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Using Images to Take Your Posts to a New Level

With millions of blog posts being added to the web each day – bloggers need to consider more than just the content that they are posting and think about how they can design their posts to grab attention.

One element of this post design is adding images to posts.

Images enhance posts in any number of ways including by giving posts a visual point of interest, grabbing attention (great for making your RSS feed readers stop and read), drawing people’s eye down a post beyond the first few lines, illustrating examples, giving your blog a more personal touch, engaging the emotions and senses of readers and giving posts more authority.

In this video I look at some of these reasons and then give some examples of different types of images that can enhance a post (I’ve been experimenting this week with using some screen shots and moving screen captures in this video which I hope gives it more interest – I’m still learning my video editing though – so be patient with me!).

A few posts from the ProBlogger archives for further reading on different aspects of this post:

PS: yes my ‘Mo’ is growing. Don’t forget to sponsor me for Movember!

PS2: The theme song was composed by Fokissed.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the great advice. My blog really needs some more color and pictures would definitely spruce things up. I think the hardest part is getting pictures that I can use on the site.

  2. Davinder says:

    Yeah,,, even I tend to use image for every post.

    @David you can easily download pictures from free stock photo sites and use them with proper credits.. try this http://www.123rf.com my fav!

  3. As a former magazine publisher, I always make it a point to include an image in nearly every post. However, this info has definitely inspired me to bring more creativity into the aesthetic aspect of my posts at http://www.one-away.com

    Thanks

  4. Rainmaker says:

    Ah HA! Now I understand why one of my posts is so darn popular. It’s the only one with a photo! It’s got to be one of my least interesting, helpful posts, but it gets crazy amount of reads. Was so weird. Now I know. Now, I’m gonna start adding photos to all my posts! I always thought.. this is a text medium, no need for photos. But you are right with the connection/emotion thing. Kewl. Thanks. I can’t wait.

  5. Ugh. Well thank you very much. I didn’t really want to bother with images anymore. But you convinced me to give it a go. Just one more thing on my endless to do list!

  6. Leo says:

    Excellent points, Darren. As usual.
    Be carefull when using images though. Explanation here: http://www.feedest.com/blog/display.cfm?bid=C01AEFC8-1143-CDC1-C0EF886B3CD52127

  7. Msterilinn says:

    I have always loved using images in my posts. I am careful not to add too many large images, with those who have dial-up in mind, and if necessary I just resize my images in photoshop. I also upload the images to my own hosting server, so I am certain to not lose my images, or overload someone elses server. And my images always relate to the given post, adding that personal touch. There are soooo many places on the net to find images that are free to use. Just do a search.. this is something I enjoy quite a bit, when adding this bit of realism to my posts. ;)

    Love your post Darren! I am always happy to visit your blog..

    Enjoy!

    Teri~

  8. Rhea says:

    I love using images on my blog, but to be honest, I’ve had trouble posting them at the proper size. I was told to use Graphic Converter and that was helpful. It’s still a work in progress!

  9. This is for sure the next thing I need to start doing to my blog. I like the content , but it looks so boring. An image a post would do a lot for it.

  10. Berlin Visit says:

    I use a lot of images on my blog. In fact the blog is more about the pictures taken in Berlin and the text is only used to give some background information about the pictures.
    But I think that I need to add more text.

  11. Reed says:

    Aside from just making a post looker better, I have noticed that adding tagged pictures and embedding a relevant video has also indexed some of my posts higher in search results.

  12. Hadi says:

    I don’t really care about the pictures. I just use any pictures i take!

  13. Mert Erkal says:

    Photos and pictures make blog posts more interesting. Even if the image has nothing to do with the content of the blog post, a photo will pull people in to reading your article, although of course if you can use an image to enhance the message your article presents that’s a good thing.

    I currently source images for my blog posts from two sites -

    * istockphoto.com (http://www.istockphoto.com/index.php)
    * stock.xchng (http://www.sxc.hu/)

    I sometimes spend $1 at istockphoto.com to get a really good photo, although stock.xchng has lots of great free photos too.

    You can find one good example here :
    Have You Downloaded Your Gifts Yet?

  14. Derek says:

    Image Ads work well too provided they are relevant to your content. I added them in the middle of my post and it look great.

