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6 Reasons Why You Should Use Images In Your Blog Posts

October 22, 2007

Fresh red apples

Images. To use them, or not to use them? That is the question. Surprisingly enough, the answer is simpler than the question. Do use images on your blog! There are plenty of reasons why, and we will cover many of those reasons in this article. Before we do that, let’s cover another quick question.

Q. Why have you not been using images in every single one of YOUR blog posts?

A. Because I was stupid. I thought there wouldn’t be any image that would work with many of my post topics, so I avoided them altogether. But there’s ALWAYS an image out there you can use, no matter what you’re writing about!

Here are the six BIGGEST reasons I’ve come up with that answer the question, “Why should I use images in my blog posts?”

1. You attract more attention to your articles. Sometimes when I visit a website or browse through my feed reader, I would pass on by a post if it didn’t have an image. If the post has a lame title or doesn’t seem appealing to me, it’s very likely I’ll skip over it. But if the post has an eye-drawing image, I’m instantly lured in. By using images in your posts, you get people to read your content when they might not otherwise.

2. Your blog doesn’t look like a huge mass of words. Who wants to read paragraph after paragraph without any breaks? That’s what school and work are for! When people sit at their computers, they don’t like being bored or looking at ugly sites. When you use images, your blog looks a whole lot more interesting. And for people who have never been to your site before, it creates a perfect first impression!

3. You can help explain what you are discussing. If a reader is not 100% sure of what they are reading, an image can help clear things up a bit. If you are writing about a confusing concept or a complicated contraption, having an image of the thing in your article not only livens it up but can help clarify things too!

4. You can get search engine traffic from images. If you tag your images properly, image search results from search engines could send some targeted visitors your way. For a detailed explanation on this and how to implement it, please read here.

5. They can help fill up some space. If not for any of the other reasons, then here’s a good one. If you write a short post and don’t want it to look like something sloppy you didn’t work on, adding an image instantly gives the article a professional feel and makes the reader think you worked harder than you really did. That’s always a good thing!

6. WHY NOT?! There’s no reason why you shouldn’t use images. As stated earlier, you can always think of an image to use no matter what topic you’re writing about. Also, they are sites dedicated to providing images you can use without worrying about copyright, and most of those sites provide some images for free (more on that later).

Of course, there are some image don’ts, but not a lot of them! DON’T overdo it. Make sure there are more words than images, always. One image in a post is fine. Two is sometimes okay, but three or more is usually always pushing it unless your post is a whopper. Too much of a good thing is bad! DON’T use an image that screws up your design. If your image is too big, it can stretch your blog’s layout and make things very, very ugly. If you avoid the dont’s, you should be fine!

Q. So where can I find those free images for my blog?

A. Some people say, “Oh, I can always get images at Google”, but many of those images belong to people and you don’t actually have the rights to use them. Instead, why not use a photo stock website? They contain decent to great quality images that you are allowed to use, and most of them are free of charge!

To see my recommendations of image stock websites, please click here.

I’ve learned my lesson about ignoring the use of images for a very long time. I’ve realized that when images are utilized properly, only success is in store for me – the same thing applies to you as well! If you have any questions or any advice to share with the rest of us, please leave a comment. Thanks, and good luck with making your posts more appealing!

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Comments

27 Responses to “6 Reasons Why You Should Use Images In Your Blog Posts”

  1. Wayne Liew on October 22nd, 2007 5:57 am

    It’s like a must for me to use at least an image in each and every one of my posts.

    Sometimes, the images are not relevant and they are just there for the reader to take a break from what they are reading. I took my pictures from Flickr but I do give credits if I use them since they are under Creative Commons copyright.

  2. The Monetizer on October 22nd, 2007 7:40 am

    Good points here, the images can also get search engine love from Google if you set up the “alt” tags with good keyword phrases, bringing you more blog or site visitors.

  3. Ruchir on October 22nd, 2007 10:59 am

    I read at least 30 blog posts a day through my feed readers, and sometimes I skip a post that doesn’t appeal to me. However, images can mean a huge difference. Personally, I use images in almost every post of my blog and it certainly looks more lively with them.

    You shouldn’t insert more than 2 images into a post unless you’re explaining a concept. 3+ images in a non-comprehensive post is just overkill…

  4. Steven Snell on October 22nd, 2007 7:37 pm

    I haven’t put much time into finding pictures for my posts. It always seems to be the thing that I don’t have time for. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Tay on October 22nd, 2007 9:22 pm

    @Wayne Liew – That’s fantastic that you take it so seriously! I try to make all of my images relevant in some way that makes sense to me if I can, but sometimes them being there just to soothe the readers is a great reason too. I never thought of the Flickr idea, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    @The Monetizer – Thank you, and most definitely! That was point number four. :D

    @Ruchir – That’s just your opinion, but I honestly disagree. I’ve seen posts with six or so images and without those images, the post would have been nothing. It really depends on how long the post is and what it’s about. Like I said, if you use the images properly it’s always beneficial.

