It’s been a while since I offered a writing tip. Well, this is a writing tip, in a way I suppose. It’s more of a blogging tip and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with actual writing. This piece is more about an effective way to get people reading those blog pieces you take the time to write. A strategy, if you will. You need something to draw the reader in, to get their attention. The best way is to use an image. Let me expand upon the reasons for doing so, then I’ll explain how to do it.
The majority of people will find your latest blog piece in the Reader. Hopefully. It’ll be there for them to find, but will they see it? Perhaps the title might catch their eye. Those chances are small. You need real, and appropriate to the piece, eye candy. When I browse through tags in the Reader, the pieces I tend to read have images. Sometimes a title sticks out, but more often it’s an image that gets my attention. I’d say that’s true with the majority of people.
You don’t have to go crazy and have a plethora of images. I hate when people do that because they do it without reason. The images muddy the piece. They want to use “clever” memes and/or unrelated images. If you want to use multiple images, use them effectively. Make them relevant to the piece and don’t just insert them in random locations. Have a reason for their placement. The best example I can give on how to best use multiple images is check out what Gary Loggins is doing over at crackedrearviewer. He does film reviews geared more toward what you’d see on TCM. He uses multiple images, but each one is relevant and thoughtfully inserted.
By all means, you don’t have to go the multiple image route. I use one per piece, inserted into the piece at the beginning and the same one as the featured image. You need at least one to draw the reader. Use the book cover, or a film poster for a review. If it’s a poem or flash fiction, find an image that fits the theme. They can’t always be a perfect fit, but something’s better than nothing. To find a good image, the best way is a Google search through images, but I suggest adding “free use” at the end of the search words.
Recently, I learned WordPress is picky about image size. This is one of those nitpicky details they don’t come right out and make users aware of, so I will. If you use an image, there’s still a chance it won’t appear in the Reader, even with the fancy new design rolled out a few months ago. If your image width is less than 350, it won’t appear with the piece in the Reader. It needs to be a minimum width of 350 to get displayed and used to maximum impact. To resize an image, you can use LunaPic. Under the “Edit” header, go to “Resize Image.” Upload your image, resize it, then save. The thing to remember is to clear the history or it’ll be there when you come back. Not the overall browser history, but image history for the site. You’ll see the options.
I hope I’ve both informed and educated with this piece. As always, I do these to help my fellow writers, and in this case, my fellow bloggers. I hope this helps you gain more views and with the increase, grow your blog. Until next time.
Copyright © Drew Martin 2017