Blogging Insights #6 – Image This, Imagine That

Image This, Imagine That

This post will probably look and read way better you know if you are NOT using the reader … just saying 🙂

Drtanya@saltedcaramel runs and maintains a series entitled ‘Blogging Insights’ – and this weeks episode is How important are images?

Questions

How important are images to a blog post?

Super important – we live in a data filled world, we are enveloped in words everyday, we have in fact way too much data, advertising and information at our disposal – so much so, that we are overwhelmed by the sheerness of its volumaticness and we are powerless to control and manage our input and output. We have so much going on in black, white and grey testing that in order to break the boredom and monotony of it – we need to interject difference into the tedium – we achieve this with movement and colour and or imagery.

If not for using imagery we would never buy anything online – as annoying as advertising is – if it wasn’t successful we would not still be experiencing this assault to our senses daily.

Now in relationship to images and imagery in blog posts is this equally as important? Yes it is – very much so – people need to see ‘breaks’ in blocks of writing especially if it is long content, but also a nice image can deliver more than a 1000 words to different people in short content, poetry, flash fiction and so on.

I use images, but in recent months l have been branding more of my series and some might say this goes against what l am writing here? It doesn’t – it shows and displays familiarity  – by having one clear headed image for a post readers become more attuned to what the series is … many a time there are images inside the serial episode as is. But with a branded image as an example when connected to a series episode readers tend to recall up to 65% of what a series is about and more so if you are launching a new series in comparison to launching a new series and using a host of different images to promote it where the reader retention is only roughly 10-12%.

People want information quickly these days, they want information in short sweet bursts and not have to wade through reams and reams of words – not everybody of course – but most people are basically very lazy – l see this laziness daily here in WP alone – those who say they are different – individuals – unique and the sad fact is many are NOT that way at all – they are automatic – they are no different to a good 85% of the overall population and their reading habits are no less different.

I am a long content writer, it is NOT saying l cannot write shorter content, l can and on some occasions l do – but my readership in the main are mostly  – l say that again ‘mostly’ short content readers – but l also have mid content and long content readers too – the latter two will generally and genuinely read an article from the start to the finish – short content readers tend to ‘skim read’. Then at the end they’ll hit like with a 85% understanding of what has been written, but not a 100% total understanding. You can make life easier for short content readers by including ‘pictures’.

So in short, images are a seriously important feature to include in your writing.

Finding the ‘right image’ at times can be the biggest problem.

What is tbe role of images in blog traffic and reader engagement?

Well if we wanted to get technical, the inclusion of imagery to the written word can make for significant differences to your traffic on the positive side to things. Some figures suggest that a poster could receive upwards of  35% more traffic when using images whereas just by having worded content readerships might only be 25% traffic richer.

It is difficult to balance l feel – and l personally sit in two camps especially about having imagery within a blog post – l do include many a time, but it will hugely reflective upon how large the actual content piece is. We read books and many a time they do not have imagery – unless they are comics – we can survive without imagery when reading books and yet on social media and platforms such as blogging, readers need images and the reason for this is because when you are reading a book you are not being overwhelmed by flashing adverts whereas online – you are already heavily distracted and need more colour to break the monotony of reading.

How many images on average do you use in a blog post?

I think this is heavily influenced upon what the content is about, how you already engage with your audience, how your audience interacts with your content, how they interact with you, your writing, your business or story telling and how much they actually dedicatedly follow both you and your blog.

For me, l tend to guage it by a few things:

1] How many words [wordcount] long is my piece? Does it require an additional image to the heading image? This is an already debated topic  – some say one image per 150 words, others say, as many as you feel you need

2] Images serve to break up, blocks of text – remember how l wrote above about short content, mid and long content readers? Well short content readers seeking quick burst word fixes appreciate images. short content readers need an image every 150 – 200 words. mid content readers survive with images at every 350 – 500 words whilst long content readers can cope with an image once every 750 words.

Again the secret is to find balance.

For me Personally, if a writer is using huge blocks of text with no grammar and punctuation or paragraphs and no image like this …

Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text,

…..  well l am long gone!

Although an image perhaps like this ..

Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content

options-73332_960_720

Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content

Would break the monotony up, it would still be a hard read, but about manageable!

Most short content readers would look at even the above and think ‘NO WAY!!’ and move on….understandably too.

Generally l have found the following works pretty well as a guide.

Short Content Readers: [150 – 200 Words]

Need Pretty Pictures!

arrangement-2794696_960_720

Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text,

arrangement-2794696_960_720

Mid Content Readers [350 – 500 Words]

Need a quality image

options-73332_960_720

Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text,

options-73332_960_720

Long Content Readers [750 Words]

Not too many images please!

panda-1892023_960_720

Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text, Content text,

 

panda-1892023_960_720

BUT, everyone is different – you know?

Something else to remember is this … and l think this is really important, and more important than everything else …. when you are writing a content piece – who are you writing the piece for?

Okay … we all write for ourselves – that’s a given – but as we get bigger, more uglier and longer in the tooth as a blogger – we have and develop and build a dedicated readership – so we mustn’t forget that we are also writing for them – most words do not come to life if not read – so if you want your words read then make the content reader friendly and today online ‘reader friendly’ is colourful, vibrant, musical, movement and life’ your words come to life in another’s imagination – so your job, our job is to create an ambient setting suitable for our words to come to life in another’s mind.

We need the short, mid and long content readerships, we need them as writers – l think it’s easier to say this and this is fact …. writers need readers more than readers need writers! Say that a couple of times to yourself and you’ll realise how very humbling it truly is.

I try where l can to get the formula right, l don’t always get it right, but l do ok, but it’s a huge learning curve that you are always learning and tweaking  – all my readers are important to me, l just know that l am not going to appeal each and every post to each and every reader and l am fine with that – there is NO such thing as the perfect post, the perfect writer and most assuredly the perfect reader – it’s all about balance – isn’t everything?

A Guy Called Bloke Banner Community Prompt JPEG

17 thoughts on “Blogging Insights #6 – Image This, Imagine That

  1. Finding images takes SOOOOO much longer than actually writing. I could just throw in pics of Ben’s chalk creations and breaks, but that seems lazy…which I admit to being.

    My content is usually on the shorter side because its difficult to type out long content on a mobile phone. All my readers better watch out if/when I get an actual keyboard🙊😯🙈😂

    I didnt know there was a formula or rule🤔 I’m not big on rules anyway😉💃🏼

    1. Worry not about formulas – l don’t – l am aware of the short – mid and long content readers – but l am a verbose guy – l write and when it’s finished, it’s done – it’s all about balance and yes you are quite right – finding the right damn image can take longer than the writing of some posts 🙁 ha ha

  2. Finding that precarious balance is the secret.
    But how does one get there?

    This is such a great post and I am really sorry to have missed it earlier. Some of your posts have not been showing up in my reader. I don’t know why. WordPress glitch I guess.

    1. Hey Tanya, worry not – WP comments have been going missing for months, l am always losing comments on other blogs and rather shamefacedly, l have gotten so used to it, that l now just think ‘no problem, one day they’ll all be rediscovered like Atlantis in spam 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed it – great question.

        1. Pleasure, the truer beauty of community is it not Tanya 🙂

          As to the glitches, l think they have been around for a much longer time than we have noticed, it is just that we have ‘now’ noticed them more, if that makes for sense. I think when we are less WP experienced, smaller blogs the glitches tend to not affect us, however when we start to get more interaction – that’s when we noticed the glitches older and more veteran bloggers in WP talk of … then it is the moment of understanding 🙂

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