It really does boggle the mind that so many bloggers, it seems, seem to randomly pick a picture and post it at the top of their blog post. They think that this simple act will somehow, someway, make their blog more interesting. Whether you are looking to engage your blog readers better, or you are trying to reduce your bounce rate, you should not just randomly grab pictures that might be vaguely related to the topic of your blog post. You might want to spend a little bit more time and effort and analysis as to your choice of graphics.
Believe it or not, your choice of graphics can play a huge role in how your content is perceived and received. Seriously. Keep in mind that everything you do online is a form of branding. Everything you do online is communicating the kind of value you bring to the lives of people reading your content. If it is obvious that you do not care about the graphics that you post with your blog post, this level of lack of concern will slowly seep through and you will be found out. Eventually, a lot of your audiences will leave. Why? They can probably find better content elsewhere. Do not give them a reason to do that. Pay more attention to the graphics that you post. Here are some killer tips on how to pick out the right graphics for your blog post each and every time.
Know the Different Types of Blog Post Graphics
For you to know which graphics to put with your blog post, you have to first understand that there are many different types of blog post graphics. These types really mirror the different types of blog posts. For example, if you post lists, there are certain graphics that work well with lists even though I do think that most list posts suck! If you post interviews, there are certain graphics that work well with interviews. If you post how-to guides, there are certain graphics that perform really well with that type of content, and so on and so forth.
Know the different blog posts that you are posting up, and figure out the different types of graphics that go with them. It all really boils down to using different tools to achieve different effects. These graphics are tools. Do not confuse your message by carelessly mixing these different types. Different types have different effects. Here are five of the most common types of blog post graphics available. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, there are actually a lot more blog post graphic types out there. I am just posting the most common. From these, you can find variations, so you can fine tune how you pick the right graphics for your blog post.
Type #1: Mind Openers
These types of graphics are great for posts that introduce new concepts, or tackle old concepts in new ways. In other words, you are discussing old concepts but you are analyzing them from a totally different perspective. Since you are basically trying to get the mind of your reader to open regarding your particular approach and your particular content strategy, you might want to pick graphics that grease the process. The best type of mind opener graphics are abstract images, ambiguous images or even color field images. These are images made of certain solid colors. Why do these work with mind opening type blog posts?
They focus the mind at the top of the page and really sets expectations. When somebody is looking at a color field graphic, they are basically tuned in to the fact that what will follow is pretty much a discussion that goes to the essence of something, or there is some sort of a problem that needs digging through. At the very least, mind opener graphics work to trigger imagination and curiosity. Mind opener graphics are never obvious. They always leave a question hanging. They always leave the viewer hanging. That I their power. They are ambiguous. They do not just slap you across the face and tell you directly what you need to hear. They draw you in, that I what makes them seductive. Do not go overboard though. Make sure you pick the right mind opener graphic that is somewhat relevant to your topic. Otherwise, if people detect a very visible break between the mind opener graphic and what you are actually talking about, they will lose interest and they will click the back button.
Type #2: Demonstrators
These types of graphics are very specific to blog posts that walk the reader through a process. In other words, you are going from square one to square two, to square three, each step of the way there might be some confusion, each step of the way there are new concepts. Demonstrator graphics enable the viewer to easily follow the writer through thee different steps. How do you know a demonstrator graphic works? Very simple. The reader does not get lost. Look at demonstrator graphics as basically tour guides, that is a great way to look at them. They do not have to spell out the specific process but they take enough elements from a process to highlight it so that the reader does not get lost in the process. These are great for posts that demonstrate or explain something.
Type # 3: Results Graphics
If you have a make-money-online blog or you have an affiliate marketing blog or even an SEO blog, thee are probably the type of graphics that will accompany most of your blog posts. Why? These graphics show results, these graphics feature charts or graphs and they are very numbers driven. The affiliate marketing and the SEO online marketing niches are very numbers driven. There are lots of statistics to talk about, so results graphics work really well because they really drive home the numbers you are talking about and also the results of the processes that you are explaining. They are particularly great for posts that discuss results, earnings, relationships between statistics, they also work wonderfully for discussions regarding statistics or results overtime.
Keep in mind that if you are going to be selecting among many different results graphics, your selection criteria should focus on clarity. Whether you are making the graphics yourself or you are having a virtual assistant do it for you, make sure that the graphics that you use is clear. Something is lost in the translation, and the power of your blog post tends to evaporate, if your text is excited about certain results but the result graphics do not clearly communicate why the reader should be excited about the results. At the very least, your results graphics must be easy to understand, and most importantly, show the reader how important the topic is. If you want the reader to eventually trust you and buy from you, you have to make the reader understand that what you are talking about is important.
Type #4: Reading Boosters
This is the most generic of the different blog post graphics being used by bloggers. At the very least, reading boosters are precisely that, they boost the interest of the reader so that the person can read more materials from your blog. They kind of push the reader along. There are many reasons why you should use reading boosters in combination with the other types of graphics discussed in this blog post. For one, they help the reader to keep from becoming bored. Even if you are an exciting writer, people can experience reading fatigue. This is specially the case when they have been reading a lot of stuff on Twitter, social media and specialized websites. By the time they get to your blog, they are probably tired out.
By using the right reading booster images, you can push them along and reduce reader fatigue. This then leads to the second benefit of reading boosters, they can help reduce bounce rate. You have to remember, it only takes a few seconds for a person judge a page and determine whether he or she should continue reading. This is a crucial few seconds, because if the person decides to click the back button, your bounce rate goes up. This can produce all sorts of effects. You need to keep your bounce rate low. By using reading booster images properly, you can manage your bounce rate. In terms of selecting reading boosters, you have to focus on one thing and one thing alone. They have to be thematically related to whatever it is you are talking about. There has to be a tight fit between the reading booster image and the actual substance of your blog post.
Type #5: Blog Post Label Graphics
These are images that capture the complete post. These are images that really sum up what the blog post is all about. Usually, if you are not writing a mind opening or analytical type of blog post, you would use this type of graphic. You would normally put it at the top of your blog post, and it basically sets the expectation the readers should have regarding your post. Many bloggers would take the extra step of labeling the label graphic. For example, if you are writing about SEO, the label graphic would have SEO or something SEO-related on it.
By knowing the different types of blog post graphics, you can really take your blog post to a whole higher level. Of course, this should not absolve you of your responsibility to produce high quality content. Your text quality has to always be there. However, with the right graphical tools, you can ensure lower bounce rate, higher rates of user engagement and ultimately higher rates of reader loyalty.