A friend and colleague of mine, Pat Coyle, passed a compliment on to me about my blog. He said one of the things that he notices is that I always take the time to put work on the images as well as the content. It's actually true – something I do with each entry. Here's my quick and easy technique:
- If I don't have an image or video for the topic, I look for a piece of representative clip-art on Microsoft's Clipart site. I search using Firefox so I can simply save a gif of the image to my desktop to upload easily. Using IE makes you go through the crappy Clip art program with Office… only useful if you actually wish to edit or re-size the image.
- If I do have an image, I usually bring it into Illustrator and try to size it to fit in the space I have. I don't like images that are too small and take up vertical space… I'll usually use align=left or align=right to put them on either side of the entry so it doesn't get in the way of reading the entry, but it still adds some color to it.
Here's the other reason why I add clip art: RSS. When folks are subscribed to my feed, I want to differentiate myself from the mundane list of text feeds that they get every day. I find myself scanning headlines and content… but I often take not of pictures that I see in the feed.
Here's a sample… which one grabs your attention?
Differentiate your feed! Use images! I can not determine whether or not this leads to increased readership or retention… but the fact that Pat noticed makes me feel as though it may.