We know blog visuals are crucial to helping your writing go far. Here’s five ways you can use them in your next post.
Over the years, there have been plenty of statistics to show how blog perform better when they include supporting images. However, for many bloggers, it can be difficult to know what kinds of images they should include with their posts. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are a few you could try to bring your blog content up a notch.
1. Original imagery.
The internet is flooded with stock images, and if your blog relies on them for visuals, it will be hard to stand out from the back. At the very least, you should be able to combine your stock images with some design skills to create a consistent visual style for your featured images. And if your design skills aren’t the greatest, there are plenty of sites like Canva or Buffer with graphic design templates to help you out.
Even better, try taking some original photos for your blog. These might include product photos if you run an e-commerce store, or you could take process photos if you want to show a step-by-step instructions for something. (Think of the last time you searched for a recipe online and stumbled across someone’s baking blog.)
When you’re writing about a complex topic, it’s natural to want to reach for an image to illustrate your point. That impulse is usually the correct one: if you’re struggling to explain something, your readers are probably struggling to envision it. Having imagery to back you up can help your point come across better.
There are several types of example images you draw on. A few might include:
- The “this is what I’m talking about” pic:A straight-up example. You’re trying to write a blog post about Calls-to-Action, and you want your audience to know what a CTA looks like in the wild. A simple screen shot will do.
- The before and after:We all know how powerful it can be to see a contrast. These images are great for restoration projects, or even if you’re trying to show how to improve something in a more abstract context.
- The best/worst in class:We’ve used example images to demonstrate both the best and worst examples of web design in the past, and this example style has plenty of applications across industries.
- The tutorial screenshot:Trying to write about how to do something online? Get comfortable with taking screenshots. Technical posts benefit from this more than most.
For some kinds of people infographics can be addictive. A good infographic both memorable and satisfying. If you’re me and you can’t get through a conversation without wanting to sketch a quick illustration of what you’re talking about, writing an infographic to go with a post can feel almost like second nature. There are even plenty of platforms out there that can help bring your infographic to life if you don’t have design software yourself.
Infographics can be a great way to show visualizations of data or illustrate of abstract ideas. They can even be mnemonic devices for remembering ideas or the content of the blog itself.
Gifs and memes are the lifeblood of the Internet, and anyone who’s spent any time on Buzzfeed knows that a writer who can wield these tools appropriately can create an almost limitless supply of viral content. Of course, given the informal nature of this content, it may not be right for every blog or for every context.
But if something tickles your sense of humor or if your content calls for just the right pop culture reference, go for it. Adding a gif or a meme not only adds to the visual interest of your blog, it makes it more friendly and relatable, as well. People like people who like the things they like, which means that using gifs and memes effectively may just be they key to gaining trust and building rapport with potential customers.
Blog visuals can be more than simple images with some text overlay. If you have video content, turning it into a blog post can be a great way to build your SEO while also giving that video a place to live on your website. Simply take the transcription and post it below the embedded video. (To see this strategy in action, Moz does this with all their Whiteboard Wednesdays.)
6. Pull quotes.
If you’re really struggling to find the right image to go with your blog, you can trigger interest using the blog content itself. Find your most compelling quote and put it into an image that you can share across social media along with a link to your content. It’s an effective way to draw readers in to your subject matter.
Giving your blog posts a little extra attention increases their value and their engagement rates.
Yeah, it does take some extra work to track down good example images for blog posts, to custom design featured images rather than grabbing the first appropriate stock photo to come your way, or to find a meme with the perfect joke for your post. But going the extra mile and rounding off these details can actually pay off significantly for your blog.
If you’re going to invest in quality content, take it the next step further and commit to the imagery that will back it up. You want your blog to look as good as the work you put into it.