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iStock Hub Pictures
One surefire way to improve your hub is to use quality images to either illustrate your point or just to add more variety to the layout. Not only does the hub look better but I also prefer it when a quality thumbnail image is displayed in a hub summary. Usually hubpages will take the first image in your hub to use for this thumbnail and if you have no images it will use your profile picture.
There are plenty of places that you can get hold of hub pictures and of course you have to make sure that you have the right to use those images.
There are ways of finding free images to use on your hubs but often these will not be such great quality and you will often have to give credit or link to another site when you use these. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem giving credit, but i think when you are aiming your hub at the external 'Google' market it looks more professional if you don't have images that you have obviously skimped on and got for free somewhere else. If you want to present a professional hub then the best way is to have professional looking pictures that you have the rights to.
Using Your Own Pictures
Of course ideally the best way to get unlimited free images is to take the pictures yourself - and in fact that can be very useful when you are explaining something that you have experience of. I have a number of hubs where I have used my own images, particularly my art hubs where I give detailed instructions about my methods. It is also useful to provide screen shots which can be used to illustrate points in your hub.
So, although there are a number of stock photo libraries out there, I wanted to share with you the one that I have been using. I do still try and use my own images to save on costs but if you pick images wisely then you can use them in a variety of places.
iStock Photo has a massive library of images to choose from - they not only have photos but also video and vector images - for the purposes of hubbing I use just the static images but you may find some use for the photos.
The way that it works is that you buy credits - you can buy them in various numbers - the more credits you buy at a time the less they cost - but you can buy as few as 6 credits which will cost you £7.25, or up to a thousand credits for less money per credit. So each credit costs a bit more than £1 (or $1.60) a go.
With these credits you can buy images (and the right to use them multiple times - see the terms and conditions for more info). The images have different costs so if you are looking to buy cheap images you have to search around a bit in the category or for the keyword you are looking for. However it is made easier by the search feature where you can select the price point of your images as well as which type of image you are looking for :
1 Credit Images
So mostly I have to say I look for 1 credit images, and invariably I will find something in my price range. I consider that paying just over a pound for a high quality image that I can use multiple times is not too bad. The images do come in different sizes and the bigger the size of the image you select, the more you have to pay.
To the right you can see a screen shot of the example costs of a certain image - this one I found does indeed cost only 1 credit for the smaller image. I find that in hubs you do not need big images so buying a smaller image is find for me.
What Type of Images Can You Get?
Well there are a lot of images on iStock! So you can pretty much find any image you want. The link to the website is just to the left of the example image of the lady holding the dollars, so go check it out there are see if it will be useful for you in writing better quality hubs.