How To Find Great Images For Blog Posts

A picture is a poem without words -Horace

Poems make us feel good, they make a big impression on us. And so do the images.

Searching For Images

Searching For Images?

A good picture can easily make you read whole article or at least get interested in it.

Images are very important for every blog. And they are also essential for HEO.

However, finding an image that matches the article is not an easy thing. You have to a lot of searching to find a image that is:

  1. Allowed for commercial use.
  2. Matching to article.
  3. Good looking.

Why Should I Spend That Much Time ...

"When I can easily search Google Images and paste first one in my article."

That is one question that surely came to your mind.

I know this because many people follow it and in the beginning, even I used this method.

But the problem is that it is illegal. Not always but most of the times, you will find pictures that are copyrighted and not intended to be used without permission. This is illegal use and you can be sued for it (in extreme case).

So, it is best to stay clear of copy-pasting.

Where To Find Images Then?

That's what this article is about.

You can find great images for your blog on stock photography sites or search engines. I have categorized the sources into free and paid.

Free Sources

  1. Google: Yes, I just said no to this method just a few lines above. However, there's a small feature that you can use to find licensed images. In Google Image Search, go to Advanced Search and change the value of usage drop-down menu to desired option.
  2. FlickrFlickr is a good source of free images. You can find Creative Commons licensed images easily and use them for your posts. Most of these require an attribution link which you can easily give at the end of the posts.
  3. stock.xchng: Stock Exchange is one of the best free stock photography sites where you can easily find high quality stock photos for free.
  4. Wikimedia CommonsWikimedia Commons has a good collection of images that are in public domain and can be used in blog posts.
  5. Apture: Apture searches for pictures in different sources like Flickr and Wikimedia Commons and shows licensed ones that you can use without any worries.

Premium Image Sources

  1. iStockPhoto: iStockPhoto is one of the best quality and cost effective stock image site. It has a large collection of photos and illustrations and there are weekly free photos which you can download if you are a member. The image used in this post is also from iStockPhoto.
  2. Fotolia: Fotolia is another good site where you can purchase stock photos for low price.

These were the sites and services where you can find great pictures.

Where do you find your post images? Do not forget to share in comments.

About Ishan Sharma

Hi, I am a young Blogger from India. I am very passionate about blogging and also co-founder of Blogging With Success. I write about general blogging tips and WordPress. You can read other posts by me here.If you need help, feel free to contact anytime!


  1. Thanks for sharing. I was not aware of some of links that you listed. So this is great.

  2. As a photographer, I think I cheat on using images on my blog because I don't have to find images other people have taken to use in my post. I look through a recent wedding or high school senior shoot and pull an image that I like. The image may not relate directly to the post, but it seems like it still accomplishes the purpose. What do you think about my situation? Do you feel like I need to use images more closely related to my post topic?

  3. To be honest, I tried searching for free images for my blog posts. But then if I'm spending 20 minutes on finding the perfect "free" image, was my image really free? I go to two place now. Flickr and I spend 2 minutes on Flickr. If I don't find anything, I'll go straight to iStockPhoto. The premium sites are that for a reason- they have much better images than free sites.

    I prefer to pay for images. I just budget it into my monthly expenses. To me, it's worth it than spending 20 minutes. If the image is generic enough, it can be reused again in later blog posts. Take a look at the images Mashable uses for their WordPress posts. It's the same image.

    Another thing I like to do is to type in the keyword in iStockPhoto and then take the related keywords that are returned and enter those back into Flickr. That helps as well.

    • Hi Jack,
      Thanks for the comment! Yes, you are right about time. If it takes more time, there's not much use of finding a free image.

  4. Hi Ishan,

    BigStockPhoto – – has become my preferred source of images. Over the last couple of years I have used hundreds of images from istockphoto for blog posts and videos but noticed their prices gradually going up. As I'm sure you know they have started making many images cost more than a single credit. This has allowed them to slide price increases in without actually increasing the credit price. BigStockPhoto has one price (as far as I can tell) – 1 credit per image. It is much cheaper and has a very good selection of images.

    • Hi Rick,
      Thanks for sharing about Big Stock Photo. I have not yet tried them but looks like a good deal to me. I will definitely try them.
      Thanks for commenting!

  5. I didn't knew about google advance image search to find licensed images. I never use google image search if I need these images for blog or site.

