This is the second post in a series on How to make your RSS Feeds POP
One technique that many successful bloggers use to stand out from the crowd is to use images in their feeds. This means switching your feeds to full feeds, enabling html and putting up with a little more bandwidth but in my experience of surfing through thousands of posts a day in RSS it makes a big difference.
Images draw the eye, they pique interested, they grab attention and they have the potential to make what can otherwise be a dry and text filled environment (news readers) a more visually pleasing and sensual space.
I know when I’m scanning my feeds that it’s often the posts with images in them that I pause to take a second look at.
The images you use might illustrate a point you’re trying to make – or they might simply be the equivalent of an image title for your post (like I’m using in this post).
A few blogs that use images regularly and effectively in posts include:
TechCrunch who uses lots of logos and screenshots of companies that it reviews.
Copyblogger uses title images effectively – I know when Brian uses one that I’ve got to pay attention because he’s writing original content. It’s a visual cue to his readers to listen up!
Richard at Read Write Web uses a lot of images in his posts. This is particularly useful for his blog which often features longer and pretty in depth posts that without images could look like large slabs of text.
Using Video in RSS
Over the last year Videos have increasingly been appearing on blogs and over the past few months some news aggregators have worked out how to show them in RSS feeds.
The same principles that apply to images in feeds seem to apply with video – they add another dimension!
Perhaps it is the novelty value or perhaps that it’s an ‘active’ thing to press the little play button – but there’s something about seeing video on a blog or in a feed that sucks me in every time. It catches my eye and draws me towards it – I suspect that it does the same for others so smart and relevant use of video in posts can add a new dimension to both them and the feeds that they appear in.
Tomorrow I’ll continue this series in writing for RSS – but in the mean time I’d love to hear your thoughts on images in feeds.
- Do you use them?
- Do you like them in other’s posts?
- Who uses images in posts well?
- What type of images work best for you?
- Can bloggers sometimes use too many images and videos in posts?