Being a successful blogger revolves around creating the kind of textual content that your readers really want to see, but there is more to catching eyes and minds than simple words; no matter what niche you call home, graphics, photographs, and other forms of imagery are crucial to capturing the attention of your visitors.
Sounds simple enough, right? As bloggers, we’ve all gone through the motions of adding a bit of visual stimulation to our blog posts and articles, but therein lies the problem; if everyone is doing it – and everyone is – then you’ll need to do something extraordinary if you want to truly stand out from the crowd.
Make the most of every opportunity by giving your readers something extra to consider whenever they take in a post written by you with these five tips to follow when illustrating your articles:
1. Be Creative
Sure, the web is full of millions of images, all ripe for the picking, but doing what’s already been done isn’t likely to get you very far with your readers. Instead of reaching for the same old, same old when it comes time to add a visual boost to your words, take a moment to come up with something fresh and creative for your readers to admire, adding a whole new facet to your post that will encourage them to stick around and check things out.
Being creative in this sense could mean many things, but the easiest way to ensure that every image that you post on your blog is unique is by learning how to utilize a camera and graphic editing software on your very own. Besides building skills that will prove to be helpful to you in a long list of ways, with practice you’ll soon find that you are no longer dependent on stock photos and overused infographics ever again!
2. Let Your Niche Shine Through
When it comes to using photographs to illustrate a point made in a blog post, it’s worth keeping your niche in mind. Your visitors haven’t likely come to you for generalized content; you claim to be a voice of authority on one subject or another, and that’s what they’re wanting to see. With that in mind, be sure that the steps that you take to help them to visualize your point fall in line with the expectations created by your niche, turning your post into a double whammy of highly focused textual and graphic goodness that your readers will truly appreciate.
3. Utilize Only the Best of Stock Photography
The web has long been full of stock photography websites, each of them offering you hundreds or thousands of graphics and photos that can be used on your website, either for free or at a price. Unfortunately, most of those websites rely on the same old standards of photographs of people in suits and beautiful sunsets, leaving the creative mind wanting more when it comes to sorting through those many images in search of the one that works best for your content.
There are two main ways to conquer this problem. First, never pay for access to stock photographs unless it is absolutely necessary. Given the number of free sources out there, your money would surely be better spent elsewhere. Second, spend your time with the stock photo websites that take the time to offer up creative, out-of-the-ordinary pictures, such as SmartPhotoStock.com; besides the standards that you’ve come to expect from such sites, this is one collection of stock photos that is thoroughly laced with some of the most creative and compelling pieces of imagery that you’re likely to find online – and all at no cost to you!
4. Customize Images Old and New
Whether you choose to create your own graphics, or you borrow them from around the web, there are many extended opportunities to put a personal touch on them that will help your visitors to remember where they were when they saw them!
Tops among these methods is Skitch, a simple yet powerful tool from the people behind Evernote that allows you to mark-up, annotate, and otherwise manipulate everything from photographs to screen captures in order to really make them your own. Sweetening the deal is the fact that Skitch offers an app for Android and iOS, making it possible to perform your graphics editing even while on the go.
5. Copyright Infringement is For the Birds – And the Lawyers
In opening our first point on this list, we mentioned that the internet is full of images that are fresh for the taking, but it is imperative that you keep in mind that the vast majority of those images are owned by someone or some entity, making them unavailable for legal use by you and your blog.
Unless you enjoy conversing with lawyers and suffering the bad reputation that swiping copyrighted images can earn you, be very careful to use pre-made images that come packaged with a free use license only. While you’ll have to spend a few extra minutes narrowing down the field during your next image search, you’ll be offering your readers something more unique than the latest overused imagery, and, even if the prospect of lawyers filling your inbox with warnings and threats isn’t enough to scare you, that in itself is a good enough reason to be careful.