Why do we blog? For family bloggers, blogging may present itself as a journal of sorts to share with family and friends. There are also bloggers that promote their company through product information and product reviews. Whatever the reason you blog, pictures and photos are a surefire way to keep readers on your site, as well as enhancing your blog content.
There are numerous reasons to add pictures to your blog or website, but I am going to focus on three particular reasons I consider to be the most important factors in encouraging readers to return to your site.
1. Photos keep readers on your blog
Think about it this way, when you come across a new blog or website, if the site is all text, with very little imaging used, are you likely to stay on the site, or are you much more likely to send your mouse towards the back button? Personally, I find myself much less intrigued by a blog when I find it for the first time if it is all text. A picture grabs my attention immediately, enticing me to stay on the page and read the blog post.
Adding photos to your blog content will grab the reader's eye, creating a further curiosity for what you have to say on your blog. Remember, we are a society that loves visual gratification, so photos on your blog would only seem like the natural thing to do, right?
2. Photos on a blog allow readers to further connect to the blogger
This particularly holds true to family blogs, as well as informational and self-help blogs. Adding photos, be they personal or subject related, give the reader a personal connection to what the blogger has to offer through their blog content.
For example, this blog is a family blog. I may cover topics from parenting, to daddy specific subjects, as well as journaling my day-to-day life. I try to include photos with as many posts as I can. And I see the results in my comments. About half are directed at what I have written about, and the other half are commenting on my photos. That let's me know that the pictures on my site are having a positive effect on my blog.
What is great about enticing readers to enjoy your blog, is that you potentially create a relationship where your readers will continuously come back to your blog to see what new posts you have written. Photos add a visual connection that allow the reader to feel like they are connecting to a real person on the other side of the blog, creating a genuine and authentic interest that will keep them coming back!
3. Promotes creativity and generates ideas
One great thing about photos and pics on your blog is the ability to generate a creative interest in the style and artistry of your images. This is especially true for photos you take yourself. For instance, on family blogs, a particular blogger may have a certain style of photography that others love. The readers may inquire about the methods to shoot a photo like that, and have yet another reason to follow that particular blog. Photos give readers ideas and creative inspirations for their own blogs. Some actually are so appealing, they have a viral effect on the blogging community. You will start to see trends in photography and images from one blogging niche to the next. I often find myself drifing back to the same blogs over and over that continually put up new and creative photos.
Another good example of blog photo use is when a blogger uses humorous or creative pictures to sit alongside their posts. It may be pictures they take themselves, or may be other images they have acquired permission to use. But the entertainment of the photo will coincide with the blog topic, making it that much more intruiging.
A couple good examples are at MyCharmingKids.net, and zenhabits.net. MckMama, at My Charming Kids, is a photographer on the side, her full-time job being a stay-at-home mom. But what has captivated her thousands (and thousands) of loyal followers is her heart-felt blog content, enhanced by her own photos. She is just one of the many, many family bloggers out there sharing her life not only through her writing, but through her pictures as well.
At zenhabits, we see good use of photos from Flickr under the Creative Commons license. These blog posts actually drive people to view the photos on Flickr, as is evident by the many comments seen on their respective pages. Many of these images are professionally done, so they make great additions to any blog post. Make sure to abide by the Creative Commons rules though, as most require attribution to the photographer.
If you are already using photos in your blog, that is excellent, so continue doing so! The combination of excellent blog content paired with photos makes for optimal blog potential.
Posting up my own photos has increased my own desire to take better pictures, so much so that I would love to take up photography as a side hobby. The only trick is to get the camera I want, which of course, is a wee bit out of my price range at the moment.
I love to read new blogs, and find out what each unique blogger has to offer, so leave me a comment so I can follow you back to your blog! Of course, you can always follow my blog, creating as easy way for me to head over to your site. It's exciting to see how people take their photos, and to see what moments they capture with a camera!