Images breathe life into surrounding text. If bad text formatting turns people away, featuring images has the opposite effect. Using the right picture creates interest and entices readers, helping your communications reach their full potential. The good news is that free images for commercial use are easily available. I’ll show you where in a minute.
Why You Need an Image
Firstly, I just want to emphasise the importance of using images. Using a good image encourages:
- A reader to read the article
- A reader to finish an article
- A reader to subscribe to your site
- A reader to give you a call
- A reader to buy your product.
Imagery is a major part of your small business brand. Choosing the right image is crucial in entrenching your business’ brand personality and positioning.
Words explain your message. Images bring your message to life.
Where Do I Find Free Images?
On the internet, images are everywhere… but that doesn’t mean they are all free to use. You can only use an image if you have permission. Choosing to use an image without permission is breaking copyright law and could get you into legal trouble, so be sure of what you’re using.
Fortunately, millions of images are available through online image libraries. Here, images are called ‘stock photos’. Finding an appropriate image is just a case of visiting an online image library and searching it’s virtual image catalogue.
Some of these images will cost money to purchase, others provide images for free.
“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” Walt Disney
List of Free Image Websites
Free is a good price. Here are a list of sites where you can download free images for commercial use:
- Stock Xchng
- Public Domain Photos
- Morgue File
- Stock Vault
- Free Digital Photos (Thanks Tania)
Note: Before using any free images for commercial use, always ensure you read the terms and conditions of each site.
List of Paid Image Websites
Sometimes a free image just won’t cut it. Fancy something a bit more special, or of better quality? You’re more likely to find it at a pay-per-download image site. These include:
Have a browse of these image sites and commit to incorporating images across all your communications. Your small business will benefit. In upcoming articles I’ll discuss what to look for in an image and also explain the more technical side of image properties.
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Great post about finding images on the web. That was one of my hardest things to conquer, finding what I could and couldn’t place on my websites.
I also have another free image website I use, called Freedigitalphotos.net. I’ve used several of their images and I would appreciate your feedback about it. The link is http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/
.-= Tania Shipman´s last blog ..Changing my Internet Plan =-.
You’ve done it yet again, David. Another great post, this time on free images for commercial use. Your site is a number one resource for anyone wanting to create great web pages.
.-= Wal Heinrich´s last blog ..Beyond Chakra Healing =-.
Great resources for free images you have there. The puppy is very cute! Looking forward to future articles as always
Finding free images for my blog is always hard. Decent free images – bloody hard. Searching for sites that offer free images takes up a lot of my time. I just want to get my blog published but a lot of blood, sweat & tears goes into it.
Just as you say the images on your blog posts really do make a difference.
Big thanks to you David! I have checked out morgueFile – and that’s just one from your list and I am already impressed.
.-= Samantha Banfield – Witty Sam´s last blog ..8 Crazy Election Promises =-.
Thanks for this information on finding free images. I have wondered about whether we were allowed to use the google images but I’m guessing not. Great to find some free image sites.
.-= Jackie Stenhouse´s last blog ..First Stages of Pregnancy =-.
Another awesome post, David!!
I’ve just check out all the Free and Paid Imagery sites, and I think I’ll be spoilt for choice for images in my future posts.
I whole heartedly agree, images and more recently video, really to bring a site to life and increase a sites readability.
Keep up the great work, I’m learning more every time I visit your site
.-= Cade´s last blog ..Stock Market Strategies – Stack the odds in your favor =-.
Thanks David for another very informative and helpful post. I am always struggling to find images without risking infringing copyright
.-= William Warr´s last blog ..Father’s Day in Australia is September 5- 2010 =-.
Hi Tania, I haven’t used freedigitalphotos.net. It looks like a good resource though. I’ve added it to my post (and credited you). Images are good quality. The only potential downside is that you must credit the image owner whenever you use an image.
Thanks Wal and Helen. Good to be a help.
Hi Sam. Yes, finding an appropriate image can be tough. Sometimes it takes longer than actually writing the article. Thinking of synonyms, thinking outside the box and looking at similar articles can help.
Thanks Jackie. Whenever you browse Google Images you will see a copyright disclaimer, so no – it’s not a candy store with free reign.
Yes Cade, video does also add another great dimension to the presentation of your materials. The more senses you can stimulate the better
Hi William, glad to be of help. As noted above, image hunting is labourious. Keeping a folder of images can be a good idea. If you see a good image – download it. You never know when you may need it.
Cheers David – some great sites to look into.
.-= Colin´s last blog ..Gratitude =-.
Hi David, thanks for the links. Now I can shop around for free images. Good on ya. I agree with your comment about downloading good images as you come across them, just be sure you’re internet security software is current as, trojanly, sometimes you end up getting more than just the image – Ian.
.-= Ian Ballantine´s last blog ..Sean Rasmussen- Internet Marketing Success =-.
Hi David – thanks for another great post. I didn’t know about any of the free image websites you mention. The right image on a web page can speak a thousand words – now that’s a time saver! Thanks again
.-= Jan Littlehales´s last blog ..Learn Typing – without software =-.
Hi David, a handy list of resources you have here. Another one that I quite like is http://www.everystockphoto.com as it does an aggregated search of a number of different image sites, including morguefile, photoxpress and flickr.
Great article topic, and you’ve generated a lot of good discussion too. I use Stock Xchng myself, but I want to start venturing out farther afield with new free resources.
Your blog is coming along really well. Keep up the great work.
.-= Lina Nguyen´s last blog ..10 forum moderator qualities that make any online community thrive! =-.
Thank you for the great resources and agree totally that a good image makes all the difference. You have a great site with an interesting topic, nice work.
.-= Leo Bookham´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.
Also found a new site for free photos for commercial use