  15. Ravi says:

    Just out of curiousity, how did you get Fokissed to do the theme song?

    I’ve been keeping tabs on him since he was in a contest sponsored by Scion, but I can’t imagine how your two worlds crossed :-).

    Do fill us in on the story, Darren!

    Lara Says: Ravi – Darren’s on holiday until the 27th or 28th, so I’ll fill ya in! Fokissed submitted that song during the ProBlogger Birthday Bash when we had one of the giveaways requiring readers to submit an “Ode to ProBlogger” entry. Darren was so impressed, he asked Fokissed if he could use it for his videos. Pretty nifty, eh? Fokissed is extremely talented, and when I first heard it I couldn’t wait for Darren to get online (I’m in the US, so I knew about it before he did) and when he did, he absolutely loved it!

  16. Ravi says:

    Ah, I forgot about Darren’s rescheduled vacation…thanks for filling us in though, Lara!

  17. Moe Alza says:

    I agree, that to make your blog stand out you need to add more images and other things to your posting. I will start using this for my own sites :). Thanks for the tip.

    - Webmaster of http://www.Freebie4me.info

  18. Sue says:

    @Evan Hadkins:
    I too have no time, working 12 hours a day (or night) at my regular job, but depending on your blog’s subject, searching for a good photo or drawing isn’t that hard or time consuming. I personally find sxc.hu hard to search, so use Flickr a lot for the Creative Commons ones. My subject is relatively easy to find (lighthouses) so to everyone, YMMV.

    However, Evan, your blog’s subject (health and wellness) should give you a wealth of images. Another option is through Wikimedia Commons. And don’t forget, you don’t need photographs. Line drawings and other images are wonderful also.

    One thing everyone needs to remember, though, is to use ONLY with permission, unless the photo is public domain or licensed under Creative Commons (and don’t forget the attribution). And never never hotlink to an image, unless it’s to a place like Flickr. I personally would rather download it and use it from my site, since some of the image sites can be slow at times.

    Someone else mentioned proper image placement. A good blog theme will have image CSS, so you can display your images with spacing, left or right aligned, centered, in line with the text, and perhaps with a border. If it doesn’t, learn how to do it or ask someone to show you. Or better yet, realize the theme isn’t a very good one and get a different one. There is nothing that turns me off than to see the image displayed with the bottom of it at the top of the text line.

    About using large images, I usually will display the thumbnail and if someone wants to look at the larger photo, then they can. And WP kindly creates a thumbnail version of the image or photo, and there are plugins that extend this functionality for more flexible sizes.

    Images and photos are important for the blog reader, for all the reasons mentioned in Darren’s videos. And you never see magazines or newspapers without images. It’s what draws the reader in and keeps them there.

  19. Blogoria says:

    Personally when I see large volumes of text I get dizzy and I start thinking to myself…ahhh man I better grab that cup of coffee. I’m more inclined to stick around if there is something visually stimulating in the article im about to read…. a picture is worth a thousand words.

  20. tarawat says:

    Thanks for the great trips. My blog really needs some more color and pictures would definitely spruce things up.

  21. 1329052 says:

    It is very correct, when i add some pics in my blogs, the reader is become more and more…

    http://aboutpaidonline.blogspot.com

  22. I agree, images definitely help for reader alliance. If you check out http://www.marketingpilgrim.com he does it on just about every post. I like how you actually put videos in your posts. Good stuff man!

  23. Martin says:

    I discovered that the best background for photographing small objects is a black fabric chair seat. I see a lot of bloggers taking pics of stuff on their desks. I prefer contrast and lack of clutter.

    Here is a photo of a bottle of Cat Milk.

  24. thanks for the GREAT post! Very useful…

  25. Liz says:

    I totally agree that images make a post more eye-catching and pleasing… The thing is, I’m constantly worried about legal issues. How much should this be considered…?

  26. Stijn says:

    Thanks for sharing. For several years I’ve been adding (at least) a small descriptive image to each of my posts. You’re absolutely right when stating this gives the content more appeal, even if it finding the right image takes almost as much time as writing the post itself.

    However, my main reason for doing this was not to attract new readers but to enhance my future archives. If someone does decide to dig a little deeper, it will always be easy to identify they do or don’t want to read.

  27. DJ Smith says:

    Great information! Great video! Can you tell me what software you recommend for editing video for the web?

