This Is Why I’m Quitting Stock Photos and SEO

NOTE: It’s now August of 2018. My no stock photos experiment has failed as there is now, ironically, a stock photo at the top of this post. But everything we do leads to a lesson learned.

Time is valuable. This is a lesson I’ve learned since becoming a writer. For every minute you spend doing busywork, you forfeit something else. In my case, every time I look for stock photos or do keyword research, I’m doing a little less writing. The phrase might be overused, but content is still king.

As the new site develops, there will be some obvious changes. My goal is to communicate messages worthy of your time, and to continue on my own writer’s journey. I think we can kill two birds with one stone. So I’ll be maximizing my energy toward writing.

5 Things That Will Be Different on This Blog

  1. No stock photos: I’ve always felt uncomfortable using stock photos. Yes, some of the pictures are beautiful, but they’re not mine. They’re a false representation. My goal isn’t to create a fake, glittery image. My goal is to create honest and helpful content.
  2. No SEO: Search engine optimization is the gold standard for bloggers. The idea is simple: key words and formulaic writing get your articles seen by Google. I’m betting that great content is more important.┬áLeo Babauta of Zen Habits would agree.
  3. No archives’ page: It’s nice to be able to find articles quickly and easily. In the past, I’ve had an archives’ page. I’m not a technical wizard, so I had to update that page manually. Not having an archives’ page will be one less worry for daily upkeep.
  4. Categories: So the guy who’s railed against categories and tags is adding categories. This will replace the archives page. The site will include four categories: creativity, productivity, simplicity, and success. They can be found at the bottom of the page.
  5. Video: Unlike stock photos, video is more personal and direct. I plan to start producing video lessons in the coming year.

A Simple Message Is Easier to Understand

Do photos make the message stronger? Sometimes. But more often in today’s online clutter, they distract from the message. I want words to stand out. Does that mean I’ll never use photos on this site? No. I love photography and believe that images can have powerful impact.

Don’t expect photos on every post, but do expect some photography. I’ll occasionally post my own amateur photography. And I’ll be reaching out to others who practice photography. It’s that two birds thing again.

There are many ways to make a job simpler. Sometimes, that includes working together. Check out a few of the ways you can work with me.