Check out these easy hacks to dramatically improve images and photography for your website, blog or self-publishing your own book.

Google loves original images, visitors like seeing fresh and unique pics, and visuals can make all the difference in not only sporting an awesome looking website or blog, but in converting traffic to paying customers too.

Sadly, the majority of blog and website owners gravitate towards stealing photos from the web or using the stock images supplied by their DIY website builder which are being used by everyone else in their industry.

This cheap and lazy approach to design and publishing doesn’t just turn off Google, it will disappoint potential customers, rob your work of credibility and reaching its full potential, and could easily wind up in an expensive and ugly lawsuit, which notoriously arrives just when you think you’ve made it.

So what’s the work-around? How can you fire up your web presence with awesome images fast?

1. Use Fotolia

Fotolia is a stock photography site. It offers a vast bank of high quality images, vectors and videos at extremely low rates. Grab awesome images here from just 16 cents a pop. Note; you’ll want to go with the medium sized images for great quality, and can get the best deal with a Fotolia subscription.

The really cool part is that you can also upload your own pics and sell them through Fotolia to offset other marketing costs and even make a pretty good living from the additional passive income stream.

2. Lighting

If you really want to be original and stand out you’ll want to take your own pictures. Of course those that haven’t been in a school darkroom or design class for a while can find it incredibly frustrating when their snap shots don’t come out as dazzling as the competition.

Remember the single most important factor for great photos is lighting. It makes all the difference. For outdoor shots the best time to shoot is right around sunrise and sunset. Get out with your camera and try shooting the same subject from different angles at these times till you get a handle on it. See the difference!

3. Adobe

Of course the real catch is that most of the most awesome pics you see online are digitally enhanced. However, thanks to evolving tech you can now wield all the skill and power of the top photographers and designers without breaking the bank. Tap into Adobe Creative Cloud and you can get all of the best Adobe suite of programs including Lightroom 5, Photoshop, InDesign Illustrator and more for around only $50 a month!

4. Get a Better Camera

Obviously one of the easiest hacks for many is to just get a better camera. Fortunately this doesn’t mean having to come up with $10k for an old school style chunky camera that weighs a ton. Most mobile phones now take pictures with even better resolution than those professional photographers used for decades. A 2 megapixel image will take high enough quality images to look good at full page magazine size. Your iPad probably does this. The Samsung Galaxy S4 kicks the iPhone’s butt with a 20 megapixel camera, and now the Nokia Lumia 1020 offers a ridiculous 41 megapixel camera for insanely high quality photo taking.

PLUS: Consider taking a photography class. It can be a lot of fun, good for networking and honing your photography skills. It’ll also help you get used to carrying your camera everywhere so you can snap original pics for your site.

The end result…Google will reward you, readers will love it, and you’ll feel a lot better about publishing YOUR own work!

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