Are you struggling for ideas on what types of visual content to include in your blog posts? Well, you've come to the right post. Below I'll share with you 9 visual content ideas that will help diversify your content and make your posts delightful to read.
When creating your blog posts, adding some interesting visuals, such as photos, screen captures, and videos are a huge part of the overall content creation process.
Writing and publishing blog posts that include little or no visuals will do very little to excite your audience and readers.
Sometimes, though, it can be 'tough-going' trying to figure out exactly what to include in terms of images, graphics, screenshots, etc. So, I created this post, and hopefully, it will help you out.
Using images in your content is just the start, really. We're going to cover, in more detail, 9 visual content ideas you can use in your blog articles starting right now.
Let's first take a look at the list!
Right then, let's dive into each one in more detail.
Did you know that blog posts that contain images get 94% more views?
The featured image is often an underutilized piece of visual content. The problem is blog authors either include one, or they don't.
I know what you're thinking; What's the problem with including a featured image?
Well, if they include a featured image, it's usually a pretty boring-looking, stock-image downloaded from some free stock-photo website.
Now, I use free stock photos on my own blog, and there's nothing wrong with doing that.
In fact, in 2018, over 40% of marketers said that they used stock images in their content the most.
What I like to do with the free stock-images I find online is to add my own flare or customization. I like to add some text overlay, gradient effects, branding, etc. Just like the one I created for this blog post.
So, the first thing you've got to do is stop downloading and using raw-stock-photos. Here's what you should do instead:
Go and explore free stock image sites like Pexels or Pixabay like you always have done. Find a small handful of relevant and interesting images to download.
Create a folder on your computer to store them in.
Next, download a free photo editing app, something like Photosape is perfect, and begin creating some custom blog post featured images or thumbnails.
You can add a gradient overlay, some text or a heading, your logo perhaps, etc. You can even blend two photos or overlay an image of yourself in the foreground. Just get creative with them but don't go overboard. Sometimes some subtle filters and branding are all you need.
Recommended post: If you want to learn how I create my blog post featured images, check out this post and video tutorial.
Tip: You can make your featured post images the size of approximately 1200px in width and 628px in height. This is the nominal size for sharing images on social media.
This means, for example, when someone shares your blog post on Facebook or LinkedIn, it should pull up the featured image, which will be the correct size format for including in the shared link.
Here's an example of a shared link from one of my blog posts, with a featured image that is the optimum size for Facebook. Using the correct size means your images won't get cropped when sharing. If you're using text overlay, cropped images look bad.
If you use a plugin with social media optimization built-in, such as Social Snap (Affiliate link), you can take advantage of the custom social media image settings included. If not, just make sure your featured images are correctly sized for social media.
It is optional, but you can also include a few other image sizes for Pinterest and Twitter.
OK, it's time for another statistic I think.
84% of marketers who use infographics say they are extremely effective.
This means creating some nice infographics can be a powerful strategy and a great way to add interesting visuals to your blog posts.
Yes, they do take time, resources, and sometimes a little bit of money to create. Especially if you're not savvy with graphic design tools.
Here are some creative tools to consider using for crafting your infographics -
In addition to those awesome tools, do check out this post for more tips on creating infographics using your blog content.
I'm almost certain you know what screen captures are, so I won't explain. Screen captures are probably among the most used images in blog posts.
I've used them so many times myself, especially in tutorial posts and product review articles. Some of my step-by-step posts can contain up to 25 or more screen capture images!
If Google Chrome is your preferred choice of web browsers, I'd recommend installing the Full Page Screen Capture extension.
You can also use shortcuts to capture a full or a specific area of a page. If you're using screen captures to provide instructions in a blog post, don't forget to use some annotations or directional arrows like the one above.
There's nothing more powerful than using charts and graphs to help visualize facts, stats, and any data you are using in your blog posts.
You don't need anything fancy to create some interesting graphs. If you're handy with a graphic design tool, then use whatever you have on your computer.
If you're on WordPress, check out the Planet Charts plugin. It's a fairly new plugin, but it uses Gutenberg blocks to help you create some interesting charts. This is a premium plugin, by the way.
Alternatively, you can screen capture charts and graphs from another blog article to use in your own content; however, please make sure you cite your sources carefully. Don't just steal content; provide a credit link, and mention the blog/article's name.
These aren't as popular as they once were in blog posts, I don't think. But, they can still provide some variety in any piece of content.
Often, the humorful GIFs can be useful for provoking thought and increasing reader engagement. That much can be said. Just be careful you don't pick anything that could become unintentionally offensive.
Although a wonderful option to consider for adding visual content to your posts, the two main problems I see with using animated GIFs are:
In any case, a great site I would recommend exploring is Giphy, which has thousands of animated gifs for you to choose from.
Now, using visual content doesn't just mean finding and using suitable images and graphics. You can also use videos.
This is one of my favorite tactics to use.
YouTube and Vimeo are among the best places to find appropriate video content to embed into your blog posts. You don't always have to create your own videos, though I would recommend doing so whenever possible.
Using videos in your blog posts not only adds value, but it's a great way to retain your reader's attention.
According to Insivia, 95% of a message is retained by viewers watching a video. Whereas only 10% of the message is retained via written text.
What does this mean?
This means if you include a video in your blog post, whatever message you're trying to convey in that video, your viewers are more likely to retain that message better.
Have you ever considered using content from your Instagram to post into your blog posts?
Assuming you have an Instagram profile, it's straightforward to do, and moreover, it means you don't always have to use images from free stock photo sites.
To embed an Instagram post, all you have to do is head over to your Instagram profile on your computer, click on an image you want to embed, open up the share options tab (three little dots), and select embed. See the image below.
And last, but certainly not least, we get to embedding slide presentations.
Now, when it comes to sourcing - A great place to look are sites like Slideshare by LinkedIn, AuthorStream, and Google Slides.
I would recommend SlideShare over most other platforms simply because their library of presentations is vast!
In addition to sourcing presentations from other sites, you can and should also create your own branded presentations to include in your blog posts. The sites mentioned above can be used to create and host your slides.
Now, that might be quite off-putting, considering presentations can take up to 8 hours or more to design. But, if you can include one or two of them in your content strategy now and again, it can be quite rewarding, considering how many websites embed and link to slides.
Now, regardless of everything said about using slide presentations, I don't think that including them in your blog posts is as popular as it once were, but it's still a great and effective option for diversifying your visual content and increasing engagement.
So, there you have it. Hopefully, these 9 visual content ideas and suggestions will keep you busy for a while.
What do you think? Are you inspired to use other forms of visual content in your blog posts? Or are you just going to stick with good old free stock photos for now?
Hope you found this post useful, and as always, happy blogging!