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“Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.”
As a freelance writer online, it’s not enough to research, plan and write amazing blog posts for your clients (or your own blog readers). You’re also expected to search for quality, royalty-free images to go with your posts. If finding the perfect images (you can legally use) has become the bane of your freelance writing life, here are 11 sites where you can get amazing Creative Commons images… for free.
This is where I exclusively pulled all my images from for years. I’ve only just branched out to use other sites recently. Simply enter your search term and then select “All Creative Commons” from the license drop-down menu.
The site says: “Search millions of Creative Commons photos and add them to your blog posts easily.” ‘Nough said.
I love Unsplash’s simple design and simple philosophy. Plus the big, fat, colourful images look downright gorgeous on the page. Download free hi-res images directly from the site and get new ones emailed to you.
Like a jumble sale for royalty free images, Wikimedia lets you sift through millions of files that are guaranteed to have a Creative Commons license. It might take a while to find what you’re looking for, but you’ll almost certainly find it… eventually.
Pixabay takes the hassle out of finding copyright free images by supplying you with a database of over 400,000 free photographs, vectors and illustrations. (Jolly nice of them.)
DesignerPics provide simple, clear, high-res images that are free to use as you wish. It also has a seriously hipster edge to it.
These guys have been uploading one Creative Commons image per day since May 2014 and, as such, their database is getting larger and more varied as the days go by. They say: “A credit is appreciated, but not necessary.” A good premise to go by, I reckon.
8. Stock Up
Stock Up lets you search 24 free image sites in one go. I found this via another site (fizzle.co), and it looks as though it’s an extension of a website builder blog… But, hey, it works and you can find a wide range of high quality images through it.
There are some good, royalty free images on here, although they do make you sign in if you want to download them.
Fotor has an enormous range of free stock photos, meaning you’re bound to find what you’re looking for amid its extensive database.
One for all the travel fans out there. I’m a big fan of crisp, clear, gorgeous travel images that transport you right through the lens and into the landscape. All images are free to use and do what you please with.
Don’t forget, if the license says so, you can jazz images up, put filters on them, add text and otherwise make them your own using free image editing sites, like Picmonkey (my favourite).
You should know that is by no means an exhaustive list of sites for bloggers to get amazing Creative Commons images. If you don’t see your favourite site on the list, feel free to help a blogger out by adding it to the comments section below.
>> Get more blogging tips, pitching templates, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to earn a living from freelance writing online in the Complete Freelance Writing Online Course: Beginner to Pro.
The image in this post was by Thomas Lefebvre, courtesy of Unsplash.