Finding Free Images for Your Blog

The following post is from Angela of Homegrown Mom:

blue sky
source: photoxpress

Photos in your blog posts don’t just pretty them up.  Images can be used to break up large portions of text, invoke a certain mood, elicit an emotional response, and add interest to your posts.

Great images can take your blog from pretty good to fantastic, but what if you don’t have the time (or in my case, the skill) to take the perfect photo for each post?  Use someone else’s! No, I’m not advocating stealing images for your blog.  That would be a no-no.

However, there are lots of websites where you can freely borrow images for your blog.  Remember, it’s always polite to link back to the photo source, and sometimes it’s required.

Sites for Free Images

  • Dreamstime: Several free photos available.  The images here are also licensed for 10,000 copies printed.
  • Flickr: On this advanced search page, you can search within Creative Commons-licensed content.
  • Free Images: This site requires you to link back to the site. You’ll find stock images as well as abstract photos here.
  • Stickstock: There are some great images here – including textures – and also free vector files.
  • PhotoXpress: You do need to register for this site, and you’ll get one free photo download per day. You can earn additional credits by linking up with Facebook and more.

Tips for Finding Photos

red tree
source: free digital photos

Keep in mind that the licensing to print an image is different than using it on the web. If you’re planning to use an image for your blog logo, or anything else you may print, be sure you are free to print it for business cards, e-books, and so on.

To find the perfect photo, think beyond a literal translation of what your post is about. For example, if you’re writing a post about simplifying your daily routine, you could definitely use a photo of a schedule or calendar.  However, you could also use a pretty scenery shot that suggests calm or a photo of a group of children playing in the leaves.  Often, when searching for an image, I’ll type in the mood of what I’m looking for, such as Happy, Peace, Stress, etc.

Saving and Uploading Photos

When saving photos, use the name of website or photographer in your file name or tag images with the appropriate credit so it will be easy to find later. Too often, I’ve saved a photo to be used later only to forget where I found it when it’s time to credit the source.

However, when uploading photos for your site, consider changing the name to reflect your keywords for that post.  It may bring more search engine traffic to your site. For example, I titled each of the photos above with “Finding Images for Your Blog” as I added them to the post.

Resize photos before you upload them to your blog to save memory space. You can do this with Photoshop, Microsoft Office Picture Manager, or Paint.net, a free photo editing program.

Where is your favorite place to find free images?

Angela is the blogger behind Homegrown Mom, where she writes about creating family times, being a homeschool freak, and trying to be a wife to rush home to, all the while admitting that she isn’t quite a domestic diva. Yet. She’s hopelessly addicted to her family, sour patch kids, and blogging, in that order.
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