BT: Answer me this: The importance of images + The Secret Trio of success.

If you know my blogging schedule well, you might be aware of the fact that this post is a week late. If you did not notice the absence of this post last week, please disregard everything but that I am perfect.

A month or two ago (time blurs), I decided to take a trip out of state. After arriving at the airport and waiting due to a flight delay, I was informed that the flight was canceled. And so I went home. Later, I decided to book a new flight in November. Somehow I chose the least convenient dates for my loved ones, which ended in me missing a couple of important events due to traveling at that time. But I decided to go anyway. Before I left, I wrote myself a note to write a Blogging Tips post upon my return. My visit was great. It was busy, but I had quite some fun. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions (again)… my return flight got canceled. The rebooked flight was plenty delayed, so I ended up arriving around 12h later than scheduled. Hence – no post last week. Now that you are all caught up let us proceed with the BT post.

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If you have missed the previous installment of the Blogging Tips, or just want to refresh your memory, feel free to check out:

JANUARY – rules; an introduction.

FEBRUARY – tells you how to get the most comments.

MARCH – provides tips on how to promote your content.

APRIL – gives excellent advice to newbies and reminds us of the basics.

MAY – reveals what TO DO to gain a following and what NOT TO DO if you do not want to lose the audience you already have.

JUNE – showcases the most popular niches if you are trying to pick one for yourself, or if you are looking to re-brand.

JULY – presents some surprising trends related to WP usage. See if you can relate.

AUGUST – divulges how much time we spend on WP so you can adjust the length of your posts accordingly.

SEPTEMBER – reports the frequency with which most people post.

OCTOBER – provides crucial information on how to compose your titles. Bonus – title generators and analyzers included!

I hope you find some things there that will help make YOUR blogging world a better place.

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OCTOBER’S question:

Images – Yay or Nay?
Do you include them in your posts? Why/ why not? Do the pictures in other people’s posts (or lack thereof) influence your decision whether you will read their content or not? Why/ why not? 

COMMUNITY’S answers:

An overwhelming “YAY!”

  • There was only one person who mentioned that images in the body of text are distracting for them.
  • One person thinks that writing should speak for itself, and there is no need for visual aid.
  • Another person raised a valid concern – posts with images take much longer to load if your Internet connection is not the fastest.
  • Two people admitted that not all posts are suited for filler images (i.e., creative writing).
  • I was also reminded that there are some people whose vision is limited (or nonexistent), and so we should not use too many images, so they do not miss out.

Additional info and research:

Right from the start, I have been using at least one image per post. It is not because I thought it would help me score some search engine optimization points (SEO), but because there was this “Featured Image” option in my post toolbar. Otherwise, I usually do not use any other images throughout my text precisely because of what a few people said (mentioned above). I feel that other than the main image, there is no need for more in my short stories. It would only detract from the plot. As for NROP posts, I consider them a bit more serious and prefer them to stand on their own. There is no need for images to support one argument or the other.

A few weeks ago, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and published a post riddled with images. Granted, it was not a usual post of mine. It was about my mental health that day. That post received more Likes than most of my other posts. It also received quite a few comments. All that definitely confirmed your opinions – images ARE important. I continue working on improving my blog and strive to make this a great outlet for me and a phenomenal resource for you. No major changes have been implemented to my image usage as of yet.

If you do not deal with images in your posts that often, chances are you do not know there is more to it than just choosing an image. Did you know that there is an Edit option for images you upload? No, it is not like photoshop. Yes, you can rotate, crop, or flip, but that is as far as the editing of the actual image goes. The other four options are associated with text. You can insert a title, caption, alt text, and a description. To me, they all sound like one and the same. How does a title differ from a caption? Apparently, there is a difference.

TITLE: This is the only required field by WP. If you do nothing, it defaults to the image name from the original file. That can often just be a string of numbers. It is recommended that you change that. The title you insert will define a permalink for that image (just like your post title does for the link to your post). (Note that you have to change the name of the image BEFORE you upload it to your Library, or else you will not be able to edit the image link.) The title is important for SEO. You might want to insert a keyword in there for better ranking of your image/ post. Moreover, this is what shows when someone hovers over your image.

CAPTION: The caption is what appears underneath your image (or in other places, depending on your theme) in your post.

ALT TEXT: This is very important for any image, although often overlooked. Alt text is what you see when an image is not displayed correctly (ex.: missing source). This should describe in words what the image is to communicate. You might think that is is mostly useless to a regular reader. It might be. But it definitely is not that to a search engine. Alt text is what they use to index the images.

DESCRIPTION: That is a nice feature for those who have a hard time seeing and rely on their devices to read the posts to them.

