Sometimes the hardest part of publishing a blog post is choosing the photo.
The research and writing are done, the tedious process of editing is complete, and all the links and citations are in the right spots. Yet when it comes time to select a header or body photo, you get stuck.
Choosing an image might seem like an easy task, but it can be incredibly difficult to find one that matches the overall message of your article.
Fortunately, free stock photo websites do exist. With these sources, you’ll have access to a wide array of photos without having to pay a subscription fee:
1. IM Free
From the people behind IM Creator, IM Free is an easy-to-navigate site that provides a significant number of photo options. With 21 different categories and more than 5,000 photos, it’ll be some time before you exhaust their resources.
Pexels is one of the most useful stock photo websites available. With its search function, it’s easy to find tailored photos that will help you convey your content with the emphasis you want. If you can’t find a suitable free image and you’re completely out of options, their searches do return Shutterstock options that can be used for a fee.
Gratisography‘s photo selection is unique and undoubtedly eclectic. You can find anything from a cat wearing a tie to someone living inside a fire hydrant. One downside to Gratisography is that without a search function, and given its distinctive selection, it could take some time for you to find a photo that complements your article. Still, if you’re looking for an eye-popping image to grab readers’ attention, Gratisography is the place to go.
StockSnap.io has a searchable collection, which makes life easier as you won’t need to scroll through all of its photos. Second, the StockSnap offerings are free of copyright restrictions: “You can copy, modify, distribute any photo on the site, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission!” Finally, StockSnap enables you to filter results by number of views, total downloads and whether something is trending. These insights can help you find an image that hasn’t already been used by thousands of users, so your selection will stick out in a crowded field.
Picjumbo has a user-friendly layout, with a couple of ways to sort through its library of images. It has a search feature and a drop-down menu that enables you to click on various categories. There’s also a unique feature through its subscription tool: Enter your email address, and Picjumbo will send you new photos as it adds them to the site.
Attribution? Not for all images
Pixabay might not have a unique selection of photos, but given its library of 780,000-plus images and its search function, you’ll be able to find something that fits your message. Pixabay also provides illustrations, as well as the popular vector graphics, which can help you stick to a single image style across all your articles. Like Pexels, Pixabay also provides the option to buy Shutterstock images.
Matt Goldman is a content marketer/social media strategist for Tenfold, where a version of this article originally appeared.