Set Yourself Apart: Using Images to Create Unique Blog Content
Today’s web is far more visual than it was just 5, 7 or 10 years ago. These days, with faster Internet speeds and sophisticated mobile devices, it’s possible to use more images in your content. In the past, you’d have to be wary about page load speeds and while you still need to aware of it today, more web users expect a more visual experience when consuming content. The good news is, not only do your readers expect it, using images also benefits you and your blog.
Using images in your content has a number of benefits including:
– They have visual appeal and grab attention
– Images can make people laugh, cry or bring out other emotions
– Personal pictures from your own life can create deeper connections with your readers
– Photos and screenshots can illustrate concepts and processes
– Your content is easier to absorb by visual learners
– Images breaks up your writing into easier to read written chunks.
It’s easier than ever to make your own image and to find commercial-use images online…even for free…so there is no excuse not to start experimenting with them.
A few ways to use images in your blogging:
- Adding an image to the top of your posts can get attention, instantly provide clues as to what the content and keep your readers interest.
– If you write reviews, add images of the product being used, the results of using the product, pictures of you with the product and more.
– Upload a photo and have fun with it. Ask your readers to caption it.
– Create eye-catching and thought-provoking images that you can use for social media and then link them to your content. Try adding quotations, funny sayings and giving them food for thought.
– Get your readers to submit images. You can run photo contests, ask them to show them using your product and so forth. No one said you had to make or find all the images for your blog.
Of course, knowing how to quickly and easily find images is going to make this a lot easier, so here are a few ideas and resources for you:
– Obviously, you can make your own. Sometimes an iPhone or mobile phone works, but it doesn’t hurt to invest in a good camera to produce top quality images.
– Take screenshots. You can take a picture anything you do on your computer and edit the screenshot with any graphics editing program.
– Pay for stock photos at sites like http://istockphoto.com and http://bigstockphoto.com. Some of the photos can be a bit on the expensive side, but the image quality is very good and they have a good selection.
– There are also free stock photos sites that offer a pretty decent selection. Try sites like http://stock.xchng, http://morguefile.com and http://www.public-domain-photos.com.
– If you use the advanced image search on Google Images https://www.google.com/advanced_image_search you can search by “usage rights” and look for images that are available for commercial use. Be aware that the search may not always be accurate and you should double check image licenses before using them. Attribution may be required and there may be other restrictions.
– You can do a similar search on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/search/advanced for commercially available images. Just like with a Google Images search, make sure to double check all licenses.
There are many uses for images and plenty of sources where you can find them for little to no cost, so there’s no excuse for using them in you blogging. Test different types of images for different purposes and see what works well for you. You may find you have a more engaged and interested audience as a result.
Until next week, this is Jessica signing out!