Starting an affiliate blog can be a great idea if you find a niche you’re knowledgable in which also has a sizable market. However, you’ll want to include some images to spruce up your posts. This can be a lot harder than it sounds and it’s something people often skip over.
Most popular blog posts share one thing in common – they make excellent use of images. After all, no one wants to read through thousands of words about a product without actually seeing what it looks like. Plus, posts without pictures tend to look outright plain.
Too many people rely on stock graphics to get the job done, but you can find more effective images for affiliate marketing to help you get sales. In this article, I’ll explain three methods to do so and how to pull them off. Let’s get started!
1. Master the Search for Stock Images
Sometimes it pays to look at less-known stock image websites.
A lot of people pick one website to find their stock images, and that’s it. They don’t spend any time looking for alternatives, even if the photos they use are already plastered all over the web. In a lot of cases, you can get away with using free stock images, but only if you expand your search parameters.
Instead of using massive stock image sites, for example, you can look for lesser known ones, such as Unsplash. Wherever you source images from, you should always include at least a featured image in your posts. Featured images help your content stand out, while additional photos throughout your posts help break down walls of text.
Fortunately, there are a few services which provide multiple free stock image databases at the same time. My two favorite are:
- LibreStock: This one is my favorite since it offers a cleaner interface and it enables you to filter the websites you look through.
- Freepik: If you also want to look for free vector and icon files, this should be your first stop.
If you can’t find the perfect images on either of those sites, you have the option of subscribing to a premium stock image website. Shutterstock is one of the best-known names in the business, and the difference between free stock sites and services such as this one is staggering. Subscriptions are expensive, though, so this should only be an option if your affiliate blog is already making decent money or you have a sizable budget.
2. Use Official Product Images
Using official product images is usually a great option if you can do so legally.
When free stock graphics fail, you’ll want to go directly to the source to find images for affiliate marketing. That means checking the website of whoever created the product you’re promoting, or going straight to Amazon.
Keep in mind, you can’t just use images that aren’t yours in most cases. Always check the copyright first! At the very least, you’ll need to add attributions to your blog posts, and that’s only if you can legally use them in the first place. If you check out the bottom of this post, you’ll find an attribution for its featured image, and that’s something we do for every article (and you should too).
With that out of the way, using official product images is almost always a fantastic idea. Chances are they’re professional pictures, and you’ll probably find multiple angles to help you showcase the item. The only blockade is ensuring you can legally use the images you find. Here are the two approaches I suggest:
- Find a contact email for the company whose product you’re promoting and ask them if you can use some of their images on your reviews or comparisons.
- Check out if your affiliate program provides you with marketing materials you can use on your content.
The Amazon Associates program, for example, enables you to use their product images for affiliate marketing. That is, of course, if you’ve already been approved for the program so you can’t just go ahead and rip-off their images for a new blog. When it comes to the first method, it’s a bit more hit and miss, but you’ll often run into enthusiastic marketing departments that’ll be eager to share product photos.
3. Ask People to Take Photos for You
If everything else fails, you’ll need to get creative to find images you can use on your affiliate blog posts. In most cases, you won’t actually own the products you review since it would take a massive budget to build an affiliate blog otherwise. That means you’re relying on online information and the opinions of people that have tried those products firsthand. So why not go ahead and ask one (or more) of those people to take a few photos for you?
Amateur photographs can really make an affiliate review or product comparison stand out. They make you look different from all the online marketplaces and drop shipping websites that use the same images. The only question is how you can get in touch with people that own those products and get them to take a few pictures you can use.
My favorite place to look is on forums that focus on your niche. They’re goldmines of opinions and information you wouldn’t otherwise find, and they enable you to get in touch with people that own those products. Here’s what you need to do to get your photos:
- Contact someone that talked about their experience using the product you want to review.
- Check if they posted any photographs of the product. If so, message them to know if you can use those and attribute it to them.
- If that fails, offer them something more tangible, such as $10 or an online gift certificate (get creative!) to take a few pictures and send them to you.
The key here is to get permission from the people who took those photographs so you can legally use them. As for attribution, you can link to their website or social media profiles. You can also outright ask them for the rights to the pictures they take if you offer to pay them. That way, you’ll be able to use them wherever and however you want.
When it comes to finding success with affiliate blogging, the devil is in the details. You need to know how to set up your blog (which the Paid to Blog course can help you with), choose the right niche, and write compelling content. Learning how to find and use the right images for affiliate marketing can make a big difference in your conversion rates.
In my experience, using free stock images alone isn’t the best idea. They’re often overused and can make your posts look like cookie-cutter. Here are three better ways to find excellent graphics for your content:
- Expand your search for stock images beyond the most popular free sites.
- Use official product images from programs such as Amazon Associates or the product vendors.
- Ask people to take photos for you (and make it worth their while!).
Do you have any questions about how to find excellent affiliate blog images? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.