An example: Say you are a cook and share photos of the meals you prepare. By adding all of the above (keywords and maybe your cooking business’ name and the city you work in in the alt text), you enable people searching for cooks in your city to find your images. Once they click on that image, they will be taken to a page with the description and links to your other photos. It is meant to create exposure for you.

It is important to note that “changing an image’s alt tag or caption via Media Library will not change it in the posts and pages where the image is already used.

If you do not feel like doing all that on your own, a plugin called SEO Friendly Images will take care of the majority of the text edits for you.

If you are still hazy on the differences, check out this article that uses a single image to illustrate how each editing option is there for different things.

NOVEMBER’s question:

What makes you click on a post to read? Is it the image, the title, the blurb, or something else? I expect some of you to say: “I try to read everything from my Reader or anything by specific authors,” but aside from that, I would appreciate it if you shared what drives your choices when it comes to random posts as well.

Leave your answers in the comment section and come back in a month to see what other people said. (Or just check back here routinely. Or both. Whatever works for you.)

***

If there is something about blogging or the community that you are wondering about, feel free to reach out via my Contact page, and your question might be featured next month. Everyone would be answering YOUR question. Take advantage of it. If you do not feel comfortable shooting me an email, you can also leave your question at the bottom of your comment here today.

Stay golden,

signature5c0482f66325e1

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Did you enjoy reading this post? Hit LIKE.
Have some thoughts on the topic? Share in the COMMENTS.
Do you regularly enjoy my blog? Be sure to FOLLOW.
Are my posts getting lost in your busy Reader? Try SUBSCRIBING.
Want to get to know me better? Check me out on Twitter @EnneaGramType8.

102 thoughts on “BT: Answer me this: The importance of images + The Secret Trio of success.

Add yours

  1. What initially draws me to a post is the image. My eyes immediately gravitate towards the image and then I read the title. If it sounds like something that I might be interested in, I will read the blurb. Sometimes, if the blurb is disinteresting or not my cup of tea, I’ll stop reading it and move onto the next post in my reader. However, if I find that I can’t stop reading and the blurb has me wanting to read more, I’ll open the post, read it and even try to engage with it.

    Thanks for the question!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, man! I apologize for the late reply. I’m not sure what happened. I have not seen your comment until now. Thank you so much for the answer to November’s question. I was really happy to see such a detailed response. It totally makes sense. It just goes to show that the reader can stop at any time, so the author needs to make sure that everything is on point.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read a post because 1.) either the title mentions something I care about or it’s just intriguing, 2.) I like that particular writer and read virtually everything they post, or 3.) that blogger recently responded to something I wrote, and I’d like to return the courtesy. (They often turn out to qualify for #2. 😉 )
    I like pictures, if they fit the post and add something to the story, but sometimes they just take up space.
    It may be that I should post pictures, but I try to “paint a picture” in the imagination of the writer. Everyone who reads my post will probably “see” something different – something that is meaningful to them.
    I know I am probably in the minority, and if I weren’t so technologically challenged, I would post pictures (and video/audio) now and then. Knowing me, though, it’s very possible I’d get carried away and let blogging eat up more of my day than it already does. :/

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My apologies for not responding sooner. Somehow your comment managed to fly under my notification radar.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. I’m on the same page regarding images. I like how you said that you try to “paint” a picture with your words. So true. Inserting images can take the freedom of imagination away from the reader.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have also noticed that posts having images get more exposure. About the atl text, description, title, I got to of these things at my job. However, I just skip using them on my blog due to laziness.

    About what makes me read a post, it’s usually the title. On WordPress, it’s sometimes the authors too.. some names whose content appeals to me, I don’t skip them if I read their name on my reader. It’s definitely not an image until unless it’s an artwork of the author or something that’s completely unusual.

    Also, I’d like to know about the tags. All my research has told me that 15 tags are the max one should use. But I’m struggling with the ones that are quite popular with the readers. As a reader, what does one search for? As a blogger, which tags does one use and which are the tags that have given their posts better exposure? Are there any tags that are quite popular?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The title of the post makes me want to read it. I’ve read that people click list posts with titles like “Top 10” more often than not and I’ve observed that I do, too. If the image is particularly captivating or intriguing then it becomes another reason.

    Other than the title and image, the reason why I click on a post is when the author recently liked or commented on my post. Or if I often find them across the many blogs that I check out. Or if I know the writer and would like to catch up. Or if there are many likes already. It spikes my curiosity.

    Hope that helps!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Sarah! Much appreciated.
      Happy to have made you laugh. Too often my sense of humor does not translate well into other people’s language.

      What makes you click on a post? The title, the image, or the blurb?

