Can I Use That Picture? 3 Rules to Ensure Your Blog Isn’t Breaking Copyright Rules

Blogging is one of the most popular forms of online marketing and is also a great way to share ideas and information on the internet. According to the latest statistics, there are more than 600 million blogs on the internet and an estimated 31.7 million active bloggers in the United States alone as of 2020.

A young woman writing a blog post on her laptop
A young woman writing a blog post on her laptop

It is also one of the most popular content formats, and over 86% of content marketers use blog posts as a key part of their marketing strategy. Independent bloggers who have successfully managed to attract a good number of subscribers can also monetize their blog and use it to earn a lot of money.

One of the key factors of creating engaging blog posts that will attract more people is using photos. People are more receptive to visuals and images, and photos are a great way of breaking up lengthy blocks of text.

However, before you pick any image from the internet, there are certain things you need to know to avoid copyright infringement:

Don’t Snag Just Any Picture You Find On The Web

The first thing you need to know is that the images on the internet are someone’s property, and you might be financially liable if you use copyrighted images or files on your website or in your blog posts. Even if you are linking back to the source or providing attribution for the images, unless you have purchased the usage rights or received express permission, you can’t use copyrighted images. Period!  

Educate Yourself Regarding The Basics Of Copyright Law

If this is your first time learning about copyright infringement or communication laws, the first thing you need to know are the main types of copyright categories you might come across. There are three categories, Public Domain, Royalty-Free, and Creative Commons.

Public domain images are ones with no copyrights or those with expired copyrights. These types of images are free to use for pretty much everyone, whether for personal or commercial reasons.

Royalty-free images are available on websites that have already paid a fee for the images, and you are free to use them without needing to pay any royalties.

Creative commons is a way for photographers to copyright and license their work to have better control over how the images might be used by the public. There are different types of CC licenses, and you need to be extra diligent about the requirements of each when using these types of images.

A person using a laptop to blog and add pictures from a royalty free website
A person using a laptop to blog and add pictures from a royalty free website

Image Name: Laptop-Blog-Images-Royalty-Free-Website

Image Alt-Text: A person using a laptop to blog and add pictures from a royalty free website

Know Your Options And Protect Your Personal Images

Finally, you need to learn more about your options regarding where you can find royalty-free or public domain images and how to sort through copyright and free-to-use images. It is better to use websites such as Unsplash, Pixabay, Pexels, Refe, and more as they offer a wide range of public domain or CC0 images that are free for use for whichever purpose you need. Some will require attribution, to use them for free, or you can sign up to a subscription to download what you want, and use the images without attribution.

Another important thing to keep in mind is how to protect your personal images if you are using them for your blog post. Make sure you get a license for them and get them copyrighted to prevent someone from stealing your work and using it in the wrong way.  

Find Stolen Images With Image Theft Protection From Pic Match

Are you worried about your images and other media being used without your express permission? We can help you find out if your work is being used somewhere else with our innovative reverse image search service. Visit or to signup for a free account and get started today.

Don't miss these stories: