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3 Important Things You Should Know About Using Images On Your Blog

People that are new to writing make a lot of mistakes. Many of these mistakes have to do with the pictures they use. I see dangerous mistakes in using imagery every day, so I decided to write this post to educate people about how to properly use images in blog posts and articles. These are the 3 most important things to know about using images:

#1 You cannot just use any image you want

This means you cannot just look up a topic on the internet and copy an image off Google.  You can't copy a photograph off of a news site, to put in your post.  Most of all, you cannot take an image off another blog or article and use it on yours.  I have see a lot of people that use pictures from another article and think that it is ok to just put "Source" and a link to the article where they got the pictures.  Most images are copyrighted, and that means you cannot use them without express permission from the person that owns them.  If you do use them, and you get caught, the image owner can sue you for a lot of money.

#2 Using images that are on “free image” websites is not enough

In addition to being free for public use, you have to make sure that the images you use are free for COMMERCIAL use, if you plan to use them in your blog or article. If you make money off your writing in any way, that is a commercial endeavor. Many photos that are "free" for use, are only free for non-commercial use, meaning use on personal blogs or pages that are not monetized. If you use images in a commercial venue that are only free for personal use, the owner can sue you!

#3 The images in your Virily posts should always include attribution

What that means is that you should always include a link back to the page that you got the image from. It is not good enough just to list the site, such as "Images from Pixabay" or "photos from public domain" in their post. A proper attribution should provide the URL to the actual page that the picture came from, that shows the picture is free for commercial use. You can place the attribution in many different ways. Put the URL under the picture in a link or just paste the URL. I prefer to put all the URLs at the end of the post if I cannot put a link in the image itself.

You can place your attribution however you like, the important thing is that you have it, in each and every post you make.  If you are wondering where you can get photos to use, below is a list of some sites that have them. You still have to make sure they are free for commercial use, as some photos are only free for personal use.

Free Digital Photos

Free Photo Bank


Public Domain Pictures



If you don't want photographs, there are a few sites that you can get clip art from, again, make sure the image is free for commercial use.

PD Clipart 

Open Clipart 

Public Domain Vectors

The proper use of images is important for many reasons. It will make you look for professional, it will help the site you are writing for and most of all, it will save you from being sued, which is always a good thing!

What do you think?

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  1. Thank you for pointing this out. I see way to many images being used here that shouldn’t be. I’m fortunate enough to have thousands of my own photos to use, so rarely have to use them. I do have a problem with one kind of attribution, though. I subscribe to a couple of sites that supply images that are in the public domain that you can put quotes or text on. ( is one of them.) If I create an image with text there, there is not page where I can link to the exact image I made there — only to the site as a whole. But I do have permission to sue them on my blogs, just not to make products on Zazzle and such sites.

  2. You are right that it is quite evident that many bloggers are unaware of copyright law. I believe Virily should do more to educate its users about this, as the site itself can be sued if the post in question has gone through an approval process.
    In listing likely sites for finding free-to-use images, you don’t mention Wikimedia?

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