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5 Ways to Use Images to Make Your Posts Irresistible

This week on #blogchat on Twitter, we discussed the use of images in blog posts, and I thought that some of the advice we covered there might be useful for you too. So here are my top tips for using images in your blog posts.

1. Use an image per post

At Digital Photography School, I include an image at the top of every post.

This provides a visual point of interest that draws people to read the post. Whilst the audience is particularly visually oriented, I think this is true across the board. The web is filled with rich media, and great images now. So the more you can do to make text-based posts visually appealing, the better.

In fact, some of our most shared posts on dPS are composed almost entirely of images, with little to no text at all.  Take a look at the stats on your blog for posts with images, and compare them with posts that don’t have images. You might find that the former do better with readers. They’ll almost certainly be more likely to be shared.

Eye

Image courtesy stock.xchng user L-O-L-A


2. Use images to draw the eye

Using an image at the post’s top is a default for dPS, but we also often images later in posts, too. In this way, they act almost like sub-headings to draw people down the page, and keep them engaged throughout the post.

Not only do those later images catch attention, they provide visual respite for the visitor who is diligently reading through the whole post, from start to finish. So these images serve all kinds of readers—not just scanners.

I think the trick with this is to take care with the images you use. If the reader scans from the top image to a subsequent one, you may—or may not— want that subsequent image to jar for them. It’s important to choose those images carefully, so that they tell the story you want them to.

3. Use images for RSS

Images in your posts also grab the attention of users who are subscribed to your RSS feed. In that case, they can mean the difference between your post being read or ignored.

If you think images are eye-catching on your blog—which is already heavily designed and strongly visual, just imagine what they can do to get attention in a less designed, more texty environment.

4. Trust your instincts

I choose images for blog posts based on the feeling that the image gives me more than anything else. And I’ve really found this to work well.

Often here on ProBlogger, guest posters will send us generic clipart-style images to accompany their content, and we avoid publishing these.

The best images are the ones that evoke a feeling in you and your readers. Clip art probably won’t do that! What does are images that contain people. We’re human, and biology has preprogrammed us to look into each others’ eyes.

So I find that using images with people who are looking at the camera tend to be the most engaging.

5. Take your time

Images are important—and not just to those embracing Pinterest as a medium for growing their readership!

A good image is sometimes as important (if not more important) than a good title for a blog post. On dPS, sometimes I’ll take longer choosing the image for a post than writing the post itself.

You may not spend that much time on your image selection, but if you’re not paying much attention to it, I encourage you to build some time into your posting schedule over the next few weeks to source really strong, eye-catching, and engaging images. You never know how your readers will respond, but you might see longer visits, and more sharing of your content if you do.

Are you already using images on your blog? What types work best for you? Share your advice in the comments.

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. Andy Clarke says:

    I love images, and use lots to break up my text heavy posts; I like to ramble. I find my most successful posts have images of equipment, or my very bad photoshopped imagery – obviously for humour.

    Blogs without images lose me very quickly; but they have to be relevant.

    • Great post! I’ve been curious about this and it’s great to see a detailed answer with some details. Thanks for sharing.

    • Yeah true that images can brake heavy texts but i have seen that most of the design blogs only using Images in blogs posts and they have good traffic too. So its all quality matters of the images.

      How ever it is an awesome post.

      Thank you

      Zane

  2. As a reader, I found myself saying “Yes that is what I do” when it comes to seeing posts come up in my RSS. I also love the simplicity. One thing can have an incredible impact on the contact, and most definitely is something I need to work on! Great post.

  3. I’m using same strategy, I always try to add at least one image per post as they draw attention of readers, images say 100 words, I prefer infographics too. If we’re adding a good image then it’s a source of traffic from Pinterest.

  4. Every post I make contains at least one photo. And 99% of the photos on my blog are my own, which I think is important. I don’t like seeing stock photos borrowed/licensed from somewhere else because it makes the blog less personal/genuine and maybe even less authoritative. I’ve gone so far as to add a weekly photo-only post series called “Picture This”, which my readers have really enjoyed. In any case, thanks for the tips Darren!

