How to Find Free (and Legal) Images to Use on Your Blog

What’s the difference between a good blog post and a great one? One element that can help this distinction is quality images. When it comes to content marketing today, images are a must.. However, creating those images isn't always possible. Fortunately there are many images out there at your disposal for free. Before you go running off to save the first images you find on Google, learn how you can find and use free images legally on your blog.

Wait, Why Can't I just Use What I Find On Google?

Two words: Copyright infringement. All of the images you might find in a Google image search (or anywhere else on the internet – including social media) all belong to somebody. Whoever created that image holds the copyright to that image. If you find the creator of an image, you can ask them for permission to use the image for your purposes, but they may not always allow that or they may charge you for the rights to do so. If you should post an image without their permission they can ask that you remove it or pursue legal action against you. This is why it’s important that you always make sure you have the full rights to use any images you might use in your blog posts. Creating your own images is the best way to avoid copyright issues, but using stock photos within the terms of their licenses is also a great option.

What are your options if you can't create your own images and you can't use just anything you find on the internet?

Great question! Fortunately there are many other content creators in the same boat and there are many different options available to you. Here are 3 great ways to find free images to use legally on your blog:

1. Free Stock Photo Sites

Search for “free stock photos” and you will get an abundance of results. Many stock photo sites offer an assortment of free stock photos. Some stock photo sites like Morgue File and Death to Stock, offer their entire selection of stock images for free including for corporate use!

2. Creative Commons Photos

What’s creative commons? Creative commons is a method of licensing that may allow free usage of copyrighted materials for certain purposes. There are different licensing options that all fall under creative commons usage rights so be sure to read and understand the licensing option that your image may fall under. Most creative commons licenses require that the image remain unaltered and that proper credit, usually in the form of a back link, is given to the originating source. You can search creative commons popular photo sharing sites like Flickr.

3. Embed Images

Popular stock image site Getty Images as well as sites like Imgembed both offer the ability to embed images for free on websites or blogs. Be sure to read the terms regarding image use, as Getty Image’s embeddable images are not approved for commercial use.

Rest assured, you can find free and legal images to use in your blog posts! Not only will they keep you out of trouble, but they will also add visual interest and insight into your blog posts. Do you have a favorite resource to find free to use images for your blog posts? Share them with us in the comments!