Blog images are essential to the success of your blog post.
They can engage your readers, reinforce the ideas in your post, and improve its search engine optimization (SEO).
In this video, the question I'll be answering is ...
Where do you get free images for your blog?
There is not a simple answer to that because I actually have several suggestions for you on top of where you can find free stock photos to use as stock images.
It’s really easy to find free stock photos. Just Google something like “stock photos copyright free.”
You should be able to find several sites. There are probably dozens of websites that offer free stock photos and other types of images you can use on your blog.
However, if you are blogging for business, if you're using your blog to promote your services, your products, or other people's products, if you're monetizing your blog in any way, then you need to use images that are copyright-free for commercial use.
One place that I have gone to for re stock photos is Pixabay. There are many others.
Another easy way to get access to these copyright-free images is to use an online or a web-based image editor or graphic editor or graphic creator, like Canva or PicMonkey. Canva and PicMonkey are two web-based platforms where you can create a free account.
They have free and paid accounts, but even with the free accounts, you get access to some of these copyright-free images.
The image creator and editor I myself use practically every day and which I highly recommend is called Stencil.
When you use an image editor or creator like Stencil, then when you're creating your images, you will automatically have access to some of these copyright-free images, even for commercial use.
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Stencil, for example, grabs images from Pixabay as well as a lot of other sources that I don't even try to find out exactly where they're coming from. But Stencil curates all that.
… which brings me to my big recommendation, which is this:
As much as possible, make your own images and don't rely on stock photos.
Why do I recommend this?
First of all, if you make your own images, then you're sure that you have permission to use it because you own it. You don't have to worry about getting permission or making sure that it's free to use for commercial purposes, making sure that it has a creative commons license, or giving attribution if they require attribution, and so on.
If it's your own image, then you own it. You get to use it in whatever way you want.
Now, how do you make your own images?
You can take your own pictures. Nowadays it's so easy to take your own pictures, right? Just get your cellphone and take pictures. Most all phones nowadays have high-quality cameras and you can take really good pictures even with your cellphone.
Just make sure, when you’re taking your own pictures, that you don't inadvertently include other people who haven't given you their permission to be included in your picture. If it's someone just walking by behind you, that's totally fine. But if it's more prominent than that, then you will have to get that person to sign a release form. The safest subjects for your pictures are:
You can also create your own image by sketching pictures related to the topic of your blog post. It's easy to sketch a picture and then take a picture of it with your cellphone or put it on the scanner to digitize it.
And don't worry, you don't have to be an artist. Even stick figures can communicate and create a compelling image. Even stick figures can convey human emotions, activities, and motion. You can easily show a stick figure walking or running or whatever else that you want to convey in your image.
Again, for creating your own images, I highly recommend Stencil because when you use it, you have a library, not just of stock photos, but also icons and. You can upload your own images. You can upload your own fonts. You have everything at your fingertips to create your own image.
The other reason I highly recommend Stencil is that, after you've created the feature image for your blog, you can easily create different versions of that same image for social media platforms. You can easily create an image for your Facebook account, for LinkedIn, for Twitter, etc. Stencil will automatically resize that image to whatever is required by that social media platform.
So you don't have to worry about finding out the correct dimensions for a Facebook post versus a Twitter tweet versus, a LinkedIn post. Stencil figures that out for you, and usually it's just like a one-click thing. You might need to make minor adjustments here and there with the font sizes and so on, otherwise, it's easy.
If you want to find out more about this wonderful tool that I keep recommending, find out more about Stencil and sign up for an account if you think it's going to be the answer to your blog image struggles.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means I earn a commission when you buy through the links on this page. While I only recommend products I myself use or have vetted, you should always do your due diligence before making any purchases. (Full Disclosure)
Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.