Why And How You Should Be Using Images Within Your Blog Posts

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Why And How You Should Be Using Images Within Your Blog Posts

Are you struggling getting traffic from Social-media sites? Are you wondering what is one thing that you are not doing which others are doing? In this article, I will share one important element of a blog post which will help you to drive more traffic to your articles. Blogging is just not about plain text written on a page; a good article is the combination of text, images and multi-media like Videos and slides.

How to Use Image in Blog Post

When I started blogging in 2008, since then I have this habit of using minimum of one image with every blog post, because images speaks thousands words. More over, it’s a visual content which makes your blog post looks visually appealing. In this article, I will share some of the best reasons why you should start using images in your blog post. None the less, I will also share cutting-edge tips which will help you to use the right-image for your articles.

Why you should always use an image with your blog post?

There are many reasons which I can outline here, but let me start with first few which matters the most.

Visually appealing:

Having an image makes your content look visually appealing. “A picture is worth thousand words” and this is true only when you are using the right image to convey your messages. Your image should be within the context of the article and should be related.

These days we all use related posts with thumbnail, or popular posts in sidebar, all these uses the image (Usually featured image) of the post to show the thumbnail. This not only helps you to get more CTR, but also decreases down the bounce rate.

Image Search Engine traffic

Images also help you to grab lots of traffic from image search engines. Though you might need to take care of few things like Alt text and description. Initially when I used to add images, I never cared about my image names, earlier it used to be something like screenshot.jpeg, DSC023.Jpeg and so on. After knowing that images helps in driving traffic from search-engines, I started optimising my image Alt text and description.  You should use SEO friendly image WordPress plugin to optimize your images for search engine.

More social media share:

2015 is the year of social-media, and social media users love visual content. Not only it will compel users to share your content on social media, it also helps you to drive more traffic from social media sites. One key rule here is to ensure that when your readers share your blog post on social media sites, it should share the right image which is targeted for particular site.

image shared on Facebook

Do remember, no user would like to make their social-media wall looks ugly if your images are not of quality or makes their wall look non-attractive. Would you?

Decide which image for social-media

Here at ShoutMeLoud, I use a plugin call Social SEO pro, which let me pick the image which will be shared on sites like Facebook, Google plus and Twitter. A simple but powerful plugin to drive viral traffic from Social-media platform.

Increases the length of the article:

When you use an image within your article, it helps to make it look lengthier. It doesn’t increases the word count of the article, but it helps in making it look more detailed. More over, specially if you are someone who is doing short-post, this will help your article to look good.

Explanation

Remember when we were a kid? How easy it was for us to remember anything by looking its picture. This also goes the same with blog posts. If you write a tutorial post, adding few screenshots will help your reader to understand the tutorial in easy 1-2-3 step. For example check my post on how to Install WordPress on Hostgator. I explained everything with words along with screenshot and made it easy for any newbie to get started with WordPress on Hostgator.

How to add images to your articles: Tips and tricks

Now, before you start adding any random pictures to your article, read below tips to understand what other factors you should keep in mind when adding an image to your article.

Resize the image:

This is an important factor you should keep in mind when you are uploading the image on your blog post. Most of us make mistake by uploading a large width image and later resize the image using WordPress inbuilt image editor. To make sure your post images doesn’t hamper your blog loading time, you should resize images before uploading. There are many software’s that you can use for the same. I use Snagit ( Available on Windows and Mac), which let me take screenshot and also resize the image.

Compress the image:

This is another important aspect of not letting images hurt your blog posts. Make sure you compress the images before uploading it to your server. If you are using WordPress, you can use a free plugin call WP Smush.it, which automatically compresses the image to reduce the size. If you a Mac user, you should use a free app call “ImageOptim” which is a powerful way to compress images on your Mac OS.

Now, if you are have learned these two techniques here are few more stuff which you should know before using images on your blog post.

  • Don’t use Google image search and use any image on your blog post. If you are doing that, you are violating somebody copyright and one can file legal complaint against you. You can use this trick to find free to use images from Google.
  • Prefer taking your own screenshot when ever possible instead of using somebody else images.
  • You can also consider creating your own images. There are many good online tool available which anyone can use to start creating an image for their blog or for social-media sites. PicMonkey is one of them.

Image Suite WordPress plugin:

I’m giving a special mention to this plugin because this plugin will take care of all your image needs. This is a premium plugin but very cheap, which will let you find free to use images for your blog posts. Using ImageSuite can find images within your WordPress post editor, and you can also edit images such as ad image filters, add text and do various things to make your image look attractive and socially sharable.

Here is a video demo of the plugin which you should definitely watch:

You can get this plugin from official page over here.

Watermark plugin:

Watermark for images

This is another plugin which you should consider using when you are creating your own images. This plugin automatically adds a watermark to your images and helps you to protect your images from leeches and freeloaders. You can download this plugin from here.