    @Steven Snell – That’s how it used to be for me. And usually it wasn’t because I didn’t have the time, but because I was too lazy. Glad you liked the article. :)

  6. Frank C on October 22nd, 2007 9:28 pm

    On my software development blog, VB Notebook For .NET, I put 100×100, give or take a few pixels, picture at the start of each post. I try to relate the pictures to the article. I also make the alt and title tags relate to the article, sometimes in serious and sometimes in humorous ways.

    I haven’t gotten into the habit of doing this on OpTempo yet but I might find some way to work images into it.

    As for sources, I have several. One is a large 16 CD clipart collection that I bought in ’95 (it cost about $150 at the time). Being practically pre-Internet its license agreement allows a lot of uses that newer packages restrict. For example, it allows the inclusion of individual graphics in electronic documents and presentations for redistribution. I have a few other collections but I’m mindful of their restrictions.

  7. tallfreak on October 23rd, 2007 9:01 am

    Images are great for the overall look of your entries. They also make up about 30% of my incoming traffic (from google images, aol images, etc.) It also seems like Google Images has gotten less picky about ALT tags. I never alt tag mine anymore (due to laziness), instead I just title-the-file-like-this.jpg. That seems to do enough to get listed in Google images. You may have to wait 3 months to get listed though.

  8. Tay on October 23rd, 2007 6:53 pm

    @Frank C – That sounds like a good idea, making the images all the same size. I bet it looks very nice! Clipart collections sounds helpful. I think I have a couple but I’ve never used them..

    @Tallfreak – Wow, 30% of your traffic from images, that’s pretty awesome! I will be even more mindful of the names of my images now. Thanks for sharing. :)

  9. Court on November 7th, 2007 3:24 am

    Images help a ton when you’re trying to get traffic from social media! I’ve had 1000 times more success with posts that have images.

  10. Tay on November 7th, 2007 2:13 pm

    @Court – That’s true as well! It definitely makes sense as posts that do well with social media are often easily read and attractive. Thanks for sharing your advice. :)

  11. James - DigitalKeyToInfo on November 7th, 2007 11:01 pm

    I think images help just because it gives a potential reader a pause before they go on to the next click. If you can place it right on the fold so they scroll down to read a bit more, even better.

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  13. Lin on November 8th, 2007 7:38 pm

    Images are so important, they add flare to the topic, and help create a nice visual to help tell the story.

    Many bloggers I’ve come across use images in their posts that have nothing at all to do with their topic, leaving me to wonder Why in the world did they use THAT picture? It takes away from the post if off-topic pictures are added simply to have some.

  14. Tay on November 9th, 2007 6:43 pm

    @James – That’s so true. I didn’t think about placing them on the fold so that readers are more likely to scroll down. That’s a great idea but I think I’ll stick with keeping my images at the top of the post (most of the time), just because I like things to be in order. :)

    @Lin – I agree with you; I’ve been to sites that have pictures and such that aren’t even related to what they’re writing, an dit really catches you offguard and takes away from the content itself!

  15. E3 Success Blog » Blog Archive » E-3 Carnival of Network Marketing - November 12, 2007 on November 13th, 2007 4:50 pm

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  18. Dipali on January 4th, 2008 1:19 am

    Hello,

    I think that images are important for blogs as well as interest of reading but relevant content also is required. if blog has only good images and nothing more than any user dosnt read you blog.it exit from your blog.

  19. Tay on January 4th, 2008 7:01 pm

    Dipali, you’re right. Of course the content has to be good in the first place, but including images makes it twice as appealing. :)

  20. Dipali on January 4th, 2008 11:37 pm

    i agree with you. : )

  21. john on January 5th, 2008 11:51 am

    A picture says a thousand words! All of my posts contain a picture related to the article. I usually use Google Image Search for pictures. Someone recommended Live Search a couple of days back & its definitely worth a try!

  22. Tay on January 8th, 2008 8:32 pm

    John,

    It’s not always wise just to use images you get from search results, because a lot of those are copyrighted – and most aren’t even great quality anyway.

    I’d really recommended using Flickr. Every image has great quality and you can always find something great. Please read this article to learn which Flickr images you can use freely (you always have to give credit, though). ;)

  23. NewSkill21 on January 15th, 2008 6:10 pm

    Images are very important but you forgot to emphasize the fact that if an image is too large, it will take longer for the image to load. Make sure your image is not too small or too large. Plus too many images also take a longer while for the page to load…

  24. Kevin Heisler on January 16th, 2008 3:37 pm

    Terrific post. I agree bloggers need to use images in their posts. Intuitively it makes sense. From a user experience it makes sense.But has anyone seen any “heat map” or CTR (click-thru-rate) studies that prove images perform better than text alone?Thanks,Kevin HeislerExecutive EditorSearch Engine Watch

  25. Tay on January 16th, 2008 9:29 pm

    @NewSkill21,

    You’re very right, a person needs to use an image that is sized properly so that it looks good with their design and so the loading time is quick. Thanks for pointing that out.

  26. Grab Flickr Creative Commons Photos Without Leaving Your Blog | Super Blogging on February 28th, 2008 1:54 am

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  27. TheAnand on September 20th, 2008 4:05 pm

    there is a plugin for wordpress which does this…pick up images from flickr based on the content of your posts….it is a great way to reduce the time spent on searching for that perfect image!

    TheAnands last blog post..Google Chrome

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