A picture is worth a thousand words and the Internet is increasingly visual in nature. And while you might feel that having completely original photos and illustrations is always the ideal, this is utterly unrealistic for the overwhelming majority of users on the web. You simply don’t have the time, resources or budget. You’re certainly not going to fly halfway around the globe for a single snapshot, especially if professional photographers can capture a far better image than you can anyway.
Providing a simple and straightforward approach to premium photos, illustrations and vector images is GLStock. If you’ve ever been overwhelmed or confused by other stock image repositories, you may finally be able to breathe a sigh of relief.
Every Size You Need
You need images for any number of possible reasons. As a blogger, you’ve likely recognized that a big body of plain text can be both overwhelming and completely boring for visitors to your site. Just the right image can add some much needed visual appeal. Maybe you need an image for a print campaign, like with a brochure or for print advertisements. The images at GLStock can fulfill all these needs.
Many users get confused and frustrated by other stock photography websites because the sellers price their images based on the size that you wish to download. What if you started out downloading a smaller version for web and then you need to use the same image for print later on? It feels foolish to buy the same image twice!
GLStock completely does away with that so you can “get the image you want, in every size you need, for one low price.” While the individual specifics will vary from image to image, you’ll find that most come in three sizes, ranging from about 700 x 466 pixels (at 72 dpi) on the small end, up to about 5,000 x 3,000 pixels (at 300 dpi) at the larger end. Regardless of the size you actually need, the price remains the same.
Another major point of confusion for a lot of people, especially if you’re not actively involved in the professional creative community, has to do with how images are licensed. It can be difficult wading through all the technical jargon and legal speak, only to realize that you can’t use an image for the purpose you intend. GLStock makes that easy too.
All of the photos, illustrations and vector images on the site are offered in two licenses. The standard license is what most people are going to use most of the time and it should cover you under most circumstances. You can use images with the standard license for everything from business cards to websites to animations, so long as you keep them in video productions of less than $10,000 and limit your physical print run to no more than 250,000 copies. While you can use these images on social media as well, you do need to include a copyright notice giving credit to the seller and website.
With the extended license, you retain unlimited digital use and are upgraded to unlimited use in both video and print/physical. The rest of the major restrictions remain the same, like you can’t redistribute or resell the image, you can’t use it as part of a logo, and you can’t feature a recognizable person in such a way as to suggest they endorse a business or product. That’s much clearer than most of the other licenses you see out there!
Searching the Catalog
The process for finding the premium image you need is as straightforward as using a standard search engine. Simply type in the keyword of interest and click the magnifying glass “search” button. Optionally, there is a pull-down menu so you can limit results to just photos or just vectors. There are literally millions of high-quality images on the site with thousands added daily, so you’re sure to find something great.
When you click on any individual image, you are then shown how many credits it takes to buy a standard of extended license. There’s also a second tab with image information, which will show the format and resolution, as well as a basic description and list of keywords. Below that is a series of similar images. It’s all very, very straightforward and completely uncluttered.
Standard license range from 1 to 30 credits per image, whereas extended licenses always sell for 75 credits.
Credit packages start as low as $25 for 25 credits ($1/credit) and go up to $800 for 1,000 credits ($0.80/credit). Naturally, the more credits you buy at a time, the greater your overall savings. Given the range in pricing, this means that the cost of a standard license for a single image will also range from 80 cents up to $30. Simply pay for what you need.
Signing up for an account gives you instant access. The welcome email you receive contains a promo code to receive a 10% bonus on your first deposit, in addition to any other bonuses already offered.
It Doesn’t Get Any Easier
After creating and logging into your account, you gain access to the straightforward dashboard. The three main sections here are your lightboxes, your recently viewed images, and your download history.
Below that, you’ll find your recent searches and a few featured GL collections. You can clear out your recent searches at any time. If you ever purchased any image with the standard license, you can upgrade to an extended license at any time. Simply navigate to your transactions through the dashboard, find the previously purchased image, and click the “upgrade” button.
The lightbox effectively functions as your own curated collection of images you are considering. You can create as many of these as you’d like. Once in the lightbox, hover over an image to bring up the option to zoom in or to compare up to three images at the same time.
Get the Images You Want
They didn’t have to re-invent the wheel here. They just wanted to make a wheel that’s more efficient, more cost-effective, and easier to understand. To that end, GLStock has done a tremendous job of providing a straightforward and accessible marketplace for royalty-free photos and illustrations. Who said navigating the world of stock imagery had to be confusing and expensive?
