One of my biggest struggle as a writer is finding a way to spin a tale or present an idea that captivates the mind long enough to keep someone reading to the end of my piece. A great way to do this is to captivate the eyes with images. It gives readers a break from all those words and it gives their mind a pleasant distraction that's brief enough to make them happy without getting them off track.

See? See how well that worked? Happy a field...making you happy...

Anyway. I've always struggled with finding the right pictures to add to my posts. Flickr is a treasure trove of great photos that are open to fair use via a creative commons license, and iStockPhoto offers pictures at minimal cost, but there's still time and effort involved in finding just the right one.

That's a point Sonia Simone over at CopyBlogger addresses in a great post called "The Lazy Blogger's Guide to Finding Great Post Images."

Sonia writes:

Some images just make people feel good. And associating yourself with feeling good is a smart move if you're trying to persuade. While a steady diet of kittens and rainbows gets cloying, it can be a good move to choose a photo just because it makes you smile.

What's the personality of your blog? Funny? Combative? Compassionate? Goofy? Imagery can set the emotional tone of a single post or for your whole blog.

Lazy Blogger Tip: If you can't find a good, relevant match for your post's main idea, look for an image that conveys the emotional content of your blog as a whole.

Don't underestimate the power of a great image in a blog post. Especially if a lot of your traffic comes from RSS readers. After all, nothing catches the eye among a sea of text-only posts like a really great image.

Flickr photos from ArielMatzuk and RussellBernice.

October 28, 2008

Jennifer Laycock is the Editor of Search Engine Guide, the Social Media Faculty Chair for MarketMotive and offers small business social media strategy & consulting. Jennifer enjoys the challenge of finding unique and creative ways to connect with consumers without spending a fortune in marketing dollars. Though she now prefers to work with small businesses, Jennifer’s clients have included companies like Verizon, American Greetings and Highlights for Children.


Great article on using the right pictures. From a marketing perspective, the images you choose should enhance the message, not replace it. Probably one of the biggest mistakes business owners make, when they call me in to fix their problem, is the way in which they use images.

I had one client who was advertising with images only and no text. This is NOT the thing to do. Nothing sells better, or focuses a message better than words. An image should be used that enhances the marketing message. For example, a famous headline is "Corns Gone In 30 Days Or Money Back". This message is clear and to the point and states the offer in the headline. The message, and the offer, are simple. A way to enhance this headline is to use an image behind the text, perhaps of a giant corn on the side of a foot. The image should have attention getting colors in it which tend to be red, yellow, and other bright colors. In this context, the image helps grab the attention of the reader who is skimming. Once the image grabs the attention of the reader, the reader will then read the words in the ad. In marketing, using an image to grab a prospects attention, and then using words to make the pitch, is the proper balance for each.

Comments closed after 30 days to combat spam.

Search Engine Guide > Jennifer Laycock > Pictures Catch the Eye and Allow Your Words to Catch the Mind