When you need images to enhance your blog, you want to make sure the photos you use aren’t violating copyright law. However, purchasing photos every time you need one can get expensive.
Here are five places to find images for publishing on your blog, both free options and those that are very inexpensive.
With iStockphoto, you can pay as you go or set up a three month, six month, or 12 month subscription. If you’re only going to use images sporadically, then the pay-as-you-go option makes sense. If you need a lot of images on a regular basis, however, a monthly subscription to this site might be your best option for the money. Plus, iStockphoto offers a free photo of the week which is a nice touch.
Arguably the most popular free photo site, stock.xchng offers more than 350,000 images you can use for your blog – absolutely free. Some photographers may require a link back or credit in some form, however, so be sure to read the fine print and comply with what they’re asking. They have a simple search feature which allows you browse by keyword, or you can do an advanced search to really narrow down your results if you are looking for something specific.
Shutterstock offers a huge database of stock photos – over 18 million, to be exact – so this site definitely has a lot going for it in terms of volume. With Shutterstock, you can pay for a subscription or pay for images on demand. Obviously, subscribing either monthly or full a full year is the way to go if you will be using images frequently, but if you only need a few, you can use their “Images on Demand” option and pay for one photo or 5 photos upfront.
Another free photo site, Stockvault offers a modest 29,000 images available, so you will not get the same results as you would with a paid photo site. However, the website is nicely designed and easy to use, and the photos you can find are fairly good quality. You can search by category or keyword, but if you are looking for something very specific you may have a hard time finding it with this service.
Everystockphoto is a search engine for free photos. If you don’t feel like dealing with the hassle of going to several individual sites, you can use this service to browse literally thousands of photos from a variety of categories. You can search by keyword or advanced search methods. While this site indexes photos from all of the other free stock photo sites out there, you will still have to sign up for accounts on the individual photo sites that host the images you want to use.
Using Stock Images
When searching for images you can use on your blog, it’s imperative that you find photos that will not violate anyone’s copyright. While free stock photo sites are useful, keep in mind that these sites will not always have the volume and quality available with a paid stock photo site.
These are arguably some of the best places to find images to use on your blog, but always do your research and choose one that makes sense for you.
And if you want to know what I personally use for my sites and the StudioPress demos, you can head on over to Bigstockphoto to look around