4 Blogging Lessons Learned in Bali
I have spent over a year collectively on the Island of the Gods.
Bali is a special place.
This popular island in Indonesia teaches you 4 clear blogging success lessons too.
Let’s dive in guys.
1: Expect the Unexpected
During a house sit at a huge villa in Jimbaran I:
- faced down and helped slay a spitting cobra
- dealt with a chicken killing dog
- lost 2 of the pets (1 to cancer and 1 to likely thievery)
This list could go on forever. From this sit alone.
Bali is a fun, fascinating and sometimes wild place. Like most developing places; you never know what waits around the corner.
I am writing this guest post because the security certificate expired on my blog. I had no idea this would happen right now. Completely unexpected. But being a blogger for 10 years I know to expect the unexpected.
When my developer wakes up he addresses it and we move forward. Until then I am at peace with my blog being down. No worries. Part of the blogging game.
Expect the unexpected with your blog guys. It will happen.
2: Learn to Celebrate Everything
Balinese are an appreciative people who celebrate everything.
Staff at the villa in Jimbaran regularly took off for ceremonies, celebrating everything from cell phones, to papayas, to motorbikes.
Even cremation ceremonies are lavish, eye-popping celebrations of life and death.
Appreciate it all with your blog. Wins, losses, and all in between. Celebrating it all makes you appreciative of the internet lifestyle.
I celebrated big wins and tough losses because all these experiences made me I am the blogger I am today.
3: Step Away from the Herd to Be Heard and Seen
Kuta is a tourist trap. Ubud town center can be a bit too much.
But the rice fields well outside of Ubud and the Bukit region of the island are authentic, colorful, peaceful gems.
My wife Kelli and I stand out from many other bloggers because we tend to stay in more remote areas of the island. Even in the popular fishing village of Jimbaran we did a house sit in off the grid farm country and rented a place up in the hills, away from the heavily touristed bay. Our experiences are authentic; not many tourists in Kuta facing down spitting cobras.
Blog in your voice. Tell your story. Be genuine. Blog from the heart.
Step away from the blogging herd. All success lies well away from the herd of bloggers in your niche who tend to follow each other like blogging sheeple, blogging in 3rd person voice and never sharing authentic experiences.
4: The Best Experiences Happen Outside of Your Comfort Zone
We rented a villa in the rice fields outside of Ubud once.
We had to ride a motorbike 5 minutes into the rice fields to reach the villa.
Save 1 other human living on the other side of the compound no people existed for miles around.
The experience was amazing. Once in a lifetime deal. But we had to get used to snakes slithering inside of the house, using an open air bathroom as huge fruit bats flew over your head at 2 AM and roaches, mosquitoes and other insects regularly shacking up inside of the crib.
I would never trade in this amazingly fun, freeing and brilliant experience but of course I felt terrified at times. Definitely pushed me outside of my comfort zone.
A bit before 10 PM on a Wednesday night I’d be comfortable in bed. But since my site is down for a bit now I nudge myself outside of my comfort zone to write this blog post. All part and parcel with being a full time blogger who renders generous service for his readers.
All of my biggest blogging wins occurred because I went the extra mile; even if doing so felt highly uncomfortable.
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Your greatest blogging success occurs well outside of your comfort zone.
What blogging lessons have you learned recently?
Top 5 Most Competitive Niches for Bloggers
Finding the perfect niche is like a unicorn for many bloggers. The right mix of passion and competitiveness can be found in the most surprising places and isn’t always clear until you’re already well on your way. But the good news is that the harder you look, the closer you get — which is a cliche, but surprisingly true in this case. So before you give up on your dream of creating content about knitting dog pajamas or anthropomorphized helicopters, start by having a look at what niches are the most competitive at the moment.
Most blogs earn their money through affiliation. The good thing about affiliation is that it doesn’t require you to focus on one particular brand, unlike sponsorships. You’re free to place links in your content or not. And to write whatever you like about the brand in question. Money is earned through reader engagement, not through passive exposure.
Of course, the most coveted and stereotypical blogging dream niche is travel. Who would turn down reviewing hotels in the Caribbean or exciting jungle safaris? Only a few bloggers get to do this, however, but there are still a lot of sub-niches that are easy to get into and earn well in. Local guides and localized content is a great way to find perfect fits for valuable affiliation links and you can even make direct content advertising if you ask. The future is definitely localized.
