If you want people to read your small business blog, look at it, and pay attention, you need something that’s going to grab their attention.
You’ve only got a few seconds to make an impact online.
Of course you’ll write a compelling headline. But what next?
Well, since pictures plus headlines draw more attention than just headlines alone, a picture is the easiest way to turn heads.
Finding a good picture to go with a blog post seems to be one of the biggest problems people have.
Here’s the simple system that I use that comes up with a great graphic that makes everyone love our blog and read our posts.
Start off with a stock photo website, which is the easiest way to find pictures. A pay-per-picture service means you get a higher quality picture and although they’re not particularly cheap, you can keep the picture and repurpose them later on.
There are decent free stock photo services like Stockxchg, but you might have to look a little harder for the perfect picture.
Once you’ve found a stock photo site you like (I use iStockphoto), re-read your blog post. If the main idea of your post is general, like Sales, dig deeper. Is your lead-in story about juggling time? Then how about using a clear picture of a person juggling clocks?
The clearer the picture and the more direct the connection – the better. If your lead in story is about one thing, and your picture is something completely different you may leave your customers confused. And chances are, they’ll be too distracted to read on, which means they’ll never notice the content.
Also, try to choose pictures that have a white, or light, background. They’re easiest on the eyes and overall, more appealing and polished-looking. Another thing that helps is remember to choose pictures that look clear in thumbnail form. A picture of a birds flying through a pasture might look nice close up, but is probably too detailed and zoomed out to be appealing to your blog readers.
If all else fails, ask yourself, could a 5th grader explain why you used this picture? If not, you should probably choose a new picture.
That’s the approach I’ve been using and my blog has never looked better. Try it out and let me know how it works for your small business.