How To Find Free Images For A Blog, And What You MUST Do With Them

Once you have a solid topic to blog about, you begin the task of writing incredible content on that topic. If you’re like me, then your process includes writing everything first and then going back and editing/adding images (See tip #6 in 9 Sure Fire Ways To Write A Blog Post Fast).

There are so many images out there, but the problem is that they often have copyrights on them….fear not though, you’ve found the right place! There are resources out there that will not cost you one single penny, I’m excited to share with you how to get free images for a blog post.

You might be thinking…

  • Now that I have so many images to choose from, what should I do with them?
  • What is the most effective way to use them to bring my blog post to life?

These are commonly asked questions that many bloggers struggle with. When done correctly, images can really make your content shine the way you deserve it to. My goal in this post is to show you where to get images for free and to also share my techniques to customizing and using them to make your post shine!

How to get free images

Before I get into showing you where to get free images from, it’s important for me to explain that most images you find in your searches do have copyrights on them. That means that the artist who made the image actually owns it and he/she has not authorized anyone to use it without paying a royalty to them. Be careful about the images that you use because the artist does have the right to take legal action against you if you use their work without paying for it.

Thankfully, not all artists have that restriction….some don’t care if you use their images or not. Here’s where you can find these images:

PIXABAY
One of the best places to go and search for images is Pixabay As soon as you go there, you will instantly know that you are at the right place!

Pixabay Banner

If that doesn’t clearly state it, then I don’t know what will! If you’re still not convinced, perhaps the text right below the banner will make you feel better:

“All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications.”

Pixabay is basically a search engine for free images! You’ll be able to download the image in different sizes, depending on the quality of the orginally uploaded version. It couldn’t be more simple! Also, I recommend signing up for a free account with Pixabay, it will make your experience there much better.

By the way, I wanted to also point out that you will see ads for paid stock photos in your search results. Yes it is a little annoying but that’s how Pixabay funds itself so as to provide all of the great free images to everyone.

GOOGLE SEARCH
I’m sure that many people have done a Google Image search just to find that all of the results have some sort of watermark on them. Did you know that there is a handy filter that will allow you to only get back the royalty free images?

Follow these simple steps to learn how:

1) Go to Google Images and type in your search criteria
2) Click on Tools
3) Click on Usage rights
4) Select the usage right option that you want…I usually use “Labeled for reuse” or “Labeled for reuse with modification”

Google Image

You can now use the power of Google to get back royalty free images that you can use on your website and in your posts!

Now that we know how to get awesome and high quality images for free, lets talk about what you MUST be doing with them…

How to edit using Windows Paint or Microsoft word

Sometimes Lady Luck will be on your side and you’ll find that PERFECT image that matches exactly to what you were envisioning.   It’s much more common to find an image that is pretty good, and it’s your job to make it GREAT!

Luckily you have the tools you need right at your fingertips, you probably just don’t know it!

When it comes to editing images, I have 2 main programs that I use: Windows Paint and Microsoft Word.

You might be wondering what the difference is between the two.  I basically break it down like this:  Paint is really good for some basic things such as cropping, adding basic text, and changing colors while Word is good for more advanced things like changing saturation, giving a frame, adding fancier text, and so forth.  To sum it up, for basic editing use Paint and for more advanced editing use Word.

A common question I get is “Why do you like Paint and Word so much?  There are more advanced tools out there that can do more than these.”

The answer to this very good question is that I like Word and Paint because of their SIMPLICITY!  I don’t need some fancy schmancy program that will take me endless hours to figure out how to use when I can use these programs and get the results I need.  We’re not trying to be graphic artists, we’re busy bloggers just trying to enhance some images for our posts….keep it simple so you can get back to writing awesome content!

Having said that, lets learn about what we can do with Paint and with Word:

   

Social media image preview

Bloggers of any skill level love to share their posts on social media…it’s one of the first steps taken once a post gets published!

Have you ever noticed that sometimes the link preview shows a “standard image” such as a grey silhouette.  That is something that should be avoided at all costs, it definitely won’t help entice someone to click on that post!

Social Media Silhoutte

We have spent so much time finding and editing the right image, lets make sure that it shows!  After all, the image that displays in the social media post is the reader’s first impression…so lets make it an AWESOME one!

Once your post is complete and ready to publish, be sure that you take the following steps:

  1. Set the feature image by clicking “Set featured image” in the “Feature Image” box on the right sidebar of your WordPress editor.
  2. Go to the “Social Settings” within your SEO plugin and find the “Image” option.
  3. Select the image from within your post that you would like to use in all of your social media posts.

If you want to use an image that is not in the post itself, you would add the image to the “Custom Image” option.

Also, the standard image size for social media posts is 800×800 so be sure to format your image size accordingly….you can use either Paint or Word to accomplish this.

Infographic

A very underutilized method of conveying some great information is by using an Infographic.  In case you are unfamiliar, an infographic is a visual representation of a topic.  They often times use charts, graphs, and arrows to help someone understand something more clearly.

Humans tend to be visual by nature and infographis are incredibly appealing visually and so they help a person grasp a concept better than reading words.