Making content about gambling is often as much about search engine optimization as affiliation links. This has made reviews and guides extremely competitive, but creating content only for SEO purposes can be a little monotonous. More localized information in a specific niche like mobile gambling makes mobile-casino.ca a perfect example of how to stay competitive without losing quality.
Health & Fitness
For ethically minded bloggers, this niche can be a minefield. Health and fitness bloggers can benefit from having a blog of their own in many ways — such as keeping themselves healthy and fit, while also inspiring others in the process. This niche market is also filled with misinformation, dangerous recommendations and straight up lies. Are you the one to finally inform readers about the one true way to stay healthy or get fit? Joking aside, whether you’re a zealot or a skeptic, there are affiliation networks for you. Just include a source or two, please.
Including this niche might be cheating. It can cover so much — but that doesn’t mean that your blog should. Specialised content that you’re both passionate and informed about can be very valuable for direct ads. Everyone has some kind of lifestyle niche they’re focused on, whether it be simple admin improvement or urban hiking. Find out if readers are interested in the topic, either directly or related, before you go all in, though.
With how competitive blogging is, blogs that explain how to succeed are more popular than ever. You’re reading one right now and you could write your own very easily. You don’t have to be the best or the most insightful to write an inspiring blog about blogging — it’s more useful than you think to write down what works and what doesn’t in your own humble experience. You can be an expert in learning.
Have you noticed any commonalities yet? If you look hard enough in any niche, you’ll learn enough to create content with a fresh and exciting take. And that’s the current trend for being competitive: Being both subjective and informed; localized and aware of international trends.
Do You Really Know Your Readers?
See the featured image up top guys?
I know readers dig my eBook. Said readers dig my paperback too.
Enter this featured image. I use similar images frequently on Blogging From Paradise. Smart way to appeal to my audience.
But during lean years I did not know my readers because I:
- did not listen to my readers
- did not ask my readers questions
- did not spot my reader’s pain points
- did not read my reader’s comments carefully
- did not spot patterns among my readers
Eventually I woke up. Easy to see this now. But back in the day I had a hellish time owning the fact that I did not know my readers.
Reader Red Flags
You do not know your readers if:
- traffic stalls or disappears
- blogging profits stall or disappear
- engagement dies on your blog
- nobody seems to reach out to you on social media
These are a few red flags guys. Own the flags. Honestly. Owning your mistakes is one quick way to turn things around, to free yourself of this common blogging error.
Do You Know Your Readers?
I mean; do you really know your blog readers? Be genuine before you answer the question.
I know my readers incredibly well now because every blog post, video or podcast I create meets their needs. No guess work, no writing and publishing because I want to write and publish a post and certainly no off topic posting here, on Blogging From Paradise or any place where I guest post.
The other day one of my blogging buddies endorsed my paperback with a YouTube review. In addition to feeling grateful I tuned into one other idea; his endorsement, emails from other book customers and smiling selfies from other book customers alerted me to the fact that my readers are beginning to buy my paperback too, in addition to my eBook. I published a post linking to my paperback and explaining how my book solves pressing blogging problems after spotting this pattern.
I know my readers better and better each passing day because I listen to my readers more closely each passing day. As everything expands with my blogging campaign I find it easier and easier to help folks, to come up with blog post ideas and to know my content hits the mark because blogging with my readers in mind has been the simplest way to connect with these folks.
Your blog is for you and your readers. Never forget this fact. Never forget that if you write just for yourself you are publishing a cyber diary. No need for anyone to read a blog if the blog does not solve their problems.
Knowing your readers genuinely requires you to be:
Listen to the latest podcast interview I did with Alonzo Pichardo on his Sound Cloud channel:
He has invited me to chat on his highly popular channel – with over 300,000 listens between only 8 episodes.
Alonzo is a master at spotting the most pressing issues of his audience. My readers also suffer from problems related to these topics. Naturally, as he shares and builds his impressive tribe and as I build my tribe, we have well over a quarter of a million listens between only 8 podcast episodes.
If you get to really know your readers and patiently hit the mark with your content, over years, 10 listens becomes 100 listens, then 100 becomes 1000, then 1000 becomes 10,000 listens, then 10,000 becomes 100,000 listens, and upward from there.
Develop an intimate bond with your readers guys. Poll them. Email them, asking how you can help them.
Much of your blogging success rests on knowing clearly what your reader wants so you can serve it up to them.
Listen. Ask. Observe.
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