Last week, Nellie Akalp wrote an informative blog post for Mashable.com entitled “Is Your Business Guilty of These Six Blogging Mistakes?” In it, Akalp profiles six common but deadly blogging-for-business mistakes. It’s a good read and a helpful list, yet one of the mistakes really stood out. Ranked at #5 was a problem we’ve seen become a blogging epidemic over the last few years: “Not using images the right way.” Companies can have a great blog, but if it has a horrible or non-existent image, the whole message can be sunk.
“While many new bloggers focus on the words, images are the best way to grab people’s attention quickly,” Akalp writes. “In addition, breaking up longer posts with images that illustrate what you’re talking about will help keep readers interested and combat our limited attention spans.”
So, we wondered, what exactly makes for a memorable blog image and where do we find these images?
At the start of a blog marketing campaign, it isn’t uncommon for companies to worry about this image issue. After all, we are living in the Instagram/meme era and every company wants to be able to create images that readers both remember and want to pass on. But does this mean we have to hire pricey graphic designers or pay out the nose for image license service? Not necessarily. Great photos without copyrights attached to them exist online already and can be used in your blog if you take a little time to seek them out.
“The best way to steer clear of trouble when selecting images for your blog is to use ones with Creative Commons licensing,” Akalp advises. “You can search for Creative Commons-licensed images on Flickr, on the Creative Commons website or via CC search engines like Compfight or Photo Pin.”
Memorable blog images should be ones that have something to do with the post, ideally. Readers can tell when you’ve picked out random photos selected out of panic or laziness. Half-hearted pictures that have little or nothing to do with the text of your post are a waste of your reader’s time (not to mention insulting to their intelligence). Instead, give yourself a few minutes to jot down some image keywords before you go on your photo hunt to give you a guidepost of what to look for. Take the same care picking out pictures as you do choosing blog topics. Avoid images you’ve seen on dozens of other blogs but don’t be afraid to use your favorite blogs as inspiration for your own images. Get artistic and alternate between full-color, black and white, infographics and employee-created images. Lastly, think of your blog and its images like a story and choose images accordingly based on the tale your brand wants to tell.