A blog is a much better place when there are plenty of images around. Images add a much-needed visual aspect to your posts, making content more interesting and increasing reader engagement. Unfortunately, finding suitable images is not always easy. While there are millions of pictures online that can be accessed in seconds, many are subject to copyright laws and using them without consent could land you in trouble.
There are, however, also many places where you can find free images that are in the public domain and copyright-free. Here are a few of the best places to find them.
Bear in mind, when using some images there may be certain rules – such as providing image credits – that may need to be adhered to.
Getty Images is a vast library of professional photographs and visuals used by many mainstream media outlets. In March 2014, the company announced a new embed feature that would allow anyone to access and share images on their own blogs. Any image on the Getty Images website can be used simply by clicking on the ‘</>’ embed icon and copying and pasting the iframe code directly into your content.
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Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation offering access to a wide range of images licensed for public use. On the Creative Commons Search page you can search the image libraries of numerous websites including Wikimedia Commons, Open Clip Art Library, and Google.
Like Creative Commons, Flickr Commons is a site dedicated to publicly held image collections. Many institutions participate, including The Smithsonian and The British Library, and there are hundreds of excellent historical photographs.
The wider Flickr community also has millions of images and many users will allow reuse in exchange for a mention in your posts. Flickr users will need to be contacted individually, however, and this can be time consuming.
Wikimedia Commons covers all Wikimedia projects and features thousands of free images available for use on personal blogs. You will need to comply with the rules when using these images and information on how to do so can be found here.
Google Image Search
While a standard Google Image Search is not a recommended way to find copyright-free images, it is possible to customize a search to find what you need. This can be done by clicking on Search tools > Usage rights in Google Images and selecting the appropriate label.
Compfight is a search engine set up to make it easier for people to find images that are licensed under Creative Commons and free to reuse. Searches can be tailored to suit your needs and license requirements, and downloaded in several sizes directly from the site.