People are visual by nature. An image draws an eye in and captures someone's attention quicker than text. Capturing your readers attention quickly is essential to keeping them on the page and having them want to read your content. Good pictures are an easy way to accomplish this.
A Picture Can Draw Readers In
Think about Facebook for a second. I don't know about you, but the first thing I'm always drawn to when I log into Facebook are the images that show up in my news feed, not the text. Images catch my eye and capture my attention - drawing me in, wanting to know more/read the text that goes with the images.
So, again, it's important to make sure you're using images in your blog posts. Try to find an image that tells the story 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
We talked about Facebook already and how important images are there to grab your reader’s attention. But it doesn’t stop there. Think about other 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.
But Where Do You Get Images?
I'm hoping that by now I have convinced you of the importance of using images in your posts. So now you're probably wondering, where do I find images?
Image Monthly - I shared a sneak peek into what this is all about in this post. This is one of the first places I look for a stock image to use or a quote bubble I can use to make a graphic or a background texture to make an image/quote graphic from.
Yourself - I'm a wanna be photographer ;-) but very rarely do I take my own images...to use in a blog post, at least. This is also mainly because the things I write about don't include sunsets, flowers, the beach, my nephews, son or other family ;-) So, in other words - pics I take don't really fit into writing about blogging. But if I was a food blogger I would certainly take pictures myself to use for blog posts. If you're a crafty person and blog about that, you could most certainly take your own pictures to use.
This is obviously the cheapest option. But if you're going to be 'really serious' about taking photos, you could find it a little time consuming to set up equipment, pose the subject for the pic, take equipment down, download images to your computer, and then edit the image to use in your blog post.
Stock Photos - I've found many stock photo sites but I haven't used any of them because they all seemed a little on the pricey side for the few images I had the need for. But there are sites like IstockPhoto.com and Depositphoto.com. These sites give you the rights to use an image once you pay for them (be sure to read their rules for how you can/can't use the image though). These are pretty big sites that connect you to thousands of photographers so you can find images on just about any subject.
This is part 4 of a 10 part series on how to write a good blog post that engages people.
- Part 1 – How To Write Attention Grabbing Blog Post Titles
- Part 2 – How Long Should Your Blog Posts Be?
- Part 3 – Why Breaking Up Your Content Into Skimmable Sections Is Important
- Part 4 – Why you should include Images in Blog Posts (this post)
- Part 5 – How To Get Your Blog Posts Shared Socially
- Part 6 – Engage Your Readers And Encourage Interaction
- Part 7 – What’s the Goal of Your Blog Post?
- Part 8 – How to Create a Good Blog Post Call to Action
- Part 9 – How to Monetize Your Blog Post
- Part 10 – Why You Need A Mailing List