Writing blog posts is one thing – bringing them to life with relevant and interesting images is something else altogether.
If you are new to the blogging world (or even if you are not), trying to find images for your blog posts can be a painful process. One easy (but expensive option) is to use a stock image website such as iStock Photo. But if you knew that there were millions of completely free images within your grasp, why would you ever choose to do so?
With that in mind, today I want to introduce you to the four completely free services I use to find images for blog posts.
This is the tool I use more often than not when sourcing images. For example, I used to find the image at the top of this article.
The simple search options allow you to filter the results by license type (i.e. creative commons, or commercial only), which means that you can search through the available images with peace of mind, knowing that any image you choose to use on your blog only needs a link back to the author.
Many bloggers use Google as their first port of call when sourcing images, and there is no doubting its usefulness. However, it tends to return a greater number of erroneous results compared to Compfight (as evidenced by the screenshot above), which is why it is typically my second choice.
On the other hand, Google Advanced Image Search provides you with a plethora of filtering options, allowing you to return results by size, aspect ratio, region, usage rights, and more. If you are looking for a more specific type of image, Google is an excellent option.
3. Icon Finder
If I’m ever looking for an icon, Icon Finder is where I go – trumping both Compfight and Google Advanced Image Search under such circumstances.
As with the aforementioned services, Icon Finder presents you with powerful filtering options – namely background color, size, and usage rights. If an icon has been created, you can probably find it on this site - it rarely lets me down.
If you can forgive stock.xchng for its rather bizarre name, you will find it is an excellent resource for finding “stock-style” images. You can expect to find better quality images here compared to Compfight and Google, but there are a far smaller number to browse through.
If you have a specific requirement for stock images (i.e. those which seem more professionally produced and are perhaps more appropriate for certain commercial blogs), stock.xchng could be an excellent resource for you. If on the other hand you are looking for a wider choice of images, or perhaps something a little more unique and/or personal, you are probably better off starting with Compfight or Google.
Creative Commons photo courtesy of christian.senger