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Are Free Picture Hosting Sites Really Free to Use

Updated on November 24, 2014

What is your definition of using a free image site?

The web is a large entity of a lot of free things. However, many free image sites are not exactly everyone's definition of free. Find what no charge really means and what it doesn't  when it comes to some of these types of sites.
The web is a large entity of a lot of free things. However, many free image sites are not exactly everyone's definition of free. Find what no charge really means and what it doesn't when it comes to some of these types of sites. | Source

Take your own stock photos to accompany written material. Check out this great Kindle Fire Camera

Free image sites are plentiful on the web. though, are they really free to use image sites

You labor for the right titles, keyword phrases, search engine optimization and the added touch is the right image. With a tight budget in place for most writers, searching for free images around the web is another task that must be completed to make for great quality content. Although there are a lot of free image sites around, they are not all created equal and more importantly they are not all without a cost, even if nominal, to use as promoted. Are free picture hosting sites really free to use? That depends on the definition of the word "free".

There are some picture hosting sites promoted as free to use which charge a user nothing while others advertised the same do not. There will be some elements of a website that are used without charge while other features have a cost and the site is still marketed as free.

When searching the web for a one which doesn't cost a dime, carefully read the limitations or rules tied to a website to determine if it will benefit you to use it versus another. Is it worth your time and effort. These are different levels or categories of these picture hosting platforms found on the web.

What these all have in common

Many of these online sites have various strengths and weaknesses which make some work better than others for a writer depending on the article, website, blog or which niche pictures are needed to promote. For an example, a writer searching for more video than illustrations will find a hosting site with more video available than pictures. It is more advantageous to join than one with more illustrations or less video files.

There are a number of free picture hosting sites that only provide still pictures and images. There is no video files at all. Others have a combination of videos, celeb shots, maps, illustrations, diagrams and so much more to go along with pics in their arsenal of offerings. They have so much more to share than simply pictures.

Various sites permit photographers to upload pictures they personal use in their work to share with members. This is a wonderful way to connect with a photographer with the same interests or niche for a writer's material. This leads to a limitless supply of images surrounding written material produced. Several have pics tied to keywords and phrases while others simply categorize them as the editors of a site sees fit.

Nearly all of the picture hosting sites require registration. They let members select which images they would like to store online under a personal tab of material. The pics are saved at the site to use time and time again as a member.

Lots of the better image sites have a tool available to group and sort the images to keep them orderly. This means if a member has tens or even hundreds of pics they are able to easily find one they need or want. Labels and tags are capable of being tied to each which let members keep them organized and easy to add to articles or blog posts when needed.

Purchase picture credits

It may seem odd that a site would share images to use free of charge. However, these sites get something out of the deal. Certain sites are advertised as free of charge when in fact you have to purchase credits (with cash) to use to display images. They own the rights to the original and credit must be awarded or displayed whenever used.

Picture credits cost only a minimal fee of a couple of cents may be okay for a writer with a tight budget, but any site charging more is certainly worth reconsidering for membership. Crafting thousands of words or hundreds of articles becomes costly.

Only one or two images are free

Other “free” sites limit the amount of cost free pics to say five or six and any more than that number you have to purchase to use additional images. These image sites that are supposedly free to use are not free at all. Free in the image site description may be for a few pics, but to really find these types of sites useful it will cost some money.

These free picture hosting sites may be great if only a few pics are needed. Though, finding a terrific image among hundreds is a job within itself.

Different membership levels

There are sites that have several various levels of membership and only one level is free. This is the generally the site’s basic membership. For a membership that supplies more than the basics, such as videos or diagrams, members will as a rule have to pay a monthly or annual fee.

These sites are useful for some pictures, but the best of the bunch are tied to the paid membership levels.

Sharing other members pictures

A number of sites will advertise as free to use image sites where members can upload their amateur photography to share with other members so they are only supplying member’s pics for other members. The site itself doesn’t have to share any of their own pics.

Not every photographer is a great picture taker. Therefore, searching through the picture hosting site is an occurrence with each use. Sites that store thousands of pics without great organization can be difficult and frustrating to use. In order to find anything useful and relevant for content can be more trouble than it’s worth. Would sharing other members pictures be considered a free picture hosting site?

In conclusion

A picture is worth a thousand words. However, for most freelance writers a picture is worth at least 800 or 900 and will certainly work toward earning more page views. More page views means more money. Many free picture hosting sites are not free at all. There are still a number of wonderful resources which are absolutely free picture hosting sites found online if you know where to look.

Using Google for free images is certainly an option

© 2012 smcopywrite


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    • profile image

      roshan choudary 5 years ago


      i have been using for the past few months , i reason why i changed to this site is photo bucket is a $ eater , i am saving a lot now thanks to deffe

    • smcopywrite profile image

      smcopywrite 6 years ago from all over the web

      great solution constantin. there are a number of sites which will even pay you to share your personal stash of images that can be used for written content around the web

    • profile image

      Constantin 6 years ago


      The solution in my case was to make my own images. A few years ago I also decided to share my creation, free of charge, and so was created, to help people. I recommend you to do the same.

      When you write an article, I assume that you use your own words, do the same with the images, be creative !

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      I use Photo Bucket and it has never cost me a dime.



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