What’s More Important, Content or Pictures?
Part 4 of my series on blogging
If you are going to the trouble to write a helpful or entertaining blog, shouldn’t that be enough to get your reader’s attention? When it comes to a blog post, that isn’t always the case. Make sure your posts are visually appealing and attention grabbing. Good pictures are a great way to accomplish that.
A Picture Can Draw Readers In
A picture draws readers in and entices them to at least skim your blog posts. Have a look at some of the major news sites, big blogs or even your Facebook feed. It’s the pictures that grab your attention in combination with the post title.
Try to find an image that reinforces the main point of your post. The image should tell at a glance (with the help of the post title) what the blog post is all about. Of course you’re not limited to just one image. If it fits the topic, grab a few to illustrate what you’re talking about or show step-by-step progress.
You Need Pictures For Social Media Shares
Think about the social sites your audience participates in. It doesn’t matter if it’s Pinterest, Instagram or even Twitter. A good image will stand out and draw people in. Without it, your chances to get the click and more importantly the read and interaction on your blog are slim.
But it doesn’t stop there. As you get traffic to your post, those readers will be more likely to share your post on social media if it has a good image or two. Of course making it easy to share with social media buttons doesn’t hurt either.
Where Do You Get Those Images?
You have a couple of different options when it comes to getting pictures.
1) You Can Take Them Yourself – If you’re a decent photographer and can find the subject matter you need, by all means go ahead and take your own images. Photography equipment aside, this is the cheapest and most authentic option. The downside is that it takes time to set up, take the picture, process it after and get it in a format you can use you on your blog.
2) You Can Hire Someone Else To Take Them For You – This is where things can get pricey. You wouldn’t hire a photographer for just one blog post, but you could plan a session of related topics, brand colors or you in action to maximize your investment. Related images can be used for quick posts, marketing material or your website.
3) Stock Photos – The most time and cost effective method for most of us is to buy stock photography. Sites like IstockPhoto.com and Depositphoto.com will sell you the right to use an image on your blog post for around $2. And since they are huge sites that connect you to thousands of photographers, you can find images on just about any subject with just a few keystrokes.
While it may be tempting to post just your blog content, take the time to add an image for impact. Your readers will be more likely to share your content. Next week we’ll get into more about social sharing.
Susan M Sparks offers copywriting, publishing services and coaching for aspiring authors. She is the author of four books, including the Amazon Best-Seller “The Student Life Jacket” and ghostwriter for many entrepreneurial non-fiction titles. Need help with your blog or book? She can be reached at Susan@ASAPWritingServices.com.