An Easy Way to Get Free Images for Your Posts

Everyone working as freelance copywriter have experienced the following: You’ve finished your latest blog post. You’ve edited your words to be as free flowing and powerful while being clear of any grammatical slip-ups. Now you just need a few images to illustrate your point further.

You may have the temptation to go on Google Images, retrieve any relevant image you can find, and upload it to your blog. However, people tend to forget that most images are copyrighted, and you can get into serious trouble if you use someone’s image without permission, with a passive-aggressive remark from the owner at best, a lawsuit at worst.

Can I Use Copyrighted Images?

In certain occasions, fair use does apply. If your blog post is about a movie, your article would benefit from a few screenshots of the film to help illustrate it better. However, if you’re just using an image to decorate your article, then fair use is a no-no, and you should avoid it whenever possible.

So what if you need a few images for your post that aren’t fair use, and you can’t go out and take your own pics? Simple. You find pictures that are free to use.

Free Images, and the Rules That Apply

Some photographers would be more than happy for you to use their images, and they’ll lay down a few rules when sharing their pics. A few images will be in the public domain, meaning that you can share without attribution. But many are licensed via Creative Commons, and you must attribute the author of the image if you want to use it. They may have other rules as well, such as not using the images for monetization.

A Good Site to Find Free Images

Where to find free images
Willem Blaeu [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Some sites will require you to pay to use images, so where can you look for free images without any strings attached? My personal favorite site has to be Wikimedia Commons. It’s from the same people who developed Wikipedia, and its goal is to have a massive library of free media for people to use.

Using Wikimedia Commons is about the same as Wikipedia. Just type whatever you want to in the search bar and then look for the image you’ll find. Easy as pie.

How to Attribute Images

Once you find the image you’re looking for, go to its page and look at the licensing rules. Some will be public domain, and you can upload it to your blog without any worries. But most will be Creative Commons. This means you must attribute the picture to the person who took it, which should be provided, and if you alter the image, you must publish it under CC as well.

Usually, the file will have the option to link the image to your site, so you don’t even have to worry about attribution. You can just have it so the people who click on the image are directed to its Wikimedia page.

And that’s the easy way to post images without having to worry about a DMCA on your plate.

Do you want more? Take a look to this post about where to find free legal images.

Common Nonnative Mistakes for Writing in Spanish

At times, writing in Spanish to practice it can be frustrating because the mechanics, nuances, and terms of Spanish language do not translate perfectly to your own native language. Therefore, even learners with a high level of proficiency may still find themselves making nonnative mistakes in their writing after years of practice.

The influence of your native language on the acquisition of a second language is known as language transfer, and this influence can be either positive or negative depending on the similarities between the two languages. Although experience is the most beneficial way to avoid making second language writing mistakes, it can also be helpful to make yourself aware of the most common writing errors that individuals with your native language tend to make when learning a particular second language.

For native English speakers acquiring Spanish, one of the most frequent and noticeable types of errors is making a word order mistake. In both English and Spanish, the basic word order consists of the subject, followed by the verb, followed by the object. In sentences that have this simple structure, the transfer of English to Spanish is actually beneficial because the word order is reinforced in both languages. On the other hand, there are notable differences in the word order of the languages when we get to more complicated structures. For example, in English, the adjective precedes the noun, as in ‘the white cat.’ In Spanish, however, the adjective follows the noun, as in ‘el gato blanco.’ These types of writing errors are easy to make because the learner must think about the language in a manner that is structurally different from how he or she is used to thinking in the native language.

Additionally, another common error for English speakers learning Spanish is the failure to apply the properties of grammatical gender. Spanish has two genders: masculine and feminine. These genders are referred to as ‘grammatical’ in nature when they do not refer to the sex of a living being. For example, the word ‘casa,’ meaning ‘home,’ is a feminine noun in Spanish. The assignment of the feminine gender is completely arbitrary; thus, it is difficult for the nonnative speaker to acquire. When writing, the Spanish learner must not only remember the gender of each noun, but must also be sure to assign the appropriate gender to the article and adjective within the same phrase as the noun. If we want to write ‘the red house,’ in Spanish, we would have to write, ‘la casa roja.’ Each word in this phrase has the –a ending, which is common for feminine words in Spanish.

