A little while back, we talked about the importance of using photos in every post when you’re blogging. Now that you’re convinced that images are an important part of each and every blog post, you might be wondering where you get photos and graphics for your posts. Of course, there are several places where you can find just about any image you might need. Unfortunately, stock photography can be expensive. The secret is knowing where to look to get the best deal, or even find free images that you can use on your website.
Here are 5 places to get started when you need to find free (or at least cheap!) images to use on your blog.
Flickr.com is home to millions of images from all over the world. You can search by topic or by photographer. To stay on the right side of copyright law, search Flickr’s creative commons database which includes images that photographers are making available for use. Check out the guidelines at flickr.com/creativecommons/ for full information on the rights photographers are retaining and the usage requirements.
Stock.XCHNG is a free stock photo site owned by Getty Images. Create an account and use one of their 400,000 images on your blog. Stock.XCHNG is a little more limited than Flickr, but generally high quality.
A large collection of professional and business quality images and illustrations are available from iStockPhoto.com. The drawback is that it is a paid service that works on credits. You can purchase credit plans starting with 12 credits for $20.75 or a subscription starting at $108/month.
For the widest variety of images (illustrations, photos, animations, and more), check out Clipart.com. Over 10 million files, all high-quality. It’s also a paid service with subscriptions starting at $14.95 for a week of unlimited downloads and topping out at $299.95 for two years of full access.
Bigstock is another easy-to-use marketplace for quality stock images. Their site has more than 8 million royalty-free photographs and illustrations from talented photographers and artists. Like many micropayment sites, they use the familiar “credit” system for downloading images. Most pictures cost between 1-6 credits, which comes out to around $2 for smaller photos.
Use your own photos or illustrations.
The easiest place to find images might be your own computer! Particularly if you write about family-oriented topics such as kids, cooking, crafts, or weight loss, your own photos may be the perfect choice. These days, you can take web-quality photos from inexpensive cameras – and even from your cell phone.
The positive: You get exactly what you want. The negative: Sometimes you just want to get the blog post done, not spend the time taking photos or coming up with clever illustrations.
If you’ve looked through the above choices and still can’t find something you like, there are numerous other options. Just google “copyright free images” and you’ll have more options than you can ever use. Where do you go to get free and cheap images for use on your blog or website?