Finding images for your blog and managing them.

One of the things I enjoy about blogging besides the writing itself and commenting, is the hunt for an image that illustrates the gist of the post. Finding that one picture can be so fun and making your post to be just right.

Image from

What added value can the right image mean for your post?

An image that draws the attention of the reader can make people click or even share your post. In no way shape or form you are obliged to use pictures when blogging. When your message is clear and people want to read it, they’ll read it anyway.

On the other hand, when you decide to promote your posts on social media, the right picture can make a difference. It can open the door, pave the way for your words to be read. I have one post that I’ve pinned and the picture draws in a few readers every day. It doesn’t do a lot for me in terms of comments but it’s good for the views, if that is something that is important or exciting to you.

Can you use every picture that you come across?

In the beginning I typed up a word, like ‘depression’ and Google gave me a lot of options in terms of images. I scrolled and scrolled, clicked and looked just to bump into the rights that can be placed on an image. You can’t use everything that your eyes like. Not to be disappointed every time, I learned to choose from images that were royalty free. Free for use. What you need to be cautious of, is if attribution is required. When it is, I recommend to do so. Usually when attribution is not required but recommended it will be clearly stated on the site. When it’s personal artwork from somebody who is sharing it, it’s nice to attribute. But the final decision is up to you.

What rights can you stumble upon while scrolling for pictures?

CC or Creative Commons, which means you can use the image. But as you see in the second picture below, you can’t always use it commercially (NC). When you have a blog that brings in money, you can’t use that picture. When you have a personal blog, go ahead.

Credits (BY). It states that you must credit the source. How to do this is usually explained on the website. Some sites are fine when you place the credits at the bottom of your post, others would prefer to see it as close as possible to the picture itself.

Image from Wikimedia.

ND or No Derivatives. The image needs to be used as you’ve found it. That means that you can’t make alterations unless this is explicitly stated in the rights.

SA or Share Alike. Adapted material can only be published under the original or with a specific licence.

Now, where do I find my illustrations?

Here are some of my most used websites by me to find royalty free images. Feel free to check them out but please don’t forget to return to this post as looking for pictures is a big rabbit whole you may not come back from, ever.

  1. Flicr.

On Flicr you’ll find beautiful pictures, illustrations and really bad sketches or drawings of people. Everyone can upload everything. By searching for something quite innocent you can see images pop-up from a more sexual nature. If you’re looking for pics for your blog I wouldn’t recommend using those ones. In terms of licenses you can filter for CC. You can find gems on Flicr but it can take you some time.

2. Pixabay.

On Pixabay you can look for images, photo’s or illustrations or for those three at the same time. You’ll get decent results. It is a large database and ‘adult’ content can be filtered out, if you’re not looking for that. It took me a while to see the positives on the site because there is so much to choose from that it can feel very generic. Once you get the hang of it, it’s great. Bonus is that you can find a lot of images that are free to use also for commercial use.

3. CleanPNG

My first go to when I need an image is CleanPNG. All images are free to use. They have a decent variety and you can look for drawings, sketches and watercolor paintings. Did I mention that I like to use paintings and drawings? Well, now you know for sure.

4. Other useful sites to find free pictures.

You’ve found some nice images and now what?

I used to download nice, royalty free images and store them on my hard drive. That was all fun and games ‘till I needed a specific picture to embellish my post with. Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling, …. Got it! And now I needed to see where that picture came from to be able to give credit. After a while I started to pin my images in a board that I’ve made on Pinterest. Now I go searching for a picture, click through to the website and find the correct address to credit. I’ll share my board with you as it is a method that really works well for me.

Where do you find your images for your blog? Do you crop them before using them? Do you have a way of organizing your images? Share your wisdom with the world in the comments, your insights may be very helpful to new bloggers (and for me too!).

Further reads, credits, resources and notes.

If you want to now more about the different licencing schemes, wikimedia explains them all here: The Creative Commons Licensing Scheme.

24 thoughts on “Finding images for your blog and managing them.

    1. I’m glad that I could give you a tip; considered all the things I’ve learned from you. 😊
      The most enjoyable being using canva for making pins. I love to do that just to unwind the mind and make something pretty 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for the tip. I don’t use Pexels much because that’s mainly photos and I like to use illustrations. On Pixabay you can filter those ones out. But Pexels is definitely a decent side.
      I read your post about how to search for images but my pumpkin brain forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder! It’s very useful info and a lot quicker to search your library than to scroll all the way through it!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The other thing, how often do you use the same image? If you upload the same image twice, WP will see them as two separate images, and your space will reduce accordingly. I always look in my media library, if I’m using something I used before. That’s how the indexing helps me find old images (provided I named them sensibly 🤣)

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m a disater with my library, I guess I have many duplicates. From time to time I do scroll through them to remove them all. I need to name them properly but usually I look for a new image for every post.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Thanks for the tips. I use an app called Canva. It allows you to mix pictures with words. Think flyers. You can use their default photo or upload your own photo. It’s a lot of fun and use it for Instagram and my WP posts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I learned about Canva a while ago, I use it too. Forgot to mention it in the post, thanks for the reminder. It’s so fun to create your ‘own’ designs. You can make beautiful things with Canva, it always cheers me up 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for these tips Kacha. Will definitely try some of them. I tend to use Pexels, Pixabay and Unsplash.

    When I save my pics/photos in my BLOG file, I name it something like “Schizophrenia man smoking image Kacha Hannah at Pexels”. I know it looks long-winded, but when I need to search my BLOG explorer and need a pic for the topic Depression – all my photos depression-related will come up and then I’ll choose from “Depression young girl crying Kacha………….) or “Depression female curled in ball Kacha…………” Blah blah……….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wauw that seems logic and handy! I’m so forgetful that I don’t even remember what files I have. On the other hand, all my images are in my file ‘Downloads’ so maybe I need to try your system! Thanks for the tip and let me know if the sites were of any use. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve been looking for some good sources of illustrations rather than just photos, so thanks for sharing some of your favorite sites! I usually use Wikimedia Commons Images or Creative Commons if I can’t find something in WordPress’ free photo tool. I think those images are all through Pixabay. Or maybe it was Pexels. 🤔

    That whole issue of “commercial use” always gets me. My blog is currently personal and not for my own profit, but what if I one day decide I’ve got enough of a following to monetize? Do I have to delete all the images that are NC? I’m also not paying to stop WordPress from running ads on my site, so I’m not sure if that makes it commercial or not. To be on the safe side, I’ve always kept to images that are rights free and fine for commercial use, but that’s meant staring sadly at quite a few great pictures that were out of my reach.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you can use pictures for your site when it’s not commercially despite of WP running ads on it. It matter what you do with your site.

      When you would decide to monetize, I think that that’s going to be an issue with the pictures then. I’ve been wondering myself but as I don’t think monetization is ever going to be in the picture, I’m not that worried about it.

      I agree that it’s not fun to be restricted in that way that you can’t use a great picture when you find it, isn’t it? I find it calming for myself to only look into the pool of pictures free of rights and recently ones that are allowed to be used in a commercial way too. That way I’m not disappointed but happy when I find the right one.

      The thing that can be discouraging for me, is that I have the feeling that I’ve seen all the pictures available. It doesn’t seem that there are many new ones.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ugh, I hate hunting for images, but I know how important they are, so I take the time, usually to use WikiMedia Commons images, since I know they are always in the Public Domain. Can we just go back to the days of all text, please? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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