If you were holding a dinner where each plate sold for $150, would you buy the invitations at the dollar store? No? So don’t promote anything important for your business with a free overused 5-year-old Pixabay image.
There are options – lots of options – rather than intimating your business is a bargain brand.
If you don’t spend a bunch of time searching Pixabay or other free sites, you may not know what’s been overused and common – here’s an app for that. And you can also check the upload date, although that doesn’t mean the photo was taken then. If you’re going to use free photos, pick more recent releases.
Unique and eye-catching is your goal. But you don’t want to pay $20 for a stock photo for each new blog post or newsletter article. What are other wallet-friendly options?
#1. Snap your own photos. This ensures uniqueness and the price is the best you’ll get. Of course, the eye-catching part will be up to you.
#2. Engage a friend or family member who enjoys photography as a hobby. (My husband takes the photo for my weekly event list.)
#3. Search for Creative Commons photos on platforms such as Flickr. You will have to provide photo attribution in your post (the cost of free) but this is a great way to find one-of-a-kind images.
#4. Buy photos from discount stock photo sites. This does not guarantee that no one else is using the image but it does mean it’s less likely to be overused. (I use Deposit Photos a lot.)
When should you invest in really good stock photos? For your website, paid advertising, books, online courses, printed materials… places where the images are more permanent.