Today I will share my top picks for places to get free images for your website.
One thing that all bloggers can agree on is the importance of finding quality stock photos for their blogs. There are plenty of sites where you can purchase stock photos, like Shutterstock.
But do the free stock photo sites have quality images? Let’s find out together.
This post was originally published March 27th, 2018 and has been updated to be current with new information. This post may contain affiliate links. If you click a link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Full disclosure is here.
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Why Do My Blog Posts Need Images?
Getting free images from a variety of places can really add that punch of individuality to your website or blog, and set you apart from the crowd.
Bloggers use photos to break up blocks of text and give readers a variety of things to make reading the post more enjoyable and informative.
Because no one wants to read a huge block of text.
And search engines reward you with better ranking if your blog posts contain helpful images.
But what are helpful images?
Most blog posts are written to help and inform readers. If you can enhance your posts with images that convey the end result, your readers can be encouraged to reach for it.
And if you are promoting affiliate links, you will achieve more clicks.
But keep in mind that you want to use high quality photos.
And avoid using the same ones everyone else is using. More on that below.
Another plus is that you can re-use your blog post graphics as images on social media.
This is helpful for two reasons:
- By clicking an image from Facebook that goes to a corresponding blog post with the same image, the reader knows they are in the right place.
- If your photo ranks for a search term, it will also bring you website traffic.
How To Use Images in Your Blog Posts
If you are new to blogging or online marketing, you will want to be different from anyone else in your niche and you can do that by creating cool graphics with Canva.
Related Post: Simple Branding Tutorial. This post is on how to use free Canva.
Using Canva allows you to create custom blog header images.
You can also create other helpful graphics like charts, to-do lists (to help people get organized), printable shopping lists, mind-maps, workbooks etc.
Put screenshots of your printables into your blog posts and give them away, either with or without sign-up.
Create “freebie” items to offer people who opt-in to your newsletter.
If you are offering instructions on how to do something, you will want images that show you progressing through the steps.
This shows potential subscribers what they are getting. And you will get more subscribers than those opt-in boxes with no image.
These do double duty. You create a pin image and put it out into the Pinterest feed. If someone is interested, they click over to your website.
You can create pin images that link to landing pages, blog posts, or both.
Related Post: Pinterest for Business Tips
How To Get Free Images For Your Website
Note: According to Creative Commons .org , the person who puts their photos on free sites like Pixabay and Pexels is giving up their rights to that photo.
On the Pixabay site, it lists these caveats:
1. Using Images and Videos
Images and Videos on Pixabay are released under Creative Commons CC0.
To the extent possible under law, uploaders of Pixabay have waived their copyright and related or neighboring rights to these Images and Videos.
You are free to adapt and use them for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source.
Although not required, a link back to Pixabay is appreciated.
2. Please be aware:
- Images and Videos may not be used in a way that shows identifiable persons in a disgraceful light, or to imply endorsement of products and services by depicted persons, brands, and organizations – unless permission was granted.
- Certain Images or Videos may be subject to additional copyrights, property rights, trademarks etc. and may require the consent of a third party or the license of these rights
Free Stock Photo Sites
Here are a few of “the usual suspects” for free photos. I like to sign up to these websites and then give periodic PayPal donations for the photos that I really like!
Pixabay – Thousands of royalty free photos for you to use, that are also being used by bloggers everywhere!
Pexels – Yup, ditto for Pexels.
Unsplash – Also ditto. There is some variation from site to site, but it is awesome that they are free!
The Stocks 2 – This is like a “best of” warehouse for all the above sites (and more), but conveniently in one place. This is nice because you can have just the one bookmark!
You have six menu choices: Photos, Colors, Icons, Videos, Mockups, and Fonts and each of these has sub-menus. There are some nice features here, like video clips that you can download and use.
I did not realize that Pixabay even had videos until I started checking the sub menus here!
Another cool feature is in the Mockups menu.
I clicked on Smartmockups and found 500 free and premium mockups for digital items like computer monitors and cell phones that you can modify for yourself, a la “your photo here”.
They also have the .svg (svg = Scalable Vector Graphics = 2d graphics) files for popular companies like Instagram and Nintendo Switch, if this is something that you might use. It is in the Icons and it is called Simple Icons.
There are also some cool fonts available, but you have to poke around to find them, as they are mixed in with links to sites that can help you pair fonts.
I can honestly say that I could kill an afternoon looking around in here. I hope you have more restraint 😉
Other Ways To Get Quality Free Stock Photos
There are a few ways to get really great stock photos that are used by less people. These will stand out on your site because everyone isn’t using them.
I have signed up for several newsletters because I was getting tired of seeing the exact images I was using on someone else’s graphics.
Creative Market – At their website up near their logo you will see “Get Free Goods” where you can sign up for the newsletter.
Every Monday they send links to six free items. The items are: Fonts; stock photos; Vector images; Photoshop templates. What you get each week is a different combination of items.
If you sign up to my newsletter, I’ll send links to these freebies as well.
Creative Market also bundles cool stuff together and give deep discounts (like 95% off of some bundles).
You can also purchase website themes (also available in bundles!) and templates for eBooks, so you can make and sell your own.
I really like the free fonts that I have received so far, and they are adding a certain flair to my Canva graphics.
Pixistock.com – If you know of any ladies looking for some feminine stock photos, look no further than Pixistocks.
Alicia will send you “a small batch of photos monthly”. You can also get a subscription if you decide that you want more of Alicia’s beautiful, soft and feminine photos.
Ivory Mix – This is another website that offers quality stock photos and Kayla will send you free pics every month.
The great part about the Ivory Mix photos is that many have a decent amount of “white space” so you can overlay text without it getting lost in the photo design.
Honorable Mention: DepositPhotos/App Sumo Deal
Deposit photos has amazing graphics for bloggers.
They are a paid service, and you can subscribe on a monthly/yearly basis. Or purchase “on demand”, which are a set amount of photo downloads for a specific price.
There are multiple sales every year for getting groups of on demand photos.
App Sumo offers deals multiple times a year that gives you a deep discount on “buckets” of 100 photos.
Where the normal price for 100 photos from DepositPhotos is $239.00, AppSumo lets you purchase 100 images for about $39.
I will tell you when this deal is on in my weekly newsletter, as it happens randomly throughout the year.
Once you sign up with DepositPhotos, you will get a weekly newsletter with at least one free stock photo.
So there you have a few options for free photos that can add some interest and individuality to your blog posts or website. Combining awesome free images with a few free fonts and amazingness of Canva and your brand will soar above any other!
I love the idea that anyone can have an awesome looking blog with just a few tweaks and some great free images!
Where do you go for free photos? Are you happy with what you have found? Do you have any stories to share about copyright problems or major wins regarding free online photos? I would love to hear from you in the comments below.
Need help with copywriting? Use my Copywriting Checklist to write compelling call-to-action text for your pins. Encourage readers to come to your site for more information. Sign up for my weekly newsletter and get all my PDF printables for bloggers in my Resource Library.
Have a great week and happy blogging!