How To Make your Stock And Royalty Free Images Stand Out, Even If Everyone Else Is Using Them

I am excited to share with you six simple solutions that will help your visual content stand out, even if many others use the same image.

Have you ever found a stock image that you thought complimented your content perfectly, only to see the same image across social media and other blogs?

I have had this happen a couple of times over!

I am browsing my social media accounts only to see the same image I used on a post show up for someone elses content.

I find it amusing the times I have noticed this happen. Mainly because of the tips I will share with you later in the post. I use at most of these tips every time in order to help my visuals look more appealing, and different from anything else out there.

Coming across multiple of the same images online is more common than you may think. When it comes to stock and royalty free images, one of them can be downloaded and used by thousands.

There are so many options out there. New sites pop up all the time and some conveniently drop them into your inbox every month or so.

We have to look at how we can edit our images and get them to appear as original as possible.

Will an image that was already seen multiple times have the same impact?

Maybe…maybe not!

I would prefer to make some simple changes to the image and tailor it perfectly to your needs.

3 Ways To Make Your Stock Royalty Free Images Look Amazing

 Find The Right Filter

This is one of the easiest ways to completely change the feel of your image.

It’s super simple since on practically all of the photo editing software out there, you can do this at the click of a button!

After you find the image that is right for your content, play around with different filters and go with the one that you feel best enhances the image.

Have fun with it.

I recommend finding two or three filters that you really like and compare them side by side.

Original Image

Image with Filters Added

Zoom/ Crop Your Image

Another super simple way to change-up your image is by doing a quick Crop.

Depending on what tools you are using, you can accomplish this a few different ways. You get same results either way.

Not only do you change-up the feel of your image but you can get rid of empty space or highlight a specific part of the image that compliments your content best.

 Original Image

Images After Zoom/Cropped

Fonts Fonts Fonts

Fonts give you another simple way to make your images visually appealing.

Play with a couple different sizes and styles.

For more examples of great ways to use your fonts, check out these Quote Images.

Fonts/ text are the most important part of your images.

They are what move readers to action and drive them to your content.

They can also make your image look less than as well if you are not careful.

Since Fonts are the most important part of your images, here are some additional tips to make your fonts stand out!

 Use Larger Fonts

I have made this mistake plenty of times in the past.

When you are creating an image on a computer things are large and look great. You have to keep in mind that not everyone will see your image at its original size.

You have to compensate for all those out there that will see that image on mobile, tablets or the thumbnail version of your photo. They will see a much smaller version of your image.

They need to be able to easily see how they will benefit from reading your content.

The style of your Fonts will help your images stand out but you have to be cautious of the size as well.

Contrast Matters

I see this pretty often. The Text blends in with the image making it hard to read.

You have to make your text stand out from everything else that is going on in the image.

The lighter the image or filter, the darker the Font. The darker the image or filter, the lighter the Font.

If you remember these simple steps, you will have everything you need to know to pick the perfect contrast between your image and Fonts.

Text Box

A Text Box is a great way to separate your text from the rest of your image.

Simply adding a box that also contrasts well with the rest of the image.

This is highly effective if you have an image that has a lot going on.

You can have a text box for each word, each row of text, or one large box for all of your text. Whatever works best for your design.

The main thing is that you want everything to be easily read by readers.

Places To Find Stock Royalty Free Images


Photogen offers tons of free stock photos. They are free to download, without registration. The are hi-res JPEG images that can be used for commercial or personal use. The add new images to their gallery all the time.

Free Digital

Free Digital has a large gallery of photos to choose from in many different categories. The have plenty of free images you can download, also without registration. The images are hi-res and you have the option to purchase a larger version of the image if needed.


Fotolia having one of the largest galleries online had to be added. They have around 39 million images available and add hundreds or more per day. Their collection is so large that several other stock photo sites pull from the images Fotolia offers due to their api. You have to register here and they offer a pay as you go, monthly packs and a subscription plan offering images as low as 19 cent per image.

 The Best Places To Find Stock Images

There are so many other places to choose from when it comes to finding free images.

Instead of listing them all, I have some of my Favorite post below.

They all have an awesome list of other free image sites you can check out.

  1. 16 Places to Find the Best Free Stock Photos | DesignModo
  2. 14 Amazingly Free Stock Photo Websites | Entrepreneur
  3. Our Top 9 Best Free Stock Images Sites to Get You Started with Blogging | Headway Themes
  4. Places to Find Free Images Online and Make Your Content More Linkable | Search Engine Journal
  5. 65+ Sites To Find Awe-Inspiring Public Domain Images & Clipart For Your Blog + Social Media Posts For FREE

 Quick Word Of Caution

When you are using stock and royalty free images, you have to be sure you know and understand the license for each image you use.

You are using someone elses work and it is possible to have certain restrictions or obligations even if you pay a small fee.

So thoroughly read the license associated with image before making your final decision.

For example, The Content Factory blog begins their tale of being sued for $8,000 with, ‘Long Story Short: Image Copyright Laws Can Screw You Over‘!

Final Thoughts

There you have it. Six simple ways to make your stock images stand out and get more eyes on your content.

I use the first 5 of the methods on every image and I recommend you do the same. The Text box is optional depending on your design. Just make sure your text can be seen and it doesn’t matter.

There is not a huge time investment. Once you get the hang of it all, you can knock an image out in about 10 minutes.

That little time investment is well worth it to set your visual content apart from all the others that may be circulating out there.