Why your blog posts need better images than you have now – time to up your game!

Stock photography makes your blog look uninteresting. And it fails to deliver the most important marketing results. Here’s what to do instead.

NOTE: This is Part 4 of the “mouth-watering blog posts” series. You have a great idea and the ideal headline, and ooh-oooooh is your writing ever magnificent. Let me paint you a picture of what you’re still missing.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Well, some pictures are. Stock photography is worth perhaps five or maybe even six-and-a-half words.

Amazingly, some blogs still have no pictures. Not even five- or six-and-a-half-word pics.

Why does a blog need images? Let’s answer that by looking at what images do for a blog post.

  • Images turn visitors into readers by breaking up the text and making it more inviting to read.
  • Images convey information to the reader, complementing the written information .
  • Images convey information to the reader, re-enforcing key points.
  • Images make ideas look real, more tangible than text explanations.
  • Images make a post sharable to social media platforms.
  • Images in social media drive traffic by enticing people to click through to your post and become readers.
  • Images in social media increase reach by enticing people to re-share your posts.
  • Images allow your post to show up in image searches.

Not every image in every blog post will play all these roles. Most images in this blog play most of these roles. Stock photography plays only the first role: breaking up the text. That’s like going to a concert and listening to a minute of buzzing between each piece.

great blog image ideas

Publish an original image on each blog post

You don’t have to be an artist or a photographer to create an original image. Most of mine start out as stock photography.

I try to choose photos that are interesting to start with, then look to see that there is plenty of blank space to write over.

Then I add words that re-enforce the key message or complement the text. Sometimes these words list action items. Sometimes they are a quote or a key message.

What do these types of messages have in common?

  • They are all original by the time the edits are complete.
  • They all include text as part of the image .
  • They all explain the content, or at least a key point in the content.
  • They all stand on their own, if separated from the post (such as on Facebook or Pinterest).
  • They are all highly sharable to social media platforms (because they are interesting and because they stand on their own).

collage of blog imagesAnd they all include faces. Well, no, actually they don’t. Not every pic has to have a face. But we humans relate to other humans. A friendly face in an image puts a friendly face on your blog.

Yes, that’s a “du-uh” moment.

The fact is that friendly faces sell everything from beer to books. Putting a friendly face on your blog post, and on the social media posts that people share about your blog post, will increase interest and favorable impressions of your blog post, your blog and you.

In this array of pics from this blog, not all have faces. But they are all original, based on a stock image that is not among the most boring to begin with.

They all include text as part of the image.

Notice also that they all have a clear, stand-alone message. They make sense on FaceBook. They make sense on Pinterest. You don’t have to click-through to “get” them, which makes them easy for others to re-share or repost.

Yet, notice that they all arouse curiosity. If the topic is of interest, you will likely click through to read more. (Click the image to zoom in.)

Make your images load fast

Confession time. I don’t always check the size of my images, nor optimize them for speed. But I generally create reasonably sized images to start with.

You don’t need magazine-quality images for online use. They don’t have to be 3,000 pixels wide or high. Mine are usually about 650 pixels wide. That’s plenty. And even a dozen of those on a page shouldn’t slow the page loading time too much.

But, if you have a very big image, it will slow the load time. That will put off readers. That will also hurt your SEO efforts, which these days relies on fast loading.

Imagine that!

The images are not the most important aspect of your blog post. But they can determine the success of the aspects that are.

Don’t throw up stock photos. Make sure your photos work for your success. Make them interesting. Make them carry your message. A little time spent creating an original image is worth the effort.

Recipe for mouth-watering blog posts

About David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt is President of The Happy Guy Marketing, a published author, a "Distinguished Toastmaster", a former consumer advocate, a social media addict and experienced with media relations and government reports.

Read more about David Leonhardt



Comments

  1. Hi David, Excellent points. You’re right, images can lure readers to your article, help explain your points and break up long chunks of text. Images should stand on their own and adding text is a great way to do that. When people share posts on social media, often it’s the image that they share and having text on that image will draw even more readers to the article.

    Another tip is to make sure the description and title of the images are able to stand on their own. If a reader shares an image on Pinterest, that information will be included in the pin and help draw more readers.

    Sharing this helpful article now!

  2. Hey David,

    Good to see the new part 4 of the mouth-watering series. 🙂

    Yes, images are vital in blogging, and the size and shape will really occupy more space and ultimately curtail the upload speed too.
    I agree with you Dave that the images worth speaks a thousand words, of course, I agree with you, an eye-capturing image drive traffic by enticing people to click through to your post and become readers.
    But it is sad to note that a lovely image filled with a lot of texts really spoils the real beauty, but we as bloggers can’t help without that writings on the image. Anyways, thanks for sharing such a lot of things in the post.

    Keep sharing. Season’s Greetings to all.

    Best Regards

    ~ Phil
    PS: I found this post shared on BizSugar and upvoted and commented.
    Thanks

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