Pictures tell stories and help you better engage with your audience. In fact, the click through rate to your post increases by a remarkable 27% with pictures! If you are like many business owners, finding image content to put on your blog can be as easy as a quick google image search. But did you know that more often that not if you are using the image for business purposes, this is a copyright infringement and is illegal. If you are guilty of such, don’t feel too bad, you are not alone. I have seen websites from large organizations and even saw a US Senator do this on his website. So you won’t get caught in a legal mess or with egg on your face, I have done you a favor and complied a list of resources of where you can find both free and low cost images. Now you can look good even on a limited budget!
Lest you think me a hyocryte, here is more on the subject:
As a blogger, you’ve got the right to use logos under the Fair Use Doctrine. The same protection that comes with using portions of others’ content for critique and commentary, whether it be a blurb from the Wall Street Journal or a block quote from another blog, applies equally to using corporate logos.
There are a plethora of images that you can use for free, but they do vary in quality and the search functions often really stink. Most that I have worked with are higher resolution.
1. http://www.sxc.hu/ My favorite. Nice clean interface for a free site.
2. http://www.public-domain-photos.com/ There are some high quality photos on here!
3. http://morguefile.com/ (Messy search field)
6. Flickr use advanced search to filter by creative commons license give credit and link
7. Insights WordPress plugin, which searches all images with the Creative Commons License to allow use. I love it because I can search using Insights while I’m on my blog post without having to go to Flickr.
8. http://freerangestock.com/ nice design! Nice to navigate and excellent quality photos!
Sometimes, you don’t have the time to wade through a bunch of junk to find a jem or you have something more specific in mind. Royalty free (you can use them for unlimited views and uses without paying royalties to the copyright holder) stock photos are good for this.
1. http://www.istockphoto.com/ Save lots of time with the best image search I have seen. Good quality images for cheap. Higher cost if you need higher resolution to use for printing.
2. http://www.shutterstock.com Images same price for all sizes. Cheapest if you want high res, but the not everything is stellar quality so you dig more with less search functionality. It is a great value if you need a lot of photos as the memberships are some of the lowest.
4. http://depositphotos.com/ Great prices. All high res.
Other sources for images:
- Your camera
- Look for “public domain images”
- Make your own graphics with Photoshop or look for other graphic give aways
- Screenshot and videoshot software. I love greenshot for images and screenr for video.
More on copyright issues:
Where else do you find your images?