Many bloggers struggle to get their blog posts just right. Working to get something just right is a good and noble idea. After all, we want to deliver our best work, express our creative gifts, and, for me at least, honor God who gave me the talent.
But does making our blog posts their “best” always need to include a stunning graphic that represents the post content perfectly?
For many bloggers, finding the right image is so time consuming it becomes a “deal killer” and makes them post LESS than they want to post!
And posting less is almost always a very bad idea indeed. Your readers want to hear from you.
Anything that stops that from happening must be eliminated.
Even pretty pictures.
When it comes to using images, or not using them, there is no pat answer. No “one size fits all” solution.
But there is logic, and there are steps you can take to make your job easier.
If you have faced the dilemma of to use (or not use) images these questions may help bring clarity. And help you post more often. Which is a very good thing indeed.
What does your audience want?
This is the big one. We write and post and create not as much for ourselves as for our readers. So how can you best serve your readers?
Without knowing your niche it is impossible for me to day. Actually, it’s impossible for you to say.
But it is not impossible for you to ask.
And ask you should!
The easiest way to know if images are important to your readers is to ask.
Run a simple poll and ask the question.
I love polls, and have written about using them before. I even have a course about using polls on your site. If you’d like to know more, take a look here. The entire course is $20.
Asking your audience what they want works. I do it to create products, make changes to my blog, set pricing, get blog post ideas and more.
No matter how you do it, ask your audience what they want and then deliver on that as you watch your influence rise.
Give and it will be given back to you. Works every time.
What do competing blogs do in your niche?
You have to be careful with this one. To be candid, I have made myself crazy with watching what other online business people do and then wanting to be like them.
Imitating others is a dangerous game. While we can model what others do (smart idea) when we feel in any way “less than” (bad idea) it’s time to stop looking at other people.
Bottom line: you need to run your race and follow you heart.
That said, knowing what leaders are doing in your industry is smart, even if blindly imitating them is not.
What do you want to do?
Put another way, what type of blogs do you enjoy most?
The reason this matters is simple. No matter what you are doing online, you are likely to attract people who are like you in some way.
They will probably like the things you like, at least in a general way.
So start by making the blog you like and then see what happens. If your audience wants something else you can always change it.
But far too many are stopped from even starting by nagging questions like …
- What colors should I use?
- Do I need a fancy header image?
- How long should my posts be?
- Should I use one image per post, two images, no images?
- What keywords should I use?
These questions, and more, all stop our progress. So let’s take the power back and do this instead.
Write something today that is not perfect. Make it the best you can make it within the time you allow. Put an image or it or not.
And then post it.
Post it today, and then share the link to your post in the comments below.
So, does your blog need pretty pictures? I don’t know, and (no offense) you probably don’t know either. At least not yet.
But you do have things to share, and what your visitors really want is the knowledge you share.
Pictures are nice. Knowledge it better. Wisdom is best.
Share your knowledge and wisdom today. If time allows and the mood strikes, put a pretty picture there too.
But by all means, post and post today. Share openly and from your heart.
Because sharing is perhaps the most beautiful thing of all.
P.S. Just for fun, here are a few examples of blogs that do and don’t use images. Each of these blogs is wildly successful, providing that running your race is always the right choice.
SETH GODIN – No post images, wildly successful
Copyblogger – Lots of images
Everyday Carry – Images are integral to their success
Zen Habits – Minimalist in every way. Over 1 million subscribers