Blogging 101: About Creative Common Licenses & Free Graphic Resources

So, you want to start a book blog and you don't know where to start. This is completely normal. Starting a blog is an overwhelming feeling, there is so much you need to know that you don't. We are hoping with this new series that we will be able to help new bloggers navigate the blogging world!

Previous Posts: PlatformsWebsites Essential for Running a Blog | Staying Organized | When, Why & What To Post | How to Write a Banging Book Review | What NOT To Do in the Blogging World | Why Sometimes Book Reviews Aren't Enough

I think the biggest part of blogging is the ability to be able to make blog graphics and put things together that are created by you. Here are some of the many websites we use to make the graphics you see daily here on The Book Bratz! But before we get to the resources I want to talk about Creative Common Licences, because they are really important. Especially when uses images and graphics from the internet on your blog. 

Creative Commons 

There are several type of Creative Common Licences and each one will determine whether or not you can use certain content on your blog, adapt it to your needs or make any edits to it all. Creative Commons is a set of terms and conditions that authors/content creators have over their work. 

What type of Creative Common Licences are there? Well there are several. Let's break it down! 

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)- This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. As long as you are following the licence terms, the licencor and content creator cannot revoke you these rights. For more information please click here!

Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)- This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects. Again, as long as you are following the terms your rights cannot be revoked! For more information please click here!

Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-ND 4.0) -  Basically you are free to, share the content for any purpose as long as it is unchanged and credited to the content creator. For more information please click here!

Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) -  With this you can redistribute and copy the content in any medium and adapt, such as remix, transform, and add upon the material. For more information please click here!

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) - This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. For more information please click here!

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) - This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially. For more information please click here!

Is your head spinning? Believe me I understand the feeling. But these are also super important to know. You don't want to be using someone's work that is protected under Creative Commons in a way that breaks the licence. A big key and gold rule is: Always give credit where credit is due. 

With all of that being said, below I compiled a list that we use to gather images for graphics on the blog and websites we use to creative the graphics. Most of these are protected by CC BY but please make sure to check their licenses before using them! 

Free Design Sites: 

  • Canva (We use this! You can pay to unlock certain features but the free version is just as good!)
  • GIMP (This is a dupe for Photoshop and you have to download it to your computer, but I have used this before and loved it!) 
  • Pic Monkey (When you sign up you get a 7 day free trial!) 
  • BeFunky
Free Stock Photos: 

Nearly all images on these free stock sites have a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means you can copy, edit or distribute the images (even for blog purposes) without requiring author expressed permission. We use these sites a lot in finding background for banners and other bookish related images for blog use! 

Free Color Schemes: 

When making graphics and redesigning the blog I always find a color palette that will work best with what I am doing. It is also a good way to find colors that go really well together and are pleasing and easy on the eyes. 

Free Fonts:

Some websites let you upload your own fonts or if you use GIMP or have Photoshop you can upload fonts into those as well. Here are some of them. Some of these you have to read the fine print on whether or not they are under the Creative Commons Zero but a majority are! 

I hope this post was helpful in helping you learn all the different Creative Common Licences out there as well as giving you some good resources to find graphics. If you have any questions please drop them below! Also, if you have anything you want to see us cover in our Blogging 101 feature please comment it below as well! 


  1. This is so informative and helpful! I had no idea about all those licensing things. Hopefully I haven't done anything to violate them haha. Also, I'm downloading Gimp as I write this. Those links were super helpful. Thanks for posting this!

    Emily @ Emily's Crammed Bookshelf

    1. I am glad this was helpful! I think we all have accidentally at some point or another, but I am hoping after people know more about this they will be able to fix those mistakes!


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