Choosing a featured image is particularly important. This is the picture that usually goes at the top of your blog post, near the title. It’s also the image that comes up when you share a link to your blog on social media.
Posts with images tend to get more clicks than posts with just text and a link. This means your featured image needs to be compelling. It should also give the reader an idea of what your blog post is about.
But how do you find a good photo for your blog post that will encourage people to read it?
1) Use stock image sites
To avoid falling foul of copyright regulations by using someone else’s photo without permission, use stock image websites rather than just Googling an image related to your blog topic.
Stock image sites are handy banks of ready-made photos on pretty much any topic you could ever dream of writing about. All you need to do is type in a word and related photos come up.
There are paid stock photo sites and free ones.
Free stock image sites, such as Unsplash and Pixabay, usually have less of a choice than their paid counterparts but you can usually still find a relevant photo without having to credit the photographer (although it’s nice to mention them if you can).
By using a paid stock image site, such as iStock, you get more of a choice of high-quality photos as you’re paying for the right to use them.
2) Search for photos using synonyms or related words
If you find you’re writing about similar topics every time you blog, you’ll need to be imaginative with the words you use to search for images, otherwise you might run out of relevant photos. Think about the key message of your blog post and search using synonyms or phrases related to that message.
If your blog was about writing in a conversational style, to avoid using the standard pen, paper or typewriter images usually associated with writing, focus on the conversational element and search for photos with terms such as conversations, informal, no tie, no briefcase, etc.
If your blog is about deciding how to do something, you could search for photos of things associated with decisions or ideas, e.g. light bulbs, question marks, a confused person, shrugging shoulders, thinking, etc.
3) Choose a high-quality, eye-catching image
Aim for a colourful photo that will attract attention to your blog post. The goal is to stop people mid-scroll and make them want to read your blog.
Bear in mind that the quality of your image gives an impression of the quality of your blog content. If your post contains up-to-date knowledge and insights, don’t choose a low-resolution grainy image that makes your blog look outdated.
4) Use your own photos
If you have time to take your own photos, use them for your blog posts. That way, you won’t have to worry about copyright as you own the images. Plus, you know they’re unique and nobody else will be using them (which is the danger of using stock photo sites).
Using your own high-quality photos is also a good way to humanise your blog and show off your company’s personality.
5) Make your own images using Canva
Using tools like Canva, you can quickly make your own images. Canva is an easy way to design social media icons or backgrounds without needing a degree in graphic design. You can upload photos and add text or quotes over the top. Or, you could just keep it simple and add text to a coloured background.