When I started blogging, I had absolutely no photography skills. I had no idea how to take good photographs, edit photos, and I didn’t know how to make the most out of the pretty stock photos I (gulp) paid for. Like most bloggers, I turned to using free stock images found online when I first started (keep reading for where to find free stock photos). I also purchase stock photos when there is something I can’t find for free or I need a license to use the image on digital products that I sell (keep reading for where I purchase stock photos).
In case you’re curious (or in a hurry):
✅ These specific stock photos are the most popular with my readers.
I also took my own photos of my printables and products but I was never happy with how they turned out. So after blogging full time for a year, I decided it was time to learn how to be a better photographer and create some stock images to fit my personality and be more relatable to my blog (my blog colors, etc). Not all bloggers are creative with marketing so, in this post, I show you How to Use One Stock Photo 15 Different Ways for your online business AND I’m giving you 10 FREE stock photos to use!
How to Use One Stock Photo 15 Different Ways
For the purpose of this post, I’m using the same image 15 different ways (this Pink Ice Cream photo – because doesn’t everyone love ice cream? Hehe!). I want to apologize ahead of time if you are craving ice cream after reading this post (or if you’re sick of seeing pink) 😛
How to Edit Photos
I use PicMonkey to edit all of my images. I have the premium version which gives me access to use all of the features available on PicMonkey. I highly recommend signing up for a premium account if you have a blog. It’s only $33/year and is very user-friendly. I don’t have any photo editing skills and have never used photoshop, so if PicMonkey is easy for me to use, it will be for you too.
Canva is another photo editing program that many other bloggers use. I tried Canva but I prefer PicMonkey since I’ve been using it longer and are familiar with the features. PicMonkey has all the How-To videos you need to get started creating some ah-mazing images for your blog. I also use PicMonkey to create some of the free printables I offer as opt-ins 😉
PicMonkey is always adding new features and fonts (you can also use your own fonts!) so no 2 pictures need to look alike. One trick I like to use to get the most out of ONE stock photo is to use the “mirror” option in PicMonkey. This option will flip the image so if there’s an object to the left of the photo, it will then be flipped to the right of the photo, giving you 2 photos in one! You can also flip the object to the top or the bottom of the photo.
Just see how I created 15 different images using the same photo!
–>>Keep reading to get my 10 FREE stock images or go here to see the huge selection of stock photos in my shop!
PicMonkey makes it easy when creating different size images for the (many) different social media channels. You will find the exact size picture you need already designed in PicMonkey, whether you need an Instagram post, Facebook Cover Photo, Twitter Photo, and much more! Just go to PicMonkey.com, choose a design, and a blank canvas and the options will appear!
Where to Find Free Stock Images
My favorite online destination for free stock images is UnSplash. However, here is a list of a few other websites to find free stock images:
Don’t forget to sign up below and get 10 FREE stock images from me 😉
Where to Find Stock Images to Purchase
You can find quality stock images to purchase just by doing a simple Internet search but here are a few places I’ve purchased stock photos:
Of course, there is more than these sites to purchase images, I’ve personally only purchased from these sites myself.
Okay, are you ready to rock out ONE stock photo FIFTEEN different ways?!
Here we go!
Creating a Pinterest image using a stock photo is probably the top way most bloggers use stock photos. I certainly like my photos to stand out on Pinterest since Pinterest generates 97% of my traffic! Having a high definition, pretty Pinterest image to link back to in your blog post is a must! See how I used the pink ice cream photo in my Pinterest images below (and at the top of this post!).
I added some text and white overlay strips (faded) in PicMonkey. By the way, I have a post with 30 Summer Sugar-Free Sweet Treats that you can check out here 🙂
Or the Pinterest image I created below that uses a pink overlay (faded) over the entire photo so the reader will focus on the text itself.
By the way, if you plan to write or have written a blog post with 75 Brillant Blog Post Ideas, please let me know, I’d love to read it 🙂
My blog header is simply my logo but you could just as easily create a beautiful blog header using one stock photo. See how I used the ice cream photo to create a header below! I started with a long rectangle design, added a rectangle shape the length of the picture and used the color picker feature in PicMonkey to make the rectangle the exact same color as the pink ice cream picture background so it looks like one long picture. Then I added my logo in all white.
Sidebar Buttons and Opt-In Graphics
Your sidebar is prime real estate on your blog so make sure those images look good! I took the same pink ice cream photo, added a white overlay (faded), some text in pretty colors and a button (which is really just 2 rectangles on top of each other!).
