Friday, May 1, 2015

The art of perfecting blog post visuals

The art of perfecting blog post visuals

Most bloggers skimp on the effort they put into the visual part of their content creation process. I honestly believe that this is a terrible waste. 

As interesting as I think your content, the chances are that I would not read it without a little push. Blog post images are the little push that motivates me to engage with your content instead of merely skimming it.

The soaring popularity of Instagram is proof that image-centric content creation is becoming increasingly favored by readers. There is no getting around the fact that a huge part of blogging involves large chunks of text. However, with right images you can get your readers to re-focus on your content when they lose interest with the blocks of text. Adding images that are relevant to your blog post and including infographics is something that we bloggers should focus on.


WHY MASTERING BLOG VISUALS SHOULD BE A PRIORITY 


  • Blog post images are all about creating an epic first impression. When a reader visits your blog, their eyes are first drawn to your visual content so making those first ten seconds count is vital. A gorgeous blog post image shows that you care enough to put in extra effort because your readers deserve the full package. A vivid visual + great content equals a very engaged reader. 
  • Lauren from over at Elle & Co has perfected the art of blog post visuals. Her blog post graphics are unique and consistent so I able to recognize her content on any platform based on just the images she uses. Your blog graphics are undoubtedly part of your business/blog's brand so you should take care to maintain it constantly.

HOW TO CREATE RELEVANT AND EYE CATCHING BLOG POST IMAGES


Use free resources

I personally found Parajunkee's list of free stock photography sites super useful. Sites like Unsplash and Death To Stock have some pretty amazing, high quality images that you can use for your blog posts. 

Don't forget to take a peek at this list of 30 Free Stock Resources For Your Blog Posts!

Sometimes, stock photos can be utterly mortifying because they tend pop up all over the blogosphere! This can be easily avoided by some clever cropping and photo editing using free photo editing applications like PicMonkey and Pixlr. 

Further reading to amp your photo editing skills:


Take your own pictures

Lots of bloggers are investing in DSLRs and it definitely looks like it is worth the investment. A DSLR is not something that I can see in my future right now so I currently have to make do with my the camera on my mobile phone. I have made it a practice to read up on lighting, angles and photo editing and it has helped me a great deal. 

Check out these simple photography tutorials to up your photography game: 

Create your own graphics

For those of you who would like to steer clear of stock photography and cameras, this is a great option! The Branded Solopreneur makes it sounds super easy with her tricks to create your own blog post images from scratch.

Invest in workshops and courses

This is something that's on my to do list for the year. I'm in awe at those bloggers who are able to create gorgeous graphics using Illustrator and Photoshop so I can't wait to jump on the bandwagon. For those of you who are brave enough to try Photoshop on your own here's a great tutorial and here's another one.


WHAT TO KEEP IN IN MIND WHEN CREATING GRAPHICS


Create & stick to your style guide

Pick a color scheme of 2-4 colors, 2-3 complementary fonts, photo filters and create a template. Use this template when you create your blog post images to maintain consistency.

Creating the best visual experience for your readers is an extensive area so check out these posts to get a better idea.


Mix it up

You do not necessarily have to stick to stocks photos so feel free to experiment with still life photography or graphics created from scratch and have fun mixing them up.

Do not forget SEO!

When search engine bots crawl your site they can read only your text so naming your images before uploading them means that the bots are able to identify the images using the description. When you name your images, avoid generic words like 'IMAGE101' instead use descriptive titles like 'A-Guide-To-Making-Your-Blog-Post-Shine'. The hyphens help the bots understand that it is a meaningful title instead of a string of random characters.

Alt Tags work in a similar way, so take a minute to optimize your images for SEO.

Create, Rinse, Repeat

Browse Pinterest and other blogs for inspiration. Try to identify what makes that particular image stick out. Find your areas of strength, maybe it's photography or maybe it's whipping up lovely images using Illustrator - Focus on improving those areas.

Vivid colors? Black and white? More white space? Any specific mood? Find out what works for you through experimentation. Hardly anybody gets it right the first time!

OVER TO YOU:


What's your approach to creating blog graphics? Are there any blog photography tips that you would like to share? What applications do you use to create your visuals?

Liked this post? Remember sharing is caring! Follow via Bloglovin' to be the first to see similar posts. 

Want more? Check out my other discussions.

Happy Reading/Blogging! :)


xoxo

11 comments :

  1. It has always been quality images and design that has made me revisit a blog, so I'm actually surprised that I only just realised the importance of incorporating then into my own blog. I've been working on this, though, I'm recent posts, so this is definitely helpful! Thanks!

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  2. Love this post Nuz!
    I learned the importance of images in blog posts the hard way.It doesn't help that I am not a techno savvy person,but thanks to picmonkey,I've been working on improving myself in that subject.
    Thanks to all those links hun!They're really helpful.

    And you really need to give me a class on SEO when we meet up next time.I can't figure it out at all!
    I know,I am hopeless:)

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  3. I personally prefer to take my own pictures, because then I don't have to scroll through hundreds of photos that don't show what I want to show. And it adds just a bit of a personal touch :)

    That being said, graphics aren't really a priority for me, because in the end it's all about them words. But I do like looking at pretty blogs!

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  4. Thank you for this post! I've always skimped on visuals just because they take so much time but have recently been looking into how to make them as they definitely do add to a blog's brand. There are tons of blogs out there who are really great with their graphics, that keep it consistent and do contribute a lot to the brand! So this was a really useful post with tips for someone who's just beginning to learn about visuals so thanks for that! :)

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  5. This is literally AMAZING and I Just have been clicking on all the links and loving this post so much. xD I want to be better at making my posts visually catchy. I do a lot with photography nowdays, but I wish I knew how to edit them better...and I usually cheat for all things typography and go to canva.com since it basically shows you which fonts look good together and stuff. AHH. Hopefully one day I'll figure out how to do it for myself. *continues clicking on all the things*

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  6. Great post Nuz and great resources. I'm trying to incorporate more of my own photos these days so I'm delighted with all tips and links.

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  7. I do get lazy to make blog photos, but I should really try and step up my game for it. I did it once, and it was easy enough, but it's still extra time. I can only use stock photos, but I think taking your own photos is definitely an edge.

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  8. Very helpful post, Nuz! I've kept in mind that visuals and graphics are actually more appealing to readers now, and come on, it's already 2015, we have to move on from chunks of text! ;) I'm still trying to amend this for my future blog posts and reviews, but it will take a while as I don't have a camera to take my own pictures :( For now I'm thinking of putting quote-images instead! :)

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  9. Ooh this is a really helpful post, girl! You make a great point - people definitely find pictures more appealing. I shall definitely try to take more photos for blog posts!

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  10. This was such a fantastic post, Nuz! Graphics definitely make me want to check out blog posts more, and have a mini "whoa" moment before reading the content. :) Stock photos are pretty helpful, but when I can, I try to take my own photos. :)

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  11. I've been actually thinking the same thing about using images on my blog posts. It's something I always forget but this post gave me a wonderful insight. Thanks for the tips, Nuzaifa! :)

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