You already know that well-researched, high-quality content is the backbone of a killer blog post. But don’t underestimate the importance of a strong visual component when you’re composing your latest and greatest update for your audience

The human brain processes images in as little as 13 milliseconds—less than the blink of an eye.

A post with an image is far more enticing to the bounce-happy readers of the Internet than one without, and is more likely to be shared on social media as well.

As with your written content, the images you choose should be original, high-quality, and well composed. Never use photos that have already been used on other posts on your blog, and if you’re taking your own photos, be sure that they’re clear, bright, crisp, and well-composed. A hasty snapshot from your phone is fine for Twitter or Instagram, but for blog posts, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a showstopper.

Quality and clarity are just as important if you’re using photos taken by others. You’ll also want to make sure you have the correct permissions to use the photo you’ve selected. Understanding and comparing the various image licenses available is critical, because even images that fall under free licenses may not be approved for every kind of use.

The easiest way to avoid issues with copyright is simply to purchase the photo you want from any of the myriad stock image photo sites—but as these images are stock photos, they may lack the originality and pizazz that’ll help you create a distinctive blog post. When searching for free and original images that have few or no restrictions on use, Creative Commons is a good place to start. Just be sure to review the fine print—and always provide a citation where one is required.

When you’re ready to upload your newest killer blog post, remember that taking the time to add the right image can make a huge difference. Using images that are high in quality, relevant to your readers’ interests, and properly licensed can help your posts capture and convert readers into fans, followers, and clients.

How to Write a Successful Blog Post (Images)

Check out the rest of this series for more killer secrets!

Secrets of a Killer Blog Post: Images

The appearance of your blog post can make or break the experience for your readers. It’s important that you take the appropriate steps when choosing the right photos for your post. Everything from image quality to photo placement can affect whether or not your readers will continue to read your post.

Quality Counts

The quality of your images reflects the quality of your blog, so when choosing images make sure you look for ones with high quality.

Where to Look

As easy as it might seem, you can’t just take any image you find in a Google search, you need to understand which images you can and cannot use and what a copyrighted image is.

How to Avoid Copyright Issues:

Create Your Own Image

If you can’t find the right photo for your post, add some originality to it and create your own.

Cite the Photos

No matter where you find your images, you must always give credit where credit is due.

Sizing the Image

The size of images in your blog can affect the load speed of your page and how your readers view your post.

Image Placement

Where you place your photo throughout your post can determine if your readers stay engaged and continue reading, or go to another site.