To make things even more complicated, the rules for marking words as either singular or plural also differ between the two languages. In English, the writer must be sure that the subject and the verb match in number, as in ‘the girl walks’ versus ‘the girls walk.’ When writing in Spanish, it is important to remember that the article, noun, verb, and adjective must match in number, as in ‘la chica camina’ versus ‘las chicas caminan.’ Luckily, the rules for making items plural in Spanish are fairly regular, so this is something that will likely become easier over time.

Three Types of Writing That Can Make You Money

If you’re looking for a job in writing, you may wonder what genre is profitable. Do you look for jobs in blog posting, or long-winded articles? Is the money in fiction, or nonfiction?

To be honest, almost any genre, text, and type of writing can be profitable. And we’re here to explain your options, as well as give tips for you to succeed. With that said, let’s look at three types today, and you can see which is right for you.

Writing Fiction

People still love a good story. Even in the age of movies and video games, written word is still relevant for many people, and if you have an imagination, this route may be good for you, especially as an aside to working on your own novel.

When it comes to fiction jobs, you usually have two options. One is ghostwriting. In that, you write a story for someone, they pay you, and then they get all the credit. If you want attribution, you can write for a few publications that are accepting new writers. These are usually short stories and whatnot, so don’t expect any long novels.

For the jobs that involve ghostwriting, our tips include constant communication so that you know what the client wants.

Meanwhile, if you’re trying to get your story into magazine or other publication, clean it up as much as you can. Don’t assume you can submit your first draft and have the editor do the rest.

Writing How-To Books

Another job mainly involving ghostwriting, how-to is big in many freelance writing fields. The concept is simple: take a topic, write about it, and explain how it works as precise as possible. These books are big, even in an age where people can Google the information for free. People like having an all-in-one guide that is informative and friendly for beginners.

Our tip for this genre would be to dig deep, and not just regurgitate what you find on the first page of Google. If people wanted to Google something, they would have done so. Also, write simple so that anyone can understand.

Writing Blog Posts

So many blogs want guests and regular writers to contribute to their blogs, so it’s no surprise that there are blogging jobs abound. This is a broad topic with so many different requirements. Some may want you to write about their product, and others may want to discuss everyday life topics.

Our tips include proper communication to your clients so that both of you know what you’re looking for, and familiarity with the blogging software the client uses. For instance, if they’re posting in WordPress, you may need to learn some coding skills beyond just typing the words.

And there are three types of genres you can make money from. You can usually find jobs on a classifieds site, usually one that’s freelancing-based. Check them out, and get you a job that works for you. In Part Two, we’ll discuss some more options.

Finding the Words in your Non-native Tongue

Individuals learning to write in Spanish may be surprised to find that the language does not translate directly to their native tongue. This is because languages have different sentence structures, phonetic features, and word connotations. Although the native language serves as an excellent source of support, learners of Spanish must remember that trying to translate directly from English may result in frustration due to differences between the languages, including the availability of equivalent word choices.

Since there are words in English that do not exist in Spanish (and the opposite is true as well), the language learner must learn to navigate around ideas much differently than he or she is used to navigating in the native language. This is one of the areas of second language speaking that warrants the need to avoid direct translation. Specifically, many cultural terms, such as slang words or idiomatic expressions, will not translate to any other language. Furthermore, even when there are direct translations from English to Spanish, there may be differences between the nuances of the translations (meaning that the word in one language may have a ‘stronger’ or more severe meaning in the other language).

While there are some English words that do not translate into Spanish, there are also Spanish words that do not exist in English, some of which could be incredibly useful to the English language! Many of these words are actually verb forms that help the speaker communicate particular actions. For example, the verb ‘trasnochar’ means ‘to stay up late.’ While English speakers are able to describe this action, there is not a one-word translation that can be used to refer to the same concept in English. This is an excellent example of how a concept can exist in two language but not have a linguistic equivalent.

