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10 Good Alternatives To iStock For Marketers

Stock images can help you tell your story and add visual interest to the page. Try these 10 high-quality iStock alternatives.

10 Good Alternatives To iStock For Marketers

Good content is key to ranking in Google, but great content is essential for delighting your readers.

Happy readers are more likely to convert due to the simple fact that they stay on your website longer.

How can you keep them there? By keeping them stimulated with a combination of text and images!

There are numerous benefits to adding images to your content.

With visuals, you can grab readers’ attention and draw them in with more than just text alone.

Further, people have different ways of retaining information.

Maybe a reader won’t remember every paragraph they read in an article, but they may recall a striking image that added context to the piece.

The power of images is all too often overlooked. A good image not only hooks the reader and sets the tone for an article, but it can also make the webpage look more professional.

Because content (i.e., blog posts, articles, and other text-based content) brings new visitors to a website through search engines, many readers don’t see your well-designed homepage first.

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Every webpage you publish could be a visitor’s main entry point. So all content should be created with that in mind.

First impressions count – it’s vital to make an impact on your readers quickly if you want them to stick around.

The Importance Of Using Images

Using images goes beyond simply how it looks on your site.

Many online stories, articles, and blogs are shared via social media, and an image used within an article will often be used as a thumbnail for the link to your website.

Having a memorable image here can make your site stand out from the others.

With a good image, you can attract more visitors from social media even if you are not at the top of the list of topics being discussed.

Where Can You Get Good Images For Your Site?

Unless you’re a skilled photographer, you probably look to stock photo websites where you can buy royalty-free images.

Among the most well-known premium stock photo websites is iStock, a long-standing favorite by site owners around the world.

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Founded in 2000 and acquired by Getty Images in 2006, iStock changed the way that people buy and sell photography and illustrations online.

They have millions of photos, vectors, illustrations, and video clips contributed by more than 200,000 artists worldwide. Depending on your needs, you can either buy credits or purchase a subscription.

While iStock is an excellent source, it’s not your only option to find premium stock photos.

Here are 10 alternatives to iStock.

1. Adobe Stock

10 Good Alternatives To iStock For MarketersScreenshot from Stock.Adobe.com, September 2021

Adobe Stock offers over 90 million images, graphics, videos, and templates along with 3D, editorial, and Premium assets contributed by a community of creatives worldwide.

Originally founded in 2004 as Fotolia (a microstock agency), the platform was acquired by Adobe in 2015 and later renamed.

Adobe Stock is now fully integrated into the Creative Cloud platform, which makes it an especially appealing option for designers and developers.

To acquire images from Adobe Stockm you can buy credits and plans separately, or combine them.

Subscribing to a monthly or annual plan allows for standard downloads in images, templates, and 3D assets. Premium assets and videos can be purchased using credits.

Adobe Stock offers a selection of free images, though a majority of its catalog consists of premium content.

2. Shutterstock

10 Good Alternatives To iStock For MarketersScreenshot from Shutterstock.com, September 2021

With more than 200 million royalty-free stock images in its library, Shutterstock has the largest stock imagery library worldwide.

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Shutterstock also has a wide selection of video, music, and editorial assets, as well as custom content.

As one of the most popular stock photo agencies in the world with almost 20 years in business, Shutterstock pioneered the subscription model for stock photos.

The success of Shutterstock pushed competitors toward offering subscriptions as well, which ended up being a great thing for marketers.

Images can be purchased individually or via a subscription. Subscribers get to use Shutterstock’s Editor tool which allows for quick photo customizations such as cropping images and adding filters.

3. Getty Images

10 Good Alternatives To iStock For MarketersScreenshot from GettyImages.com, August 2021

Founded over 20 years ago, Getty Images is perhaps the most well-known and highest regarded stock photo website.

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It has a vast collection of 50 million images and videos, many of which are exclusive. That makes Getty Images a first-class option for anyone looking to add premium visuals to their content.

