Lee Odden

Shutterstock Voted Best Royalty Free Stock Photos Site for Bloggers

Lee Odden     Blogging Strategy, Reader Polls

A great photo can really add a lot of flavor to a blog post and in our own analysis at Online Marketing Blog as well as with clients, including quality images with a blog post can boost traffic and referrals 30-50%. To make posts more personal, I try to use my own photos as much as possible and do use imags from Flickr under Creative Commons from time to time. This is an area of significant impact for blogs as effective communication and marketing tools, so last week we ran a Reader Poll on the best site for royalty free, stock photos for bloggers.

We had the most comments from iStockphoto users and interestingly enough, the “Other” category came in second place with suggestions including: screenshots, stock.xchng, PhotoXpress.com and Creative Commons imagies from Flickr.


The poll results are below, but as you can tell from the image, Shutterstock was the winner: Best Stock Photo Site for Bloggers.

Online Marketing Blog has been using iStockphoto for the past 3-4 years but after seeing this poll, we’ll check out Shutterstock.  In fact, I ran into the Shutterstock booth while at the SXSW Interactive conference and shared the good news in person. There was a photobooth within the exhibit booth (with props) that was very popular with conference attendees.

Congratulations to Shutterstock on winning Online Marketing Blog’s Best Royalty Free Stock Photo Poll.

PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (6 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5)

Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Halo. Good post, i could add to your list the following site: sxc.hu They have a lot of free images that may come in handy. I used them a lot both in posts and in my graphic designs.

  2. Avatar stephenchapman says

    Nice! To add to the list, one other site I recommend is Corbis. They're who a lot of big-named corporations use (such as Microsoft (many of their wallpapers for Windows have been obtained from Corbis), National Geographic, et al). I'm not sure if I can leave a link here, so just type in “Corbis Images” into Google and it'll come up. Once you arrive on the site, you can click “Browse categories” and then select “Royalty-Free” from the dropdown box. They're lesser-known, but they certainly do have some quality images!

  3. Shutterstock is cool, but very expensive, and with so many free or much less costly alternatives, I don't see how it won.

  4. I have also been using iStockPhoto and really like it, until you see someone else using the same photo. 🙂

    I've also been doing 2 things:
    1) Shooting a lot of random photos of signs, places, things that are non-related to a trip, building up a cache of personal stock photos.

    2) Searching Flickr Creative Commons and either asking for permission or giving the creator an attribution link.

    Glad to learn about ShutterStock. Thanks!

  5. Your Post is very useful for me, Thanks for sharing.

  6. I thought this was supposed to be a vote on “free” photo sites. Ya, Sutter Stock is royalty-free but you sill have to subscribe!! Where can I get cool photos that I don't have to pay anything for?? I don't have $$ to spare.

    • Royalty free and “free” are not the same thing. Take your own photos (we've started to do that) or use photos from Flickr under the Creative Commons license for free.

  7. Thanks this is a great poll


  8. One that I like that's not on your list is, http://www.123rf.com/
    They have nice photos, reasonably priced. I found shutterstock to be pretty expensive.

  9. Thank you for the recommendation Doug

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  12. Great poll, Thanks for sharing.