What if I told you that by adding just one image to your blog post or web page, you could significantly increase the time and attention that people pay to that post or web page?
You’re already spending plenty of time writing blog posts and useful content for Social Media. Why spend time on visual content as well?
Turns out there’s some pretty powerful reasons to do so…
Caroline’s contribution is also part of the Photography for your Blog series here on DYOB.
Why Sparkling Images are More Important than Ever
Great images are so important because images are a powerful way to communicate your message, and in some cases you can save some time if you use them. More of that in a moment.
1. Just take a look at Social Media – from the Facebook Timeline cover image to the image-based Pinterest or Instagram sites. Images are consistently the top type of post shared on Social Media.
In fact reading Forbes Magazine a few weeks ago, I read that visual content will increasingly become a critical piece of any solid content strategy in 2014.
2. Eye-catching images are shared more often, which means that your Blog post, web page or slide presentation (yes, that definitely includes Slideshare) will be spread more easily and come to the attention of more people. And that could result in you getting more customers.
3. Images help to communicate more than words alone. This is particularly true in today’s short attention spans. I mean – take a look at the image to the right.
Could you convey the sort of curiosity and cuteness as easily in your writing as this image does? I don’t think I could.
Oh, and choosing an image over writing lots of text can actually save you time.
4. If you can combine a striking image with a magnetic headline, this will stop people in their tracks.
So How Do You Select Images that Fizz and Sizzle?
Well, there’s no doubt that it takes a little bit of thought, but here are some pointers to help.
1. AS A GENERAL RULE OF THUMB…
Literal images – use these when you need to get specific about what something is or does. A good example of this is a shot of your product or a screenshot when you’re demonstrating something.
Abstract images – use these when you want to evoke an emotion. Here’s an example of what I mean.
In the original image on the left, you can see a fairly ordinary street scene.
However, by tightly cropping the image (see 2nd image) and focusing on one person in that scene (who looks a bit worried?) you could use this image for a financial planning/retirement service, for example, by adding the caption:
“Thinking about retirement and don’t know what the future holds?”
2. BRAINSTORM WORDS AND IMAGES
Let’s take the example of a Conflict Resolution Service.
Note down the names of ideas associated with the main theme of your post or sections of it.
What is a visual object or feeling that comes to mind when you think of this content? Write down the name of it.
In our example, this could include things like a key, people talking, people listening, an ear, soothing, calm, peace, concord, agreement, shaking hands, candle lit peace. This is me just brainstorming as I write, but hopefully you get the idea.
Go to some image sources and search on the words you’ve come up with.
3. TRY USING EMOTION
This can create confusion and be at odds with your post title.
To give you an example here: Let’s say you’ve written a post about being organised and your headline shouts ‘organisation’, but your image screams chaos. That’s likely to attract attention.
Use images with a play on words
Another example. A six pack – instead of an image of abs, put an image of a 6 pack of beer/CD’s/you put your own products here.
Here’s another example: Say you want to convey trust. You could just select an image that has the word trust on it. Or you could try some of the ideas above and come up with an image of a baton being passed in a Relay race. You definitely need trust in that situation!
Quite often it’s about thinking about the subject matter in a slightly different way and actually nothing to do with being artistic! Hurrah, I hear you cry…
Resources for Free Stock Photos!
23 Sites for Free + Affordable Feminine Styled Stock Photography
50+ Sites for Free Feminine Styled Stock Photography
The BIG Guide to Free Images for Your Blog Posts // Part 1: Public Domain
The BIG Guide to Free Images for Your Blog Posts // Part 2: Creative Commons
Don’t think you have the time for all this? Read on…
There’s no denying that images are going to be used more and more online and original images are the most powerful ones.
If you don’t think that you have time to create your own visual content, or you think you have to be artistic, then think again!
There are more free image creation/editing software programmes than ever before. But if you’d like some help with making your marketing images together with a lot of guidance (through our private Facebook group) then you might like to take a look at our DIY Marketing Graphics programme.
We use the free programme – iPiccy – and as well as showing you how to create images for all the main Social Media platforms, blogs and websites, we also include guidance on things like optimising your images, design tips and much more.
PS. Did you know that over 80% of pins are re-pins – [Source: RJMetrics] ( and I suspect that the same is true of the other Social Media platforms).
So the great news is that if you learn how to create valuable original images yourself, then you’ll dazzle your readers who will want to share them.
Do you successfully use photos on your blog? Do you share them on Social Media? Share with us below!
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