      Like

      1. It translates to me for sure. To answer your question, I think it’s a combination of factors. An image isn’t necessary, but if it’s there, I won’t pay attention to it unless it catches my eye immediately. Usually I see the title and then I look at the excerpt that WP providers in the reader. If that catches my eye, I’ll keep reading.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I usually click on all the posts of the bloggers I follow. First, I do a quick scan to see if the post is even an interesting topic for me. If so, I read it and comment.

    I enjoy posts about things I find relevant. I don’t especially care for personal posts or posts that are trying to get the reader to feel a certain way. I like questions and observations more than anything really. I think because questions and observations get me thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The blurb, I suppose? I generally read from specific authors… But if I’m checking out a new blog, I scan through the list of posts to see if anything catches my eye. I don’t look specifically at the image for deciding if I might like something — the image is more like a tie, I think: good for detail and a splash of color and all that; but I would hate for it to be the only thing worn…

    As for the title, deciding what to read based on THAT is like picking an employee from name alone. You might get some idea of who the bearer of that name might be, but even if you did, it would be drastically incomplete. It doesn’t tell you their pros and cons, their habits and their talents.

    So, my eye goes to that little snippet of post below all that. Those first few sentences, or lines, or that initial paragraph. The part that actually speaks with the author’s voice.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OMG. I’m speechless. Well, not really, but I think that’s what people say in similar instances. Thank you SO MUCH for this comment. I started thinking I was crazy. No one seems to care about the blurb. People pay so much attention to the images and get sucked in by the click-bait titles. I follow the same procedure as you. Good to know I’m not the only one.

      Liked by 1 person

                    1. Indeed. I find it rather refreshing, actually; but that doesn’t mean I won’t *try* to squirm my way out.

                      Let’s see… What kind of tea… Earl grey? Chamomile? Something fancy I wouldn’t know the name of?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. The grass is always greener. We always want what we can’t have. But it sounds like you actually have possibilities. Others don’t pressure you to get out of your comfort zone, so you can be the one to decide when you will go out, how far and for how long.

                      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sheesh! Looks to me like I’ve missed out on plenty of this series.

    Okay, this month’s question — Images are HARDLY ever the reason why I read people’s posts. The only times I remember reading someone’s article because of the image(s) they used are the times when the image(s) contained information I was interested in — like, ‘Free Ebook on SEO + Website Review!’

    I’m more of a Titles fan. If the title doesn’t interest me, I would take the liberty to read the first few lines of the article. And if they fail to capture my interest, the only thing that would make me continue reading is if you’re a writer that I really, really like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’ve been plenty busy with blogging this year. Or so I think. 169 posts so far this year is huge for me.

      Thank you for answering this month’s question! I’m glad to know that you will read my stuff anyway, because I’m a writer you “really, really like.” Riiiight? LOL Kidding. I’m definitely working on upping my title game. I’ve always payed attention to the blurb, but I usually use it as a place where I summarize the post. Only recently have I started putting actual excerpts from the post in there. Even though those blurbs show up when someone opens up my page, the Reader still only shows the first few lines. That’s why openings are so important. And I need to work on that. I am known to ramble in the beginning. I like the intro to be smoother than just jumping right into business. It’s like when you meet someone – you first chit chat before you tackle serious stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did make a post February this year announcing to everyone who cared to listen that you’re my favourite blogger, so … 😏

        169 posts is a huge achievement! I wonder if I’ve written that many post in the two years that I’ve been blogging. Yeah, I doubt it.

        Lol. Funnily enough, it’s your ramblings that draw me to your posts. And I’m sure it’s not just me. For the topics you write about, a nice ‘preamble’ to break the ice is always welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. What draws me to a post?
    Mostly the person. And I have to say, your blogging scedule is working. Even though I appreciate your CW the most, I look most forward to Monday’s NROP.

    (Hey, maybe you can do a poll about that one day? Which category your readers enjoy the most of you! I’d be really curious to know what everyone else’s favorite is!)

    People like gifs a lot. But some go overboard and use too many of them.
    One thing I have noticed in my old blog, if I use a picture of myself and happen to look ok in it, it would get more audience. So I admit it, I have used that for my benefit in the past 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good idea. One of my BT questions this year was what people like to read most. Most people said they liked personal/ lifestyle posts. Creative writing was among the top 3 runner-ups. Anything about controversial topics and the news was way down on the list. WP says Thursday is my most popular day, which is when I publish CW pieces. However, I am not sure if all that translates into what my readers like the most. Sometimes I think the stories get more traction, because the NROP pieces can be considered “negative” by some, which is apparently a big repellent for people on line. But other times I post a story and get very little reaction. So I’m not sure anymore. I think my HW posts get the most consistent traction.

