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Blog Images: The Ultimate Guide to Boosting Visual Appeal Before You Hit Publish

Man in front of computer with text, Blog Images: The Ultimate Guide to Boosting Visual Appeal Before You Hit Publish

Here’s what we’re going for today:

“Ooooh, pretty!” followed closely by, “ooooh, smart!”

Information enters through the eyes.

Blog images are crucial to boosting your content’s visual appeal.

Words alone look desolate and unappealing.

Words + images? Now we’re talking!

If you’re not comfortable using images on your blog, this article is for you.

My goal? To increase your comfort level and arm you with the knowledge and resources you need to start adding blog images to every article you publish.

I’ve been “speaking visually” all my life. As a career graphic designer and creative director, I’ve helped my customers communicate with images since 1992.

I’m known for making things simple and easy to follow. If using blog images feels daunting, you’re in good hands.

Let’s do this!

Blog images are like eye candy to your readers

How many images to use per blog post

Blog images are eye candy for your readers.

People spend hours a day consuming information on screens.

How can we encourage them to read one more screen full of information?

When we share our published blog posts, will our readers even get through the whole piece?

Here’s the trick:

Use lots of eye candy.

Imagine inserting an image every few paragraphs that’s a mini reward for scrolling.

Scratch that — don’t imagine it. Just look at this post!

If you’re wondering how many images to use per blog post, scroll down this page.

Every few paragraphs, there’s a new blog image to consume. They’re like little rows of candy, left out for your reader as a reward for consuming your content.

But you can’t use just any image.

Let’s dig into some specifics.

Blog images: Definitions

First off, it’s important to understand the difference between the types of images that are available so you use the right image in the right place.

Editorial images draw attention to your content. These images are often conceptual — they express the ideas in your content.

Editorial images go beyond decoration — they add shades of meaning to your words.

The images below are conceptual and illustrate ideas that are shared in the text they’re placed near.

Information-carrying images work well in blog posts, too. Blog images with graphs, charts, tables, data, and even quotes from industry leaders add meaning to the words you write.

Branded images. It’s smart to make sure your blog images reinforce your brand. Whenever you can, add a watermark of your logo or your website URL to one of the lower corners of your image. Use your brand colors and brand fonts on the image, too.

These images are powerful! They add shades of meaning, convey information, and reinforce your brand. That’s why I call them signature branded images.

Use the ideal blog image size. It’s important to resize your images to use the right blog post image size for your website. If you’re looking for your blog image size for a WordPress blog, you may find that information in the theme files.

Aim to keep all your blog image sizes no wider than the width of your content. If you can’t find your content width, I’m a big believer in measuring!

You can use the built-in screenshot tool in a Mac to measure the width of your content so you know what the right blog image size is for your website.

Or you can use the free PixelZoomer tool: It’s available for Windows and as a Chrome of Firefox browser extension).

What are blog image best practices?

When we talk about images for blog posts, it’s important to understand the role images play in boosting the visual appeal of your blog.

As you learn to create blog images, think about all the places you can use them.

  • Blog post images: Insert editorial, information-carrying, and branded images throughout your blog post.
  • Blog static images: Use these easy-to-find photos or graphics as blog post images, featured images, or background images.
  • Blog GIF images or animated blog images: Try out a moving image (see below) in place of a static editorial-style image.
  • Blog featured image or blog header images: Use a branded image in this coveted spot of the top of a blog post! That will ensure that your image represents both your blog post and your brand when it’s shared on social media platforms.
  • Blog background images: If your theme features a background image area, find an image that represents your entire business and use it at the top or behind the content area of your website or blog.

How to create blog images that boost your visual appeal — and your brand

Let’s avoid dropping unedited images into our blog posts.

Instead, take the opportunity to create a memorable visual that enchants readers and reinforces your brand.

Don’t use a plain image — create a signature branded image instead.

Signature branded image: A customized visual that combines a photo, some text, a brand identity, and elements of a brand color.

Here’s what a signature branded image is, in less than a minute:

Are blog images free?

Yes and no.

You can definitely find free stock photos to use as blog images.

Related: Free Stock Photos: My Favorite Resources Today

But I don’t recommend you simply download an image, insert it in your blog post, and move on.

If you use free blog images without customizing them, there’s an excellent chance that you’ll find your image somewhere else, trying to communicate something completely different.

That’s why I recommend you customize your blog image in some way before you use it.

The minimal blog image customization you should do

At the least, you need to resize your image so it doesn’t take too long to load on the page.

See “Use the right blog image size” above for resources to help.

Another minimal customization you can do is to crop your image.

“Cropping an image” means cutting out the less important elements in the image so you can focus viewers’ attention.

See the difference between the two images below. In the first image, our eye goes between the chair and the woman, and we notice the empty space between them.

In the second image, we focus on the woman and notice more about her. We take in her posture, mood, and engagement with her work.

Related: 3 Quick Ways to Transmogrify Photos with Smart Cropping

The ideal blog image customization you should aim for

Let’s go beyond resizing and cropping, shall we?

If you want your blog image to reinforce your brand, become a memorable piece of eye candy, and carry information, consider creating a signature branded image.

Remember …

Signature branded image: A customized visual that combines a photo, some text, a brand identity, and elements of a brand color.

signature branded image example labeled

Signature branded images are the Godiva Chocolates of visual eye candy.

(Or if you live in Nashville like I do, they’re the Olive & Sinclair of visual eye candy 😂)

You’ll keep readers engaged with visually appealing content that gets consumed, shared, and bookmarked!

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is the Chief Marketing Officer at DCS. She’s the creator of the Offer Accelerator Program. Learn more about Pamela’s content marketing books, and read reviews of the tools used to run this site.
Pamela Wilson coaches people in midlife to build profitable online businesses
I’m Pamela Wilson

In 2010, at the age of 45, I started this site and grew it into a business that offers freedom, flexibility — and consistent revenue.


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