Every blog benefits from eye-catching imagery to evoke curiosity and illustrate your intent. At a minimum, include a featured image at the top of each post and seek out opportunities for adding other pictures throughout. Not only does this spruce up a plain website, but it creates distinction for every piece you write.
The trick is finding these complementary photos and using them with permission. Think again if you expected to simply snag whatever you like from Google Images or another random website! Almost everything online is subject to copyrights, and you don’t want to run afoul of this aggressive sector of the law. Instead, you’re going to need a source that allows public usage.
You have a serious advantage if you happen to be a photographer with a talent for taking unique shots relevant to your blog topic. Using your own photography means you won’t need to worry about cease-and-desist orders appearing in your inbox, but not everyone is skilled behind the lens.
For the rest of us, many websites provide stock photos. Consider using free stock if you’re newer to blogging or on a budget. Seasoned bloggers with cash have more incentive to consider additional paid options.
Either way, when you find a resource with images that speak to you, review the terms of the stock photo license for that website before moving forward. This license will explain the limitations of what you’re allowed to do with the images to avoid any conflicts with the owners.
Downloading something from the internet does not automatically make it yours, and sometimes attribution is required. Read over the requirements carefully!
Where to find free stock photos
The benefit of free stock photo sites is that you don’t need to pay a cent to use them for your blog and social media posts. Each has an extensive library of images from skilled photographers. However, the downside of easy access is that the same images are on many blogs all over the internet.
It’s hard to make your blog look unique if its visuals match too many other blogs. However, free stock is still a fantastic resource, especially for newer writers who are still figuring out their blog aesthetic. It’s also great for platforms like Medium.
Some of the most popular free stock libraries:
- Pexels – a massive collection of vibrant, exciting photos
- Unsplash – another extensive website with plenty of variety
- Pixabay – an assortment of photos, illustrations, and videos
- IStock Photos – free version of the renowned Getty Images
Upgrade to paid photo stock
You’ll need to crack open your wallet to acquire the rights to use less common images on your website. While many outlets license out the same photographs, you’ll probably encounter them far less than their free counterparts.
Buying image rights individually can be pricey, so you might not want to indulge in them for every blog post. These resources are still great for sourcing key images that need to stand out, such as graphics for your landing page or pillar content.
Find individual stock photos at these websites:
- Creative Market – a great place for individual photos and sets
- Dreamstime – high-quality imagery for any graphic design
- Shutterstock – a wide variety of creative stock to purchase
- Getty Images – brilliant photos for high-end editorial work
Get serious with paid subscriptions
Some photographers choose to set up a subscription program that gives members access to sizable collections of their beautiful photographs. These exclusive membership hubs may also include social media templates and other graphics to simplify content sharing.
Stock photo subscriptions aren’t cheap, but they include quite a bit and can be worth the expense if you find a thematic collection that compliments your blog’s style. I recommend checking them out once you start making enough profit from your blog to consider investing more into its appearance.
Here are some feminine stock subscriptions:
- Haute Stock – show class with muted tones of pink and beige
- Her Creative Studio – charming arrangements in pastel themes
- PixiStock – massive collection of appealing photos and templates
- Styled Stock Society – curate your visuals with tranquil vibes
This post is not an exhaustive list of stock images but rather a helpful starting point for exploration. There are tons of other options all over the internet. If you have a unique topic, try searching for “stock photos + niche.” You might be surprised by all the possibilities waiting to grace your next blog post.