I think everyone has heard the saying "a picture paints 1000 words" at some point. I get it - it makes sense. But (there's always a but isn't there?) I'm also a firm believer that carefully chosen words can paint not just a picture, but a movie.
I like looking at pictures as much as the next person, but sometimes, I like to paint my own picture, decide for myself what the person is describing and how it would look.
When I first started my blog, I made the decision on day one that I wouldn't be using images. I figured a lot of the posts I write (all of them really at that point) were my opinions on various things, so they didn't require images.
I read all the posts telling me why I should use images, but I still wasn't convinced. In hindsight, I should have listened sooner - these posts were written by people much more established than me. It's not that I somehow thought I knew better, I just figured images weren't my thing.
Because I'm quite wordy, I'm happy to read a long post, even if it's just text. The mistake I made was thinking everyone else feels the same. I learned that they don't. People think visually and are more attracted to a post with images than a body of text.
With all that in mind, I then wrote this post and it didn't look right without images. I realised I had a choice to make - scrap the post or use images. It seemed pointlessly stubborn to scrap the post, so I caved and used some images, still not convinced it would make a difference.
That post received almost 4 times the views my posts were averaging at that time! I knew that couldn't be a coincidence, so I started doing a few more posts with images - and all of them did consistently better than those posts without images, regardless of the topic being discussed.
And that's when I had my epiphany moment!
- I realised the images don't detract from the words, even if the topic is a serious one, they add to it.
- I realised I could use images to show people my interpretation of the topic, but they would still read the words and would still be able to form their own vision of it!
- I realised that I preferred the look of my posts when they had images in them.
- I realised that I had opened a door to people who liked the post sharing the image on their Pinterest boards, something that had previously been impossible.
I would never have thought I would say this, but I am converted. If someone had told me at the beginning I would one day write this post, I would have laughed at them, but here I am writing it.
I now make sure I have at least one image per post, but I often have more.
That's not to say that I think a blog without images can't be successful - I don't believe that at all. I also don't like to tell people what they should or shouldn't do on their blogs, I just think if you don't use images, and you want an easy way to bring in more traffic, it's a definite option.
Tomorrow's post will talk in more detail about how to use images to boost your traffic.
Do you use images? Do you find they increase your traffic? Let me know in the comments :)