I tend to skim through content and let my brain make a decision as to whether it is intriguing and valuable enough to read in more detail now or to bookmark, maybe with Pocket, for later consumption. This decision depends on many factors; my ability at that moment to absorb the substance, the time factor and whether the visual look, with formatting and blog post images, is appealing and enables ease of read.
Everyone has their own criteria in making this decision, yet most will agree that the placement of images can make or break a blog post. They can:
using anything from enchanting photography to statistical graphs and this diversity is why they should be utilised well to add value to the content of your blog posts.
Let us look at some blog post image types that will add value to your content.
Developed from WordPress sites; the featured image is the visual representation of the overall content of the blog post. It appears in various formats on the:
- main blog listing | home page
- the top, or below the title and meta in individual posts
- within the post itself
It is usually the image that is pulled onto the various social media platforms you share your post on and for this reason, make sure that the image created or chosen, represents the true nature of the content substance.
The featured image can be displayed differently depending on the layout of the theme you are using or the specifications of the social platform you are sharing on. Check these specifications and format your images to fit.
Content Plan’s featured image appears on the blog page like this:
They all have visual appeal so just choose the theme | layout that fits best for you and your blog.
Similar to featured, yet these images represent the subject of a particular section of your blog. These image types could be any of the ones depicted below, statistical, quotes, product etc that serve to enhance the topic. A representational image can also just be an eye catching picture of the subject matter.
By using a quote that adds value to the subject matter you can gain twofold benefits:
- It serves as inspiration from a thought leader in the subject so will enhance the text matter.
- It directly includes the thought leader in your blog which can be used when social sharing; increasing the chance of engagement with said influencer.
Some blogs use this as a basis for a blog post itself as it multiplies the virility of the post if the quote authors share it or engage with the writer on it.
A great way to quickly create quote images is to use the new Buffer App: Pablo which allows you to use free, high quality images, add text and download simply.
These image types are a fantastic way to illustrate the quantitative basis for the content topic you are writing about. As well as being regularly used in infographic content, they also work stand alone as a representation of the figures included in the section.
I love screenshots as they are a real time representation of what you are trying to teach or say. They can be easily done on laptops in that you:
Place the page of the screenshot to the fore of your laptop and press FN and PRTSC buttons simultaneously.
Search your PC for the Paint program and press Paste. This will bring up a screen shot of the page. Use the editing suite to crop and add to the image where necessary.
Product & Call to Action Images
Product Images can be combined with Call to Action images to maximise effect. Product images are frequently used in product reviews and assembly | how to guides where they can illustrate the workings of the item included.
Used to direct the reader to a path for a determined purpose, these images can:
- Generate subscribers
- Download Reports
- Gain new leads
- Increase social following
- Promote social sharing
- Trial a new product
- Promote an event
- Create a sale
These image types are typically used with a button that, when clicked, directs a reader to a landing page on your website. The image itself can be made live so that when clicked it can also direct to a landing page. See the editing images section below.
These need a blog post to themselves! Information Graphics or infographics are visual representations that showcase complex information in concise form.
Infographics can be presented as part of the content or as a stand-alone post which can be embedded by other users elsewhere. They are fantastic visuals for sharing on social platforms as their use of colour and the information layout enhance their ability to go viral.
Every post should have a visual author bio! Not only does it provide information about the background of the post writer it also connects the reader to that writer online. Providing a photographic image of the writer along with links to their social media sites increases accessibility and enables networking opportunities with a person who has similar interests to you.
Add an Image to your WordPress Site
I am going to focus on WordPress here otherwise the post may become a book! It is very simple to add an image to your blog post using WordPress:
Place your cursor where you wish to insert the image in the post and then click on Add Media.
You will be taken to the Media Gallery and either click on an existing image or click Upload Files
You will be given the choice of dragging an image to the selected area or selecting files for upload.
You also have the option of inserting an image to the gallery from an existing URL. Whilst this maybe an easy option, please consider the fact that if that particular URL is deleted than your connected image will be deleted too.
Once the image has been uploaded it will be highlighted for use. Check out the editing options on the right hand side.
Some of the editing options may be pre-populated as they will have pulled existing information from the image through to the gallery. See section below on editing also.
Once you have edited your image then click on insert into post to apply.
Edit an Image in WordPress
Once the image to be used has been highlighted the editing options will appear on the right hand side.
Next to the thumbnail of the image, the title is displayed along with the date, file size and image dimensions. It also gives the opportunity to edit or delete the image.
Next you will see the image URL which is the direct link to where the image is stored in the gallery. You are not able to change this URL. Below that is the title which can be changed.
Caption: This is the area in which you can add text to the image that will be seen below the visual.
Alt Text: This is important as it is used for display when the sites are slow to load or with certain screen readers that may not show images. This can also be used to enhance SEO with the utilistation of relevant keywords to describe the image.
Description: If the image is linked to the attachment page this optional description will be displayed there.
Attachment Display Settings
This box will determine the alignment, link to and size of the image displayed.
Alignment: Choose which side your image will be placed within the post. Right or left allows the text to wrap around it whist the centre image will place the text above and below.
Link To: This controls the path taken when the user clicks on the image.
Media File will open a new page for the image
Attachment Page will allow the image a page of its own with added description and title. The opportunity to comment and share can also be available on this page.
Custom URL is fantastic for Call to Action images as it allows you to choose a page to link the image to.
Size: The options for size are thumbnail, medium, large or full size. You can make a determination based on the consistency of theme on the blog post.
Image Creation Tips:
We have already detailed image sources and creation tools in previous posts within Content Plan. Here are a few links:
Canva allows the most amateur of blogger become a savvy Graphic Designer.
Pablo by Buffer is a brilliant FREE tool that can only be described as Canva on Speed.
How do you use Images in your Blog Posts? Let us know!
Are you creating great Call to Actions with your Blog Post Images? Find out all you need to know here!