Four good reasons why your blog posts need images to attract readers
I love reading blogs, particularly from experts or people I know and trust. When I spotted a headline the other day that sounded like the answer to one of my burning questions, I eagerly clicked on the link. But when the page opened, my heart sank. I saw straightaway why we had to write our ebook about the mistakes some bloggers make who don’t attract readers.
Never underestimate the importance of good-looking blogs
The mistake this particular blogger made was to deliver the content as one big ‘blob’ of text. Had there been a good image, I might have dived in regardless, forgiving the writer for the poor presentation. But as it was, I clicked away from the blog.
In my early blogging days I never used to worry about photos either, often writing in a wordy impersonal style that may have been more suitable for a business book.
But if books can get away with lots of detail and no pictures, why can’t blogs?
It’s not just the way we absorb information online that seems to have changed. My own reading behaviour is far from untypical – online readers are much more likely to dig deeper into an article that looks inviting and easy to read.
We seem to have a smaller attention span, are prone to distractions and tend to rely on visual cues to keep us engaged.
But I think this change applies offline too!
Who could have predicted only a decade ago, that a newspaper like the British ‘I’ – featuring bite-size news snippets broken up by lots of images – could become popular?
For me this is proof that whilst we want information, we prefer having it presented in ways that allow for the fact that we all lead such busy lives.
Why your blog posts need images to attract readers
- Your article is likely to get a lot more views if you promote it on social media using a relevant image rather than just linking to it. As I said, social media platforms love images. But also, by posting the image that goes with the blog, you will motivate readers with a visual preference to click through whether they happen to see it on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
- When you make your chosen image the ‘featured image’ on your post (a function that can be found in WordPress) your image will always appear with your post. This will brand it, making it both recognisable and easy to find.
- Your picture can help with clarity by making a long text a lot less monotonous. It can be used to break up the content or illustrate a specific point. You can also use photos as metaphors like the photo (add photo) of the wilted flowers Alice found for one of the pages on this site. Meaningful photos may help a busy reader to skim read without losing your key message.
- If you are a fashion, cookery, gardening or design blogger, featuring a key image (or more) is a must and it will likely speak for itself, without the need for many words. And images could become even more important when you are trying to sell something!
Think creatively when it comes to images
Finding suitable images needn’t be hard as long as you refrain from Googling your photo idea and saving something you like from the image galleries. It could land you in serious trouble if sued by the photographer who owns the original.
There are many online sites where you can either purchase images for a reasonable fee or use free images without infringing copyright.
But why not take your own photos?
These days most people – especially business owners – have a smartphone on them wherever they go. Mine takes pictures of a quality comparable to a good camera. All my blog photos – even the ones I feature on Instagram are taken only with my iPhone!
If, like me, you’ve never considered yourself a photographer, a phone can give you the freedom and confidence to take and publish photos of the world around you. What may look to you like a simple image, could be made to look quite stunning using the editing tricks available on your camera app.
I got into the habit of capturing something every day, whether I’m outdoors (we love nature images at Attract Readers) or indoors in an office.
So all in all, I hope I’ve you good reasons why your blog posts need images to attract readers. Will you publish an image with your next post, maybe even one of your own? Go on… why not have a go?
Alternatively, you can share how you make images work for you in the comments below.