How to Blog - Use Images to Enhance Your Blog

Monday, June 06, 2011
How to blog – using images to enhance your blogs and blog posts. In this blog article, I will share with you 19 ways that you can use images to make your blog more appealing to read, entice readers to want to come back for more, and increase your credibility in the online community.
One thing to know first is that the best blogs are built on top of outstanding content to draw readers in and keep them engaged.
Too many images can become a distraction to your blogs so balance is necessary. Try to find the right balance to make your blog more appealing and the right images to use to get what you want out of your blog.
First let’s look at some design essentials of how to see images and design for your blog.

1.   How To Blog Branding.
Having al compelling blog header is one of the most important design elements of your blog. Designing a blog header starts with having a logo within the blog header and also needs a design to convey the message you want to strengthen your brand.

The Pioneer Women’s Blog does a great job with a well-designed header that changes with the seasons.

2.   How To Blog Social Media Profiles.
Your blog is considered a social media platform and you want to make it easy for other readers to connect with you on the social platforms they feel most comfortable connecting in. This is why many blogs have easy-to-recognize social media icons in a prominent position within their content.
It is easy to see what Dan Zarrella is interested in with is prominent position of these social media icons on his blog.

3.   Have Easy Reading Blog Posts.
Images in your blog posts need to make your blog appealing to keep visitors on your site.

Ecoki uses photos in blog posts to make reading easy and entertaining

Other key places to use images are in the side bar and in the footer of your Blogs, depending on your overall blog design. Readers naturally turn to these areas for useful information. This is why the footer or sidebar are great places to show your readers what to do next.

Notice that the images used on this portion of the side bar Rise to the Top.

The Hubspot Blog above has a primary call to action “Get the Book” with a link.  This is something that needs to be clear in your blog of what is your main objective. What do you want your visitors to do when they read your blog? Once you’ve figured this out, use images to direct the readers’ attention to your primary call to action.

4.   Offer Free Incentives.

The primary objective for most bloggers is to increase their list of subscribers. Many bloggers do this by giving away a free report or other freebie as an incentive to read further and follow them. Use a compelling image for your free incentive to get readers to want to sign up and receive RSS Feeds to your Blog.

This blogger offers a free ebook to email subscribers. The read image grabs the readers’ attention easily and leads them to the sign up information.

5.   Develop your Own QR Code.
Another type of graphic is the QR Code. If this is something your audience can relate to, you may find it useful to have on your blog.
Denise Wakeman has a QR Code in the side bar of her blog page.

6.   Promoting a Book.

The primary objective for some bloggers is to promote their own book. A well-positioned picture of your book is a great way for increasing recognition, highlighting your expertise and building your credibility.

 Also Available at the following resellers...

7.   Key Presentations.

Many companies choose to embed a key presentation in their side bar to highlight their particular area of expertise and create a call to action. Pay attention to the visuals you use to make your blog readers want to find out more information about what you do.

David Meerman Scott adds this image which he links to a YouTube video in a prominent position in his blog.

8.   Products.
Place visually any appealing badges about your products in a prominent position to get more sales.
Copyblogger’s product badges are appealing.

9.   Blog Author Photos.
If you do not have a photo of yourself or your team in your blog header, consider putting one in the side bar of your blog. This shows your readers who you are and can make it much easier to connect with you. See below for an example of my marketing blog header with my own photo.

 Full BRAIN Marketing

10.     Using Navigation to Build External Links.
IS there something else you would like to share with your readers? Make a link appealing with the right image.

Brian Solis has an image that links to his mobile app.

11.   Using Navigation to Build Internal Links.

You may want to highlight certain information on your blog that readers may otherwise miss if visiting your website.

One example above is we have a national event calendar that helps exhibitors research shows by region, industry and by date.  This is sometjign we want to be sure to share with readers and link to one of our other landing pages. You can click on the above image and it takes you to a our calendar landing page on our website.

12.     Add a Community Badge.
Blogs that haveactive communities should consder using a badge to incite more interaction within their online communities.
This business to business company Cree uses the above badge on their blog to incite readers to join their community.

13.    Blog Directories.
There are a number of popular blog directories that offer badges and widgets for their community to use. See below a great resource for blog directories.
Content Marketing Today has the Alltop
Logo and widget on their blog to highlight their presence 
In their industry.

14.    Regular Guest Blogging Sites.

Many bloggers publish articles on other websites and blogs.  Badges from these blogs will add credibility and social proof to your blog page.

Kristi Hines shares badges of the places where she publishes articles regularly in the side bar of her own blog.

15.    Social Networking Sites.
Many social networking sites have widgets that you can embed on your blog page. This is a great way to build social media platforms to grow your communities.  It also gives your readers the choice of where they want to connect with you on their own terms. It also lets your readers choose how they want to connect with you.

Citrix has a Flickr feed on t heir blog “Workshifting.”

16.    Rating Systems.
If you have a widely recognized ranking tool in your industry with a badge, consider placing this on your blog for social recognition.

Simply Zesty highlights their ranking on a popular
Ad Age Power150 list in the side bar of their blog.

17.    Awards and Prizes.
Share badges of awards and prizes you have won.

Erik Qualman, author of the book Socialnomics, highlights one of the
Awards he received for his book on his blob page. 

18.    Clients and Sponsors.
Consider highlighting your clients who you have worked with or your blog sponsors. Be sure to check if you have the right to publish their logos before posting t hem.

Web Advantage shows a selection of their clients in the side bar 
of their blog.

19.    Social Numbers.

Display widgets that highlight the size of your communities.  Popular widgets on many blogs share the number of your Twitter Followers, your blog subscribers and your Fans on Facebook.

Scott Monty has some great social proof next to his “Subscribe” button.

DJ Heckes, CEO & Author
EXHIB-IT! Tradeshow Marketing Experts
Full BRAIN Marketing
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