Your blog may be the most articulate, witty site in the blogosphere, but without photos, it’s simply not goint to get the traffic it deserves. These days, a distinctive voice and interesting point of view aren’t enough to gain new readers. Being strategic about your use of visuals, such as photographs or infographics, will set your blog apart. With Pinterest demonstrating a whopping 1,047 percent growth in 2012, according to Nielson’s Social Media Report, including engaging photos is more important than ever. Not only do they encourage pins and repins on Pinterest, but great photos add visual appeal that keeps readers interested.
Add Your Face To Your Brand
Sure, it may feel nerve wracking to add personal information like your picture to your blog. However, humans are naturally visual creatures who like to pair faces with names. Adding your face to your blog increases the strength of your brand. For example, signing up for Google Authorship ensures that your face and byline appear next to search engine results for your blog posts. Matching your face to your written content makes readers feel as though they know you, increasing the likelihood that they’ll return to read more content.
Choose Photos That Enhance Your Content
Amateur bloggers often fail to develop a strategy for using photos. You may find yourself uploading random images to make the page look better but not think much about the images you’re sharing. To boost blog sharing, think about the utility of each picture you include. What is the message it sends? Is the immediate relevance to the content clear? What pictures could you include to illustrate your main points? A reader should be able to look at a photo and have a decent idea of what the blog post is about, suggests Forbes. If you cannot articulate in one sentence why an image adds value to your content, remove it and try again.
Avoid Generic Images
Perhaps you run a travel blog and are discussing tips to tour France without spending a ton of euros. It’s tempting to throw a picture of the Eiffel Tower at the top and call it a day. Unfortunately, using generic images rarely causes readers to click on a blog post or read more. Instead, look for a well-composed shot of a baguette and a glass of wine, including a caption that ties the photo back to your article. Or include a nighttime shot of a moody gargoyle staring down from the Notre Dame Cathedral onto the illuminated city. Reading articles from iStockPhoto.com can show you how to use online stock photo databases to find well-crafted images that fit your brand.
Use Multiple Pictures to Tell A Story
Whether you’re a tech writer or a culinary guru, telling a compelling story is the best way to get your blog shared by others. Good storytellers integrate plenty of pictures into their narrative. For example, home cooking website Smitten Kitchen breaks complex recipes into easy steps, complete with large, clear photographs at each point along the way. The result is a blog readership of more than 230,000 people per month, reports Quantcast. Any blog post that is process-focused benefits from this approach, giving readers a glimpse into exactly how things are done.