You’ve come across an article on how to make that awesome web design. It’s just the kind of article that you’ve been looking for, and its heading – “Web Design That Will Get You To The Top”- is what draws you into reading it! So without wasting much time, you click on the link and start reading.
And that’s when you realise that it’s going to be a long long read. The article just seems to go on and on (almost 3000 words!) with no respite for your weary eyes. Halfway through, you can’t take it anymore and you end up just closing the tab and moving on in search of something else, something better.
So what went wrong here? The heading was catchy, the content was fabulous. What happened?
Well, the answer is simple. The blog post didn’t have images! Yes, that’s right. Even if your content is great and your heading is awesome, if you don’t have great (and relevant) images to go with the copy, you’re losing out on a lot.
Arrest Your Audience With Your Images:
The world wide web has the power to showcase beautiful imagery (all thanks to the HD screens that these websites are viewed on), so why lose out on it? Viewers love to read, but they love to see as well. A well-written blog with arresting images will go a long way to attract as well as retain your viewers for a longer period of time.
So what exactly do we mean by arresting images? Even in a world where different people have different likes, there are some things that’s common to all – a beautiful sunset, the snow-clad mountains, and so on. To talk about something more practical, even if one prefers to drive a Porsche and the other a Ferrari, both will agree that both cars have good looks.
What we’re trying to say here is that there’s always some common ground, try and find out what that is and choose images for your posts accordingly.
Which Images Fit Best?So how do you go about choosing images? One thing to remember here is that every image generates some kind of emotion. A smiling face will make you feel happy while a starving child will evoke sadness. So think about what emotion you want to generate through your image in particular and your blog post in general.
The second thing to keep in mind is that the images you choose should reflect your personality. Let’s say there are two bloggers writing about the same topic, one chooses casual images (like cartoons/doodles) while the other uses more formal ones (like screenshots and flow charts). Neither of them are wrong. The kind of images you choose will entirely depend on what you want to be known online as.
Last, make your images relevant. Stick to the topic and choose images accordingly. Nothing distracts and irritates the readers more than a sprinkle of irrelevant images.
Please note that I said “sprinkle” and not “downpour”. In other words, DO NOT OVER-STUFF YOUR ARTICLE WITH IMAGES. Too many images on one article breaks its flow, something that’s not recommended. Be wise and insert images on strategic points (where you feel the readers will need a breather from the information download) without breaking the overall flow.
Negative Vs. Positive Images:
The other thing that you need to keep in mind is whether the image you’ve chosen evokes a positive or a negative emotion in the readers. In most of the cases, positive works. People are more likely to share blogs posts that have a positive feeling than those that evoke the guilty conscience or the “eeeew!” factor.
Having said that, it also depends on the kind of blog post you’re writing. It may be that some are written with the deliberate aim to evoke negativity. In that case, negative images are best suited.
Sourcing Your Images:
Knowing what kind of images to use is important, but being aware of where you can source them from is equally important. Most of you may have heard of (and been using) the popular sources like Google Images, Flickr, Instagram for your images, and they’re good. However, there are many not-so popular ones that are equally resourceful:
- Tumblr: You can search images via tags, or follow the trending ones.
- Google+: This does not have as many images as the others, but nonetheless it’s a good place to start your search.
- Reddit: Surf through Reddit, and you might just find the image that you’ve been looking for.
- Society6: It’s a place where artists, designers and illustrators hang out and share/sell images. You’ll find loads of options here.
- Quipsologies: It’s the one place to find out what’s trending in the graphical design industry, and gives you a whole lot of images to choose from.
Unless you want to sit with your Photoshop and spend hours creating images, sourcing is the next best option for you. One thing that you need to be careful here is the ownership rights of the images you plan to use. While some of them are free, some of them need attribution while still others you’ll need to buy. So depending on what your budget is, pick images accordingly.
Giving Final Touch-Ups:
Not all images that you source are fit for use immediately. Some of them need to be given final touches (maybe change the size of the image, or just lighten the shade a bit). Here are some softwares that will help you do exactly that:
Each has its own set of unique features, but you’ll need to fiddle around to know what each one’s capable of. And yes, they’re free. So get your hands dirty!
Making Your Blog Image-Ready:
Having images on your blog is a great way to increase traffic to your website, but you also need to keep in mind that images are heavy files. So make sure you have signed up for a web hosting service that can handle the ‘weight’. You’ll need a plan which has enough bandwidth to ensure that your website loads faster across all browsers. So do your research and choose one that meets all your website requirements.
Just as you optimize your content for search engines, you can also optimize your images. There are many ways of doing it (like using alt text, reducing file size, including captions, etc.), but that’s a story for another day. For now, make sure that you have the right images from the right sources, and you’re bound to experience increased traffic to your site.
All the best!