Few things add to the visual appeal and professional appearance of your blog like high quality photos. It can be tempting to find a great image on Pinterest or Google images and assume that nobody will ever know if you use it for your blog. Be aware that doing this leaves your blog vulnerable to a variety of consequences, the least of which is presenting yourself as an unprofessional thief. Your site can be shut down and you can be sued for financial damages by the image’s owner.
Rather than stealing other people’s images, investigate some of the free and low cost options that are available. Completely free options for photos can be challenging to find, especially if you need something specific and insist upon high quality. Fortunately, you have some options.
Consider being creative with your own images. Digital cameras make it easy for any of us to take great photos. Walk through a local park and take some professional looking pictures of trees, ponds, and animals. Change the focus or perspective for something original to your blog. Ask friends to model if you need images of people.
If you are writing a blog for personal purposes, Creative Commons photos will be available to you simply by giving photo credit in your article. Check out their website for great, in-depth information on photo licensing and rules. These are not generally available for commercial use, so if you are writing a business blog you may need to purchase some stock photos or take your own. Flickr is an example of a site where you may search for images and find those that are licensed for free use.
Several photo sites provide a combination of free and inexpensive photos. MorgueFile and EveryStockPhoto are examples of sites that make a variety of photos available. They also enable you to see statics on the photo’s use, so that you will know if it has already been used on a blog over 1,000 times.
Unsplash is one site that does offer free, high quality images to bloggers, so it is worth checking out. New images are added every day by photographers who are as anxious to see their work shared as you are to have great images for your blog. Other graphics sites may offer special promotions of free images with initial sign up, so you can stock up on images by taking advantage of these incentives. If you are using a WordPress blog, the PhotoDropper plugin makes millions of free images available to you.