Here are few more sources which you can use such as:

Flickr

Flickr allow you to find images quickly which are under creative common license. I prefer Flickr over any other sources because Flickr image database is more than any other image database. In most  of my blogging posts, I download image from Flickr and add it into post with proper credits.

Read:

If you have ignored adding images on your blog posts for long, after this I recommend you to start adding images to all your new posts. If time permits (If you are serious!), you should also go back and edit old posts to add images to them.

You will be surprised to see the number of social media shares which will increase and your users will get a great experience. Above, I have tried to cover all the tips which I know about adding images to an article and more over, the idea is to make you understand how important is an image for your blog post. If you find this article useful, do consider sharing it on your favourite social-media site.

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Article by Harsh Agrawal

Harsh has written 1047 articles.

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Comments

  1. says

    I am using Images on my blog post to make it more attractive and informative but it cause my blog to load slow. Sir can you please tell me how to solve this problem.

    And Thank You for this great post Sir.

  2. says

    Hello harsh,
    I have a simple doubt. Do we get traffic if our images are hosted on an external server ? I mean, I host my blog images on an external server like google blogger and embeed them in my wordpress blog in order to avoid indirect hits to my server when some one embeed’s my blog images in their blog post. So is their any problem with this to get traffic from images ?

  3. Shailendra says

    I want to write something at just below the image with linking url for reference. I have tried with default option in WP but it’s showing with large outer box in caption tag & I don’t want that. Is there plugin? please guide.

  4. Herman Nz says

    I think images reduces the light of web running, it’s a matter of pagespeed .. but, reading all your articles in related to images, I’d love to follow you but please let me know how to reduce the image size without using software … I’m little bit confused in this case and till now I use PNG extension instead of JPG or GIF since it gives me bad performance :'(

  5. says

    My blog demands lots of images. All of them are my own. I use images 1.5 MB approx so that the quality is good. Will it affect my blog PageSpeed or any other parameter in the long run

    • says

      @Sudha
      Since your images are bulky, this will certainly increase the load time of pages, and not very friendly for users or for search engine. You can try your best to improve the load time of pages by using caching and few tips that I have mentioned below:

      Optimize your images for size, before uploading. You can use service like smush.it, to compress images without losing quality.
      Use CDN, as it will help in serving the images from nearest possible destination, and it will help in improving speed.

    • Nijanthan Vijayakumar says

      I am sure that, your PageSpeed will be totally affected if you use images of that huge size (1.5 MB). Users who have low bandwidth internet connection will also get affected, as your images will consume the loading time. There is a chance of those users leaving your site getting frustrated too. Using a high-quality image is advisable but at the same time, you must take care of your website’s page speed.

      I hope you have checked your website’s PageSpeed Insights. If you haven’t checked that, please do it now. Once you’ve checked the page speed insights, Google will automatically display some suggestions, that you can perform to fix your site. Link for checking Google PageSpeed Insights: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

      Moreover, a small tip for you to compress your images. I hope that, you are using Adobe Photoshop. If you are using that, please open your image in that and choose File->Save for Web. A new window will appear there, choose JPEG as the picture type and choose quality as MEDIUM. This will compress your image size by reducing a little amount of image quality. I suggest you not to use images with file size more than 300 KB (kilobytes) or it will take more time to load. As Harsh suggested use CDN. He has also written an article on CloudFare CDN which is totally free. Search for that article in this website. Hope this will help you!

  6. says

    Well yes, an image in a post increases the beauty of the post and a post with beautiful image will attract more readers when compare to an average image. Mostly Flickr creative common license and Stock.xchng are the best ways to get free images for posts. Thanks Harsh for this wonderful post :)

  7. sudha says

    i too have noticed an increase in my traffic since i started using images in my blog post…they do get you traffic

  8. Sunny Gupta says

    .png extension is best for web use.
    It doesn’t compromises with image quality and gives you transparent background which is very much need for logo etc.

  9. Himanshu Chanda says

    I guess alone SXC and Flickr are enuf for any blog. But yes there are pais subscriptions like iStockPhoto that can take the blog to next level. One quick tip though is – Mash more than 1 images from SXC or write text on those images I tried it on my blog. The images are more relevant now and have a connect with the readers.

  10. Tamahome Jenkins says

    I like to use multiple pictures whenever I write a really long post. It helps to break it up for the reader while creating some visual interest at the same time. The search engine traffic in my opinion is just a bonus :)

  11. Kurt says

    Nice points. Specially the Image search traffic one. There is one post on my primary blog, which brought me abt over 80000 unique since I posted it. It’s about a band name Slipknot. At the time I posted that I didn’t even imagine that one photo in that post would bring so much people in the long run.

  12. Tushar says

    i too have noticed an increase in my traffic since i started using images in my blog post…they do get you traffic

  13. NpXp says

    I always add nice and thought-provoking pictures to the majority of my posts on my Blog.

    This definitely increases viewership and also ensures that the Blog readers are excited to read what the content is all about.

    I use Google to find copyright free images ;)

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