WHERE TO FIND LOVELY PHOTOS FOR YOUR BLOG

On the internet, graphics are everything. We are visual creatures that have been spoiled by perfectly staged and choreographed imagery. It can get really stressful trying to take your own photos for every graphic and blog post you make for your business. Thats where stock photos come in! Here are my favorite site to roam and wander, lets see what we find..

Pixabay 

Death to the Stock Photo 

Gratisography

Pexels 

Unsplash 

ISO Republic 

USING YOUR STOCK PHOTOS 

BE PICKY

Take your time and find photos that really tell your story and resonate with your brand. You will be tempted to save every pretty picture you see, but try to stick to images that really vibe with your blog or business. You want to save images that will capture the mood of your website or blog. As someone who is bright and colorful it wouldn't make sense for me to use gothic stock photos, even though I think they're sexy.

MAKE THEM YOUR OWN

Remember that if you're using a free stock photo, there are others using it too. Don't be afraid to brand it and make it your own! You could add text, your logo, or a filter to set your image a part. Be sure if you are using text that you keep it consistent with the fonts on your Brand Board.

CREDIT YOUR SOURCES

Most of the site I have linked use the Creative Commons license. If your image is marked as CCO, it is free to use. That is a “no rights reserved” license which means you can use the image “as is” or alter it and you are not required to give credit. All other licenses have terms and conditions so make sure you are reading them carefully before publishing to your site.

Here are a few of my favorite stock photos to get you started: 

Thanks for stopping by! 

XOXO Chelsea 

10 Questions to Improve your Website

I recently helped a client spruce up her small spiritual business website. After discussing my logo and graphics package, I suggested we take a look at her online presence. 

She told me she felt like it was more of an inspirational collage than a true representation of her authentic brand essence. As we continued to browse through her website together, I tried to point out as many improvements as I could to help her get started. 

This got me thinking that a lot of us build our small business websites when were fresh and eager and then dont really update them aside from the occasional blog post or shop addition. So I've thought up some Website Improvement Questions to help us all get refocused on our visions!

1. What is the GOAL of your website? Are you looking for subscribers to your newsletter? Do you want people to read and share your blog? Are you wanting people to purchase your goods or see your list of available yoga classes? Whatever your goal, your website should be designed go get your reader to that objective. 

2. Do you have a Brand Board? If the answer is no, check out my previous post and get started on yours asap! It will come in handy on countless occasions and keep the look of your website and marketing cohesive. 

3. How can you streamline your website? Do you have navigation tabs that are essentially doubles? Is there anything you could condense or are no longer using? Keep your navigation simple and accessible. In the beginning we all dip our toes into areas that we don't continue on with, make sure your pruning these outdated branches from your business tree. 

4. Is your background distracting your reader from your content? I recommend using a solid colored background (preferably from your branding board) or white. Patterns and Pictures on a background can draw the eye away from the core message and make your site seem overwhelming. 

5. Are you being consistent with the fonts you are using? My advice is to pick no more than 3 fonts and use them exclusively. When you have consistency in your brand people start to recognize it. Check out Dafont.com for original fonts for your business. 

6. Do you have a subscription pop up box on your site? This was something I overlooked for the first 2 years my website was up and it really slowed me down in getting people to subscribe. Since I added my pop up subscription box last November, I have gone from 35 to 375 subscribers! It kills me to think of all the potential subscribers I missed simply because I didn't make it accessible to them, but hey, we all have lessons to learn. 

7. Does your logo represent the essence of your brand? Your logo is what people are going to visually associate with your business, so you want to make sure its making the right impression. A logo should clearly and simply convey the essence of your brand. If you need a logo for your business you can order an original design from me HERE

8. Are you giving your readers quality photos and graphics? This is a big one in this day and age where a lot of communication is done visually. Take the time to stage the shots for your blog posts or instagram. DIY some killer lighting so your photos are clean and crisp to the eye. Your reader will appreciate these little details and be much more likely to pin your blog or regram your photo. 

9. Are you overloading your reader with too many social media options? We all have an account for every platform out there, but what are the ones that you are strategically using for your business? Where do you have the biggest following? Which SM icons are impractical to lead your reader to because you havent updated them in 3 months? Weed these out and only leave the SM icons that you are active on. 

10. How could you make your website more organized? If someone was looking for a specific article you wrote 27 weeks ago would they be able to find it? Make sure your search bar is close to the top and very obvious for new comers. Our readers have short attention spans so make sure they can get where you want them to go with ease.

XOXO Chelsea