  5. Carin Oliver says:

    We’ve had a great deal of luck using images in our posts. We try to add in at least two images in addition to the featured photo and the author photo. What I’m finding is that although finding the right photos is extremely time consuming, it has doubled the time people spend on the site.

    However, I’ve always avoided photos with people looking directly at the camera. Those strike me as too staged, but I think I will give it a try and see what happens.

    Do you have any thoughts on using images for additional posts to encourage people to click through? We use Outbrain to serve up additional content at the end of each article on our site.

    Cheers!

  6. Great Post Darren!

    I’ve been a bit slack recently with pictures, mainly because of the cost of stock photography. But this has made me think twice!

    I use a featured image for the link to each of my posts (on my homepage), and sometimes feel hesitant about inserting the same image into the post itself, what’s your opinion on this?

    Thanks,

    Sam

  7. Mark Jhoswie Ompad says:

    Hi Darren,

    Great advice , I finally know now how to open the candy that was given by my friend six months ago. lol.. Those tips will surely help me as i am a newbie to this marketing stuff ,. I will using those tips on the niche that i choose. keep up the good work.

    Best regards;

    Mark Jhoswie Ompad

  8. I’ve never thought of images as important to my writing, even though I use them in every single post, mostly for paragraph separation and visual respite. It usually takes me about five minutes to choice the images for my post, but that will change now that I’ve learned of their importance.
    Thank you for this valuable information.

  9. That’s a great tip for images and RSS feed, I didn’t know that. Thanks!

  10. I have a quick question, if you wouldn’t mind answering it. I run a writing blog, and I’m not sure if I would be able to put an image with each post, and if so, what type? What would you recommend?

    • Atul Jain says:

      Let me take the liberty of answering this question for you.

      Assume that you are a reader of that post. What kind of image would you like to see to make you click and read through the entire post. If you can answer this question, you will get the answer on your own.

      Have a look at images I use at http://www.atuljain7.com

      Cheers

      Atul Jain

    • I, too, have a writers blog – http://www.BOBBblog.com I feature short, personal narrative stories.
      I LOVE flickr.

      Started building in own media library – this adds to the creative process.

      Thanks for the idea of using two photos per post – I plan to do this … now!

  11. Atul Jain says:

    Excellent post and I agree to the core with this article. I have been using relevant images on top of ever post I write on my blog at http://www.atuljain7.com and have got better results

  12. Idrus says:

    I am delighted to read your article. It’s not because I’ve done it in every post. I find inspiration and add spirit to use the best images relevant to the post topic. During these pictures I use are not the best. But again, this article gives an understanding of the importance of the quality of the picture and it takes time to find it.

  13. I always put a picture at the top of the post but its been a long time since I’ve added pictures in the middle of posts. Gonna have to start doing that again.

  14. There are no substitute for good image and videos in a post or document. These images definitely keep a visitor engaged in the post. If the post is little long then posting a relative image between two paragraph is a wonderful trick to attract and staying for some time.

  15. Even if I don’t have a suitable image for my posts, just having any image at all can be useful. I have included gratuitous pictures of my daughter or of cats and it definitely has a positive impact on my views. Right now I’m getting around 25K views a month and the images have definitely contributed to that.

  16. Danilo says:

    After reading this fantastic post I guess I’ll give a good placed the images of my blog. Thank you!

  17. I’ve avoided putting images throughout and have usually put quite a few in a slideshow at the top. I use my own photography 99% of the time . People enjoy the captions I put on my photos but now I think I will try to disperse the images throughout the text and see what excitement ensues! Thanks for the tips and please take a look at my blog as part of how you waste time today!

  18. Rehmat says:

    I was using image/images in my blog posts before, but then decided not to use the images in posts last week, when I changed the template of my blog, because images were not looking good in the front page. But after reading this article, I am going to use the images once again. Thank you for teaching us the best use of images.

