It was April 18, 2014. The day that this picture would change my blog forever…though I didn’t know it at the time…
I was still a very new blogger. My blog was only about 4 months old at the time. I already knew from my ability to make money at home that one of the best ways to make money from home in your business is to invest your profits back into your business for the first year.
Having started making an income, and praying like crazy that I’d be able to afford to BUY photos, there came a day when I woke up and said to myself, “Self, I wonder if you’ll get more traffic if you buy your pictures.” Before then, I had been getting images for blog posts from free sources online.
Everything on Pinterest was so prestine and perfect-looking. Like a magazine. I had this gut feeling if only I could use professional stock photos, my blog traffic would go up.
So, I searched and searched and asked everyone I knew where they got theirs. No one wanted to tell me of course. But one person told me a couple companies and having found one company in particular cheaper than all the rest, I went with them. Their pictures looked great and there was a free trial period in which to try before I bought.
Testing my theory, I changed up my most popular post at the time (Save $160/year on Salon Costs With One Simple Trick) with the new pictures.
That picture literally changed my blog forever. I’ll never forget it.
It was not that I saw a huge spike in traffic afterwards…I didn’t, but I did see a little bit. I took the plunge and bought a monthly subscription to the photo site (I now use IngImage for my photos) and began using stock photos. I went back and redid some of my older posts with paid-for stock photos as well. Little by little, post by post, I started getting more traffic.
In fact, to this day, I would attribute that and having my blog professionally designed, as the two things that have gotten me the most traffic and put me in a higher level. All the sudden, I was a professional blogger. People saw me as a professional. They would tell me left and right (and still do) how my site looks like a magazine and that’s a great thing.
If you are just starting out in your blogging career and you want to make money from your blog as a beginner, you NEED solid pictures. The best that you can buy.
As business owners, we HAVE TO put money into our blog in wise investing into ourselves (learning) and tools, and this is one of those things that you absolutely need. Free stock photos will only get you by for so long. You absolutely must take the plunge.
Since that time of buying stock photos, I have began taking my OWN pictures. I have no idea if I’m any good at photography, but I can tell you that it is my passion. I absolutely LOVE taking pictures, I always have. It’s my goal to one day take such awesome photos that no one can tell between mine and the stock photos. You tell me…how am I doing?
Here’s a picture I took today of my bedroom. Does it look professional to you?
Here’s a potato salad recipe…what do you think?
From there I realized that if I wanted to be a good blogger, a successful blogger, that I had to go against the grain. That I had to follow my gut and not what everyone else was doing. That God would lead me through this and I needed to place my trust and this blog in His hands.
I’ve learned that to be a successful blogger, you have to figure things out on your own. There’s so much advice out there, but unless it’s personalized one-on-one coaching, you have to take the time to research things and figure things out. In doing so, I’ve figured out how to beat the Pinterest system…that is, until they change it again, which is a constant thing.
But, in the meantime, you HAVE TO get in there, get your hands dirty, and get to work. No one is going to run a blog for you. No one is going to give you the keys to success. You have to research things, go with your gut, and rely on God to help you if blogging is His will for you and your family.
Do you have any blog picture ideas that have helped improve the look of your website? I’d love to read any examples in the comments! 🙂