Image via Wikipedia

You want to add a little visual interest to a blog post but you don’t want to be that jerk who, though you had the best intentions, uses someone else’s photo without permission. Not to mention that you don’t want to waste a lot of time finding a picture for every blog post you write… you’ve got other things to do!

Here’s my top three recommendations for scoring free, easy and fair use photos and images for your blog without a lot of fuss.

  • Zemanta. I really can’t recommend this browser plugin enough (you can read my full gushing review here). It works with (just about) every blogging platform, it automatically credits the images in the caption to save you time and it recommends images based on the content of your post without much need for manual interaction from you. I haven’t found anything that’s sped up and enhanced my blogging more then this free tool. See the image on this post for an example of this in action in two ways at once (it’s a screenshot of Zemanta… that I posted using Zemanta).
  • PhotoXpress. There’s a lot of stock photo sites out there but I particularly like this one because they give you 10 free images a day. Even for a massive binge blogger like me, that’s enough images so that you shouldn’t ever be without.
  • Just ask! See an image you fancy elsewhere on the web? Ask the poster if you can use it. As long as you ask permission and give both credit and a link back, most people are happy to grant you use of their images. If not, well, the worst that happens is that they say no. But just make sure you ask first… no one likes an image nabber.
If you’ve never added photos to your blog posts before, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that sometimes, while looking for an image for one post, a picture inspires you to write another.
What about you? What’s your favorite source for blog images?