Blogging is great for websites – it lets you target niche keywords, gives you something to share on social media sites and keeps you website’s content fresh and regularly updated. However, pages and pages of text with no images can look dull and off-putting – but stock image libraries can be expensive and it’s often difficult to know where to find free images for your blog. Here are my favourite sites:
This site (at the time of writing) has nearly 400,000 images that you can use free of charge. most of the images don’t even need you to credit the photographer, though some do, and you need to check the licence conditions before use. The quality varies – there are some really great images on there, especially if you’re looking for backgrounds, but equally there are some very poor images too! It’s normally the first place I search though. Just be careful of the “Premium” images in the top and bottom rows, which are adverts for images you can buy from other sites.
I’ve been using this site more and more often recently as the quality of their images is very high. All the images are free at low resolution (fine for using on blogs) to use BUT you do need to register on the site (free) and give credit where it’s due – and the site makes it easy to do this by supplying you with the relevant HTML code. If you don’t want to add a credit to your blog post, or you want a higher resolution file you can buy images in a range of sizes from about $3 each, which is pretty good if, for example, you wanted to use an image in some promotional material.
This is a huge repository of public domain and freely-licensed educational media content that you can use free of charge. It’s especially useful if you’re looking for images of people, places, animals etc, but not so good for conceptual images. You may need to credit the contributor or photographer, but each individual image page has details and there are normally a number of sizes available for download.
Pixabay has a smaller collection of public domain and creative commons photos than the sites above but they are all of high quality and no attribution is required. It’s probably better for images of things rather than concepts though. You need to register to use the site.
Flickr might not be the most obvious place to search for images you can use on your blog but it is one of the biggest photo storage sites on the internet and amazingly many of those photos are available for re-use, so long as you credit the contributor. To find such images use the Advanced Search feature and make sure you click the button beside “ “.
This is actually a search engine that looks for royalty-free, free to use and creative commons images. It searches a lot of sites including Flickr and SXC and the quality of the searches can be a bit off the mark, but it is useful if you’ve exhausted your favourite sites and still haven’t found the right image. Just make sure you check the usage conditions on whichever site it takes you to.