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Your blog article took hours to research and write. You can’t just post it on your company website without an image, right? So you go over to freepix and download the “laughing woman with salad” image, and of course you credit the photographer.

Upload and done. Now click publish.

But what are you really saying with that generic stock pic of the woman laughing holding a salad bowl? I like the blog content but the amateurish stock pic undermines everything you’ve written. As the reader, I feel like you’ve sent over the waiter at Chilis to sing happy birthday to me and my friends — its low effort, annoying, and frankly it’s embarrassing.

Stock picks get used, reused and recycled all over the internet more than your older sister’s text books. They look fake and bring down the quality of your words, even if your article is great. I get it, your blog or social post needs to *pop*. But you wouldn’t just cut and paste your blog content from Wikipedia and post as your own, would you?

Imagine a menu with a lot of delicious pizza dishes on it. Above the name of the dish is a generic stock pic of the pizza. What purpose does it serve? It’s not the restaurant’s pizza. But by keeping the menu text only we can imagine what that delicious pizza will look, and taste like. With a stock pic you are removing the chance for your reader to imagine an image with the text. Instead they are served a cut copy stock image.

So what should you do instead? If your B2B blog post is a menu of sorts on your services, products, or both, you have two options. Take photos of something related to your topic. Or, write in a beautiful and expressive way that brings the images to the reader’s mind. Let him paint a picture of your topic in his head so the reading becomes more enjoyable. But please, whatever you do, put down the stock pics.