One of the more important ingredients to blogging is being able to stand apart from the rest. Generic blogs are rarely the ones that bring in a good income. Generic blog posts, unless written by someone who’s already popular, don’t do well either.
If you want to turn visitors into readers, providing value is not enough. You need to also make your content interesting and engaging.
It’s Simple, Easy and Effective
Yep, that’s how it is! Although content and not pictures is why people are on your blog, adding such can often times end up bringing more traffic than what an in-depth article on a specific topic can.
While the preparation for a pillar article might take days and in some cases even weeks with all of the stages involved, finding a good image takes roughly 15 minutes.
So in short here are my instructions for slapping a good image to supplement your latest article:
- Open up Flickr’s advanced search
- Scroll right to the bottom of the page and click on “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content” (important to avoid legal issues)
- Return to the top, type a relevant keyword and hit “Search”
- Be patient, you might need to go through several pages until you find the perfect image. If that doesn’t work, repeat with a different keyword.
- When you have found what you are looking for, make sure once again that the picture is licensed under creative commons, click on it, then on “View all sizes” (top right side) and you will see a download link above the picture.
- When resizing, don’t make the image too small, but also don’t make it too big – the dimensions I use are normally 220-240 pixels of width and 150-170 pixels of height.
Images are What Catches the Eye
People are so to say color-sensitive so an image, surrounded by a white (white-grayish in my case) background and black letters is easily the first thing they will notice.
The thing about images is that they do a far better job in conveying the essence of your article than the post’s opening sentences. What happens is that people first look at the picture, if it sparks interest they move on to the text, knowing what they are about to read.
Even if you don’t choose the right picture, this will create curiosity among visitors and they might end up checking the article, just to see what you meant.
It’s way harder to get someone to read, when there isn’t some sort of a visual sign to give an idea of what the post is about.
Adding Images Can Get You More Facebook and Google+ Likes
It turns out that images can prove a shortcut to social media success. Having added a relevant picture to go along with your blog post can do miracles on Facebook and Google+.
When you share an article on one of those, you can fetch the images you have used and thus share a more dynamic preview. If you haven’t included an image, you will only share just the next plain-text boring status update. You can’t expect too many shares and likes that way, especially with people in a hurry, who scroll down without paying too much attention.
Images Leave an Impression
Being able to make people remember your blog is very important if you want to really establish a brand. The problem with text is that it doesn’t stick in one’s mind as well as an image does. Many of your visitors go through dozens of articles everyday.
If you fail to provide a visual clue that grabs their attention, they will have hard time remembering where they actually read that great post and won’t return for more.
Now it’s your turn! What is your opinion – does adding images play a role and can it really make a huge difference to an article’s performance? As always your two cents are much appreciated folks!