Content and Copy
Writing a blog that people actually want to read is a lot of hard and often thankless work in an age where most Americans have an attention span of about eight seconds. Yes, folks, that’s a real statistic and it means that we have finally lost the struggle for attentional dominance over the dreaded goldfish. I kid you not.
Regardless of you may feel about our new goldfish overlords, the state of our nation or humanity in general one thing is clear: finding and using the right images and visuals is key to boosting traffic to your content whether it be a blog, website or press release. In an earlier post I discussed the power of images to increase engagement and arouse interest but today’s post highlights two resources to help you find great images to use in your content.
The right image sets an emotional tone for your post or site, bypassing the areas of your brain where critical thinking occurs and getting right into the limbic system where decisions are made on the basis of primal impulses. Like it or not, if you want people to buy your product or simply keep reading your blog, images are like the HOV lane to the emotional brain. The personality of your blog should determine the type of images you choose so, even if you’re unable to find the right image for a single post you should always choose images that complement your site’s theme. With that little rule of thumb in mind, it’s time to turn to some of the places where you can find these images in the first place.
Two great resources that every content writer should get to know are Flickr Creative Commons and iStockPhoto. Of the two the former is free of charge and the latter is a paid service although you certainly won’t break the bank if you choose the smallest sized images (the cost can be around $1.00 per image file). Obviously, iStockPhoto has a more finished, polished selection of images for you to choose from and, depending which means that it is more well-suited to ecommerce sites and professional blogs whereas Flickr has a much more idiosyncratic selection. Once again, the real deciding factor (beyond cost of course) should be the theme of your site. Is your blog artsy and creative or is it informational and sales-oriented?
Although there’s a lot more we could say about the topic at hand I don’t want to punish you gis with a novel-length post so I’ll leave you with one final tip before I wrap it up. Flickr is a great place to source photos and images like the goldfish above. However, in order to do the right thing and stay on the right side of the law you’ll want to make sure that you search Flickr Creative Commons only for images under the Attribution license. You can also choose to search for images that can be used commercially and which give you the right t modify them as well. WHen you use this license all you have to do is link back to the artist who originally posted it and you’re set (see my goldfish above for an example).
Wheww! That turned out to be much longer than I’d intended but I hope it helps you guys to source great visuals to make your writing more compelling and get more readers to your site. Thanks to Michael for the topic idea and take care everyone!