1stWebDesigner asks, “Remember when you were a kid and would rather read a book with lots of pictures in it versus one with just text?”
This question perfectly illustrates the importance of images in modern media. Just look at the popularity of photo-sharing sites like Pinterest and Instagram. According to MDG Advertising, press releases with photos get 94 percent more viewership and Facebook posts with images receive 36 percent more engagement. So basically, if you’re not including pictures in your blog, you’re wasting your time.
Although having a blog, website or social media account flush with a huge image library can be helpful, more images does not always mean your blog is better. Distorted, pixelated and low-quality images are an ugly part of the Internet that you don’t want your blog or website to be associated with. Follow these tips and tricks to avoid common photographic pitfalls that could be hurting your blog:
Place Your Picture Above Your Headline
Having your headline above your picture could be hurting your blog. It seems like a no-brainer, but once you start looking for it, you notice it everywhere. A study commissioned by advertising legend David Ogilvy found that having your headline above your image can lose you up to 10 percent of your audience right off the bat. Kissmetrics explains that this is because of people’s natural reading sequence and the risk of being distracted by a misplaced image.
Find Relevant Images
If you throw photos into a post because they are pretty or you don’t want to dig through stock images for hours to find a good one, you’re not just being lazy but also confusing viewers and driving away traffic. Kissmetrics suggests giving images a caption to make sure they are relevant to your post. If you can’t think of one, then the photo probably isn’t essential to the story you are telling.
Don’t Trust Free Stock Photos
Generic stock photos are, in many cases, just as bad as irrelevant pictures. Free stock photos are free for a reason: they are overtly generic and everyone else is using them. Don’t waste time digging through mountains of free stock photos, knowing you will settle on one that only kinda works in the end. Instead, find a stock photo company with an easy navigation system and get to know it well. For example, Shutterstock has easily searchable tabs and images ranging from vectors to icons to artwork to millions of high-quality images.
Go Guerrilla If You Must
If you can’t afford to purchase images, create them. Research blog photography tips, and set up a little shoot. Use a powerful smartphone camera or invest in a DSLR to have manual control and higher image quality. Then, use free online editing tools to boost your professional appeal. But remember: the quality of your photos has to match the quality of your desired advertisers. If you want Nordstrom to take notice of your blog, for example, your pictures better up to the company’s standards.
Stacy Eden is a Phoenix, Arizona native with a passion for art, power tools, and historical significance. She draws inspiration from classic cars, ancient mythological sculptures and jewelry designers such as Delfina Delettrez, Shaun Leane, and Dior Jewellery creative director Victoire de Castellane.