How to Get Free Images For Your Blog

Where can you find high-quality pictures to use online, preferably for free? Some marketers make mistakes that could lead to situations that are… well, troublesome to say the least. Here are some of the pitfalls, and a handful of no-fault resources you can use without fear, guilt, or remorse.

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There’s a Chinese proverb: “One picture is worth a thousand words.”

It’s so true. People are attracted to visuals. Pictures seem to stay in our minds longer than text alone.

Want proof? Infographics are growing in popularity of as the source of information, whether the subject is holidays and seasons; creating effective email campaigns; or wedding ideas for a modern bride.

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How can you improve the visual content of your blog, website or newsletter?

That’s easy. Use beautiful pictures that are relevant to the topic. They’ll grab attention and make readers stay longer on your site.

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Where can you find free high-quality pictures?

Good question. If these ideas have ever popped into your head, you may be headed for trouble:

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That’s the quickest way; you can find the images you need in just a few seconds.

But a few seconds later, you may receive an email demanding that you pay a fine for copyright infringement. Of course, you can filter search results using Google settings, but… I’ll get to that in a moment.

Things can get even worse if you’re contacted, not by the author of the image, but by the author’s lawyer. Apologizing and deleting the image might not be enough.

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  • I’ll download the image from the Web and include a disclaimer that the picture belongs to XYZ.

I really wouldn’t recommend it. Let’s imagine that someone “borrows” your car — without your consent — then offers the police a disclaimer that it’s not his/her own car, but yours. As a police officer, would you take such an explanation seriously?

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  • I’ll search for something on stock websites and use the photo with a watermark.

Every time I see this, I wanna leave their website fast. It’s not just a matter of the aesthetics, but also of breaking copyright laws in a particularly lame way.

You may ask yourself again: where should I look for photos that will both keep me clean from copyright issues and look awesome on my site?

Have a look at the list below – I’m sure you’ll find something that will become the cherry on top of your article!

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Unsplash

http://unsplash.com

This is a real photographic phenomenon — loads of completely free, high- resolution images at your fingertips. The image resource is constantly growing, making it a place definitely worth visiting — one of my favorites for free, high- quality photos. I’m sure you’ll find exactly what you need.

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Pixabay

http://pixabay.com/

This is my second favorite: over 150,000 ready-to-use images, both for private and commercial publishing — a digital marketer’s visual dream come true!

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Stock.XCHNG

http://www.sxc.hu/

Here, you’ll find more than 400,000 free, ready-to-use images. Unfortunately, this quantity of pictures requires time to browse and find the perfect option. To make things a little easier, you can use the advanced browser and a bunch of theme categories.

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Stockvault

http://www.stockvault.net/

This is an impressive resource of beautiful, free images — more than 43,000. It’s so sad that all of these beauties are licensed, so you can’t use them for commercial purposes — still, worth taking a look.

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Morguefile

http://www.morguefile.com/

More than 315,000 free photos, ready to use both on private and commercial websites. However (there’s always a “however”) finding your perfect image is not as easy as it might seem.

Official Creative Commons web browser

http://search.creativecommons.org/

Earlier I mentioned using Google Image search settings, so the browser finds only license-free pictures. Wouldn’t it be clever if a ready-made tool did it for you? This tool lets you search the following photo directories in no time:

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Official Creative Commons web browser

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Let’s CC

http://eng.letscc.net

This tool is really simple: you tick the kinds of images you’re looking for, and it serves up images from:

  1. Google Image search
  2. Flickr
  3. Jamendo
  4. CC Mixter

But you need to be careful of a trick often used on websites offering free images. While browsing, you first see not the free pictures but the paid premium images, leading you to a pricing website for a particular picture:

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Free vs paid pictures browsing

 

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Paradoxically, paid images resources are also a great place to visit when looking for free pics. The idea is simple – all of these websites offer sets of free file each week or month. The images are usually in high resolution and perfect quality – missing them would be such a waste!

http://www.kozzi.com/free 

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free image icon kozzi.com

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Last but not least – if you need images for your email campaigns, we’ve got the perfect resource for you: the GetResponse Multimedia Studio, with 1000 free images grouped by category.

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Multimedia Studio

 

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No matter whether you’re writing a blog post, adding content to a website, or posting on social media – remember not to rely on pictures only. Even though text isn’t as eye-catching as an image, it still has incredible power.

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Have you ever used any of the resources listed? Or maybe there’s one you would like to share with other bloggers? Your comments are very welcome!

  • david ibañez

    Hi Marcin,

    Now it is possible to search photos on unsplash.com using tags.
    You can acces http://www.tagunsplash.com , search and if you want you could contirbute helping tagging photos.

  • http://lubiemedia.pl/ Marcin Struzik

    Great news David! Thanks for sharing.