Where Do I Find Images for My Freelance Writing Clients?

As a freelance writer, it’s our job to convey to prospects and clients the value of strategic digital marketing.

To put it more simply, many businesses aren’t savvy to online marketing tactics like social media or content promotion.

Where Do I Find Images for My Freelance Writing Clients?

So, to make sure we become an integral part in their marketing plan, it’s best to have some tricks up our sleeves as a way to stand out from other freelance writers.

It’s our job to convey to prospects and clients the value of strategic digital marketing.

One way to do this is to find images for your clients.

The Value Images Have on Blog Posts

According to Jeff Ballus, blog posts with images receive 94% more total views than those without an image!

That’s pretty convincing.

Content marketing is turning to more of a visual field. Places like Pinterest and Instagram rely on visual content for their platform – people are attracted to great looking images.

So, what happens when a client asks you to find images for them? How do you find the right one and where do you go?

 Not All Images are Created Equal

If you are new to blogging, you might think you can just grab a photo from Google. I mean Google does have an image search, right?

But, not all images are free to use, distribute or modify.

According to Social Media Examiner,

You’ve heard the adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, but when that picture is protected by copyright, the picture is only worth three words: cease and desist.

If an image is copyrighted, it means you cannot use it unless you have direct authorization from the owner. It’s there to protect the owner and he or she can sell or transfer the image to you for use.

If you don’t know if a picture you found is copyright protected, err on the side of cation – it probably is.

Are there images that aren’t copyright protected? There are many other images to choose from and these have specific licenses, so here are the important ones to consider:

1. Royalty Free (RF)

These refer to stock photos where you pay an initial user fee. Once you pay for the license, you have free unlimited use of that image according to the terms specified. No other royalty payments are issued.

Some royalty-free sites are:

These are a little pricy, but if you find you have multiple clients who require a feature image, you might have better luck paying for a stock photo than trying to find a free image to use.

2. Creative Commons (CC)

Images with a creative commons license are free to use, but they do carry some restrictions based on the type:
Creative Commons (Attribution 3.0):

Images are free to share and adapt for personal or commercial use. These images do require attribution, meaning, you need to give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license and mention if there were changes made. Here is a list of CC- Attribution 3.0 images:

Creative Commons (Zero): Under this license, photos are free to copy, modify and distribute (even for commercial use) without requiring attribution. These images are completely free to use on your personal blog and with clients. Here are some of the best sites for free images:

Public Domain

These are images for which the copyright has officially expired or never existed. They are free for personal and commercial use for just about anyone.

Be aware, the laws regarding public domain licensing are different for every country. So, before using an image, double check that it’s defined as public domain in your country and your client’s country.

Here is a list of US-based public domain images that can be used worldwide (some images may have restrictions so make sure to read the disclaimers on each image):

 Showcase Your Skills

Knowing where to find images and which ones to use isn’t public knowledge. Many start-ups and local businesses haven’t a clue about which images they can use.

When you can provide your expertise on image licensing and where to source images, you take the guesswork out for clients. They will come to lean on you for their visual content needs.

Many start-ups and local businesses haven’t a clue about which images they can use.

So, explore these sites, bookmark the ones you like the best (I love Pixabay since they have a huge index of both Creative Commons and Public Domain images) and become a strategic partner in your clients’ content marketing plan.

Over to you – tell us, which site is your go-to place to find images for your clients?

Elna Cain is a B2B freelance writer  for SaaS businesses and digital marketing brands and the co-founder of Freelancer FAQs. She's been featured on Entrepreneur, The Ladders, The Penny Hoarder, Leadpages and more. If you want to learn how to freelance write, check out her free course, Get Paid to Write Online.

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Thanks for sharing such informative content, keep posting such valuable content.Reply to Priya
This is an excellent post, Elna. Some of the sources were totally new to me. Thank you so much!Reply to Nidhi
Hi Nidhi, Thank you so much! Glad you found some sites to find free images for clients and your blog!Reply to Elna
Elna, Thanks for that very resourceful information on how to go about images. I hadn’t thought of that golden rule of ” if unsure the image is copyrighted always have the assumption that it is.” I will definitely take this tip and indeed the rest of your suggestions when seeking out for an image. dmungaiReply to Dmungai
This is a wonderful list of resources Elna! I’ve never heard of some of these. I also use for free creative commons (zero) images. I find that many images tend to repeat across some sites though (just an observation).Reply to Anna
Thanks for your suggestions for free images! I’m always looking for more places to find images! Yeah when you use CC licensed images, you will run the risk of everyone using the same image, but so far that hasn’t happened to me much.Reply to Elna
Hi Elna. I know you are an OG in the game, and just wanted to see if you knew about others copying your posts. to J
Elna, This is a super great resource! I haven’t heard of a lot of these places, so thanks for sharing. 🙂Reply to Alicia
Hi Alicia, Thanks for letting me know! Glad you liked my post and found some cool sites to go to for images! ElnaReply to Elna
Hi Mariken, When I first started freelance writing, I had no clue about images. I thought you just searched on Google and there you go! It wasn’t until I came across an article talking about how to use images! I’m glad you enjoyed the post!Reply to Elna
Great post, Elna, thanks. It sometimes is really tricky to figure out what you can or cannot use and under what circumstances, so it’s really nice to have both the explanations and examples for good resources listed this way.Reply to Mariken