finding images for blos postsWhen people think about filling their website up with content they tend to ask whether they should write articles or use images. In reality, the best strategy is some combination of the two. Written content is probably the most cost-effective to create, but words alone aren’t always the best way to go. Even adding a single image to your posts can make them a lot more visually interesting.

The problem people run into is figuring out where to find images for their blog. Some try to make images themselves but this is a time-consuming process and if you aren’t a professional photographer or designer it’s easy to end up with images that look amateurish. The other mistake people make is grabbing random images from the internet without a thought to who owns the rights to the image. You might be able to get away with this for a while, but you run the risk of legal action if you take this route.

If you want professional images that you can legally use there are a number of websites you can turn to. You should get acquainted with a range of pictures that are free to use under creative commons, in the public domain, and available at low prices. If you have a variety of options you’ll be able to find an image that’s perfect for any image you.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a system that was set up to give creators an easy way to release their art for use without forfeiting all their rights. Creators can decide to restrict all uses of their art or they can allow it to be freely shared, reused, and remixed. Let’s look at some of the sites you can use to look for Creative Commons images.

The biggest collection of Creative Commons images is probably Flickr. This photo hosting website is home to millions of images covered by Creative Commons, but you have to remember that you still have to find images that can be used for your specific needs. After you search for a keyword look at the top right and you’ll see a tab labeled “Any license.” If you click on that you’ll see the different Creative Commons licenses, if you want to find an image you can use for your business then you should click on “Commercial use allowed.” This will narrow things down quite a bit, but you’ll be left with images you can use for free to promote your business.

Flickr is just one site, there are quite a few sites that host Creative Commons images. Here are some of the bigger examples:

Understand that IG Web is not affiliated with any of the sites listed in this article. Be sure to research any site you use. Even if we could vouch for them  terms and conditions can change so check the fine print.

Public Domain

When an artwork reaches a certain age it is supposed to enter the public domain, where it becomes free to use for anyone. In practice, copyright law is constantly changed to extend the life of copyrights, so few works actually become part of the public domain these days. Still, you can find thousands of older illustrations and images today that are free to use thanks to sites that host public domain images.

Here are some sites that host public domain images:

Pay To Use

If you spend any amount of time looking for free images online you’re going to realize that they represent a small fraction of what’s available. Most photographers and graphic designers aren’t in a hurry to give their work away for free. To get access to the largest variety of images, you’re going to need to be willing to spend some money.

Not all sites that sell images are created equal, some charge $100 an image while others practically give them away. Here are some sites that offer images and the prices they charge:

  • Can Stock Photo – This site offers single images for as low as $3 or 70 for $39 with a week-long subscription.
  • PhotoDune – This site’s selection isn’t the largest, but you can get photos for as little as $1.
  • 123RF – This site’s selection is large, and you can get photos for as little as $1.

Matching Words

There’s a sort of magic that happens when a piece of quality writing is matched with the perfect image. It’s like pairing a good meal with a fine wine, or whatever your drink of choice is. The two elements bring out the best in one another and create something greater than the sum of its parts.

Taking the time to find the right image for your site can take some time. This is especially true if you want free images since the selection will be smaller. It’s up to you to decide how much time and money you’re willing to invest in the search for the right image. The perfect picture on a popular page could end up paying dividends for years to come.

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