Yes, I know I’m a photographer. I know this feels kinda waggy-fingery and a bit naggy and I’m biased AND… But you NEED to include images in your blog posts. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve clicked on what looks like an interesting post on Google, only to be faced with a giant wall of text. I might be a photographer and biased, but I am also a prolific reader. So why does the wall of text put me off? And why am I saying you need pictures in your blog posts? I’m gonna tell you how to make your blog posts pretty with images right now. And I’ll even give you some tips on how to source them!
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You’re writing for the web
Remember, you’re not writing a novel (or even a novella) that people can take their time to read in their spare time!
This is the internet. A busy, thriving place full of information whizzing through the airspace! You’ve got milliseconds to capture a person’s attention and maybe a minute or two to persuade them to stay and read your informative post. Images help to convey information and capture attention super fast because humans are incredibly visual. There’s science behind it! Look!
When faced with a wall of text, most peoples’ thoughts will be “this’ll be boring” or “this is going to take forever, and I don’t have time”. If you can engage them in those first brief moments with a great image, the chances are they’ll stay for longer than planned.
Images make text easier to read
What images do is break up the page. By doing that it moves your text into small, more manageable chunks, making the words on the screen much easier to read. People are drawn in by the open spaces and colourful images, and they can scan the smaller paragraphs. It’s a much more pleasant user experience.
Photos are great for SEO!
When used well, photographs are another great source of SEO for your blog post. That’s because, if you add them to your post correctly, you can also include alt text and a description, all words that are searchable by Google. It’s a nifty way of including more words on your screen without actually writing tons more content.
Pictures encourage people to share your post
If you share a link on Facebook, have you noticed an image pops up with your link? The likelihood is it’s this that captures people’s attention before they even see what the link is about. So, having images with your posts encourages people to share them through social media.
An image backs up what you’re saying
A visual representation of the words on your screen helps to confirm the information for your reader. They’ll be more likely to remember your words because of a graphic you’ve used to capture their attention in the first place. Or they’ll use that visual to retain the information.
So, where can you source your images?
Before you go grabbing your phone camera or point and shoot and start snapping all over the place, hear me out.
You don’t have to post your own photographs.
That might come as a surprise from a photographer, but here’s the thing. You need to make sure the images you are posting are of excellent quality. And if you’re not a photographer, I would recommend not using your quick snaps. Your blog will look far more professional if you look at sourcing your images from one of the options I’ve listed below. And it’s worth mentioning that images doesn’t necessarily mean photographs. You can use charts, graphs, screenshots, drawings and infographics too!
There are a ton of resources you can use to include images in your blog posts. Here are a few of my favourites*:
If you have a professional Canva account, you can access lots of great photos in their library and use them. You can also use Canva to create graphs and charts, infographics and other graphics for your blog too, even on the free account!
If you don’t want photographs that are likely to be on lots of other social accounts and websites, then paid stock photography is an option. Look at places like Creative Market and Etsy to get you started.
I would suggest not to use Google images to source your pictures, though. There’s no way of knowing if these images are royalty free or not. So, save yourself the risk of being slapped with a charge or fine and don’t download pictures from Google.
*Yes, even I source images too! As a branding photographer, I typically only photograph other people and their brands, which doesn’t work for the copywriting side of my business. So, I also use stock photography for this part of my business.