  19. christina says:

    Hi friends! I just cleaned out my prop and craft closet and am selling stuff at this online tag sale. I really want to get rid of these things! I have tons of washi tape, fabric and some other neat things. Email me if you want something

  20. Jacqueline says:

    Pictures are so important now. I built an entire post around pictures- my objective was to make it very “pinterest friendly”- and it caused my traffic to jump by 30,000 visits per month. The post was a list of the 100 most beautiful places in the world: http://www.escapenormal.com/2012/06/23/the-100-most-beautiful-places-in-the-world-in-pictures/

    You definitely need to use your instincts and pick really outstanding pictures- I found out a little late in the game that flickr has an “interesting” filter which really helps locate unique and beautiful photos.

  21. Lynn Ruby says:

    I love love love using images! Couldn’t agree more. In fact, I just set up about 10 images for use in December. Leverage them. Use them in your blog, on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Great post!

  22. ecokaren says:

    Darren,

    How do you make images show up on RSS feeds if you use summary excerpt and not the full post?

  23. Great information…..I am also following some of the tips….I am totally new to some tips like images for RSS.

    Thanks for a great post…

  24. Ehsan Ullah says:

    A blogger must include an image on each of his/her post because It attracts readers attention and It can also encourage them to read the entire post. Plus optimizing the image by adding proper ALT tags can also bring organic traffic from Google.

  25. Lee Davy says:

    Hi Darren,

    Could you also offer advice on where to get great images from. I use Creative Commons but need more options as I agree with you that the image is really important. Can you offer some further advice on where to get more photographs for free, or sites that charge a very small amount.

    I also believe a great idea is to learn to take the photo’s yourself. What better way that to breathe life into your posts than creating photos with a made to fit purpose.

    Great post

    Lee

  26. Aakash says:

    Totally agree with you Darren !

  27. images are doing more than attracting readers to a post it also helps in driving traffic to your blog if the proper alt tag are used.search engine spider’s can’t read the images on your blog but with the alt tag in place this can help the spider get what your images are about.Thanks Darren.

  28. Yes Totally Agree. Images Do Increase the Attention Towards Readers.. Specially Newbies who get attracted Easily towards posts

  29. Mithun says:

    Hello Darren, this is Mithun. I do use images in all my posts, but not to attract—to make the reader, what actually in the post. So that, they won’t skip off the post. I comfortably use image in a post—even a single image do work!

    My “best strategy” of using image in post is infographic. Yes! It works better than any.

    Tip: Optimize your images with alt tag’s, caption & description. Google will help you to get good readers :) Some(little) of my readers are from Google Images. From other comments, I think pinterest is another factor which help’s to get readers for your blog, will try it soon!

  30. salman baig says:

    Yes! I do agree with all of the points you mentioned in the article, Pictures/images give a look to your article and attract more readers. Now a days I’m using free image directories to get images for my blog posts.

  31. jive says:

    Looks like digg does this, unfortunately it doesnt work for their site.

  32. Good advice, Darren. Images do help catch the interest of readers. Just like that eye caught mine. Nice one. I love it.

  33. i also agree that image is a very important tool in every post. Image is a most important thing in the post because attract to people who visit our site.

  34. Ali zia says:

    Nice post Darren we should use images in our post because It helps our readers to understand the post

  35. Caroline says:

    Great article. Images are important. I am a photographer. We remember in images. Images speak.

  36. Yes, images. I have been learning the power of images. A quick blogging technique I just learned was quote – blub, quote – blub, quote. It’s basically the same thing you were saying with the images thing.

  37. Alyssa says:

    Great list!!! I do something like this as well, but your list is a little more extensive. Super helpful!

  38. Santosh says:

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    • If you post was to Darren. Click the image on the right side of this site. If you were talking to me. Click the banner at the top or right side of my blog.