Saturday, June 29, 2013

How To Use Images and Titles To Connect With Your Audience More Effectively



Using Good Images Helps You Connect With Your Blog's Readers

The effective use of images can evoke an emotional response from your audience. With the right image you can tug at the heart strings of people visiting your blog. Images can also make your blog posts more memorable and leave a lasting impression that compels people to interact with you and share your content. Keep in mind that before you embed those high quality images in our blog posts you need to have the rites and permissions to do so. That's why it gives me great pleasure to announce that:

Today's Sponsor for the Show is Depositphotos

Visit the homepage of Pinterest and as you scroll down the page you will be taken on a roller coaster ride of emotional highs and lows. You can go through a range of emotions that span from mouth watering hunger to the warm and fuzzy comfort of cute puppies or small children.

DepositPhotos Image Enhanced with PicMonkey
Facebook is another site that is very image focused. Posting great photos on Facebook is a strategy often recommended by top marketers as a means to increase your EdgeRank on Facebook. Google search is another area where images are vital. Especially now that the profile images of those who have claimed their Google Authorship, makes their listing on the SERP's stand out and more clickable.

Viral Content Buzz adds Pinterest

Viral Content Buzz is a social sharing service from +Ann Smarty and +Gerald Weber that will make it easier for you to promote your blog posts, but they have also included a Pinterest sharing component to the site now.

Take part in the Grand Viral Marketing Contest at Viral Content Buzz, by joining the site and submitting your article and images to be shared within the community.  [Contest ends July 12th 2013]

Tools for Taking Screenshots

Since I create a lot of tutorials and instructional material I often use screenshots to illustrate my point. There are two Chrome extensions that I recommend using:
I also like to take screenshots when I'm not on the internet and I need to demonstrate offline tasks and activity and for that I use Screencast-o-matic. It allows us to add annotations and draw arrows if we need to point something out.

Enhancing Images with PicMonkey

PicMonkey is an online image editing service that integrates very nicely with Google Drive (watch the tutorial below for complete instructions). You can do basic editing, for example you can crop, resize, recolor, rotate, etc. But you can also use PicMonkey to enhance your photos with borders, special effects, overlays, text and so much more. 

Take a look at the image that I used for this post. I got a "phun" stock photo from Depositphotos and used PicMonkey to add a drop shadow, a border, a picture frame and the colored text caption beneath the image. You can have a lot of fun with PicMonkey so be sure to watch the video for some additional tips and tricks.

Podcasters are increasingly making use of blogs and I'd like to encourage those of you who are podcasting to make good use of imagery as well. Recently got a chance to chat with +Daniel J. Lewis from The Audacity to Podcast and we talked about how important it is for podcasters to have a blog. You can listen to that interview here: The Audacity to Podcast Episode 129

Blog Post Titles Take The Connection a Step Further

During that interview with Daniel, I was really pleased that he mentioned the effectiveness of the blog post titles that I use on Basic Blog Tips. The fact that he mentioned the titles meant a lot to me because I put a great deal of effort into crafting those titles so that they are attractive. Good post titles are another way that we can get an emotional reaction from our audience and grab their attention.

One example that I refer to here is a post I did on Basic Blog Tips. Be sure to listen in and pay close attention to how I combined imagery and the post title to make a lasting impact on my blog's visitors and commenters.

Other links and resources mentioned in this episode:

Shout out to Justin Germino from DragonBlogger for a cool introduction

Viral Content Buzz
Follow me on Pinterest
+Cynthia Sanchez from Oh So Pinteresting
+Daniel J. Lewis
The Audacity to Podcast Episode 129
Google+ Comments
+Chris Lang
If You Wait for Perfection You Might Miss the Boat!

Watch this tutorial for enhancing images: PicMonkey Tutorial With Google Drive Integration
PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

What's your experience with using images? Do you think using great images and titles makes your audience return to your blog faithfully?