The Best Places To Find Images For Your Blog Posts

If you’re not incorporating images into your blog, wake up and get with the program. Visual aids are the absolute best way to grab the attention of your web visitors. A good image and catchy post title are enough to grab the eyes long enough to keep them around and view your content. Then, my friend, it is up to your content to keep them engaged. But what about the pictures? Where can you get quality images for use in your blog for free or at least for a reasonable fee?
Do it Yourself
Believe it or not, you can provide your own images. High resolution cameras are plentiful and inexpensive. Even smart phones have 8MP cameras or better. Now obviously, it will depend on your subject matter, but let’s say your blog is about your weight loss progress, maybe self made photos are the way to go. After all, people want to see if your plan works, right? Persons who are selling a self made product, such as a do-it-yourself kit, or tool instruction, will do well to use their own images. Just be sure that you take the time to make a good shot and keep your image files small enough so as not to increase loading time on the pages.
Hire a Micro-Laborer
Maybe you are the worst photographer ever. Not to worry. If you’re willing to pay a few dollars, you can find photographers eager to make a name for themselves online. Sites like fiverr or tenerr can help you connect to an up and coming photographer who will sell you good photos for a few bucks. As with any pay-for-service, start small and expand your working relationship from there.
Almost everyone has heard of Flickr. The interface is simple and there are so very many good photos out there just waiting to be shared. Before you grab just any photo, however, be sure to search within Creative-Commons-Licensed Content. This ensures that the artist intended for his/her work to be used online, with proper credit of course.
Everystockphoto allows you to comb the web for images (including Flickr) in one spot and also provides the means to search by license or source. The license search is great for finding exactly the sort of image you’re willing to work with, or better still filter out the sort of license you do not wish to use. An extra help is the “safe search” filter to keep, shall we say, more risqué items out of the way.
These photos are for personal and non-commercial use. This would be a good place to get photo ideas. Stockvault works well as a place to find photographers. It never hurts to contact the photographer and ask her permission to use an image. Don’t steal. Just ask. Stockvault is a great resource.
More than 400k photos from around the globe make stock.xchng a great place to look for images. Stock.xchng was recently purchased by Getty Images, so expect changes over the next few weeks. At the time of this writing, there were hundreds of thousands of images just waiting to be used. Like stockvault, you can also use the information here to contact the artists and give yourself additional options.
FreeDigitalPhotos is a great source and gives you the flexibility of searching through both photos and illustrations. Loads of images are here for corporate, personal or educational use. Larger images are also available for a small fee. As with the other sites, you are welcome to contact the artists themselves and work an arrangement.
A Word of Advice
No matter your source, unless you have explicit permission otherwise, ALWAYS graciously credit the artist and consider linking back to them. It’s only fair and it is a great way to help ensure future cooperation. Remember, a huge part of blogging is building community. Don’t blow it by being a thief, and don’t insult our intelligence by photoshopping the watermark out of the image.
It isn’t that difficult to find high quality images for your blog or website. Honestly, you’re going to spend more time combing through the millions of free images that are available. Take your time and begin with one site. Get the feel of navigation and the sorts of images available there. Then branch out to other sites. Don’t forget what has been said already and publicly thank and credit the artists whose images you use. They deserve the credit and you don’t want to suddenly find yourself imageless in an image-rich web landscape.
Written by Andrew Scherer. To learn more tips and advice on how to find great images for your blog posts, visit DEV8.