A great blog post is only as good as its images. Finding good images, however, can be a lot more difficult than you think. Most people simply Google images online, and insert them into their posts. This is not entirely legal. You actually have to get the rights from the photo taker to be able to insert the images and use them on your site.
The trick to this is to find free stock photos that allow you to use them as you want, for free, anywhere in your blog.
How to Create Killer Graphics for Your Articles
Brian Dean is notorious for getting 1000s of backlinks and shares on his articles.
And part of the reason is because he creates great looking header images for each of his posts.
Take a look at the above post. It got 1800+ shares and the graphic looks extremely professional.
I’m going to show you exactly how to create your own graphics just like this, for FREE.
Step 1: Open up Photoshop
You can download a free copy here.
Create a new image size, we recommend 800×250.
Once you have your new document, go to the Custom Shapes section and grab some shapes for your background.
I’m using the bulls-eye.
Once you add in your graphics, create your first grid of objects. I have a rocket ship, envelope, lightning bolt and more.
All of their colors should be light enough to barely be shown on the background.
Once you have your initial grid, copy and paste to fill the entire graphic.
Step 2: Get Free Icons to Create Your Text
I like to use Icon Finder, which lets you search for free and paid icons.
Let’s do a search for “rocket” and see what we can find.
Now that we have the rocket, let’s add it to our graphic.
Step 3: Add Your Custom Icons and Text
Now we’re going to add in our text, icons, and create our finished product.
Do a search on IconFinder and look for the type of graphics you want.
Make sure to select “free” and “flat” to create a graphic similar to Backlinko’s.
In our graphic, we’re going to use a desktop screen plus that awesome rocket, because everyone loves rockets.
To customize the icon, I use the magic wand tool (press “W” on a Mac to switch to the tool), to select the area around the icon.
Once the area is selected, press delete to remove it.
Then once we’ve added all our icons, and arranged them on the graphic, we’re good to go.
Pro Tip: Search for your competitors articles and mimic the designs they use to match your own article or site.
How to Create Promotional Graphics That Look Just As Good as @Backlinko Click To Tweet
Congrats! You now can create graphics just like Brian Dean.
You May Get Sued If You Ignore This
There’s No Such Thing As a Free Lunch When It Comes to Stock Photos.
That definitely applies here. When it comes to photos, there is a always a cost. The cost may be reflected in buying the image from a stock photo site like Shutterstock or attributing to the original photographer.
Learn How to Attribute “Free” Photos
- If you are using a Creative Commons licensed photo, your first step is to follow the instructions from the author. If there are no instructions, include their name hyperlinked under the photo along with a link to the Creative Commons license. This is the most common license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
If you scroll to the bottom of this post, you will see our guide on what licenses you absolutely must know.Here's How to Avoid Getting Sued When It Comes to Using Stock Photos Click To Tweet
Where can I find free stock photos?
Finding good stock photos is a real pain. That’s why we’ve made it easy for you by grouping together the 76+ best sites with free stock photos for your blog.
Flickr is the photo sharing social network owned by Yahoo, but barely associated with Yahoo, which has allowed it to maintain its focus on photographers. Flickr is mainly a repository to store photos like a locker, but lucky for us, a large number of photos are shared on the site for use as creative commons purposes (aka for free).
Here’s the guide to finding and using photos on Flickr and what licenses you should be using:
- Attribution: You can edit, copy, re-use photos as long as you credit the author
- Attribution-NoDerivs: You can use the photo, but not edit, as long as you credit the author
- Attribution-ShareAlike License: You can use the photo, but not edit, as long as you credit.
- Public Domain Dedication (CC0): You can use this photo without credit, as it’s part of the public domain.
- Public Domain Mark: You can use this photo without credit, as it’s part of the public domain.
Sign up and receive ten free high resolution photos every ten days. This site offers a wide range of great photos that can be used however you want.
Photos are not searchable, but the photos are simply breathtaking, so much so that we had to show you more.
What’s great about this site is its a boutique website for a Dutch photographer Folkert Gorter. These images are limited, but breathtaking.
Images are not searchable, and attribution is required.
This site is great for its super-easy navigation plus its inclusion of a ton of high resolution photos, with a big focus on food shots. So if you need free stock photos of food, this is your stop.
Attribution required? Not for all images
Upload your own pictures and contribute to the extensive database that includes over 420,000 photos or signup to take advantage of free, high resolution photos. Browse by category or enter search terms to find the right image.
This directory has a ton of high quality photos of desks, macbooks, and is an excellent free stock photo resource for designers.
Attribution required? Not for all images
6. IM Free
This is the perfect resource for commercial use photos. Search by categories or simply type in a search term to find the image you need.
What’s nice about this site is they have different collections of free stock images to make it easy to find what you want:
- People Stock Photos
- Business Stock Photos
- Fashion & Beauty Stock Photos
- Food & Drink Stock Photos
Attribution required? Yes
This is similar to the other boutique sites that give away super high quality stock photos. You can join their mailing list and get 7 photos per week or you can browse the site to find the photos. Regardless of quantity, the quality is excellent.
