Hey there!

I am new to blogging and I have created a few posts where I share items from my favorite stores explaining why I like them, where they are made, what their story is, etc.

Should I be posting each one without any photos since I am not yet an affiliate and when I'm ready to apply I will just add them to the posts when/if approved? (assuming they have an affiliate program)

Or do I still ask them permission to use the photos, then use them upon approval, then apply to their program when I feel I am ready?

Curious how new bloggers go about using photos from brands that have an affiliate program they plan on applying to, but they're in that awkward stage of not being old enough/having enough content to feel confident to apply quite yet.

I feel it will be hard to get much traffic without having photos to show what I'm talking about, but I feel it might be weird to ask permission to use their photos and then apply to their affiliate program a month later?

Thanks for reading!

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roysinOnline Premium
Very good question with very good answers. This has been something I have wondered about myself.

I have for the most part used stock photos, but have also used photos that I have taken myself in different stores and have had no problems with the stores I have done this.

For the affiliate programs, I am a member of, I have waited using their photos until I have been approved.

With reference to what Nathaniell has answered you, I will need to have another look in the respective affiliate programs regarding the product pictures. But I am sure that I have followed the respective aff. programs terms and conditions in relation to the use of their pictures.

nathaniell Premium
If you cannot find product images that are specifically for affiliate use, you can also choose images to represent a "feeling" or "idea" about your product. For example, if your product is a drone, you could have an image of a tree with a big sky in the background. Or if the article is about drones in residential areas, you can show an image of the suburbs from an aerial view.

You can also use stock photos to represent your product. You may want to promote a specific type of cat tree, but if you can't get a good product photo, a general stock photo will suffice. It's not ideal, since people are buying something different from what they see, but it's a temporary solution. You can put the proper photo there later by updating the post when you have a budget to buy the item or you acquire the photo in some other way.

Using actual images of the product is best. You can contact the affiliate manager for the program you work with and get written permission to use the images.

Most smaller affiliate programs will be fine with this, though some bigger ones may not. For some programs that don't have an affiliate manager, you may not get a response, or even a person that understands what you're asking.

It's best to not use photos unless you know the permissions. Many people get away with it, but some people do get in trouble and have to pay fines.

Taking your own photos is the best option, though it can be expensive if you buy the products, or embarrassing if you travel to stores to photograph the boxes (this is possible though!).

Another awesome resource is Flickr Creative Commons. People upload all kinds of candid product photos from their daily lives. Just be sure to include the proper attribution. Usually a link to the original photo source is good enough.

For Amazon, use Amazon Stripe. Don't copy/paste images from Amazon!
JeannineC Premium
The time between when you start posting and when you have enough content to apply can be short if you work hard on that. In the meantime, don't only think of "hero" shots of the products. Consider images showing people using the product, who the product might be for, etc. For example, if it's a product for dogs, show cute picture of dogs instead of the product for now.

Honestly, most product shots are pretty boring. They rarely tell us anything about the product beyond what color the package is. Instead see if you can find shots of people interacting with the product, or a similar product where you can't necessarily identify just what the people are using as far as specific brand. Combine that with a fun question about using the product, and you'll increase engagement as well.
anusuya1 Premium
Typically the affiliate marketing enterprise you are associated with provides you with product photos, banners and all that is necessary. Ask them to provide.
cwb237 Premium
thank you for your responses! I guess I will plan to use stock photos where I can. But for the list guides, I guess I wont use any photos until I am approved?
AbieAJ Premium
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keishalina9 Premium
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