Blogging is a great way to promote your business and if you do-it-yourself it’s a marketing strategy that’s completely free.
However, what you save in monetary terms can be easily negated by the amount of time you spend getting that blog written, looking pretty, ensuring it’s SEO friendly and then finally, sharing with the world.
There are lots of tricks of the trade to help you save both time and money when blogging for business. One is to have a bank of image resources you can go to when you need to source the perfect picture to illustrate your blog. Even better if this bank is made up of free image resources!
Which resource you use most will depend on the style of your blog, who your market is and just what kind of vibe/look you want to show your audience.
In this article, I’ll look at 5 free image resource options although there are many more options out there. You may find some resources easier to use than others, some may match your brand’s look better than others – they’ll be some time to spend finding the right image resource for you (or a mixture of resources that suit) but when you do, you’ll find image sourcing much simpler, quicker and cost effective!
A word of caution
Before we look at the resources, just a quick word of warning. It’s always a good idea to read the terms & conditions of use on each website & on each picture you download before publishing any free images. If you don’t abide by the rules, you could be making an expensive mistake that could cause you problems later on. Read Blogger Beware: You can get sued for using photos you don’t own on your blog.
The basic information you need to check is:
- Conditions of usage of the website
- Copyright info/credit information on individual photos
Once you’re clear on this information you shouldn’t fall foul of any copyright laws, but it always pays to be vigilant! (Keep reading, I’ll be offering you a free download that will help you to keep track of the photos you use and where you sourced them).
5 free image resources for your blog
There are lots of places to find free photos online. Most offering free images tend to come under the ‘creative commons’ licence, which means that images downloaded from these sites can be used & shared without having to worry about copyright or paying a fee.
Double-check each image you download as some DO require an accreditation/copyright line for commercial use and others don’t.
The first three image resources listed here offer stock photography free of charge using the Creative Commons license:
www.pixabay.com provides a huge database of free images that don’t require any copyright information at all as pictures are released using a Creative Commons CCO.
You do need to register and create an account in order to download images. There is a wide selection of stock photography and illustrations to choose from.
2. Free Digitial Photos
Another massive library of free photos. Free Digital Photos offer smaller, low resolution images (that work well on web pages) for free, although a photo credit is required. If you need a bigger image or don’t want to feature a photo credit then you can pay for individual pictures at a reasonable price.
You can get an email sent to you with each download confirming the copyright information you need to display.
Registration is not required but if you do register, it will save details of photos you’ve downloaded. Useful if you need the details again in the future.
3. Freerange Stock Photos
Ideally, you should include a accreditation to any images downloaded via Freerange Stock Photos and link the image back to their website. You’ll also need to register before you can download anything.
The next 2 resources listed don’t use generic stock photos and tend to offer higher quality, more design-led images. However, unless you pay for the PRO accounts you won’t have the whole library at your fingertips whenever you need it. So these sites aren’t as useful if you need an image quickly, but you can use them to build up an extensive image library (containing some stunning photos) over an extended period time.
4. Death to the Stock Photo
Death to the Stock photo is a great website for building up your own image library. Sign up and each month you’ll be emailed a pack of photos. The theme varies from subjects such as working from home, energy & serenity, streets of London etc. Just download from the email each month and save into your own personal library.
A beautiful collection of hand-picked photos. You can download one high-res photo each day, check the info on the photos to see if you need to feature copyright details. (If you use an image from Magdeleine, make sure that you edit the image and compress it for use on a website. Uploading a high-res image to your website could take up valuable bandwidth and slow your site down.)
This is just a small selection of the hundreds of sites and resources that are out there. You may end up trying a few to find out which ones are best for you and your business.
If you’d like a longer list of resources check this article 20 Sites with Free Images for Your Blog or Social Media Posts
FREE TEMPLATE DOWNLOAD
Keeping track of where blog images are sourced
It’s important to keep a record of where you got your blog image from as well as any copyright information. This process will ensure you check correct usage rights, but it will also make your life much easier if a year down the line, a photographer questions your use of their images and demands payment. If you can prove you downloaded it from a free resource and followed the rules, then crisis should be diverted.
I’ve created this handy Blog Calendar and Image Information template to make this easy for you. Download it now (free of charge, no email required) – all you need to do is click on the button.
Download Blog Calendar and Image Information Template
Sound familiar? If you’re not Blogging for Business you’re missing a chance to promote your business and build your audience.
Imagine just handing someone your draft blogs, then getting them back edited and SEO-friendly, published with an image, posted on social media AND included in a lovely content bank with 5 alternative descriptions ready to recycle/copy/paste on social media in the future.
How much time would that save you and would could you do with that time? Find out more at Blogging the Easy Way