Remember how, as a child, you always preferred books with lots of pictures? A book with pages of plain text was not appealing in the least, no matter how interesting the content. Apparently, we haven’t outgrown that stage – Instagram is proof enough!
That’s right, it’s a visual culture these days and the rapid rise of image-oriented platforms like Pinterest and Instagram is the result. Even Facebook is giving images a priority, with increased image sizes for timelines and cover photos. This phenomenon extends to all kinds of online content, including blogs. Here are a few facts that drive this point home:
- 65% people are visual learners
- On average, a person reads only 20% of the text on a web page
- Articles with images feature better in search results
- Articles with images have increased page views, 94% more than those without
- 60% of people are more likely to choose a blog or website if it has visual content
- Blog posts with relevant thumbnails have a lower bounce rate
- An article with images is 40 times more likely to be shared
If you thought that it wasn’t worth your time to bother with images and that your stellar content would be enough, I’m sure you’re rethinking your strategy! But before you go and download the first picture you find on Google, remember that not every image is free for use. Violating copyright laws can prove costly, from being banned from Google to getting sued by the image owner.
And it’s not as simple as being free or not; there are different kinds of licenses attached to the images online. Some of them can be uses as they are, and some of them allow you to modify by cropping, adding text etc. and make your own images. Here is a quick guide to the various licenses.
Attribution: You can use the picture to make your own images, but you have to give credit to the owner.
Non- Commercial : You can use the picture to make your images, but for non-commercial purposes only.
No derivative works : You can use the picture as-is, but cannot modify it to make your own images.
Share Alike : You can use the picture to make your own images, but you have to assign the same license to your created work.
Public Domain Dedication (CC0) :You can use the image any way you like, completely free of copyright restrictions.
Public Domain Work : This refers to images that don’t come under copyright law. For example, those whose copyright is expired or which are not eligible for copyright protection.
You’ll often find any or a combination of these logos assigned to an image.
Don’t let these licenses overwhelm you, here’s help! We’ve put together a list of websites that offer free images, which you can use without seeking prior permission. Some of them may require credit, which you can mention at the end of your blog post, but most of them don’t even need that. So here’s the list – you’re welcome!
10 of the Best Places to find Free Images for your Blog
This is my personal favourite – the pictures are simply gorgeous!! Most of the pictures capture bits and pieces of daily life in forms that are anything but regular! The adding of the search button has made site navigation much easier.
Good for close ups, backgrounds and photos of nature and people.
You could come to Pexels looking for a particular picture and end up scrolling their feed of stunning images! Pexels gives us free stock photos, and many of them are very high quality close ups.
Good for close ups of objects, people and places.
It’s unlikely that you’ll come to Pixabay looking for something and go away empty handed! With over 1.5 million royalty free photos (and counting), this site is a huge database of photographs, illustrations and vector images.
Good for images of places, food, animals and everyday objects.
4. Stock Snap
Stocksnap has a wide array of clear and bright images, all free from copyright restrictions. We like the fact that they feature people of various races and ethnicities which is a welcome break from other sites.
Good for images of people, nature and everyday objects.
5. Life of Pix
LifeofPix is an agency based in Montreal that offers a nice variety of good quality images. Using them don’t require accreditation, but mass distribution is not allowed. The photographs often feature an unusual angle and will give your blog post a unique touch.
Good for backgrounds and images of people and nature.
5. Kaboom Pics
If you like your photos to have an understated, vintage appearance, Kaboom Pics is perfect for you. It also has options to choose the image orientation as well as the color family.
Good for images of food, everyday objects and close ups.
Flickr has a large collection of images, but you have to check the license carefully as every image may have a different one. The easy way to use this is to apply the filter “Commercial use & mods allowed” under “Any license”.
Good for images of people, food, places and everyday objects.
7. Pic Jumbo
Pic Jumbo makes life easy for you not only with its good collection of free photos that you can use personally and commercially, but because it helps you locate that perfect picture. It shows trending categories and also gives you an option to search ‘more images like this.’
Good for images of people, food and everyday objects.
Deposit photo isn’t a gallery of free photos per se, but they do offer a set of free images every week. You can subscribe to get them in your inbox. The free set includes photos, vectors and more.
Good for all stock-style image requirements.
Create Her Stock is a stock gallery created by a woman, featuring more women! The site has a freebie section of monthly free photos, and you can get free photos in your inbox once you subscribe.
Good for images of people and daily life.
10. New Old Stock
If vintage, black and white old-style photos are your thing, then this is exactly what you need. New Old Stock features photos from the public archives that are free of known copyright restrictions.
Good for vintage photos and posters.
This collection should have you all set for some time! You can always purchase premium memberships later to get access to more pictures, and using the free samples will give you an idea of which site you like the most. So go ahead and pump up your blog with beautiful images – can’t wait to see it!
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