Nothing is more of a blog post-turn-off than arriving at a site and seeing nothing but a huge block of text. If you want readers to stay and read what you’ve written, you need to make sure to make your blogs visually appealing.
We all learn in different ways. Some of us prefer to see how something is done, whilst others would rather listen. Many like to follow along, whilst others prefer to read about it. This is why we need to make sure we’re adding visual content to our website.
However, it isn’t simply a case of adding more pretty pictures - especially when it comes to making our blogs visually appealing. A picture will help (and indeed, is one of the sure-fire ways I mention below), but it shouldn’t be your only option.
Having a visually appealing blog not only helps make your blogs look pretty, but it also helps keep visitors reading. With up to 65% of the population preferring visual content, it’s therefore critical, that you include more visual content within each of your blog posts.
One of my new favourite ways of adding more visual appeal to my blog posts, is to add in a simple call to action opt-in box (check out how I do it, further down this blog post!) However, it isn’t something that should be done on every post, unless you’re giving your reader an additional resource that backs up what they’ve already read about. So here are my other top 5 sure-fire ways to add visual appeal to your blog posts.
A large chunk of text can be so uninspiring! Not only does it look boring, but it’s also a fast way to bore your reader. Most people are skimmers - they want to read your content, but are often short on time, so they skim through it, picking up the pertinent points.
So help them out - add in subheadings to break down your subjects. When you’re reading an online article, look at how you’re drawn to website links - they’re usually a different colour and underlined - they attract your attention. You can do this with important words and phrases in your blog posts too, by using the ‘bold’ or ‘underline’ text options. And, if you want to share lists, use numbers or bullets to make the list stand out, as this helps add more variation in the text.
You can use any number of these text variations however I wouldn’t recommend using all of them in every blog post though! Opt for the most suitable ones and sprinkle them throughout your different blogs.
Another important text variation you should use is short paragraphs. In fact, this is one variation I recommend you do with every blog post. Remember how most people are skimmers? Short paragraphs turn your text into manageable bite-size chunks, rather than a massive, long, boring essay.
Images are the main way we add that instant wow factor - and is it any wonder? A picture truly does capture things beautifully, without the need for unnecessary words. One super-quick improvement you can make to your blog posts is to use the featured image option. It will place a large ‘feature’ image across the top of your blog posts.
Another great option is to use social media images in your blog posts. Not only do these help break up your text, but they also help make it easy for people to share your content! One quick option you can easily implement is a Pinnable graphic for Pinterest. (I’d recommend adding it to the end of each blog post).
If you’re looking for some great stock photos, I’d recommend two excellent free stock libraries:
Pixabay (free): https://pixabay.com/en/photos/
Unsplash (free): https://unsplash.com/
Ivory Mix is another great stock library site and particularly suited if you’re looking for feminine images. If you sign up, you can get access to some free images however, if you want to gain access to even more beautiful stock images, I’d definitely recommend taking a paid membership with them.
And if you’re looking for an easy to use graphic design tool, so you can create awesome graphic content for your website and social media platforms, check out Canva: https://www.canva.com/
The images you use will help add colour to your blog posts, however, you can have masses of fun adding colour in other ways. These include simple options - such adding coloured divider lines between sections of text or adding internal and external links within your blog posts (remember how that blue coloured underlined text catches your eye?).
Another thing you can do is to insert a quote from your blog post and emphasise it with a splash of colour (such as using large coloured quotation marks). Alternatively, a simple plugin called Click to Tweet can do a similar job - and you have the added bonus of making something that’s shareable on social media.
Another tip, when it comes to the use of colour: don’t be afraid of white space. You don’t have to fill every area with colour - sometimes it’s good to give your readers eyes a rest and avoid that cluttered look!
However, there is a whole psychology around the use of colour, something you may want to read up on. Design Wizard has an excellent blog that really gives you the entire breakdown of colour theory, how to mix colours and what they mean - you'll find that here: https://www.designwizard.com/blog/color-theory. Hubspot has created an awesome infographic on the psychology of colour use in marketing - you can check it out here: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/psychology-of-color and CoSchedule also have a comprehensive article on the use of colour, if you’d like to read more about how it influences us (you can find that article here: https://coschedule.com/blog/color-psychology-marketing/).
Image © CoSchedule - Colour Psychology in Marketing[/caption]
Using alternative media in your blog posts doesn’t just help add content for the different types of learning style, it also helps readers to retain information, whilst also switching up the visual appeal.
Again, I wouldn’t recommend overloading your blog posts with each of these in one hit. However, adding the odd meme, GIF, infographic or video will help break up large areas of text and give your blogs the added wow factor.
Canva is great for creating your own infographics, memes and GIFs. You can use Giphy to create your own or browse for suitable GIFs to use. If you’re looking for infographics to share, you can also check out those on Pinterest - just make sure you correctly attribute the original source.
Adding visually appealing elements to your blog isn’t just about adding in the odd pretty picture. A picture will help (and indeed, is one of the sure-fire ways I’ve mentioned in this blog post), but it shouldn’t be your only option.
That’s why I’ve given you my top 5 sure-fire ways to add visual appeal to your blog posts within this blog post. Not only does it help you cover the different learning styles of your readers, but it also helps to make your blog posts stand out visually.
If you’re looking to use ready-made infographics or stock library photos on your site, you need to remember to attribute the original source and/or the photographer. That’s why I’ve included a reminder, in my blogging guide. The checklist within the guide is set up to also ensure you’re remembering to break up text with subheadings etc. You can grab your own copy of my guide - by going to the 'Products' tab at the top of this page!