      I will definitely think about the poll, because I am starting to think about my blogging goals and schedule for next year. I’m not sure I will be able to keep doing what I’ve been doing this year.

      I agree with you on the selfies comment. I have the same observation. Obviously, I do not do selfies. But you inspired me with your comment. I will have to think about this (I wrote it down) and potentially implement it in the future. A spin on selfies came to mind. I just don’t know yet if I will add it somehow to my WP posts or if I will make it a Twitter feature.

      Like

      1. Grin.
        Definitely title for me. It has to be a Topic that interests me.
        And as already earlier discussed, a Question in the title seems to work the best.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, a question. I shall try to remember it. Too often I feel like the title should be: “Guess who’s the idiot today and what idiotic thing they have done this time around.

          Like

  9. Personally I struggle with coming up with a title that can grab attention, yes I do know how to write one, but I always find it tacky to tailor up my title so people want to read my posts.

    Because of that I usually don’t pay too much attention to titles when scanning for articles to read, unless I am specifically looking for something like after I have written a book or movie review and I am looking for people who have written similar or maybe even a particular tag or genre.

    My reading list is mostly made up of people I like and people who engage with me, so when scrolling through the reader and see a familiar name I will click on it.

    As for the odd random post let’s say when I run into on social media it would probably be a combination of a grabbing title though not necessary, an image though not necessary and an accompanying description more necessary than just a title and link… Unless the title and image can fully convey what to expect is it a story, a shared experience, a writing tip?
    E.g. read this flash fiction about… Or here’s my experience with Writer’s block.

    So what drives me to a post is knowing what’s there and if it’s something I would be interested in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same. I feel like I’m a sleazy car salesman that tries to push something for way more than it’s worth. Even if I believe in my product, I still hate overselling it.

      I’m glad to see that you do pay attention to the blurb. I strongly believe in its power.

      Thanks for answering so extensively!

      Like

      1. Lol at sleazy car salesman…. Precisely, I would make a terrible car salesman end up having tea with potential clients listening to them and telling them not to buy the overpriced gas guzzler, then top it up by losing sales commission by directing them to another dealership with a better bargain…

        Yeah, wouldn’t make much of profit but would have great friends.

        ~B

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I hadn’t thought much about the image descriptions. I’m definitely going to put more effort into the titles, captions, and descriptions. Thank you for sharing this info!

    I usually click on posts that will add something meaningful to my life like self help-y or that look interesting & entertaining. It’s the combination of title, pictures, and intro that draws me in.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Either way you’re perfect! I’m glad you got to go away still…. I feel like I’ve been MIA for I didn’t know that you got to go in the end. It’s interesting to know that using the text function for the images makes a difference for SEO. Not that I get many visitors from search engines… but it’s interesting anyways. As I told you last time I like to use alternative texts, though when I post from my phone – which is when I post images – I don’t, can’t figure out how to, change any of it.

    I try to read the posts from the people I follow. The people who follow and comment on my blog (like you and a few others) I’ll try and read every post of. Either at the time or when playing catch up which seems to happen all the time. Though of course it doesn’t always happen. What also gets me to read posts is when the content interests me. There are some people I follow who I’ll skim their posts and read the ones I find interesting (they’re not followers of mine). I find interesting either because they’re humourous, or they’re always pretty, or, just somehow their posts interest or inspire me. Or are informative. Occasionally I’ll search for something, but usually the things I search wouldn’t be positive so that’s not on a general basis. Hmm, that gives me the answer – it’s the content of the post that gets me to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Argh. So I added alt texts, captions and titles to the pictures in media. Which don’t show when I upload. I know you said that here. I just forgot. And it took so long!!!! Oh well. Lesson learned…. I’ll have to just post it another time.

      Love, light and glitter

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, I’ve done that, too! Maybe one day I will delete them all and reupload, but I doubt it. It will definitely take some time for me to adjust and remember to do all that as I’m uploading the images. I’m still not sure how everything plays out in practise. Trial and error, but at least I feel like I’m doing something and moving in the right direction.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Nicely done in elucidating the edit feature of pictures and their utility.

    What makes me click on posts that I usually don’t go looking for (in the sense that I didn’t plan on checking out because it’s a blogger with whom I interact regularly) is familiarity, as in something that I know and enjoy or want to enjoy! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yep, by title. I do check out things I haven’t heard of much, especially by checking out blog’s of people who interact with me. I don’t purposely look it up from bloggers that I don’t interact with since I don’t have enough time in my hands to do so but if blogging was a full-time activity, I would have probably checked them out much more often.

        Liked by 1 person

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