Just about every blog post you're ever going to come across is a piece of writing. That's the main purpose of a blog post, no matter what you're writing about. You're writing something. But that doesn't mean the writing is the only part of the post. A lot of bloggers will include pictures in their posts to go with the writing, whether it's a book cover, movie poster, or just a picture of their cat (I've certainly done a few of those). But are pictures necessary when you're creating a post? And more importantly, do they draw a bigger audience?
There is a lot to think about when considering to put pictures in a blog post. Is it a post that needs one? Will you be able to find a picture that goes along with your topic? Do you even have permission to use it? (I'd suggest reading this article by author Roni Loren--very informative and kind of scary). If you're writing something more personal, you can add your own pictures that go along with your story. How easy it is to include a picture depends on what kind of post you're writing. But do you feel like you have to include a picture in every post just to get more attention?
Usually in any blog feed, when a post shows up, you'll also see the first picture that is in the blog post. What I'm wondering is if this makes anyone more likely to click on the link and read the whole post. Is the point of putting pictures with our blog posts to make them more interesting, or just to catch people's attention?
I thought I would analyze my own posts just to see if the ones with pictures got more page views. For me, it didn't seem to make any difference. Out of the last ten blog posts (excluding any blog hops or awards that have their own picture), only two of my posts had at least one picture. And these posts actually had fewer page views than most of my posts without pictures. I'm sure a lot of factors go into this, what days of the week I posted on (Mondays always tend to get more views than Fridays, for example), what the post was about (posts with a "writing tips" label got more views than others). The list could go on and on. So with my blog at least, I'm not sure adding pictures makes a difference. But I write about writing (mostly), so I guess it makes sense that the writing is what attracts people.
I think it really goes by a blog by blog and post by post basis. If you're writing about someone's published book, it makes sense to include a picture of it. If you're just rambling about your writing troubles, there may not be a picture to go with it, and really, one isn't necessary for a post like that. For me, at least, when I'm going through a blog feed, I'm not really attracted by the pictures. I'm more interested in who wrote it (if it's someone whose blog I visit regularly, I'm more likely to click) and what the topic is. Throwing a picture up along with it doesn't seem to make a difference.
What do you guys think? Are you more likely to click on a post if it has a picture? Do you think your posts get more page views when they have one?