Every blog post needs an image.
It doesn’t have to be lavishly illustrated or anything, but you need at least one to catch people’s eye.
Plain text just doesn’t cut it.
The problem is that you can’t just use any old picture.
You might be able to get away with that if you’re running a totally non-monetized blog through Blogger or WordPress.com or something.
But assuming you’re running a self-hosted, monetized blog — which you probably are if you’re reading this — you can’t use someone else’s image unless you’ve paid them for it.
You could get a DMCA takedown notice over it.
There are subscription sites for finding stock photos, but most of them are pretty pricey.
For a solopreneur, they’re not always budget friendly.
You can filter Google Image Search results to non-copyrighted images, but good luck finding anything that isn’t awful.
Occasionally, you can find nice photos through WikiMedia, but it kinds of depends on your niche.
Fortunately, there are sites out there that offer high quality, professional stock images for free.
These sites can be an indispensable resource for bloggers who just don’t have the cash for expensive photos.
In a recent Forbes article, the author lists six free stock photo sites you can use to find the images you need.
There are several strong contenders to choose from if you’re in the market for free images:
StockSnap features thousands of high-resolution images that are easy to search for, and for the most part, require no attribution to use.
The site also allows you to organize files by views and downloads so you can scope out the most popular images first.
Unsplash has a similarly robust selection of images to choose from, and is driven by a network of photographers.
They continuously add new images.
Pixabay offers a mix of photography, vectors, and art illustrations, making its selection somewhat more diverse than the other options on this list.
Photopin specifically lists images from Creative Commons, so they’re all free to use with the proper attribution.
You may already be aware that Wikimedia Commons’s images and photos are free to use with the proper attribution.
It’s a worthwhile source to investigate.
Pexels is another free image source with some impressively-high-quality images. Use of images from Pexels does require attribution.
These options are just the beginning.
Feel free to search for free images on your own if you’re interested in discovering even more sources.
You can find more ways to get decent free images over at Forbes.