People love images. Our eyes process them at great speed. Our brains remember them long after they’ve gone. We’re drawn to them on a page or screen. Shareable images have the potential to add great value to your blog posts.
Luckily for us, the Internet loves them too. So, how do you make the most of their 'shareability'?
What are shareable blog images?
Shareable images are much more than photographs. Photographs can be powerful. Smart phones have made instant photography affordable and accessible. But, photos are just one of the many ways you can add visuals to your blog posts.
Not only does the Internet loves images, it also loves quotes. These are also one of the easiest images to create.
Apps like WordSwag, Over and Adobe Spark Post mean you can make them on your phone in minutes. If you use graphic design software such as Photoshop or Illustrator, you can create exactly what you need, tailored to match your brand, and keep it in an quick-to-update template.
Fancy a play in Photoshop? Designed for complete beginners, this mini-course includes the quote template below and video instructions.
Quotes are a great opportunity to add branded, shareable images to your collection. Whichever tools you use, make sure you are consistent with your signature style.
If you're creating them for social media, you have a highly shareable asset on your hands. Don’t forget to repurpose them into appropriate blog posts, or use them on other social networks.
2. Screen grabs
A quick, easy and cheap way to create blog images. They're great for capturing customer reviews and feedback on social media, or demonstrating a step-by-step tutorial.
On a Mac:
- Cmd+shift+3 will capture the entire screen.
- Cmd+shift+4+drag over the area you want, for a more precise selection.
- These are saved to your desktop.
On a PC:
- Use the Snipping Tool for a precise area.
- For the full screen, click the Windows Logo+PrtScn button. This is saved to your Pictures/Screenshots folder.
- To capture just the window you are using, click Alt+PrtScn. This copies it to the clipboard, so you will then need to paste it to use it.
Having decent video equipment is no longer a barrier to entry as, yet again, smart phones have come to the rescue.
Make sure you encourage others to share your video by allowing embedding. Getting your videos in front of other people’s audiences is one of the best ways to grow your visitor numbers.
If you're camera shy don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to create videos without you as the star of the show!
Watch some of the popular people in your niche to get inspiration. You'll find a whole range of styles out there:
- Screen capture with voiceover.
- Hands-only demonstrating a recipe or craft.
- Stop-frame using still photographs.
- Animated graphics and text.
Most of my videos on this blog are created with QuickTime's screen recording. I created the video below with VideoScribe software.
4. Charts and Diagrams
If you need to present complex information or a decision-making process, charts and diagrams fit the bill.
Even something as basic as a Venn diagram can simplify and present a message in a clear and memorable way.
These types of images can be created with design software - I use Adobe Illustrator for flowcharts and graphics.
You can also use:
- Excel - right click to export a chart as an image.
- Word - right click on SmartArt to save as a jpeg or png.
- Powerpoint - you can export a slide as a jpeg.
- Or, apps like Piktochart.
Slideshare is another great way to repurpose your content and make it available for sharing with a wider audience.
Less is usually more with presentations. Stick to one message, use visuals, cut down on words, and avoid reams of bullet points. Remember, it will need to stand alone. You won't be there in person to add any explanations (unless you turn it into a video, see below).
Explore the Slideshare Creator’s Hub for tip, examples and how-tos.
You can also turn your presentations into video. Use a screen capture software, like QuickTime or NCH Debut, to record the screen as you play and talk over the presentation.
With some patience, practice and a good tripod, a stop-motion video is a fantastic way to showcase your products. It's perfect for a craft tutorial, recipe or product demonstration, if you'd rather not have your face on camera.
Animated gifs are surprisingly low-tech to create. Keep them subtle and you could create a shareable image that stands out in a sea of thumbnails. They can be any size, so are perfect for blog posts or social media.
Animated gifs are also a quick way to create a before and after image. Just two still images are all that’s needed to create the one below, which simply illustrates the Photoshop tutorial.
7. Calls to Action
Your Calls to Action (CTAs) are a major factor in the success of your blog and your business. Although you may feel uncomfortable asking, people are actually more likely to take action when you simply ask them to.
Click to Tweets are simple to create. You can do this from their website or if you are on WordPress, install the plugin and the icon appears on your post toolbar.
If you use Photoshop or Illustrator, it's easy to make a custom template you can add a link to - as below:
You’ve probably noticed the abundance of infographics online. Creating them, however, can be time consuming and requires a range of skills and resources.
If you're in a position to create them yourself, great. They're eye-catching, shareable and when done well, produce some of the best images online.
If not, then don’t forget you can get permission to use other people’s infographics. Embed them in your posts to add value for your reader.
Visitors come back to a site that gives them the information they need, whether you created all the graphics yourself or not.
Have a story to tell, a journey to share, or some news on your local area? People love maps and they’re beautiful and practical too.
Stylised maps can be created using design software but, like infographics, are not quick or easy. If design suits your skill set, it’s something worth exploring.
If it suits your business aesthetic, why not try a hand-drawn map? Or, perhaps a combination of photos and graphics or illustrations.
And don't forget, Google Maps are embeddable. So, if you’re having a special event or promotion, there's no excuse for people not to find you!
As you can see, blog images go far beyond photos.
ProBlogger have a podcast on how embedded content adds value for your readers. They included 17 types of embeddable content, with images featuring heavily on the list.
There are plenty of ways to create shareable images, whether you make them yourself or share the best of what's out there.