It is important to remember that one language is not superior to another based off of its availability of word choices. Language changes over time, with new words being added by different generations of speakers. The best advice for English speakers learning Spanish is to immerse themselves in the language and culture. Since language is cultural by nature, learners are more likely to acquire the nuances of words in the second language if they are immersed in a culture that speaks that language. This type of learning is definitely a process, so it is important to be patient and maintain a heightened level of awareness when trying to acquire a language.

Are you looking for Spanish lessons by Skype?

If you are looking for Spanish lessons by Skype do not hesitate in contact me for free and tell me what is your level and schedule availability. I will answer you back with my prices and an offer to do a test, so you can check if you like the class.

Having classes by Skype hace the advantage to speak with a native speaker without leaving your home. If you don’t have time to go class, or you just want a class focused in yourself instead of a group class, these classes are a great opportunity.

Time & Work at Home, that treasure

what to think to start work at home
“Time is Relevant” flickr photo shared by Lel4nd under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

A work at home business is very attractive, isn’t it? Don’t have to commute, don’t need to dress properly, your child don’t need to be alone…there are a lot of benefits.

But, if you are thinking about to start your work at home career, you also need to think in the bad things. I don’t want to discourage you, but help you to take a good decision.

It would be a great mistake to think that you will have 8 hours of work per day, having a great income and a nice security. Well this can happen, but you will need time to achieve it. Today, I want to focus in one problem of working at home: the work time you need to do and nobody will pay.

Time that you need to invest when working at home without getting a direct income from it

  • Finding clients and jobs. Yes you may think that this is only necessary in the beginning, but if you are serious about your business, you will always be looking for new projects. So, you will always need to spend time looking for new projects. And, nobody will pay you for it.
  • Calculating budgets. Once you or your client have started the contact, you will need to calculate your fee. Of course you will have an idea about your fees before that, but projects usually have their own details that will make you need to adapt your fees to its specifities.
  • Keep the accounts. You will need to take a good amount of time to track your profits, taxes and expenses.
  • Creating invoices. Yes an invoice is different to an accounting entries. You will need to do both.
  • Creating a portfolio. Necessary and don’t think you can do it once and forgot it, you will need to update it with time, and it has to be perfect.

So if you are dreaming with a 8 hours work, you need to take into consideration all these activities, to see if you will be able to have the income you want in that 8 hours, knowing that a nice amount of time will go to activities that do not generate income directly. Also, you need to think in this when you are calculating your fees.

Of course you can outsource some of this needs, but in the end is the same because time is money.

Is there any other work-related activity you need to do and that doesn’t generate income directly? Share in comments!

How To Go On Holidays Without Losing Clients

Freelance: Don't lose client while you are in holidays
Antalya – Miracle Resort flickr photo shared by bortescristian under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Most freelance writers would agree with me that get a new client takes an important amount of time and effort. Problem comes when you want to take some free days and you fear that your clients will look for someone else to continue your work. Let’s see how to avoid this situation.

My advice it to inform your client with time. One could think that if you don’t tell them that you are going to take some holidays they won’t look for another worker. Well this is true, but of course when they need a text while you are on holidays they will ask you to write it. And, as soon as the notice you won’t they will start to look for another freelance writer. So, the only thing you are achieving with this behavior is to make your client life more difficult, which doesn’t seem very clever.

On the other hand, if you notify them with time enough to look for an alternative, they will notice that you are a reliable worker that has their interests into consideration.

Now that you have decided to notify them, you can offer an alternative to work more before your holidays to cover they content needs. If they are happy with your work, I am sure they will think that is worth to do an extra effort in planning, in order to let you write their content to be published in your holiday period.

Think that for a client find and hiring a new freelancer has a cost. They don’t know how the new one will perform, they need to invest time giving instructions that someone that is currently working for them already knows, and they need to do the search and selection. All these takes time, so it is likely that plan a little more ahead so you can write their content will be a reasonable effort for them.

However, there re some situations in which something unexpected happen and a client need a text done in a short time whilst you are on holidays. In this situation you can give them the contact of any writer that you know performs well. Yes there is a risk to lose the client, but the risk will be always there and with this behavior you are getting your client gratitude and the other freelance also can suggest your services to their clients when he is about to go on holidays.