Well, there are a multitude of reasons. It makes your posts look more visually appealing. It breaks up your writing. You can also increase the amount of shares your content gets by having pictures that are “Pinnable.”
Twitter Research shows that tweets with photos also get more activity. Therefore, if you’re promoting your new post on Twitter, there’s a better chance of getting a decent “click-through-rate” if you add an image.
Typically, you have three options when it comes to pictures for your blog:
1. Take your own photos and upload them yourself
2. Buy photos
3. Use free photos from the sites listed below.
Note: Whenever using someone else’s pictures, be sure to check the licensing agreement about how you can share the picture. It’s typically attached to the photo or elsewhere on the site.
Here are 10 sites (in no particular order) that I’ve used during my time online:
morgueFile is a site I often use. It has a decent sized library, with a nice search function. Typically, no attribution is required. The images are jpegs.
Gratisography has some really nice, high quality .png images. If you really like the images, there is a “coffee fund” button at the top. The photos are taken by Ryan Mcquire at laughandpee.com. His photos are free of copyright restrictions. Attribution, however, is appreciated. (P.S. This is where I got the photo at the top )
While I haven’t used this site often, it does boast a gallery of over 410,000 images! Although, I didn’t see information posted anywhere as to the types of photos, I’ve only come across jpeg images. Each image has its own set of licensing restrictions, or lack of.
This site boasts having the largest online free gallery of photos at over 1.2 million! It lists the images as royalty-free, however, at the bottom of the page you can read the full licensing agreement.
Picjumbo has a nice collection of photos. They are listed as a project by Viktor Hanacek. There is a donate button as well as an email form to get new photos delivered to your inbox.
Pixabay has some beautiful jpegs. While it does advertise Shutterstock photos at the top of each search, the free photos are also very nice. Typically, the license is listed with each photo. Also, although you can sign up for an account, you don’t have to. If you want to download a free photo, it just asks that you fill out a simple captcha form.
Pexels has some very nice jpegs and their search function is wonderful. Each photo’s license is listed next to the photo.
Flickr is full of some amazing images. However, the licensing tends to be a little bit stiffer. Each picture should have the permissions listed below it. Be sure to double-check it.
Unsplash has some amazing pictures (I used this site for the second picture above). It lists that it adds 10 new photos everyday. However, the one thing different about this site is the download button doesn’t actually download the photo. It opens it up, you right-click and then select “save image as”. After you name it, it’ll download. With the lack of search function, signing up to the email list isn’t a bad idea.
Stokpic is a site I just recently started checking out. It seems to have a decent amount of images. Most photos also state that a link back to Stokpic would be nice, but not required.
There you have it. These are the sites that I have used to get going in my online journey. While there are a multitude of other sites that offer free photos, these are just a couple of the ones that I’ve used, thus far.
If you decide none of these sites are for you and you don’t mind paying a few bucks to get the right image, you can always check out Dreamstime, iStock, or Shutterstock. I’m sure there are others, but those are the three I keep running across.
What about you? Are there any sites that you prefer to use? Did I miss one that you think everyone should know about? Leave a comment below to let me and everyone else know about it.
Share this list with your fellow bloggers too. We all need a hand from time to time
As mentioned above, be sure to check the licensing restrictions before using any pictures or images that you find online.
Wishing you great success!