You probably already know that images add great value to your content but you also probably know that it’s sometimes hard to find good ones, mainly without a budget for that. Don’t worry no more because I come with some good addresses for you.

Illustration under Creative Common Licence found on Picasa Web Albums

My first pick is Picasa Web Albums

I think it’s the biggest resource to find pictures and it has a very useful feature that tends to stay unnoticed. If you make a search, for flowers for example, you’ll notice on the left bar a group of filters, one of them concerns the licences. If you choose “Creative Commons” or “Commercial Use”, it will be perfect for your blog. Just in case, do not forget to credit the author with a link in your post. You can see the result of such search just above. 🙂

Next comes Flickr

Flickr has a similar feature on its advanced search and you can also select only images you’ll be allowed to use. Again you need to credit the author.

I prefer Picasa because I have the impression there is more choice but I suppose it’s a question of taste and the best is to have a look at both when you’re searching.

Still nothing? Why not a video?

Generally if I don’t find any image, I go on Youtube or its competitors – principally Dailymotion & Vimeo – and have a look if I can find a video that could illustrate or complete my post. It sometimes does the job pretty well and you can let your imagination work in order to find associations of ideas between your topic and the video’s one (it’s true for pictures also acutally).

After that it remains the Stock Websites

I don’t know any other really good way to find pictures and generally if I still don’t have anything I go to a Stock Photos website, it’s more expensive but for sure you have all the high-quality images you may want there.
Fotolia is the most famous but I prefer Bigstockphoto which has a huge choice also and is slightly less expensive if you don’t buy big quantities.

PS. In case you’re still doubting of the importance of illustrations, I invite you to have a look at this infographic made by MDG Advertising which reminds us how important they are.
It's All About the Images [infographic by MDG Advertising]