There’s nothing quite like writing an amazing blog post and then realizing you have no idea where to source your photos from. Learn how to find the perfect image and avoid potential trouble when selecting images for your post.

At the very core of any content marketing strategy you will find a framework of content pieces, and perhaps the most important of all, the almighty blog post. Blog posts come in many shapes and sizes, but for the most part they serve a dual purpose: serving your audience with valuable, relevant information, and beckoning Google to crawl your site.

The endgame is two fold: give your audience a reason to keep coming back to your site, and increase your site’s ability to procure new visitors through higher search rankings.

A great blog post needs great images to compliment the written content. Finding images that are suitable for posting to a blog is a somewhat challenging task – the last thing you want is to grab an image from Google search and end getting in trouble, or even worse being sued, for using the images.

Are you, like me and other members of my team, having trouble finding suitable images for your blog posts? Well you’re in luck! Check out a few of my favorite resources that will help make your life a little bit easier:

Google Image Search

Now, I know what you’re saying: “This is a no brainer, everyone uses Google Images!” While that may be true, everyone may be using Google Image search, but not everyone is using it correctly.

Back in January, Google’s Matt Cutts Tweeted that you can now “slice and dice” Google Image search by sorting by Usage Rights. The rollout of this feature has changed the game by making it so much easier to find images that are suitable to be reused. It’s beauty is in it’s simplicity. Simply search for an image like you always have, but then on the results page, click “Search Tools” and hit up the drop down menu labeled “Usage Rights.”

Now you’re set – find an image that’s labeled for reuse and you can publish it with piece of mind!

Embed Images With Getty Images Free Tool

Getty Images is one of the world’s foremost stock photo agencies – with an image library estimated to contain 80 million images and counting. Tired of images being ripped off and reused, Getty decided in March 2014 to make nearly 35 million images available to use – royalty free!

Sounds great, but there is one catch: in order to use the images on your website or blog, you must use Getty’s embeddable image gallery to host your images. Getty images will serve up the image in the embedded player and will display all relevant copyright information. The embedded image play looks a little something like this:



Stock Photo Subscription

This is a great option if your blog or website will need to rely on stock imagery very frequently. Stock image site require the purchase of ‘credits’ or an ongoing subscription fee to access and use the images how you choose. There are many to choose from, but a few of the more popular sites include iStockPhoto, ShutterStock, and the aforementioned Getty Images.

Stock photo agency subscription pricing can range from anywhere between $100-200 per month up to around $500 per month. Depending on the size of your organization and your estimated stock photo usage needs, a subscription to a stock photo agency may be a great fit.

Embed Social Media Posts

Taking a photo that’s posted to Facebook or Instagram and embedding it on your blog post is an easy way to use a photo with minimal risk, but it also allows your to cross promote social media on your blog post. Embedding a social post is a great way to have a living, breathing, interactive feature on your blog, and it’s way more fun than a blog filled with screenshots!



Take Photos Yourself!

Admittedly, this is my favorite of all of the options. I am passionate about photography and consider myself to be a photo geek. I love thinking up ideas and shooting images that I can’t find elsewhere. Although I keep building my gear cache of camera equipment, you need not have an expensive camera to get the shot you want. Most (newish) smartphone have cameras that are capable of capturing great images. A few things to keep in mind when shooting with a camera: make sure there is plenty of light, keep your camera as still as possible when shooting, and make sure that your subject is in focus, and you’ll have a photo you can be proud of.

Photo of our lotus flower art installation I shot for our Facebook cover photo.

Finding the perfect photo to compliment your latest blog post should be a little less stressful now that you have some ideas on where to source the photo content. Use the tools and resources above to find images that will suit your next blog piece.

Did I miss anything, or do you have suggestions for more photo resources? Share you thoughts with me. Leave a comment below!

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