The Lazy Blogger’s Guide to Finding Great Post Images

The Lazy Blogger’s Guide to Finding Great Post Images

Reader Comments (113)

  1. Thanks for the pressure Sonia… you write a post on finding great images and leave it to me to find one. 🙂

    This task turned me momentarily into Steven Wright:

    “I went to a stock photo website and searched for ‘photo.’ My computer exploded.”

  2. I use a service called Zementa which runs right alongside my blog as I am posting. It suggests photos as well as links to other stories based on your post content.

    On yeah, and it’s free.

  3. I’ve always had trouble finding images I could use to match the theme of my post – this is a great collection of sources for royalty free images.

    Thanks for the tips on where to find images that will match the feel and tone of your blog.

    I’m a techie who appreciates good design, and this helps!


  4. I’ve always read about using flickr images, but never tried. Thanks for the encouragement! Now I just need some interesting content to go with the images….

  5. I’m with you, Sonia. It’s istockphoto or Flickr creative commons for me. That zementa app that Will recommends sounds very cool though. I’ll have to give it a try.

  6. Fantastic. I put a picture on each one of my posts and its not always easy to find the kind of picture you are looking for. Flicker Creative Commons is a great resource.

  7. Thanks for the great tips! After just spending an hour searching for a free image to illustrate my latest post, I have a headache. Maybe next time it’ll be easier.

  8. Can I just say something about iStockPhoto? If I see one more picture of a triumphant man/woman on top of a mountain or of a seedling sprouting from a moist little clod of soil in the palm of a hand, I’m going to stab my own eyes out.

    You can still qualify as lazy without choosing the first popular one that appears. 🙂

  9. And I think they were both for my posts. 🙂

    I’m less persnickety than that. As long as it’s not a person in business garb jumping on a trampoline, I am happy. (And I have a soft spot for that plant in a clod of dirt thing, damn you Michael Martine.)

  10. One thing I noticed about Flickr. Some of the photos are actually copies of copyrighted stuff, SO BEWARE and be very careful. For instance I saw some screen shots extracted from commercial games which could get you sued seven ways to Sunday if you publish them on your own blog or other commercial site.

  11. And here I’ve been using client photos….or those I’ve taken myself. Thanks so much. You just saved me a bunch of time
    I can now spend writing headlines.

  12. I echo Will on Zemanta, which not only suggests Creative Commons BY-NC photos from Flickr but also Wikimedia Commons. Both can also be searched manually.

    Like Jay, I also use StockXchange at; and lately I’ve been a fan of PicApp at

  13. I’ve been using recently, similar to iStockPhoto. Hard to describe the differences between two very large banks of images, but in general they seem to have more artistic (and less corporate) images.

  14. Depends. Writing a great headline is hard for some people and not hard for the other.

    Overall, good article.

  15. Thank you for the tip Sonia. I love iStockphoto, but I hadn’t even considered Flickr. Now I have a new source to mine, especially when I’m short on iStockpho credits.

  16. I’m a really lazy blogger. It only takes me seconds to find a good photo.
    I just use the wordpress plugin Photodropper which searches only creative commons photos in flikr.
    So, within a few clicks I’m done. You can see from my website it even gives photo credit to the photographer.

  17. Flickr is my favorite source and it helps me find some really interesting, quality photos. I’d used Photostock for some professional writing, they are also a good source, if you’re looking for high quality photos at a low prize.

    Over all this article is very nice, specially the title!

    You’re amazing man!

  18. After reading the headline of this post, I was hoping to find Flickr Creative Commons images as one of the options covered – low and behold it was! It is definitely this time-strapped man’s source for all of the images I now use on my blog.

  19. This is so true! I just found a funny picture to bring home the idea of the assume and the silly thing brings people over. You have a great blog and usually I get sevearl things out of every post. Thanks! Give someone an AWESOME day!!

  20. The most important thing is getting the right pictures for your blog and placing it with the right alignment. Brian (and his co-authors) has done a great job in placing the right pictures on their blog posts. Frankly speaking, I ‘followed’ the way Brian’s way of displaying his post on the front page, including adding “read more about this post” feature in every third paragraphs for each of his post. Very clean and nice-looking indeed.

  21. Hey Sonia –

    Great write up. I originally fought adding images to my posts because I’m a developer by day and focus on the knowledge. The light bulb finally went off that the eye-candy is part of the hook. It’s an initial and immediate emotional response, before actually reading any of the content. It’s still a bit awkward for me, but I get to practice one post at a time 😉

  22. Sonia, thanks for such a colorfully-written, usefun (useful + fun) post! The leading image definitely set the tone for what was to come, and making image-finding easier is incredibly important. As time goes on, this will be even more true of videos.

    That being said, I <3 too, and one of the bestest things about Flickr is how widely-used its API is; there are many, MANY ways to search Flickr images. I favor the tools that show many at once in a GIGANTIC WALL, so I can surf through. Such as

    I often use middle-click mouse button to open new tabs, and vertical tabs (by way of Tree Style Tab) save a lot of time.


  23. Great to see a copy focused website doing a post on the importance of images. Nothing sets the stage for a message like a relevant and appealing image.

  24. I have been using for about one year for finding images (which are free to use) for my web designing and blogging needs, the results has been incredible.

  25. Excellent advice – I too use Creative Commons photos in my blog posts. But, since I am an avid amatuer photographer, I also use many of my own image.

  26. Fantastic. Thanks very much. The Flickr tip was just what I needed. I had always been concerned about using Google images and now you have given me the perfect answer.

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  28. More cheap/free photo sites: has a great free area
    -wikipedia images can be free to use, check the licenses under each image to be sure.

    Between these two I rarely have to pay for a photo. Another thing I will do is find an image of a product I am blogging about and e-mail the company to get permission to use it – they will usually say yes for a mention and link from your blog.

    I hate to admit it but I haven’t paid for a photo in months using these legal means. Must be the Scots in me.

  29. I second rebecca’s comment that is a good choice for pictures. I use them alot on my other blog, They don’t even require attribution! I typically offer a link back anyways.

    Great post!

  30. I always have trouble finding good images to my blog posts , definitely going to check out the resources. Its amazing the amount of information you can find in the comments as well , might give photodropper plug in a try.

  31. Also, you can check out the zemanta browser plugin. It gives a nifty sidebar, including photo possibilites, and it works for many different blogging platforms.

  32. Thanks for the great tips! After just spending an hour searching for a free image to illustrate my latest post, I have a headache. Maybe next time it’ll be easier.

  33. Not sure my technique is great but I travel a lot and shoot lots of images. I always manage to find an image that works, some better than others. That way I don’t have to worry about copyright and they are on my hard drive for quick upload.


  34. Just digging up an old article, I have to agree that feature images give your readers an idea to hold onto whilst they read your blog. I’ve tried to incorporate this into my blog for every post.

    Cheers Mick

  35. I designed a student poster using a photo of the statue of liberty (that i thought was quite generic) … the producer recieved a complaint from the photographer. Apparently it was a rights managed aerial shot!

    I now use and also got about 30 nice rf images off a free trial at

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