You know how to write a blog post.
You’ve done it before for months or even years.
You can recite the three basic components in your sleep. You research, you write, and you promote.
Wait, there’s more than three facets of blogging. Networking is important too.
What if I told you that information is wrong? There’s another element to your post that is critical to its success.
The added key ingredient isn’t a secret ingredient. It’s a factor as obvious as the front door of your house.
You need a pinnable image for your post. This, along with your headline, is the front door. It is your blog visitor’s first glance at your post. Is the graphic compelling enough that they will want to enter and read your blog post?
This post will suggest simple tips to making that graphic.
That image, in conjunction with a thoroughly researched, well-written and promoted post, will double your traffic. The reason? In addition to the traffic your blog is already receiving, additional traffic will now be coming from Pinterest. You will also be empowering your visual learners, which comprise 65% of all readers.
According to 2014 statistics, Pinterest will send more traffic to your blog than Facebook. I read that posts with photos get better traffic than posts that use stock images, and my own statistics confirm that.
How to Make Interesting Graphics
1. Leading Lines
The featured photo for this post follows the rule of leading lines. Psychologically, the mind wants to see what is on the other end of the line. Therefore, the eye will follow the line to see the image waiting at the other end of it.
You can use anything as the line leading to your image. A rope, for example, would work well.
2. Worm’s Eye View
This was a photo I took for my March Meet and Greet.
The technique is called “Worm’s Eye View” since it has the photographer lower than the subject of the photo, like a worm on the ground.
Readers definitely notice the photos. This was a comment I received about the image:
Love the picture with the birds on the roof
3. Bird’s Eye View
This is a photo of my dog Angel. The photographer, standing on my balcony, shot down on the dog who was in the backyard below.
The technique is called “Bird’s Eye View” for a reason. Since the photographer was higher than the subject of the photo, it was like she had the view of a bird.
While this technique may sound obvious, how you crop the photo is important. You have to make a conscious decision whether you want to include the background or not.
For example, in the featured photo that follows the “leading lines” rule, I needed to leave the background in, so the reader could see the line leading to the subject of the photo, the camera.
However, the spam can photo, that accompanied my post How to Get Noticed Online Without Looking Like a Spammer, had to be tightly cropped so that none of the other cans on the shelf of the store were visible.
Look what a reader had to say about the image:
Your spam cracked me up so I pinned it
5. Rule of Thirds
Another decision you have to make as the photographer is where you are going to place the subject of the photo.
“The Rule of Thirds” technique has you envisioning your screen like a Tic-Tac-Toe board, with a grid over it. Many cameras even have a button you can press that will enable you to see a grid over your photo.
The purpose is so that you can consciously put the subject of interest on one of the lines of the grid or Tic Tac Toe board, not in the center of the photo. Putting the subject where the lines intersect is also effective.
The reason I felt this photo followed “The Rule of Thirds” is I intentionally placed the turtle far left. He is as far left as I could place him considering he is in a glass cage.
By including the rest of the cage to the right of the turtle, I was trying to convey the feeling that he was slow to get to the end of his cage. Therefore, it would match my theme of how to counteract slow blog growth.
Be on the lookout for patterns that can make for interesting photos. Patterns in sand and water are often present.
Since the pattern of the mailboxes repeat, this shot would certainly fall under the “patterns” technique.
However, I believe it is important to have a “subject of interest” in each photo. It’s where you want the viewer’s eye to fall.
I fear patterns can be monotonous to the eye, so I like a “subject of interest” that will break the pattern.
In this photo, “the subject of interest” is the mailbox with the flag up. Notice, as the dominant image, it is the most important element of the photo, but it is not centered, so it also follows the rule of thirds.
This image was my first real big hit on Pinterest, so I tried to analyze why. The brighter color in the background? The rule of thirds? The sad mood of the photo? Whatever it was, it was not just repeatedly pinned, but repeatedly clicked bringing traffic to my site.
Because we live in an age of digital photography, it costs you nothing
to take repeated photos of your subject of interest to see what image turns out the most effective.
Choose one as your dominant image; then, if you are not happy with the images, just delete the ones you don’t choose to use from your camera.
The reason I am using my fire pit as an example of “experimentation” is as follows. I wanted an image of fire to match my headline, …Surefire Ideas… I was advised to shoot up when shooting flames. I guess the rationale is it would give the illusion of them dancing. However, I experimented and settled on the “Bird’s Eye View” for this shot.
Before I started blogging, I always photographed people. As a mother and yearbook teacher, people were always my dominant images. I have read that photos of people don’t perform as well on Pinterest, so, now I am always on the lookout for other subjects of interest.
Do I find this change to non-human subjects rewarding as the photographer? Absolutely! I feel creative attempting to apply these rules of photography.
Look at the kind of comments on my graphics I get now:
I always enjoy reading your tips and the little Canva images you create go a long way to helping me understand.
After all, isn’t that what blogging is all about–empowering our readers? What can be more rewarding than that?
Readers, if you feel these photography tips can help others, please share.
What are your experiences with photography? Do you try to follow any of these techniques? Has it resulted in increased traffic for you? How many pinnable images do you have for each post? I look forward to your views.
4 Practical Reasons Pinterest Will Make You a Better Blogger