The photos are mainly free landscape stock images.
Attribution required? No
Enjoy access to unique historical maps and images. It is a great resource for historians, genealogists and researchers.
A resource designed by creatives for other creatives. Signup to download photos for free and give credit whenever possible to help others in the community gain exposure.
Photographer Ryan McGuire personally captures and posts all the images on this site. You can download and use any images without having to worry about copyright violations.
With Stockvault, there is no need to bother with registering. Simply share photos and connect with other artists, creatives and students looking to build a collaborative community.
This site is run by photographers and designers looking to provide quality images to those who may not be able to afford to pay for them. It represents a generous community of creatives who are committed to providing a practical service.
13. Image Free
Download high resolution photos for personal or commercial use. The database is update regularly, so be sure to return often to check out new options.
Amateur photographers gladly share their work on this site in the hopes that their images will be seen all over the internet. You can get free photos and help other creatives gain exposure simply by downloading images.
If you are an amateur photographer looking to gain exposure and build a following, this site provides a great way to upload photos and get your name out there. It also serves as a great free resource for those looking to spruce up their own websites. Feel free to use the images, but don’t be stingy with giving credit to photographers.
Simply enter your email address to receive a monthly newsletter full of free photos. All you have to do is check your inbox and use the photos you want.
17. Free Media Goo
Don’t worry about having to register an account, start a subscription or pay an hidden fees. Simply search for free photos that can be used for both personal and commercial use.
While it isn’t a traditional source for stock photos, you can gain access to a decent number of images in exchange for providing your email address. The database is rather limited, but you can’t beat free.
This popular website is typically a source for those willing to pay for images, but if you are willing to put some time into figuring out the registration process, you can sign-up for a limited number of free images. While other free sites are easier to navigate, this might be a good option if you are having trouble locating the perfect photo for that important post.
20. New Old Stock
Browse through an impressive database of vintage photos that capture a certain time and place. These unique photos are sure to set your posts apart from the rest and help create truly engaging posts.
21. Pic Jumbo
Although this website doesn’t offer a search function, you can browse images by category. It may take a little extra time to find what you are looking for, but the the free database features high resolution photos and a sign-up option that sends new photos directly to your email inbox.
Looking for some great nature photos? Download images without having to worry about paying fees or registering for an account.
It is all right there in the name. Search through a variety of professional, educational and more general photo categories. While the photos are small, you can upgrade to larger versions for a small fee. Also, be sure to read any details about providing photo credits so that you are complying with website protocol.
The same people who brought you Wikipedia have created a database of over 21 million photos that you can use without having to worry about paying fees. Add your own images or search and download pictures for your posts and websites.
25. Can We Image
If you are having trouble sifting through the millions of photos on Wikimedia Commons, you can use this website to simplify the search process. It can help you locate images more quickly and make sure that you are legally using any images on the web.
If you are a fan of flickr, you may enjoy this resource that has been specially designed to mirror the capabilities of flickr. It also provides convenient search tools that allow you to quickly sort through images.
Instead of having to open several tabs and search a variety of resources for the perfect image, you can visit Creative Commons Search and have one-click access to some of the most popular resources for free images. As you find images, make sure that you are adhering to the publishing policies for each individual photo.
While there are plenty of free images available on the web, sometimes the biggest challenge can be identifying any licensing details. With Foter, you can quickly find photos and copyright information.
When you set the right search parameters, you can use Google to locate free images. Spend a little time getting to know the search features and you will be able to narrow the results appropriately.
Use this search engine to locate free images that can be quickly downloaded. A convenient licensing icon allows you to easily view any important details.
31. Image Finder
Use this resource to search Creative Commons and flickr photos. The user interface is straightforward and easy to use.
This site is a great resource for artists and other creatives. You can easily search free images and add them to your blog or website.
Sometimes you come across the perfect image, but you aren’t sure how to find the original source so that you can give due credit. TinyEye provides a reverse lookup service that will provide you with a long list of helpful information about the image, including whether there is a higher resolution version available.
When you visit Wylio, you can find images, re-size them and discover attribution information all on one place. This convenient website streamlines the search and publication process.
Take your images to a new level with this user friendly graphic design program. You can customize free images to make them even more compatible with your website.
36. Foodies Feed
Enjoy thousands of high resolution images of food and dining. No fees and no need to worry about attribution.
Take a few seconds to sign up and receive a free high resolution photo every day. Subscribers also enjoy access to a sizable database of images.
Search through both modern and vintage photos without having to worry about fees. Simply downloand the images you like.
Attribution not required.
39. Free Range Stock
Take a few moments to create a membership and you can search thousands of free images. You care encouraged to give credit to the photographer, but it isn’t required in order to publish the photos for both personal and commercial use.
40. Pickup Image
Yet another great resource for free images. Users can publish and modify images without having to worry about giving credit or paying fees.
Download and use free images for both personal and commercial use. This site provides over 15 million photos for you to search and use.
Every image on this site has been taken and uploaded by a photographer. You can download and use any image without having to worry about registering or logging-in.
