July 31, 2020 Published by Josh Slone

Use Custom Blog Images to Punch Up Content [4 Examples]

You ever read those blogs that are full of long sentences, excruciatingly thick paragraphs and thoughts that just ramble on...

Use Custom Blog Images to Punch Up Content

You ever read those blogs that are full of long sentences, excruciatingly thick paragraphs and thoughts that just ramble on and on?

Me neither.

Unless you’re reading a medical study or writing a paper in college, no one wants to squint their eyes to get through a blog post. So, if you have a blog, it’s important vital to keep the attention of the reader. Even if you use freelancers for your writing, ensure the quality is there.

Here’s how.

  • Keep their interest: If visitors are there for tips, give them your very best tips in the form of actions they can actually take. Don’t ramble on about theories and definitions.
  • Don’t bore them: Not the same as keeping interest. Space out your content, use bullet lists and keep a lot of white space on the page.
  • Use images: Again not the same as keeping interest or not boring an audience. Useful, beautiful images fire up more brain signals allowing readers to keep interest and retain information.

The rest of this article is devoted to showing you actual blogs using images correctly. And then telling you how to mimic and leverage images on your own blog.

Here goes.

Important: It is legal, in many cases, to use images from other places. That said, you must attribute things properly. Here’s a great guide with more details.

4 Examples of Using Blog Images

1. Use Custom Graphs

Example: Storytelling with Data

Not only does the example use custom and screenshot data, they also explain how you can tell stories with the data you use. Using screenshots from a related study is not a bad strategy.

Anything with “report” or “survey” in the title is bound to have great statistics, put together in a visual format. Plus, the company who put out the report wants a properly attributed share of those images to boost people coming to their resource.

But know something better? Creating your own images for data.

Use data in custom graphs and graphics

  • Find relevant data: Poll your social followers and current customer. Or even use a study (properly attributed) in a custom image.
  • Keep it simple: This isn’t an infographic, that’s further down this post. But a small image communicating a single point of data — adding to your overall point.
  • Add your branding: Make sure you get credit for the image and ensure those who gathered the data (if it’s not you) is also given credit.

2. Use Infographics

Example: NeoMam Studios

Ok, the example is outlandish. This is a custom infographic, speaking to the effectiveness of using infographics.

That said, inserting a simple, yet powerful image is something you want to consider on your blog. This is especially true for those in-depth posts that share a ton of valuable information and data.

Bonus tip: Powerful hosting goes a long way toward speeding up your blog (an important ranking factor). It may also be a good idea to use a third-party image host, in conjunction with your site host, to speed up images even more.

How to Use Infographics Effectively

  • Get a consistent product: Identify which posts on your content calendar (and previously published posts) are a good fit for an infographic. Then, get those images created by coordinating with your designer.
  • Use consistent imagery: Same color schemes, make sure you have your logo prominent and include a link (wherever possible).
  • Have a consistent promotion strategy: Make these images easily shareable, reach out to partners and other sites asking them to share it. Make sure to use the same strategy for every infographic.

3. Use Gifs

Example: Ahrefs

The Ahrefs blog is known for their marketing and SEO strategies. It really is a non-negotiable resource for my own efforts. They use images very well. And the example is a great look at using motion graphics or gifs in your blogs.

Some people like to watch tutorials on YouTube. Other people prefer to read instructions. But many like to comprehend instructions through both reading and seeing.

If you’re a SaaS or startup with something that needs explanation as well as a quick visual to see it in action — gifs are the way to go.

Using Gifs Effectively

  • Don’t go too long: 10-15 seconds is an ideal length. People will watch it a time or two until they understand it. If you go 45+ seconds, readers who start watching in the middle will have a hard time figuring out what’s going on.
  • Zoom in: No one needs to see your entire screen when you’re trying to show them a certain feature/button. Use a tool, like Screenflow or something similar, to add a bit of editing to your gifs.
  • Piece out video: If you have the raw files of videos (for example, a demo), use that to create gifs in your instructional blog posts and knowledge base articles. No sense in recording something twice when you can avoid it.

4. Use Embedded Social Posts (and screenshots)

Example: CNN

As per the example above, who doesn’t want to see Alex Trebek get better?

We all want to know, not just what the news says, but what others think about current events and important issues.

How about a more personal example? Let’s say you sell to a specific industry. Said industry has a huge event every year. Every prominent person from the industry attends. And all of the attendees talk about it, both in person and on social media.

Sometimes, people talk about these events for months after they happen and months before the next one begins.

Why wouldn’t you create a dynamite roundup post about your experience at the industry expo, complete with a ton of embedded tweets?

Not only is this a good piece of content that can likely rank for terms related to the event — it appeals to others:

  • Who didn’t go
  • Those who did go, but didn’t take good notes
  • Anyone excited about the event and wants to relive it or get revved up for the next

How to Use Embedded Social Posts

  • Search using keywords: Monitor certain hashtags and use LinkedIn/Twitter/Facebook search to find those talking about the subjects your target audience cares about.
  • Get both the embed and screenshot: Sometimes embedded posts don’t load, so take a screenshot, too.
  • Notify those in your posts: Reach out to those you embedded. They’ll likely share your post because we all like being mentioned.

These are some great examples, but it's not always easy to create quality graphics. And you might not have the budget for it either. Check out this guide on creating engaging blog visuals, fast, easy and free.