Another great benefit of infographics, for us bloggers at least (wink wink), is that the reader will tend to stay on a page longer to fully digest the infographic…and we all know what longer page times do for our rankings!

This post is about images and where to get them for FREE….so why should infographics be any different?!?  Head on over to Visual.ly and get those infographics into your posts!

I’m going to take my own advice and show you an example of an infographic related to this post…so here’s some great information on, what else….IMAGES!

Image Infographic

Comments 79

  • This is the article I have been looking for! I have recently started blogging and I have been desperately looking for free images that don’t have complicated license attributions to worry about. Also, your tips on how to use the images, and do you have included in your post are just awesome! thanks for writing this!

    • Hey Dave,

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed my post and was able to learn something!  Thankfully there are ways to get FREE images, they really bring your posts to life!  It’s also important to learn how to edit the images that you find so I’m happy I was able to help you!  🙂

  • I came across this blog because I was looking for images for one of my websites and voila here I am. Perfect article just in time. I’ll be able to use this info to update a couple websites I’m working on. I have to go through all of the images and make sure they are reusable.
    thanks

  • Great article! I have been using pixabay with pretty good success. I also have used freeimages and didn’t have much success with them, it always seems that the good pictures cost $12. I am really thankful about the google trick, I did not know you could specialize the search so much more! Now I will definitely start using that gem as well!
    Thank You

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and was able to learn a couple of things from it.  I have never used freeimages, and while $12 is pretty inexpensive, FREE is better!  🙂

      Not many people know about the extra filters you can add to your Google searches, so it’s good that you know it now….and also know that those filters are there for all Google searches, not just images!

  • Matt this is an excellent post.

    I am familiar with pixabay and google images, however, the true value of this blog is in your use of infographics to describe it.

    Two birds with one stone. Showing where to find images is one thing but what to do with them is the real winner.

    I have bookmarked this post for further exploration.
    Keep up the excellent work. I am impressed.

    Are you familiar with Pexels?

    What are your thoughts on Upsplash?

    Thanks, Paul

    • Thanks for the kind words Paul!  I agree, it’s more about using the images properly….in fact, when I first started writing this, it was only about how to get the free images…but then it felt like it needed more so I wanted to share with others what I do with my images!

      I have never used Pexels or Upsplash, but you have peaked my curiosity so I will have to check them out!

  • You don’t know how helpful your article is to me. I’ve spent almost an hour exploring all those links that you have provided in the post because this was one of the urgent needs I had. I’ve created some posts but I can’t get any free images anywhere but your post has just solved the problem instantly.

    All of the options you have provided will become my favorites in one way or another. I like infographic so much because of the way it explains and gives details on the image. Just one question, do I have to create an account with pixabay for example? Do I get the best out of it or not if I don’t have an account?

    • I am so happy that my post helped you so much!  Now that you have this knowledge, you can definitely put it to good use….it will certainly save you hours and hours of image searching!

      As for a Pixabay account, you don’t really need one but there are benefits to having one.  With an account, you can mark images as favorites, have a history of what you have downloaded, and so forth.  Also, if you don’t have an account, you’ll have to fill out a captcha every time you download something, which is a real pain!

  • I use Flickr a lot of find Creative Commons images. I also take a lot of my own. Good Pinterest pins are a must!

    • I agree Heather, good Pinterest pins are a must for sure. It’s great that you take your own pictures, there’s a lot of great value in that!

  • What a great article! I was just looking for something like this! Thanks for the great tip!!

  • It can be tough to find quality royalty-free images sometimes. I absolutely love your tip about using a Google search with the filter, I don’t know why I’ve never thought of that! I have a few sites where I can usually find what I need but some types of images are tougher to find.

    • I definitely agree Jessica, I had a tough time finding images until I found the Google filter trick. I also find that Google returns results from all of the main free image websites such as Pixabay. That saves me time since I don’t have to search each website separately.

  • Free stock pics and infographics are must have these days. Thankfully there are plenty of resources as well..

    • Hey Dinesh,

      Images are most definitely a must to attract readers….there are good resources out there, and I hope that this post helped you find some new ones!

  • This was a very insightful post. I usually take my own photos but there are times when I need a free photo.

  • I love using great photos. Just be sure to only use ones that are NOT copyrighted!

    • Yep Liz, it’s definitely important to not use any images that have a copyright on them…I hope that my post helped you learn how to find images that you are free and clear to use.

  • I’ve been buying photos, but you’re right free is better. I need to explore these options and do some editing to old posts.

    • You can’t beat the price of FREE! I hope that my post helped you learn how to find images for free and that you’re now able to use Paint and/or Word to edit them!

  • These are very good tips for photos. I use public domain, Pixabay and my own photos and that gives me enough to choose from. I plan to create my own infographics but, for now, I use some shareable ones occasionally and add the requisite citations.

    • That’s great that you take your own photos Elizabeth! I hope you found the information on how you can use Paint and/or Word helpful.

