I’ve seen a lot of talk about bloggers using stock images on social media and how if you’re a blogger, you should 100% avoid using them. Stock images are images taken from stock websites, such as Pixaby, which are free for anyone to use. Some require you to attribute credit to the source, some don’t, but regardless of their own individual terms and conditions, stock images are seen as a big no-no in the blogosphere. In the past few months, I’ve used more stock images than my own images (for reasons I’ll get into later). Neither my stats, views, DA or followers have decreased and in fact, a few of my most popular posts from the past few months have contained stock images. So why are they seen as such a crime in the blogging world?
I completely understand from the point of view of bigger bloggers, particularly those that make money – substantial money – from their blog that they’re probably not the best idea. As you’re being paid for your own work – not someone else’s. But I’m not talking about big bloggers here – I’m talking about bloggers like myself and like most of my readers. One of the reasons I believe that stock images are seen as bad is because they’re so easily accessible and free to use, bloggers similar in themes and topics can use them. And will use them. Therefore, resulting in more than 1 blogger using the same photo on a post.
At the time of writing, just yesterday I saw a post from a blogger I follow on Twitter, who follows me too, which had exactly the same image I used in a post a couple of months ago. Chances are, she got it from the same site as I did but I didn’t care because 1) the post topics were very different and 2) if I asked my followers what image I used in my ’15 reasons I hate summer’ post in May (I think), I highly doubt any of you would know (without looking). Posts and images get lost in a sea of posts and images – if you scroll down my ‘older posts’ far enough, you’ll seen the image I’m talking about but chances are nobody will and nobody (at least nobody that I know) will care that me and this blogger used the same image.
I hate my blog photography. No matter how hard I try, I can never get high quality photos like many, many, many bloggers out there who’s photos are absolutely stunning. I can’t edit for shit and my camera is good but it’s not that good. I don’t have the luxury to buy a new one, specifically for blogging or to buy the latest editing software. I try my best but no matter what I do to my photos there’s a 95% chance I will look back and hate it. And that’s a horrible feeling to have, when you work so hard on your blog – even if other people say they like them, if you don’t like them then it’s a real issue.
Stock images saved me over the past few months. I managed to whack out a post every other day for the whole of June and I’m on track to do the same with July, too. Stock images play a huge part in that because it majorly cuts down photo taking, uploading and editing time. You might call me lazy or not a proper blogger for that statement but my writing has always been more important than my photos. And it always will be. Even the most aesthetically pleasing photos can’t brighten up a dull as shit blog post, can they?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t use stock images all the time. I will always take my own photos of products for my product reviews and I often have a lot of fun doing this and trying to showcase the amazing products I’m so lucky to receive in a nice way. Stock images make my other posts – my discussions etc. – look better. I won’t lie, they do. I don’t have the money to pay out for marble slates and loads of cute little trinkets and props for blog photo purposes. I wish I did, but I don’t. I have exhausted all means of ‘decoration’ in my house for blog photos that I’m literally scratching the barrel for things I could use to make a photo look nice.
The stock images I have used for these reasons have solved that problem for me. They’ve completed my post, made it look nicer and allowed me to continue writing and producing content without having to worry where the hell my next image is going to come from because all that’s left for me to take a photo of is the garden wall. I am so envious of other bloggers and their photography and I don’t think it matters what stage of blogging you’re in, there’s always going to be someone better than you. But I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and the fact that I received one of my highest ever amounts of monthly views during the month I used more stock images than ever before. My followers and readers don’t seem to mind and neither do I.