Are you thinking about how to create a blog and wondering what images or photos you could use?

In this article I will give you some tips to immediately find images to download for free and I will show you how to optimize them before uploading them to your blog.

Let’s begin…

It is known that to make a post more attractive there is nothing better than a beautiful image.

The images immediately attract the reader’s attention and encourage him to read the article , decisively influencing the time spent by each user on your blog.

When choosing an image it is essential that:

  • Be consistent with the content of your article
  • Transmit positive feelings (avoid sad and depressing photos)
  • Don’t have a strong prevalence of colors that are too different from the graphics of your blog
  • It can be used freely on your blog

It is particularly important to pay attention to the last point.

So let’s see how to identify the images that we can freely use.

Images and licenses for use

Before downloading an image, from any source, it is essential to know its use license. In fact, not all those you can find on the net can be modified and used freely. Each of them has certain usage limits.

If you use Google to search for images, you can specify one of these four options through the “search tools”:

  • marked to be used with modifications (you can use them and modify them freely)
  • marked to be re-used (you can use them without modifying them)
  • marked for non-commercial use with modifications (you can use and modify them freely, but not for profit)
  • marked for non-commercial re-use (you can use them without making changes and non-profit).

More often, however, the images are cataloged according to the Creative Commons licenses (often indicated with the initials CC). If you try, for example, to search for images on Flickr , you will find that each of them has symbols associated with usage rights.

Nothing too complicated. This Wikipedia scheme summarizes well the permissions of the different Creative Commons licenses.

Well. Now that you know how to use Google and Flickr to find images suitable for your blog, but there are many other sites that offer free images of excellent quality …

Where to find quality images to download

These are the sites I use to find great free images. Here is the list:

Flickr – Presents a vast choice of high quality images. Use the advanced search and specify the option “Search only among contents with Creative Commons license”.

Photopin.com – is my favorite: it allows you to search very quickly between Flickr images. The search offers the top places for paid images. Skip the first two lines to view the free images directly.

Kaboompics.com – Offers excellent images and an internal search engine.

Ggratisography.com – Quality images of various kinds, unfortunately not divided by category.

Picjumbo.com – Many images of different quality and type, navigable by category.

Superfamous.com – Spectacular images, but not divided by category.

Unsplash.com – very similar to the previous one; so many quality images to browse through without the possibility of doing specific research.

Wikipedia also offers a selection of public domain image sites, divided by category.

Have fun searching for the most beautiful images that best fit your articles, but remember:

when you upload an image to your blog, it is always a good idea to indicate the author (or the source, if this is not specified). As you will see, I leave the references at the bottom of the article.

How to optimize images to upload to the blog

Did you find the image you were looking for and can’t wait to show it in an article? Perfect.

Before using your image it may be necessary to resize it (check that the user license allows it) so that it is loaded faster when the article is opened.

I always use images about 500 × 330 pixels in size and weighing less than 100 Kb. I also advise you not to exceed these values.

Check the size and weight of your image and, if necessary, proceed to optimize it.

If you are not an expert in photo editing programs, these services allow you to easily edit your images online:

Webresizer

Picmonkey.

One last tip: always upload images directly to your blog and avoid creating links to images from other sites. For whatever reason, the linked images could be removed and even disappear from your blog.

Images and SEO

We have seen how to optimize the size and weight of the images before proceeding to upload them to the site, but it is still necessary to do some other small operations in optical SEO.

If we want our article to be found also through image search, it is necessary to rename the images with keywords related to the content of the article text .

Use dashes to separate words and leave no spaces. For example, I have renamed the image of this post in “search-images”.

In this way you will avoid that Google will replace the spaces with alphanumeric characters and make the name of the image more readable to the user.

Another important SEO attribute is the Alt tag . This tag provides a brief description of the image that will be displayed when you mouse over it (this time there is no need for dashes).

In addition to describing the image, try to insert a keyword in the Alt tag. I described the image of this post as follows: “this is a good image to download”.

WordPress allows you to easily specify the Alt attribute when you upload the image to the multimedia gallery, don’t forget to do it.

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