After first choosing (opens in a new tab) then register a domain name (opens in a new tab)by signing up for one of the best web hosting (opens in a new tab) services, designing your site and using one of the best website builders (opens in a new tab) to create it, you still need to research and publish the content of the website.
Developing your business’s online presence can be both expensive and time-consuming, and website content is integral to site performance. Therefore, engaging and high-quality content will keep visitors coming back to your site and potentially becoming repeat customers.
However, sometimes the high cost of licensing or creating images, videos, articles, etc. can overwhelm many small businesses. Fortunately, the internet is full of reliable and reputable resources that you can use to populate pages with high-quality free website content to keep your site up-to-date and fresh.
Remember, you get what you pay for when it comes to online content, and that’s an important caveat: images, videos, and features will look better if they’re paid than what you get for free.
Another critical point, which is essential to maintaining the legality of your free website content, is to ensure that what you use is legally allowed to be reused on your site. If you use content without permission, you can get into legal trouble very quickly. We’ve outlined six ways to get free website content legally and easily, boost your website presence, and improve your traffic below.
1. Free Items
You want to add a blog post (opens in a new tab) to your website to boost your SEO (opens in a new tab) (search engine optimization)? The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to create all of your own content from scratch. There are plenty of free articles online that you can reuse at no cost, written by people who just want to get their work out into the world.
There are a number of sites that anyone wishing to have their work published can go to. EzineArticles (opens in a new tab) is one of the largest freely available databases of articles, with over half a million authors contributing to the work of the site. Topics vary widely – anyone can write about the niche topic that interests them the most – so you should have no problem finding content that matches your website’s theme.
If you need more content, check out these five sites where writers frequently add new free content:
- amazines (opens in a new tab)which publishes sports articles on a wide selection of topics
- Article sphere (opens in a new tab)which you can use to create an RSS feed on your website
- ArticleCity (opens in a new tab)which offers particularly qualitative articles
- Item Factory (opens in a new tab)who focuses on technical writing
2. Free charts
Images and graphics are key to making your site visually appealing to visitors. While you might not be able to get the photo you want to put on your homepage for free, you can turn to free images to inexpensively add media to the rest of your website.
There are a handful of sites you can turn to for free stock photos, including Pixabay (opens in a new tab), Pexels (opens in a new tab), Unsplash (opens in a new tab)and negative space (opens in a new tab). Most of the images on these sites are incredibly professional and can be downloaded in full resolution if needed.
You can also find free vector graphics online at sites like Vector Portal. (opens in a new tab)stockio (opens in a new tab)Vector4Free (opens in a new tab)and Vexels (opens in a new tab). Since these are vector images, they can easily be edited and customized using software like Adobe Illustrator. This is a good option for customizing free content on your website without spending a ton of time and money on graphics.
3. Royalty Free Music
Just as you need to make sure your website contains appropriately licensed text and images, you also need to make sure you’re using copyright-free music. More and more services are working on the web to detect unlicensed use of copyrighted music and audio files, so it’s easy to get caught if you’re lax about it. This is especially important if you are creating your own video to add to your website.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources you can turn to for free or low-cost leads. Some of our favorite databases are:
Be sure to check the fine print that comes with any audio files you decide to use. Some are not allowed to be edited with editing software, and others require you to credit the artist on your site.
4. Free Videos
Adding video to your website is a great way to give it a more professional experience and capture your visitors’ attention. Although you are unlikely to find a free video that perfectly captures your website branding (opens in a new tab) or messaging, you will find lots of free video clips that you can use to make your own video.
These stock clips can be extremely useful if you’re working on a tight budget. Collect enough and you may not need to shoot new footage. Then, all you have to do is assemble the frames on your computer and you’re done! You have a new video for your website.
So where can you find royalty-free music videos? Pixabay (opens in a new tab) and Video Pexels (opens in a new tab) are two of the most reliable sources for high quality videos. If you can’t find what you need there, you can try Video Footage 4 Free (opens in a new tab), Videzy (opens in a new tab), Videovo (opens in a new tab)and Clipstill (opens in a new tab).
5. Just Ask
One of the best ways to get free content for your website is to ask. Many writers and website owners are more than happy to have their articles, photos, and videos repurposed for another site. You get content to help build your site, and they can see their work displayed to a wider audience than it would otherwise reach.
To go this route, find a blog post or photo on another website, then email the author asking them to reuse it. You should always credit the original creator on your site and clearly state in your email that you plan to do so. You can also give information on your website and explain why you think their work is suitable for your audience.
Of course, you need to do some checking when choosing who to email. A competitor in your industry probably won’t allow you to reuse content, for example. It’s also worth looking for websites that don’t see a ton of traffic because the owner will benefit more from having their content reappear on your site.
Remember that the worst thing that can happen is that the owner of the site you are emailing denies your request. It only takes a few minutes to find content and send an email, and a positive response can save you several hours of work.
6. Idea generators
If you’re a skilled writer but don’t know what to write about, an idea generator can help. These online tools, like SEOPressor (opens in a new tab), you just need to enter keywords related to your website or business. From there, they’ll spit out potential blog titles that you can flesh out into full articles.
It takes a little longer than other free content generation methods since you still have to write the article itself. But, having a title can help you get started and stay on track to finding keywords that can boost your website’s SEO. (opens in a new tab).
Further Reading on Web Hosting and Website Builders
Learn how to create a website for free (opens in a new tab) to save your business more money, and how simple web design (opens in a new tab) can help improve site performance. On SEO, learn about web hosting factors (opens in a new tab) that can affect it, and six essential web SEO (opens in a new tab) tools to use. Finally, on a legal level, find out how to make your website GDPR compliant. (opens in a new tab).