You Don’t Need an Image with Each Blog Post

Why are you adding an image/ graphic/ photo to your blog post? Because someone said to do it that way? Because people are visual and need the extra stimulus? Because the print magazines (or some popular blog you read) does it that way?

Rethink that plan. The images added to blog posts for the sake of adding images to blog posts are over done. Unless they really add something, like instructions, or some other practical purpose, they just add to the general clutter. Blog readers are becoming both ad blind and image blind due to the overload of useless stuff thrown at them.

  • Your words can (should be able to) stand on their own. If not, rewrite, rather than illustrating something that isn’t there.
  • Your blog does not need an image just for the sake of having an image.  Is adding an image worth a slower load time, a cluttered layout? How many times do you read a blog and see images that fail to load?
  • What does the image really add to your post? What does a random image stuck into your post say about you? Does it say you are creative, crafting a well thought out post, or just another blogger following the pack mentality?
  • If you are not creating your own images you are giving a lot of time and space to promoting the work of someone else. You also risk having the original artist objecting to the use of the image, or the way it has been used.

So, what do you do to keep your blog visually orientated and appealing? Don’t be afraid to get creative, it doesn’t have to be a great work of art, it just needs to be something meaningful, interesting and relevant to the post you are making.

  • Use your own work. Make your photos, graphics or images a feature, worthy of having their own post.
  • Start your own weekly/ monthly web comic. Stick to a schedule that suits you.
  • Doodle something. Use your own hand drawn illustration, it will always be uniquely you.
  • Take a look at text art. Use your keywords in a new way. Just don’t go crazy with it. Moderation in all things.
  • ASCII art is a retro text art and takes time to work on. Don’t steal the ASCII art you find online any more than you would another image.
  • Add an image of yourself, the real person behing the blog to illustrate the posts you write. This is, at least, sincere content and gives readers a real connection to you.
  • Go back to basics, give the odd post it’s own unique background. Don’t over use this either. Think of it as a highlighter pen for your best post of the week/ month.
  • Use subheaders to break up the text. Bold a sentence that sums up your post. You don’t have to stick to basic black.
  • If your blog looks bland to you and you want to add colour change your font colours, try out some jewel tones in blue, green, or red.
  • Add a graphic file with your signature to the bottom of your posts instead of using an image at the top of the post.
  • Skip images. Christmas is special because it comes once a year. Why not use that theory for images you add as well. Make them something unusual by not using them everyday.

3 thoughts on “You Don’t Need an Image with Each Blog Post

  1. I really think that an image with each post can work wonders if the image is relevant. The image itself doesn’t have to be a diagram or a graph that adds to the content of the post, it can simply be something that fits with the topic.

    Sometimes you can include an image that is particularly eye-catching, abstract, or tongue-in-cheek to grab a reader’s attention. For instance, I wrote a post listing 10 examples of spam comments that should be denied, and I struggled to find an image for the post. Then I thought of “exterminating” the comments, and included a picture of a Dalek.

    Looking at your homepage, I see that your sidebar currently extends to the bottom of the first post, leaving a big white gap to the right of the 14 posts where you only display a short excerpt. I’d find it far more eye-catching if the 14 excerpts filled the gap, and if each one had an image beside it. With that many posts on the homepage, I think it’s natural to scan them quickly to see if anything jumps out. It’s a lot more difficult to do this if you don’t have any images.

    If a post is lengthy I find it easier to read if it’s broken up with headers, as you suggest. But if it’s a really long post, images help too.

  2. I’m not against adding them at all. As someone who reads blogs I get annoyed with the images that are just posted for the sake of existing, because “that is what we are supposed to do”. Pack mentality like that always bugs me. Like everyone at the subway, waiting for everyone to go through the same door instead of someone stepping aside and opening another door.

    I had been drawing my own images. I want to get back to that and begin posting them here. My plan is a web comic more than using them to illustrate posts, but I’m not limiting myself.

    The sidebar and post levels are always changing here. When I have a longer post as current it stretches everything down so there is extra room. If the post is short they tend to match up more. If I could really do what I want with the sidebars I’d have just one with only the social network links and the Asides miniblog. Not much else showing on my front page.

    Right now I plan to make a new header using the blue and white china pattern theme. I’m working on it.

  3. I’m not a fan of using a picture just for the sake of having one. I prefer to use images to help illustrate a story. When I was a new blogger I would spend time looking for images, but now I prefer to use my own images or nothing at all. Most of it is because I just don’t have time to go searching for images. Also, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, “Your words can (should be able to) stand on their own. If not, rewrite, rather than illustrating something that isn’t there.” If that’s not the point of WRITING a blog post, I don’t know what is.

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