You could add this image to your sidebar with a link to your sign up landing page and bam! New subscribers! You can use stock images for any opt-in – think outside the box! Have a course? Make an opt-in image! Offer free printables? Make an opt-in image! Have a Facebook Group? Make an opt-in image!
Heck yeah, I’d like to get ice cream, ERR, I mean… “inspiration” delivered to my inbox 🙂
Creating a blog button is a great way to brand and advertise your page and it makes it easy for others to “grab your button” if you’re doing link ups or blog hops. I never created a blog button before this tutorial so here is the one I created really quickly in PicMonkey (now you can grab my button, woohoo!).
I’ve done a handful of giveaways and images are super important to get more people entering! It’s also important to keep posting reminders about the giveaway/contest and one way to do that is with awesome images! Here is one that I put together using PicMonkey just by adding texts and 2 lines (sized down from rectangles).
Marketing is everything when it comes to sales promotions and it’s easier than ever to create a pretty picture to promote your products. In the below picture I added a rectangle and text to promote a sale. This image can be used for any of your products or an affiliate product. The possibilities are endless!
-National Ice Cream Day is the 3rd Sunday in July, in case you were wondering 😉
Facebook Post Graphics and Quotes
Social media quotes always get a reaction of some sort (especially on Facebook). People love seeing inspirational quotes and sharing them to their personal page, especially if they have a pretty picture like the one I created below using the pink ice cream image. I added a white overlay (faded) with dark pink text to create this simple graphic.
I’m always looking for quality pictures to create a pretty Instagram feed! Instagram is one of my favorite social media channels because you don’t see all the negative controversial) issues like you see on Facebook and Twitter. I love using Instagram stories (you can reuse 1 stock photo over and over in Instagram stories!). Take a look at how I used the pink ice cream picture on my Instagram feed and it blended nicely with my other stock photos!
If you have a Twitter account, you should have a Twitter cover photo by now, but if not, here’s how you can use one stock photo on all your social media accounts as a cover photo. Below I created a collage of stock photos for my Twitter cover photo. My Facebook business page cover photo is very similar, just more pics for the increased size and the logo is in the middle on Twitter.
Facebook Group Page Header
Have a Facebook group but want it to stand out from your Facebook business page? Just make a few tweaks to your stock photo like I did below. I followed the same steps from above to make the blog header except placed the ice cream cone on the left, added a triangle shape in the corner and text indicating this is the Facebook group. Pretty and simple right?
Facebook or Google+ Business Page Cover Photo
This photo is just like the Twitter cover photo only larger in size (more stock images) and my logo and tagline is to the left. I use the same cover photo for Google+ and Facebook since sizing is pretty much the same.
I’m no pro when it comes to Facebook ads so please forgive the simplicity of the below photo. I simply added dark pink text to the pink ice cream image, a rectangle overlay with a dark pink border and faded white inside.
Use stock photos for eBook covers, printables, templates, checklists, and much more! I used the pink ice cream photo for an ice cream party checklist below. Now you want to have an ice cream party right? Well, you can by grabbing this free printable checklist and more pretty free ice cream party printables here! This checklist took me less than 10 minutes to put together in PicMonkey. You can use stock photos for many digital products. Just think outside the box and use your creativity!
Use stock photos for business cards, brochures, hard-copy books, and much more! Below I show how I used the pink ice cream photo on the back of my business cards. These aren’t my real business cards but now I want them to be, hehe!
If you write a weekly newsletter and don’t include images, you are missing out at giving it that extra touch. I took the same image that I created for the Facebook group above and added “the newsletter” text instead. Bam! Easy peasy!
Now you know how to get the most out of one stock photo so there’s no need to spend a ton of time searching for stock photos or spending more money on stock photos. Make the most out of that one stock photo by using it 15 different ways like I did!
–>>AND… go here to see the huge selection of stock photos in my shop! There’s something for everyone 🙂
Want 10 amazing (and FREE) stock photos taken by me?
If you do the math – 10 free stock images used 15 different ways equals 150 different images for your online business… for FREE!!! Woohoo!
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Psssssttt…Right now I’m offering my Blogging for Business Time Management Guide for FREE! All you have to do is subscribe HERE and I’ll send you my guide for how to manage your time and create a work-life balance while creating your blog business!
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