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Creative stock photography is a great way to make your blog and brand stand out and attract your ideal audience. Taking your own photos for your blog and social media is always preferable, but if you don’t have time, or you feel like your photos aren’t where you want them to be, stock photos are a really great option!
RELATED POST: My 7 Best Photography Tips for Beginners
I used to only use free stock images. There are some amazing resources out there (check out this post on free styled stock photos for bloggers!) but I felt like I needed to invest in a stock photo membership to up my photo game! I do love taking my own photos, but I find it really helpful to have stock photos I can use for Pinterest and Instagram templates and blog posts that require a lot of photos. Some days we just can’t do it all, right?!
This week I signed up for Haute Chocolate’s Styled Stock Library and I’m so impressed! There’s amazing feminine, styled stock photography perfect for lifestyle bloggers and creative entrepreneurs. I spent a good chunk of my day the other day creating new pin images with the photos (something I’ve been wanting to do for ages).
It made me think of all the other ways I’ve been using stock photography and all the ways I (and you!) could be using it! The world is our oyster!
From sprucing up your email newsletters to creating branded Instagram image quotes, here are 8 ways to use creative stock photos for your blog and social media.
1. PINTEREST IMAGES
I’ll start with Pinterest (my fave platform!). I’m releasing my first new template today with this post, and was able to make so many pretty pins with the stock photos. They tie in perfectly to my blog branding and color palette, and it was so easy to choose photos that relate to my blog posts.
Using eye catching images is key when it comes to promoting your blog posts on Pinterest. The goal is for people to click through to your blog, and along with your title, the image has the potential to catch your target reader’s attention.
2. INSTAGRAM QUOTES
If you love to fill your Instagram feed with inspiring quotes, you can use stock images in the background to make your post pop! Haute Chocolate (and I’m sure other sock photo sites) offer premade social media quote images so you can easily stick your quote right in!
This is a great way to start a conversation and grow your engagement with your readers, while also making your posts look pretty.
3. BLOG POSTS
Creative stock photos are an amazing way to bring your blog posts to life! Like I said above, if you can take your own, that’s great, but stock photos are a good alternative (and sometimes even better!). As long as they relate to your blog post, they can take your post from great to fantastic!
These days, it’s important for your blog posts to be pretty lengthy (upwards of 1,000 words) for SEO purposes, so it’s important to break all that typing up with photos. Otherwise your posts can start to look jumbled and busy, and your readers will lose interest more easily.
People are also very drawn to visually appealing aesthetics, which is tough to achieve without pretty imagery.
4. EMAIL NEWSLETTERS
I didn’t used to put photos in my weekly email newsletter until recently and it’s made such a difference! I even received responses from my subscribers saying they love the addition of photos. Score!
It brightens up your emails and breaks up your writing in an appealing way. People get SO many emails on a day to day basis with SO much writing, so it’s important to add a little colour to their day! It will make your email stand out and make them fall in love with you even more!
5. E BOOKS
Are you planning on writing an ebook to sell on your blog? If so, you can use stock images to make the pages pop. You don’t want an ebook that’s entirely filled with type. Everyone’s eyes need a break once in a while, and you don’t want it to feel like a school text book.
People feel happier and more motivated when they see bright, styled photos. It triggers our mind to associate positive, encouraging feelings. I don’t know about you, but I always appreciate a well-curated photo when I’m scrolling through words and words of text. Just make sure it fits your content and you’re good to go!
6. TWITTER/ FACEBOOK PAGE HEADER
The first thing people see when they visit your Twitter and Facebook page is your header! It’s the largest photo on the page so you want to make sure it stands out, it’s branded and it makes your target reader want to stick around. Of course your content is important, but your first impression is just as crucial.
Choose a stock photo you can use for both your Twitter and Facebook page header. Using the same photo and head shot will make you more recognizable to your audience.
7. BRAND YOUR INSTAGRAM FEED
You can also use stock photos to brand your Instagram feed. If your brand is feminine and chic, a membership to somewhere like Haute Chocolate’s Styled Stock Library can help you create a really gorgeous feed. All of your photos will be pretty and styled, and who doesn’t want to look at that? They can definitely help take your feed to the next level!
RELATED POST: How to Brand Your Blog
8. USE THEM ON YOUR SIDE BAR
Your blog sidebar is one of the most important places on your website, so you want it to look nice. Use stock photos to create side bar images for things like “Recent Posts” and “Archives”. It’s a great way to keep your blog branded and beautiful!
What’s your favourite way to use stock photos for your blog and social media? Did I miss any?
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