Do Images in Posts Encourage Reading?34
I begin almost every post here at Pro Blog Design with an image. The images are usually interesting, and do take a while to pick out. Do they encourage people to read more posts?
The answer is that for a certain type of blog, they do. For another type, they don’t.
When Post Images Are Worth Adding
- In plain templates. Many blogs are designed to be minimalist and plain, allowing the content to be focused upon. A well selected image in the post can work wonders for adding personality to the design, without losing the clean simplicity.
- In product related blogs. If you are discussing a certain item, be it a book, gadget or anything else, your readers will expect to see the item as well as hear about it. In such cases, it may even be worth having your post image link to a full size version of the product.
- In design related blogs, such as this one. When your readers are hear to read about design and visual interest, it only makes sense to add extra visual interest to your posts themselves. With an audience that appreciates a good design, a good photo will not go amiss.
- In series of posts. Darren at Problogger exemplifies this strategy, with each of his post series receiving their own basic logo, which he uses at the start of every post in the series. Some normal posts also receive images, but not all.
When Post Images Are Not Worth Adding
There are a number times when using post images is less likely to be effective. It is no reflection on the quality of the blog, merely the style of the blog.
- When posts are short in length. A post image must be seen as an accessory to a post, not a part of the post itself. If you write short posts, an image could easily take up a similar amount of room to your content, leaving your readers to assume that the image is merely filler.
- When the topic does not map easily to pictorial form. Some topics are hard to visualize. If you cannot consistently find images which are relevant to the post topic, then it would be best not to use post images regularly. If however it is only the odd post that does not map to an image, then a metaphorically linked image will do fine.
- When you do not have the time to choose a good image. There are thousands of images available online. As such, it can be very tempting to choose the first image you see and be done with it. Choosing a good image can take time. If you do not have that time, do not damage your post with half-hearted image inclusions.
It is important also to realize that a posting routine is not a rule set in stone. For instance, your routine may be to post a single post image at the start of each post. However, many topics are begging for images and one alone would not suffice, and so, you can safely leave out the original post image if needs be, allowing you to weave more images into the content of your posts.
To conclude, if you have an eye for a good image, and the patience to take or find one, then adding images to your posts will make them more attractive. However, if your topic does not easily convert to image form, then there is no need.
Now, I’ve said that the images will make your posts more attractive. Will that actually convince your readers to read more? That will depend on each individual reader. What do you think?
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