Adding powerful visual images to your blog or website can have a strong impact on your overall communication and connect with your audience on a deeper level. Graphics and photos can make your website more memorable and the reading experience more exciting. Images can also be informative teaching tools by using visual graphs, diagrams, or charts. As with all communication, it is important to be clear about what you are trying to say. The graphics should be supportive and help to keep the readers attention.
What are visual images? Visual images can include photographs, illustrations, clip art, line drawings, diagrams, video clips, or any other form of artwork. When searching for descriptive imagery, think about analogies, metaphors, or specific language that you used in your message. Start by pinpointing what areas of your article you would like to emphasize with an image. Brainstorm a list of associated ideas, and then seek out relative graphics.
For example, if your article is about a big boom in business, you may want to consider using an image of an explosion. Or, if you’re talking about sleep deprivation, instead of showing someone in bed, what about an image of a tired marathon runner? There are powerful ways to get your point across by being creative with visual images.
Where can I find visual images? You can find endless images on the Internet, but knowing how to fine-tune your search will help you gather dynamic images that speak to your reader, as well as cut down your search time. There are many websites that can do this for you by adding an extensive list of search options. Corbis is an excellent resource for searching images. They have detailed search options, supply all types of graphics (from photographs to artwork), and they have both royalty-free and copyright images.
When using images from the Internet, it’s important to be aware of your copyright responsibilities. If you are using someone else’s photo or art, you must have their granted permission to use it. Royalty free on the other hand means that the purchaser is free to use it in perpetuity without paying additional royalty charges. There are royalty free graphic resources available like iClipArt that allow you to download images for only pennies with no other obligation.
Where should I post visual images? Once you’ve collected supportive imagery, you will need to upload the graphics and place them within your text. Be sure to check the images size first. Graphics too large will not only take over what you’re trying to say, but larger images also use more memory and take more time to load. Using an image hosting website like Photo Bucket can be incredibly useful. Not only do they host your images for free, but they also have tools that enable you to resize your graphics, add text, and a multitude of other enhancements.
Insert your images where they will be most effective within your article. If you find the images need to be placed a distance away from relative text, consider labeling each image so the reader is reminded of what they pertain to within the article.
Once you’ve enhanced your article with images, stop to step into the reader’s shoes and view it through their eyes. Be sure you are clear about what you are trying to say and choose graphics that support it.