SEO world. Which basically means do you want to be found on the internet or are you a prepper that is too paranoid to be found online…

How to get a domain name

You can search anywhere online to purchase a domain name. I highly recommend purchasing one from a company that you will also one day host your website. You can expect to pay anywhere from around $15 AUD per year and up depending on what domain extension you want (like .com .com.au .org and the list goes on).

I use Ventraip.  They are an Australian company. They have great service and support. I highly recommend setting the billing up to auto-renew so you don’t lose your web address. Most companies will remind you but if it auto charges, then you don’t need to stress about it.

If you forget to pay the domain renewal it can be very hard to get it back. Sometimes it’s simple but most of the time it’s not. Especially if someone wants your domain name. You could lose more than your website and email. How devastating would that be for your business!

So you’ve got a domain now what?

Set up email addresses

Professional emails are the bomb! You can set yours up right now. I have instructions to help you out >>here <<

Build your website

You can start contracting someone to design your website or DIY. Or use me! You will need hosting first which is basically where your website lives. Its an added cost on top of your domain name. Most basic hosting starts from $8.95 AUD per month. You can purchase that yourself if you use Ventraip.

Share it with the world

When your website is up, shout it out across your social media channels. Don’t forget to update your bios in social media to include your new website address. Add it to all your printed marketing materials and stationery.

Nerdy AF website terms

WWW = World Wide Web.

URL = Uniform Resource Locator and is defined as the global address of documents and other resources on the World Wide Web.

IP = Internet Protocol. An IP address is a shit tin of numbers separated by full stops that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.

SEO = Search engine optimisation. Make sure your website has the best chance of being found.

Domain extension: Its the bit at the end of your web address that no one really gives a fuck about. Typically .com or if  you are in Australia you can have .com.au or .sydney and so forth. 

via GIPHY

Why should I update my website?

You either had your website built or DIY your site when you first started your business when you realised the internet wasn’t just a fad. You were proud of it then and you might still be. How much attention have you given it lately? Why should you update your website?

Are you stuck in the 80’s with an unresponsive horror show or have you not added to your site since it was built? Have you kept up with the trends or are you standing your ground waiting for GIF’s to be cool again?

The cold hard truth is you need to update your site. Technology and user experience evolves on the daily so why shouldn’t your website? It’s a lot easier than you think.

via GIPHY

Back to the future

If you have an old site built in the 80’s, 90’s or even a few years ago, chances are you’ll need to change platforms. This is basically a complete rebuild. Yes, it will be costly but believe me, it’s worth it. Here’s why:

Responsive

Probably the most important your page will be responsive which means it will function on mobile, tablets and desktops. 90% of people looking for you online will be doing it with a device and not a desktop.

Design

Design wise your site will be modern making your business seem up with the times (even if the accounts lady still prints everything)

SEO

Your SEO should also be updated along with your images which will help with your rank on Google

Speed baby!

Speed baby! Apparently, our attention spans are dropping..who knew?

Time to refresh

So you’ve updated your logo and other branded items but your website is dated. You have no freakin idea how to freshen it up so you just stuck the new logo on the header and got the fuck outta there. Trends come and go. Remember when sliders were amazing? Now they are seen as a no-no for site speed and SEO (yeah I know!). Hero images are in. Great imagery has always been in. Current website trends are leaning towards dark coloured sites but legibility will always be king.

Is your privacy policy up to date?

A while ago you would have felt spammed by every online thing you’ve ever signed up for. All saying they are now GDPR compliant. What the fuck is GDPR? Well, it stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It aims to improve data and privacy protection for EU residents. While also simplifying regulations for global enterprises. Any company that does business in the EU or handles the personal data of EU citizens must comply. Even if the company does not have a physical office location in the EU. Seriously EVERYONE freaked out and many companies just went with it anyway. If you don’t do business with anyone in the EU then you don’t need to stress. However, you will need to make sure your website its legal obligations sorted. Online businesses should have these 3 legal notices to protect themselves and the Website Legal Package includes all of them:

Privacy Policy – To explain how you use, store and update customer and visitor personal information.
Website Disclaimer – To limit your liability from the information you publish and to protect your Copyright.
Terms & Conditions – To state the terms under which you do business, including delivery, return and refund policies. The latest Australian Consumer Law now requires this.

I use 123 legal and have an affiliation with them. Its a quick way to ensure your details are up to date. Feel free to use my link and show me some love.

Need help?

You know you need to update your website but you don’t know where to start. I’m here to help!

I have options for monthly web maintenance and management. With the option to have content changed or added to your site. Great if you need to change information on your website or had a change in services and pricing. Catering to e-commerce sites as well. It can be a total pain in the butt if you need to add, remove or alter products on your website.