    • Hello Rayback,
      It's a useful feature that lets you find licensed images while using all the power of Google Image Search. Make sure to check it next time you need an image. Who knows what you will find.
      Thanks for commenting!

  6. That's some great resources. I am always using Flickr for my images, it's fast and easy and I always find what I'm looking for.

  7. Hi Ishan:

    Your post is informative and topic is new. I do not like using

    istockphoto, as they write their name in the middle of the Images.

    Most other places write their names but in the bottom and that can be excluded

    after downloading the image.

    All the best

    fran A

    • Hi Aslam,

      iStockPhoto place their name in middle of image because their images are for sale and if they do not place it, people will steal them. Once you buy an image, the name is removed and you can download it.

      Regarding using others with watermarks, it is not legal because they are property of owners and if you use them without permission, that is illegal!


  8. Hi Ishan

    I came across from Twitter. My niece has done all my graphics for my site so never had to worry about accessing photos before.

    However, this is no longer the case, so this post is so on topic for me. Thanks Ishan for sharing all the sites that I can legally get photos for my blog.

    I feel it is important to have good graphics on each post I publish so will now go check them all out.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Hi Patricia,

      Images are indeed important. Without them, most people will skip the posts because they seem like long essays!

      Glad that you found the post useful.

      Thanks for taking time to comment.

  9. Hey Ishan, great advice! I whole-heartedly believe in using interesting photos in blog posts. I love to learn by looking at things, and it can sometimes help with images. My articles are normally 2,000+ words long so I like to break up all that text with a few images here and there. I normally use photos from Not free unfortunately but MAN their collection is killer and very high quality! Thanks Ishan!

    • Hi Elise,

      I also tend to use iStockPhoto too much because of their high quality photos. Usually, I take a look at alternatives too but once you have taken a look at iStockPhoto collection, it is hard to find similar quality elsewhere!

      Thanks for commenting. Hope to see you around on Elise Review and Blogging With Success.

  10. Yes Ishan, I agree it is important to not only create a great content but also to make it more attractive, adding picture/s to posts will definitely make your articles more interesting and eye catching.

    Most of the pictures on my blog are from the stock.xchng, I think this is the by far the best free stock images source that provides you with the huge amount of quality pictures. I can really recommend this.

    Also thank you for sharing the tip on the Google Image Advanced search, I did not notice this option until now!:)

    • Hi Adam,

      I have joined stock.xchng but never searched that much there. Yes, there images are good but inclusion of iStockPhoto results is makes that look a bit lower.

      Glad that you liked the post.

      Thanks for commenting, hope to see you around on MoreMoo as well as Blogging With Success.

  11. Hey Ishan,

    Thanks for dropping by my site and blessing us with your insight.

    I definitely subscribe to the use of excellent and legal images for our contents. A picture they say speaks a thousand words, nothing can be more truer. I for one buy every image used on my site from fotolia… in the long run I have found them to be very useful and of high quality. They are part of what enhance the look and feel of my site and obviously help make the articles i publish stick.

    Great Post, I never knew of HEO until i visited your site now and read the post about it, thanks for adding to my knowledge base once again, you're the Man! :)

    • Hi Philips,

      Thanks for commenting on Blogging With Success.

      I have not yet tried Fotolia and prefer iStockPhoto instead. But regardless of site, the stock images are of high quality and actually relate to article. This is something that is very hard to find in free images.

      Glad that you liked the concept of HEO and found it useful.


  12. Flickr is my first stop for image hunting, for the fact that most photos there has more human touch than commercial elements. It's easy to search for Creative Commons licensed photos, and the photographer will mostly be happy to have his work featured on a stranger's blog.

    • Hi Vincent,
      Thanks for taking time to comment.
      I have tried to use Flickr many times in past and 50% of the time, it was hard to find a really good image. So, now I instead search iStockPhoto and most often, my search ends there as the results are great and images there are of high quality!

  13. I generally prefer to use Flickr, they have huge database and easy to check the copyright issue. Next option goes for Google, which again have different features to make search user-friendly.

    • Hello,
      Flickr is really huge and their Creative Commons options is great.
      Thanks for commenting.

  14. I actually like Googles new feature where you can search for copyright free images.

    • Hi Dean,
      This is surely a great feature that helps a lot in preventing copyright infringement and makes it easy for us to search for good images.
      Thanks for commenting.


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