Where do you get images for your blog? Don’t make a $4,000 mistake

by on February 18, 2011

Free online images for your blogI came across this story on Twitter, and I just had to share it with all you small business owners. A company here in Vancouver grabbed an image off the internet, and ended up having to pay the photographer a $4,000 settlement. I know that no small business owner would ever want to make this mistake, so if you’re not sure how getting images off the internet works, keep on reading…

Don’t get duped by Google images


A lot of people think that the images you can get off of Google are fair game. Because if they were protected, they wouldn’t be there, right? Or they would have one of those watermarks that clearly states the image is protected or property of someone.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Now you know.

Where to get free images for your blog


There are lots of resources for free images online. Since you don’t need a high resolution or a large file size for a blog photo, plenty of photographers have made small sizes of their pics available. You just have to make sure that you read the rules and give the proper attribution.

One of my favourites is Free Digital Photos.net They have quite a few good images, and the library keeps on growing. What I like the best is how clear the instructions are. For all photos, there is an “attribution required” link, and when you click on it, it tells you exactly how to credit the photographer. Just include that in your blog post, and you’re good to go.

I personally also include the link from the photo itself. That’s not actually required, but I do it more for the gesture. I appreciate that the photographer has made his or her work available for my use.

For other sources, Wiki has a great list of websites that offer free images. Check it out here. Just remember for each website to find out what the rules are.

What about Flickr?

There is something called Flickr Creative Commons that many people recommend as a free image source. I personally find the language and the instructions for attributions ambiguous. Because I’m not crystal clear, I prefer to steer clear. (If any has any additional insights on this, would love to hear them!).

Why have images on a blog post anyways?

You certainly don’t have to, but it’s considered a blogging best practice to have photos. It helps to add interest and break up the content. And if you’re doing the SEO thing, it gives you some extra areas (in the photo tags) to add keywords.

Comments, likes and tweets are always appreciated! Did I mention that I LOVE your feedback?

Image source:  dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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