Busy writing blog posts? When you become an entrepreneur everybody is telling you to create a blog. Content seems to be the holy grail of marketing. But wherever there’s content there are images as well. Because we know that images say more than words. You want to get the most out of your blog post images and there are a couple of guidelines which will help you.
Why you need images in your blog posts
Before we start, let’s clarify why your blog post images are important. Aside from the visual aspect and making your posts more appealing for your readers there are many other reasons to add images.
The most obvious one being content promotion of course. There’s this rule out there many content creators swear by. The 80/20 rule. Which says you should spend 20% of your time on creating content and 80% to promote it. And while this seems kind of unrealistic to do it still gives you the right indication. If you want to get your blog post in front of your audience and grow your readership promotion is inevitable.
With 69.3 million blog posts published every month on WordPress, it’s hard to be seen. You need to spread the word on several platforms. Think about where your target audience hangs out: Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook. A simple image can help you to trigger people’s interest.
Sharing is caring. And if your readers find value in your blog posts they won’t hesitate to share it with the world. This means they’re promoting your blog for you. You’re winning here. But you have to make it easy for them by providing an image they can share.
How often do we scan through a blog post quickly to find the main takeaways? Even to find out if the post is interesting and we want to spend the time reading it.
Images help you to break up your text into smaller chunks. It’s easier to consume text this way and it also makes it easier to scan through.
Images can explain or underline a concept or idea you which you elaborate in your post. They are universally understood and make a difficult concept easier to grasp.
One thing you always need to keep in mind is branding. Adding images to your blog post is a great opportunity to show off your brand personality. It can easily be done by paying attention to your visual style. Adding brand colors and fonts or your logo to every image. Having a cohesive style, even in tiny things as blog post images, is important to build brand recognition.
Three letters which can make a huge impact. If you want more traffic from search engines you need to optimize your images. See your images as an additional way to be friends with Google. With the right keywords, your post will show up in image search results.
Which kind of blog post images can you create
Let’s look at the kind of images you want to add to your blog posts. You can get creative here and provide lots of value to your audience as well.
- Featured image
- Promotional images for social media sharing
- Screenshot for tutorial style posts
Tips for creating better blog post images
Image creation is easier than ever. With lots of tools out there you can use for free. There’s no excuse for not adding images to your blog posts. Even if you’re not a designer you can still create good images. You only need to follow some basic guidelines. Nothing fancy. They’re not even much about design at all.
Use the right size
When creating images, first of all, you have to think about where people will share them. Every platform has its own image size. For Pinterest you want to have a tall image 600 X 900 px, for Instagram, it’s square 1080 X 1080 px. Take the time to check for the best image size for your platforms. You don’t want to share an image on Facebook only to see that part of it got cut off.
Always go for high quality
The number of bad quality images I see online makes me roll my eyes over. It’s the quickest way to make you look unprofessional. A photo which you take in a bad light with a shaky hand won’t do as an image background. Especially not because there are so many high quality and free options out there to get photos. You can get access to my free stock photo library. Just saying.
Save the right file format
This brings us straight to the next point. If you’re worried about high-quality images taking up all your web space or loading slowly you don’t need to be. You don’t need to save huge files. The best file formats are PNG or JPG. With these two your file size stays small.
Related post: How to save the right file format
Make it relevant
You don’t have to go overboard with your blog post images. Only add an image if it adds value to your post. Every image needs to have a good reason to be there. This could be any of the points above e. g. to promote your post or to explain a difficult concept.
Use basic design rules
And these rules are not very hard to wrap your head around. The number one rule is “less is more”. Don’t overwhelm people by adding too much information or style elements to one single image. If you’re not a designer, the less you add the less you can do wrong.
For the composition of your image apply some basic rules like “The Rule of Thirds”. You might already know it from taking photos with your phone if you use a grid.
If you want to know more about design rules and get a short explanation go check out this post: The basics of good design
Stay on brand
Blog post images are great to add a bit of brand personality to your blog. You can do this by using the same colors and fonts or adding brand style elements or your logo to all your images. You need to establish a cohesive visual style which is instantly recognizable on all platforms. Your blog is no exception. This is also an opportunity for you to stand out and create something unique.
Related post: How to stay consistent with your branding
Optimize your images for search engines
SEO is very important and it’s not a big hustle. First of all, start naming your images with something relevant. What does this image explain? What’s this blog post about? Don’t use a filename like summer-2018-324.jpg. Secondly, make use of the alt tag. You can add a short description here and use a couple of keywords. These will help you to get found by search engines. Yoast SEO is a great plugin which can help you to optimize your blog posts and your images. If you want to know more about SEO and how to optimize your blog posts check out this guide from Yoast.