Blogging on a budget isn’t always easy, especially as high-quality graphics become increasingly important. Sites that sell stock images (like iStock or GraphicStock) are fantastic, but unless you’re a graphic designer with a ton of credits they can prove quite costly over time.
My general rule of thumb? If it’s a sales page or post promoting a new product or service (i.e. something that’s gonna bring in the money) then go ahead and splurge on paid-for stock images.
For regularly scheduled blog posts and newsletters, I try to stick to the free variety to keep my budget fat ‘n happy.
But where can one find high-quality images for free? Right here, of course. Check these out:
Compfight is a handy tool used to search images on Flickr. They offer an even handier plugin that pops right into your WordPress publishing page and allows you to insert the perfect stock image into your new post. This site does require attribution back to the original artist but the plugin takes care of that for you, too.
MorgueFile has been around for quite awhile and is one of my favorite go-to sites for unusual or otherwise unique stock photo. “By creatives, for creatives” is their motto and they certainly live up to that. The images they offer can be described as artsy or avant-garde so be sure to check them out when you’re looking for something special.
Sign up to Little Visuals and receive 7 free royalty-free stock images each week. Tough to beat that deal! You can also browse their site for previous image packets to download.
Death to the Stock Photo
Death to the Stock Photo also requires you to sign up but you’ll receive free stock images each month. These images can be used for anything your little heart desires including commercial, mock-ups, social media and, of course, your blog.
Picjumbo offers beautiful stock photos absolutely free for commercial and personal use.
“Made with love in Italy,” SplitShire offers a ton of artistic and visually stunning stock photos. Free for your personal or commercial use.
New Old Stock
Saving the best for last, New Old Stock may be the most fun site out there when you’re looking for free stock images. Who doesn’t love to peruse a great collection of vintage photos? And they’re all free for commercial, personal or just-for-fun usage.
And there you have it. No more excuses for not finding the perfect image for your new post.
What are your favorite free stock image sites? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from ya!
Great post, Jenny.
Here’s a cool link that AJ found that lists other places with “Stock photos that don’t suck”:
Awesome collection! Few things are better than wonderful AND free stock images.