ActiveRain Tutorials: How To Use Creative Commons Photos- For Free!

How To Use Creative Commons Photos- For Free!

How to Use Creative Commons Photos- The Why

We all understand the importance of adding photos and labeling them properly into our blog posts.  Adding just 2 images can increase the time someone stays at your blog by up to 300%!  That means if the average time is around 30 seconds, we can get someone to stay up to 3 minutes by adding them.  This is an important thing to note because not many people can read 500 word blog posts in under 30 seconds.

How to use creative commons photosThe reason this works is because consumers scan posts for the important points.  If a photo is there, that consumer's eyes are drawn to the photo and they will study it.  If the photo is good enough to get their attention, they will read the content.

How to Use Creative Commons Photos- The What

There are several ways to get photos for your blog.  Some are legal, and others are not.  Let's first address the not so legal ways.  Many times when I ask a client where they found the photo for their blog, they say that they simply did a Google search and the photo appeared.  They liked it, so they copied & pasted it into their post.  Whatever you do, don't copy & paste a photo from the a website without permission! When you copy & paste an image that you do not have permission to use, you are begging for a lawsuit to come your way.  I have seen and heard countless horror stories of people who have been sued for several thousands of dollars for doing this.

The second is to take the photos yourself.  We all now own some sort of digital camera or smartphone that has a camera built in.  Use those to snap photos yourself and load them into your blog.  You don't have to be a professional photographer to get good pictures for your blog.  But what do you do in instances when you don't have a photo of your own? You can turn to photo sites where you can purchase the photos for a few dollars each, or if you are on a tight budget, you can use a creative commons licensed photo.

What are Creative Commons photos?  To understand completely, visit their site here & read what is CC?  Basically, they are pieces of content that someone else has agreed to allow others to use under a common agreement that you will give the credit for the piece to the originator through proper recognition as required.  Giving proper credit normally means placing a link back to the photographer giving them credit for the original work.

Creative Commons Photos- The How To

So how exactly do you go about finding the photos and using them properly?  Well instead of writing it out, I decided to do a short video which I have placed below.  Simply follow the steps and you will be well on your way to finding great photographs to use in your blog posts.

I hope this helps you to find great photos for your upcoming works that are both functional & free.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me for more help.

Photo Credit by Trekkyandy


Originally Posted at: 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors

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Comment balloon 14 commentsJeremy Blanton • August 14 2010 02:53PM


Timely post.  Thanks for sharing this, and I'll suggest!!

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) over 8 years ago
Thank you for the info. I am always loking for good places to get pics.
Posted by Deanne Olivas, Your Home Matters (Keller Williams Realty East Valley) over 8 years ago

Hi Jeremy, Thanks for the easy to follow instructions. I'm heading over to Flickr to check it out. I've passed the word on via Re-Blog and suggested this for a Feature as I think it would help alot of us with free pictures. :) Thanks, Jay

Posted by Jay Lloyd, Allpro Home Inspection (Cape Coral Florida) over 8 years ago
Hi Jeremy, Some great information
Posted by San Antonio Texas New Homes for Sale ( over 8 years ago

Hi Jeremy!
All this time I have been putting in graphics or photos...and I had no idea that I should have been taking advantage of them for Google juice! Thanks for the heads-up! You can believe that I will be labeling from now on!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) over 8 years ago

Thank you, Jeremy.  I have never understood how to do this and in the very early days thought that images on Google were free reign.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 8 years ago

Jeremy, great information.  I don't think any of us bloggers want to make the very expensive mistake of using a copyrighted photo!  Great post, thanks

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 8 years ago

Thanks Jeremy.  Defnitely worthy of a suggest.  I've been using creative commons and have always given credit for the photo but had no idea that I needed to give a link back to the original.  Thanks for the heads up and I've reblogged.

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) over 8 years ago

Thank you for the info it is true that there are problems with just copying the photos.

Posted by Tim Lorenz, 949 874-2247 (TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team) over 8 years ago

Very nice work on the tutorial, Jeremy. I like to take all of my own hyperlocal photos, but for general real estate topics Creative Commons is a great visual resource.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) over 8 years ago

Thanks for sharing.  I can't say that I'm not guilty of copy and pasting some illustrations.  Who knew it could get your in trouble!

Posted by Brittany Stewart, Making Dallas Home (Luxe Realty Group) over 8 years ago

Hi Jeremy, great educational video and something I will start using from now on. Thank you!

Posted by Barbara Heil-Sonneck, Home Staging Atlanta (Design2Sell) over 8 years ago

Thanks for sharing this spot to obtain pics. blogging with pics makes it easier for people to read.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) over 8 years ago


Thanks for sharing this info with us, keep sharing the great info with us!!!

Posted by Heather Fitzgerald, REALTOR Greenwood Indiana Real Estate (REALTY WORLD-Harbert Company, Inc.) over 8 years ago