In ancient times before language or the written word was created, humans communicated by using gestures and images or drawings to help each other understand concepts, directions and new information. Because of this our brains respond to images much faster than they do to verbal words or written words (it’s why arrows and symbols are used as part of way-finding and signage).
Publishing a blog without an image is like placing a vase on the table with no flowers in it.
3 brilliant reasons why to use images as part of your blog:
1) Images attract attention
Any image will attract more attention than no image at all. Contrasting colours, simple ‘one subject’ shots and metaphoric images will get more attention than an image which is simply a pretty picture and vaguely has something to do with the topic.
2) Images help readers ‘get it’ faster
Our brains understand an image faster than it understands words. Words are collections of symbols that we attach meaning to when we learn to read. We understand images much faster than we read. We can use words to describe a flower “it has a stem that grows out of the ground, it has leaves on it and at the top there are colourful petals and a round bit in the centre”. Or we could show a photo of a flower.
3) Images stay longer
Our brain also retain the image for longer than we retain words so an image can help your readers recall the information given in the post.
But choosing an image is not about grabbing any old image for your post. If you want a professional blog that looks considered and planned (and what self-respecting business doesn’t?) take the time to discover your ‘image set’.
Your image set is a series of images that:
Suit your business personality – and therefore your blog personality
Will make sense to your readers
Is diverse enough to visually represent the range of topics your blog will cover.
For example, a counseling practice that deals with clients who are going through personal changes could use images of the weather as a visual metaphor. Nature and weather suit the personality of the business, the concept of weather (storms, fog, a ray of sunshine) will resonate with their clients, and there is enough diversity in the weather to cover the topics in the blog.
When it comes to finding the right image for a new post – having an ‘image set’ narrows down the search and if the image set is right for your business, it will be much easier to find images that suite each post and make sense to your readers.
Always make sure you have permission to use the image you have chosen. There are countless stock image libraries – we recommend Shutterstock for the variety of images, and the simplicity of their pricing. We also find Flickr has great images but it is harder to contact the photographer/creator in some cases. We also love snapwi.re and unsplash.com for their extremely generous – and great quality – free images (delivered weekly).
Remember – once you have gone to all the trouble of finding the right image, you can the re-purpose it and use it as part of your social media broadcasts. We’ve recommended it before, and we will again, for those who are not graphically savvy – canva.com takes all the pain out of creating images for your blog and social media.
To find free images FAST, visit our Free Image Index page – we’ve done all the hard work for you!
Free ‘how to’ templates so you can publish brilliant content that builds credibility and grows awareness