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Using powerful blog imagery is an effective way to increase your readership. Blog posts with images get 94% more total views on average than those without. The reason is that images are more eye-catching than text which means that your reader’s first engagement with your post will be with its featured image rather than its opening lines of text. Making use of strong, evocative images is therefore an essential part of making a good first impression with your potential readers. The right image can enable you to distinguish your content from the rest and help broaden your readership.
Imagery: Best Practice
Blogging best practice dictates that whenever possible you should strive to create your own imagery. Original images are valuable because they are unique and fresh, unlike stock photos which tend to be generic or widely used. Will your readers feel compelled to read your article if it features yet another shot of two men in suits shaking hands which they’ve seen a hundred times before? Probably not. Creating your own images instantly makes your blog feel fresh. Importantly, it also makes your readers more likely to share your content. If your goal is to create unique content on a regular basis, why devalue your hard work with a generic image?
To create evocative, original imagery quickly we recommend Canva. It is the best option short of taking a photograph yourself.
The Australian company was founded in 2012 by Melanie Perkins, Cliff Obrecht, and Cameron Adams who shared a vision to create an accessible online design platform for the public. It offers an impressive selection of pre-designed templates available in a range of common dimensions, which makes it easy to create designs for specific social media platforms such as Twitter or Pinterest.
Canva is free to use and provides helpful instructional videos for beginners; although its simple interface means you could easily have your first design published within the hour.
When to Use Stock Photos
In an ideal world, you will be creating your own original imagery to accompany each post you write. But in reality, busy weeks mean that sometimes you won’t have the time.
When you can’t find the time to create an image yourself, instead of typing your keyword into Google – which will produce high-ranking images used by large companies with good SEO or widely duplicated images – use actual stock photo websites, such as Pixabay or picjumbo. Both sites have a wide array of images available covering categories from wildlife stills to business/tech. Using one of their unique images will prevent you from appearing as if you are trying to imitate your competitors or major players in your field. FreeImages, MorgueFile, and New Old Stock offer similar services to these sites.
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This is blog post post number 281