43. Life of Pix
Photographers from around the world upload their images to this site so that everyone can enjoy free photos. New images are added daily, so be sure to visit often to find new material.
Ten new high resolution photos are added everyday. Search by categories or enter keywords to find free images.
Free images without copyright restrictions. Perfect for both personal and commercial use.
While not all of the images are high resolution, this resource offers an extensive database that is constantly being updated.
All of the photos are taken and uploaded by in-house photographers. Search by keywords or navigate directly to popular categories.
Free images at your fingertips. Perfect for both personal and commercial use. The majority of the photos are free architecrual or landscape images.
Attribution Required? No
Enjoy free access to the work of AJ Monpetit, who provides a wide range of artistic images.
50. Snapwire Snaps
Contribute your own images and enjoy 7 new images everyday. It is a great source for your blog and/or social media accounts.
51. Jay Mantri
Yet another talented photographer who is sharing his work for free. He provides 7 new photos everyday that address a variety of themes.
While this site offers over 35 million photos, many of them are small and require attribution. You may not be able to find the high quality options.
This website is especially geared toward photographers who are looking to share their work and be inspired by others.
Enjoy this library of beautiful stock images. Just be sure to double-check attribution requirements before publishing an image.
55. Crow the Stone
Take a few seconds to sign-up and receive free, high resolution photos in your inbox. You can can also visit the website and search the archive.
Feel free to add, copy, modify and publish any of the photos you like without having to worry about attribution.
High resolution photos with no attribution required. Choose from a wide variety of themes.
Experience the ability to search a variety of image sources in one central location.
59. Good Free Photos
This resource contains mainly travel photos. You can search by location and use any relevant images.
60. ISO Republic
ISO Republic features a library of modern images that are often categorized by location.
61. Je’ Shoots
Search through a library of photos taken by a professional photographer and graphic designer.
This growing library is still relatively small and does require attribution, you can download quality images for free.
The work of photographer Jeffrey Betts, MMT adds new photos on a weekly basis. Just be sure to pay attention to licensing details.
Stunning photos of the eastern world. It is a great resource for anyone focusing on travel.
Another great source for travel photos. Enjoy high resolution images from around the world.
Search by category or keyword and feel free to modify images. You can also contact the webmaster if you are having trouble finding a high resolution version of an image you would like to use.
Submit your photos or download the work of others and use the images for free.
The Raumot library may be small, but it contains some of the highest quality images available on the web.
This resource also has a small library of only about 700 images, but they are of the highest quality and completely free for you to use.
No need to worry about creating an account or including attribution. Enjoy thousands of high quality images that capture nature and history.
Download individual photos or get the entire library in a zip file for a suggested donation of $15.00.
This website allows you to search several individual photographers who offer their images for free all at one time. Click on a particular artist or search by keyword.
Completely free and searchable. Work your way through over 55,000 free photos.
Another simple sign-up site that will send you 10 new images every 2 weeks. Once you receive the photos, you are free to do practically anything with them.
The whole idea behind this site is that they offer images that are worthy of being published in coffee table books. Stop by for a visit and download high resolution travel photos.
“Free pics, no tricks.” From landscapes and portraits to humorous images, this website may have a small library, but it contains a wide variety of themes.
These represent just some of the options available on the web. Take a moment to share any free resources that you use to find images that may not have made this list.
This website offers a database full or a wide range of free images. It is easy to search and regularly updated for a wide variety of choices. For the more serious bloggers and developers, there is also a paid section with more advanced options.
78. Free Range Stock
After a quick sign up process, you can enjoy access to professional grade photos that are perfect for any project. This site also offers additional support from photographers and webmasters to help you locate the perfect photo.
79. Free Images
While you will be required to slog through a longer signup process, the size of the database and the quality of the images will make it well worth your time. Taking the time to setup a free account will provide you with access to almost 400,000 free photos that have the potential to double the number of visitors to your own website.
80. Free Photos Bank
If you appreciate organization and easy search features, be sure to visit this site. With several different categories and ways to navigate to the photos you want, finding the perfect image is quick and easy.
If you’re looking for stock photos perfect for Pinterest, check out Sabrina’s work. She offers premium subscriptions which delivers you higher quality, larger images, plus access to new photos she releases every month just to subscribers.
Some of our favorites from her free photos are:
- Candy Bar
- Shades of Blue
- Eating Out
These Are The Only Creative Commons Licenses to Use
- Attribution CC BY
- Most common license, basically you have full use of the image to edit, change, re-use as long as you credit the author. The majority of the images from this list are “Attribution CC BY”
- Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND
- You can place the image on your site (but not edit it), but you must attribute to the original author.
- Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA
- You can edit, remix the image as long as you credit the author and license it from them (you may have to pay, you may not).
- Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA
- This is what Wikipedia uses. You can edit, remix, re-use the image as long as you credit the author and license it (you may have to pay, you may not).
We are assuming you are using these images for commercial purposes, which is the case for almost all blogs (unless you are a non-profit), and to protect yourself, you should operate under the assumption your blog is a “commercial blog” just to be safe.