    Thanks,
    DJ
    Boise, ID

  28. Bryan Froden says:

    Images are all I got! It seems so much easier to write about an image then to pull it out of my head. I am finding out that my camera is one of my most important tools. (can’t wait to upgrade it)

  29. Heat shrink says:

    Thanks for giving us good suggestion.I always use images in our articles that makes it so interesting and attractive too.

  30. Hi Darren, I have a blog that’s mostly personal development type focused, but I thought a few weeks ago that even a group of nice photos could add to it as they are inspiring and everyone loves to look at photos. I created 3 indexes, Awesome Photos, Inspirational Photos, and just today I did New York City Street photos from way back when I did freelance photojournalism in NYC. I have had a lot of compliments on the photos. Great photos, whether you produce them yourself or if you buy/rent them through dreamstime or fotolia or other stock agency is really a MUST for an A-level blog. I was glad to see you start putting a lot more inspirational photos on your posts!

    Ok, enjoy. Here’s a link to the New York Photos if you want to see… New York City photos index

  31. pukas says:

    Thanks for very usefull post. I’ll use images in my posts for now on.

  32. sexyMG says:

    Nice tips! I always try to upload a image, i think images in post make the posts looks better.

  33. Where do people get good logo that can be used in blog posts?

    Best Regards
    Baldur Bjarnason

  34. Good tip and very helpful too

    Post stumbled :)

  35. esvl says:

    Another great blogging video from the talking head! No just joking, cant wait for the next video.

  36. That’s nice. I use images since my first blog article. Since then, I used in almost all posts.

    Nice video.

  37. Broker says:

    Very nice ;) I like it :) I always try to use images every where I can, because it’s look good ;)

    Greet

    Broker ( http://www.madeactive.com )

  38. PB, how is the EvilGoogle treating you?

  39. I have to say this post is above the rest. I have been to so many monetizing blogs and all of them keep spitting out the same SEO stuff repetitiously. It is really nice to have a fresh new face and learn simple things that can enhance a blog.

    I personally have had many blogs and all have failed. I am working on getting my new blog up and this one post has already helped me analyze an aspect I failed to do with my earlier blogs.

    Thanks for the great post and keep up the great work!

  40. If you want to seccede in Blogging you have to be oart of the Bloggers community via creative commenting, development, or other contribution to the blogging family.

    I started learning aboat blogging from Problogger, with insperation from Pud…

    Be bold, be yourself, and give to community.

  41. Sue Orkin says:

    Thank you so much for the great advice. This is truly helping me become more of a blogger.

    -Sue Orkin

  42. brian says:

    Hi,

    Totally agree! I actually design corporate training materials, and I use images in everything.

    When I started my blog, I noticed that brian over at CopyBlogger was doing the same in his posts, so I decided that would be a cool thing to emulate.

    It’s especially easy to do so now days, with so many free (or very inexpensive) stock photo sites.

    Be gone, oh, pictureless blog post!

    Cheers,
    brian

  43. Ryan says:

    Great tips!!!! Just a reminder when using photos that are not yours please respect the copyrights of the artiest or photographer. It is way too easy these days to right click an image. Play fare and you will be respected by fellow bloggers.

    Have fun…..
    Ryan

  44. If you name your images according to what your blog post is about you can get free traffic from Google Images, which is a plus. Example if your blog post is about “Kangaroos”, then you could name the images Kangaroo.jpg or something of that nature so if people do a search for kangaroos on google image you have a chance to get FREE traffic from there.

  45. Nick says:

    Darren,

    Just wondering if you’re publishing another video sometime soon? – think they’re great.

  46. Darren Rowse says:

    soon Nick :-)

  47. Mark Penix says:

    I actually just started doing this today also the quality of my posts are sharply increasing, I hope this helps :)

  48. StanzerV says:

    Hey that is indeed a good point, this is pretty inspiring. A picture speaks a thousand words right? Definitely the right time I see your post, as I am just started my blog recently. Good work!!

  49. ano says:

    O yes i put in lots of pictures. If you ever check my blog you will know what i mean!

  50. dever says:

    i like to use images, but before i can use one, i have to check the copyright… in germany you can have big troubles, if you hurt the rights of somebody… using images ist nice thing but with a little bit of risk… :)