      I’ve never made an infographic before, I’d love to see yours when you complete it. I invite you to comment back with a URL when you are done so I can see it! 🙂

  • I use pixabay whenever I need a stock image. Thanks for sharing the option on Google images. I didn’t know they added drop-downs like that to filter out unlicensed ones.

    • Hey Fatima, Pixabay is a great source for images as I mentioned. The trick for searching in Google is great because it incorporates images found on Pixabay too.

  • Oh! I always am looking for stock photos to use in my blog and on my social media! I really needed this! Thank you!

  • Thanks for this post. When blogging it’s really hard to only do your own photos and tips like this come in very handy when you need some support from existing images to make your blog look good 🙂

    • Hey Mojca,

      I struggled to find quality images for my posts, and I’m not great at taking my own. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and was able to get something out of it!

  • Hi Matt! I rarely use images from the web, most often than not I use my own photos or gif. When I do though, I go to Google. My friend who is an artist taught me how to get free to use images and it was such a lifesaver!

    • Hey Denice….it’s terrific that you are able to take and use your own photos! If I had that talent then I would definitely do it more often!

  • Glad!! I found this post..I was just looking for some good and free images.

  • Oh snap! What an awesome resource – BOOKMARKING!

    • Thank you so much GiGi! I hope that you find the post helpful in the future!

      Be sure to sign up for my newsletter so that you get all of my latest posts!

  • Images are so important on social media and blog post, yet so hard to find. You want quality and free of use pics! this post is just perfect for us just now! xx corinne

    • I agree that having quality images is so important when writing a post. It helps to break up longer paragraphs and give the reader’s mind a break.

      I hope you are now able to find images more easily

  • This is great. I do a lot of editing with MS Office Image especially when I need to compress the size.

  • This is a wonderful post! I use google search with filter for the royal free images and for Pinterest I make my images in Photoshop.

  • This is new! I did not know that google images has that option. I use pixelbay and it’s alright but the images are not up to quality and there are not a lot of images available too! This is going to reduce my time on looking for pictures!

    • Hey Ashvin, I’m so glad that I was able to help you find images more easily!

      Pixabay is a good resource too, but what’s nice is that the google search will include Pixabay images as well!

  • Thank you for this. I am always looking for places to find free photos that I’m able to use. I prefer to use my own most of the time, but sometimes I just don’t have the appropriate picture for a post.

    • You’re welcome, Amber. It’s great that you are able to take your own photos, that’s always the best. I’m glad that you now know how to use Google to find royalty free images!

  • I mostly take my own photos to use on my website. Otherwise I search for Creative Commons pictures on Wikimedia Commons and Flickr.

    • Using your own photos is always the best! I believe that Google’s search includes images from the search engines you mentioned.

    • Me too, I use my own photos and haven’t tried using or gathering from free sites.
      Or sometimes I recycle photos from other events that I’ve personally captired.

  • Great article! I was wondering about this, I wasn’t sure how to go about getting free images that wouldn’t get you in trouble. Thanks!

  • You definitely taught me something new about the Google filter. I didn’t know about that one. I’ll be playing around with new looks for my images.

    • The filter for Google images can be pretty powerful….it definitely lets you find just what you’re looking for!

      I hope that this makes finding images easier for you.

  • Your post is an excellent resource for free images. I hope more bloggers and creatives run across this post. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and expertise. And those infographics are awesome!

    • Thank you for the kind words Denay! I hope others come across it too, and that it helps them find the images they seek.

      Would you mind sharing it on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, etc for me? I know that will help others be able to find it!

  • This is an amazing post on how to get images to use in our posts. As a blogger, this is very useful info for me!

    • I’m so glad you found it helpful Milton! Not many people know about the extra filters in a Google search, but now you are one of the ones in the know 🙂

  • Very helpful article on getting free beautiful images for a blog post cause it saves one the stress of thinking of a legal action.

    • That’s very true, Gideon….you don’t have to worry about copyright infringement if you use that filter because the author has granted permission

  • Great post. I use piixabay quite a lot for clients that I write for.I haven’t really used google because I didn’t know you could see the rights info, but I’ll add that to my toolkit now.

  • That’s a handy tip on the Google tools. I had no idea there was a filter like that one.

  • I love that you have shared on where to find images for free. There are so many times I have tried to find images and can’t.

  • This is exactly what I was looking for..glad I found this article at the right time..:)

  • this is so helpful… I am unaware of the google filter option ! will definitely give a try !!

  • I know a lot about the file formats but this taught me a few new things about them that I didn’t know before. And which ones had better uses depending on what you were doing. This is so great. Thanks for all the good info here in pictures to use for web design.

    • Hey David, I’m glad that you were able to learn something from my post! It’s definitely helpful to know which file type works best in each situation.

  • I am gunna check out pixabay now! Thank you x

  • Really great sites for photos you’ve provided. I love pixabay for getting photos for when I need a stock image. I usually edit in Photoshop.

  • I have not an easy way to find free images for my site but they are really important.

    They improve the readability and sometimes, the engagement.

    I will follow your tips and I will read them again in the future. I learned a few things today about images, thanks for sharing.

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