5 Absolutely FREE Image Sources for Your Blog Posts

By Carey Green | Blogging

Aug 12

Do you struggle to find images to use in your blog posts that don't cost you an arm and a leg?

When it comes to putting my blog together, I am all about FREE! Almost everything I do on my website is free if I can manage it.

Many beginning bloggers are in the same boat. So I want to show you my 5 favorite, FREE sources for images. But before we go there, let's quickly cover WHY images are so important.

Why Images?

5_Absolutely FREE Image Sources for Your Blog PostsPeople are drawn to the visual much more quickly and powerfully than they are the written word. In fact, articles with images get 94% more total views.

On Facebook, images get 10% higher interaction than text only. Next to your headline, images are one of the top “lures” that draw people in to your post.

One more thing before we move on… when looking for images make sure you find good quality, relevant images. Nothing says “unprofessional” like a grainy, pixelated image, or one that has nothing to do with your topic. I sometimes take up to 30 minutes to find just the right image for my blog posts. It's that important!

My 5 favorite FREE places to get quality images.

#1: Morguefile

5 free image sourcesIt's a weird name, but a great site. Morguefile has a ton of entirely free, high quality pictures you can use – no strings attached and no attribution required.

The shadow photo I used here is a sample of what you can find on Morguefile (except that I added the text and image shadow myself, which I'll show you how to do in an upcoming post).

#2: Flickr

Flickr is similar to Morguefile, BUT you've got to make sure you only use images that have been released for use. The easy way to go about it is to go to Flickr Creative Commons search page to do your search.

The only catch with Flickr is that you have to give attribution (credit) to the person who provided the image. But don't sweat, it's pretty simple to do and you can find out EXACTLY how to do it in this excellent article.

flickr

#3: Wikimedia Commons

This site is like a warehouse for public images which may also requires attribution. But again, it's pretty easy to do. Go to the Wikimedia Commons site and search for the image you want. Once you find it, click on it and you'll see the following screen. Notice the red arrow I've placed on the image. When you click that link you'll receive exact instructions on the various ways you need to attribute the image. It's that simple.

wikimedia commons

Quick note: Many of the images on Wikimedia Commons are in the public domain. These images can be used without limitation and without attribution. All of that info is found beneath the image on the page.

#4: Your own computer screen!

snipping tool

That's right, you can use your own computer to get some great images, especially when doing tutorials or “how to” articles.

There is a built-in app on modern versions of windows (included in Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Experience Pack for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005) called “Snipping Tool” that you can use to take screenshots of any size.

The image to the right is an example of what can be done.

For Apple users using the Mac OSX, there are various shortcut keys you can use, but many Mac users prefer a third party app. There are many to choose from, each providing a different line up of features. 

#5: Your cell phone or digital camera

smart phoneI have to admit that I often forget that I'm walking around every day with a great digital camera right in my pocket! There are opportunities every day to get great shots using your cell phone or digital camera… and the images you get that way are 100% original!

You can easily use photo editing software or other apps to add text, logos, shadows, and all kinds of other graphics to make your photos stand out! It takes a bit longer to transfer them to your computer, but the extra time it takes will benefit you by giving you a unique, powerful image to enhance your blog post.

You can also take a few minutes to learn basic photography tips for your cell phone that will help your images stand out even more.

Which of these 5 FREE ways will you be using next? Let me know in the comments below!

 

  • Keil says:

    Amazing topic. I just learned a couple months ago about how wrong it is taking pictures from google and have struggled since then finding pictures. Thanks for this.

    • Carey Green says:

      My ignorance about how to use images is what motivated me to write about this. I had been using things illegally before this and wanted to mend my ways! Thanks for the encouragement, I hope it enables you to “do it right!”

    • Yeah, when I first started, I didn’t know about how to use images appropriately either. I wish I had these sites back then 🙂

  • Hans Hansen says:

    Thanks for the great tips, especially the flickr creative commons has great pictures. With friendly greetings, Hans

  • Julie says:

    Thanks so much! I am always looking for new places to find images. I do like to make my own as well.

  • Scott says:

    Thanks Carey and Leslie – Great stuff! Carey I just read your bio, I was a CO native up until 2012, now were’re out in the Carolinas. We’ll likely end up back in CO but enjoying the view here for now…:-)

    • Carey Green says:

      Hey Scott… yeah, Colorado is a marvelous place. I have relatives by marriage who live in NC though… my wife was just there, enjoyed the “green”! I wake up every morning amazed that I get to look out my window at 14,000 ft. peaks that billions of people don’t see in their lifetime. Feeling very blessed.

    • You’re very much welcome Scott. Carey’s the one who did the great work here though 😉

  • Gary Korisko says:

    Nicely done, Carey! Quality images are such a huge issue for a beginning blogger. This is an excellent time and money saving resource!

  • Davide says:

    Where’s the imgur? I think it’s also great for this, and it’s registration-free, how convenient!

    • That site seems to have a different purpose from what what Carey is talking about here. At first glance, it seems as if the site violates copyright issues. That makes me VERY wary. I wouldn’t recommend it for bloggers.

  • Hey it’s better to be safe than sorry, so thank you for your detailed response. You should actually consider writing for Become A Blogger 😉 https://www.becomeablogger.com/write/

  • Carey Green says:

    Thanks for the update rainbow… helpful information to be sure. I guess I came from the perspective that I ALWAYS modify the image in some way so much of the morguefile issues don’t apply to the way I use them. And I totally agree on the issue with CC files and Getty… a serious issue. Thanks for posting.

  • Daryl says:

    Great post! I’ve also found Google’s advanced image search useful. Although most of the files do come from Flikr, in my experience the search is a bit more accurate.

    • Yes, Google image search is definitely useful in many ways. The one MAJOR problem is that you don’t usually have the rights to use the image, and that’s a violation of copyright. Yes, MANY people do it, but it’s still wrong. The key is – be careful with your image source and be 100% sure you have permission to use the image before using it.

  • markhmedeiros says:

    It should be explained that Morguel File images when used for blog posts require that you get a photo release from the photographer who took the image. 

    See the second paragraph in the FAQ page for more information.

  • Thank you!!! I thought I was going crazy soon if I did not find something like this… It is such a helpful resource for new bloggers like me who do not yet have funds available left and right to pour into our blogging YET 🙂

    Martine

  • James Hennings says:

    Tanks for sending me here Leslie. I am always in search of a good place to find images. I learn so much from you I really appreciate it.

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