If you have a blog you will probably know this – adding images to your post will make it more visually appealing to the reader, will break up the text and improve readability and will improve your chances of your post getting shared around the web.

However many people don’t realise that if you just go and Google an image, those resulting images are not yours to use. If you use an image you find via Google images, you are essentially stealing.
The image will be one that is on another person’s website or blog. This image could have originated by someone taking that picture themselves, or finding it on a licensed photo library.

Or, there is a chance that whoever put that image on their website also “stole” it – if they Googled a word and decided to use the image they found on Google images.
The responsible and legal thing to do is to use one of the many photo libraries out there. It might be a hassle to source good images which go well with your blog post/website, but imagine if the show was on the other foot:

  • Imagine if you were a photographer. You created images which could be used online, either commissioned or on a photo library. And then you find one of your images on someone else’s blog, Facebook page, advertisement or flyer. How would you feel?
  • Imagine you took a picture of you and your friends out somewhere and you put it on Instagram or Foursquare or your own blog, and then you saw that same picture on a restaurant or bars blog (could even be that same place you were at) – wouldn’t you want them to ask your permission?
  • Imagine you had paid a photographer to come take pictures of you/your team/your office/your house, and put it on your website – and then saw that image on someone else’s blog or website?

So, here are the alternatives for finding great pictures for your blog:

Take your own pictures

For some blog posts, a picture you take yourself can work – for example:

  • Your badge from an event
  • You and the person who you are blogging about
  • A picture of some objects on the table
  • A picture are a venue related to you post

Paid for photo libraries

These usually work on a pay when you use them or pre-pay for credits type model. Each library has different pricing and sometimes you can get deals and vouchers. But assume that images are between £1-£2 per credit, and the amount of credits per image depends on the size and quality. You could buy a batch of credits for $50-$70 and this would last you for most of your blog posts, if you are blogging once a week for your business.

www.shutterstock.com
www.istock.com
www.fotolia.com
www.depositphotos.com
www.dreamstime.com

Free images

Or there are a couple which have free images – but you sometimes have to look for longer to find good ones:

www.morguefiles.com
www.sxc.hu

You can also find free images on Flickr, as long as you search for “Creative Commons” licence images only. These are images you can use, but you need to credit them. See more here: www.flickr.com/creativecommons/

Read our blog post about about where to find free images for your blog!

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