So you’ve got a blog. It’s really coming along – the content is solid, you’re gaining readers and you’re inspired to write on a schedule. Maybe you’ve even invested a little money and purchased a premium WordPress theme. However, you have blog envy. Everyone’s blog posts look better than yours. They have amazing pictures! A quick iStockPhoto search will reveal that buying pictures for every blog post can be an expensive habit.
Where To Find Free Images
Flickr offers one of the best-kept secrets for free blog post images. Let me introduce you to Creative Commons-licensed content. Here’s how it works:
A photographer decides, “Hey, I don’t mind if someone uses my pictures online. In fact, that will give me exposure!” Meanwhile, you are beating your head against your desk because you just ran out of iStockPhoto credits and you can’t take a picture of Mt. Everest from your backyard. The photographer uploads his picture to Flickr and assigns a Creative Commons License to it. There are several types of licenses. For this example, he chooses to give you the right to use his picture, as long as you don’t modify it, use it to make money, and you give him credit (this is a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license, in case you are wondering). Perfect! That’s just what you need. So you find just size you need, put it on your blog, and provide a link back to the picture with the photographer’s name in the caption.
How to Search Creative Commons-Licensed Images
Type http://www.flickr.com in your browser address bar. Using the search box on the homepage, enter the subject matter you need for your blog post, and hit ‘Enter’ or ‘Return’ on your keyboard. On the results page, click ‘Advanced Search’ as seen highlighted in blue below:
When the advanced search page loads, scroll down until you see the options for Creative Commons-licensed content (it’s the last option before the Search button). Select ‘Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content.’ Then scroll down and hit ‘Search.’ Here’s what the options will look like:
The next set of results will show you images that may be used by anyone, as long as the borrower abides by specific guidelines that the creator has assigned. On the results page, click the image you would like to use. After the image loads on the following page, scan the right sidebar for the licensing information. It will look like this:
Click the icons to view a page that tells you exactly what you are free to do with the image, and under what conditions.
It’s That Easy
Boom. Now you have a resource for free images that you won’t be sued for using.
Where else do you find images for your blog posts?