Those premium images command a high price tag, with royalty-free photos costing anywhere from $125 to $500 each. You can bring the price per photo down by purchasing an Ultrapack.

It’s worth noting that Getty Images owns iStock, so if you’re in need of a step up from iStock this option is likely to satisfy.

4. Pexels

10 Good Alternatives To iStock For MarketersScreenshot from Pexels.com, August 2021

Pexels is an absolutely free stock photo website that’s growing in popularity with content publishers.

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While other sites on this list offer a library of exclusive content, Pexels aggregates free-to-use images from around the web. Think of it as the search engine for free stock photos.

Given that the images aggregated by Pexels are free, its selection is limited compared to what you’ll find on premium sites.

5. Unsplash

10 Good Alternatives To iStock For MarketersScreenshot from Unsplash.com, August 2021

Unsplash offers an exclusive collection of 2 million free images supplied directly by photographers and designers.

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What separates Unsplash from other free stock photo sites is that each photo is hand-selected. With a community of over 200,000 contributors, the editors of Unsplash can afford to be a little picky.

All photos can be downloaded and used at no cost, for either commercial and non-commercial purposes. Unsplash doesn’t require users to sign up to use its content or add attribution, though giving credit is always appreciated.

6. Stocksnap.io

10 Good Alternatives To iStock For MarketersScreenshot from StockSnap.io, August 2021.

Stocksnap offers an ever-expanding collection of high-resolution images that are completely free to use for any purpose.

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Hundreds of new images are added each week, which makes this a resource worth coming back to if you can’t find what you want the first time.

Like Unsplash, photos are supplied by a community of creators and go through a similar vetting process to ensure only quality content is added to the library.

Photos can be downloaded with or without an account to modify and use however you wish.

7. Burst (Shopify)

10 Good Alternatives To iStock For MarketersScreenshot from Burst.Shopify.com, August 2021

Burst is a free stock photo site that’s powered by Shopify. Downloading and using the images doesn’t require any licensing fees, attribution, or editing restrictions.

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Anyone can use photos from Burst, however, it’s an especially attractive option for Shopify store owners due to how well it’s integrated with the platform.

When creating a page for a Shopify store, users can easily search for and insert images from Burst without leaving the screen they’re on. It’s an effective tool for streamlining store owners’ workflow.

8. Gratisography

10 Good Alternatives To iStock For MarketersScreenshot from Gratisography.com, August 2021

Gratisography calls itself the “world’s quirkiest” collection of free pictures, and it’s hard to argue with that claim after browsing its library.

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Given its niche, Gratisography isn’t for everyone, but if you’re in need of eye-catching photos you won’t find anywhere else, this is the source for you.

While Gratisography doesn’t boast the largest quantity of photos, it arguably offers the most interesting library out there. The unique quality of its images can help add a personality to your content that sets you apart from competitors.

9. Pixabay

10 Good Alternatives To iStock For MarketersScreenshot from Pixabay.com, August 2021

Pixabay offers a collection of 2.4 million stock photos, videos, and music contributed by community creators.

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You can copy, modify, distribute, and use Pixabay’s images without asking for permission or giving credits to the artist.

Content from Pixabay can be modified and used for commercial purposes, though there are some minor restrictions. The company asks that its images aren’t used to portray identifiable people and brands in a negative light.

10. 123RF

10 Good Alternatives To iStock For MarketersScreenshot from 123rf.com, September 2021

123RF is a royalty-free microstock content supplier that brings a refreshing change and has a great image search engine.

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You can choose from more than 103 million royalty-free photos, vectors, footage, and audio.

123RF offers a broader range of categories than some other sites. It has a great reputation as one of the top stock photo agencies in the industry.

To download a photo, you need to purchase credits, get a download pack, or subscribe to a plan.

Photos are available on-demand with image packs, at just $2.99 – $9 each. The lowest rates are with subscription plans with a monthly cap and give you images for as little as $0.36 per file.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

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