Depending on the type of content you write there can be such a variety of images to include in your work. Graphics help to separate the large blocks of text and bring contextual ideas to your words. Many people are visual learners so it helps to show and explain at the same time.

In this post I want to share my thoughts on picking the best graphics for your content. These could be statistical graphs, diagrams, vector illustrations, stock photos, or any number of similar pics. It all revolves around context and what would be appropriate to show at any certain point within the article.

Related Illustrations

One of the milder solutions for graphics would be vectors and illustrations. You can often find these on stock photography websites or other graphic exchanges. They work best as featured images displayed right at the top of the post. This can set the tone for your writing and give visitors a bit of foreshadowing towards what they’re about to read.

sunset pond lake scenery illustration graphics vectors

Topics such as freelancing or mobile smartphones are perfect to incorporate related vector scenery. But honestly there are beautiful graphics for almost any topic you could be writing about. It’s worth searching around to find a marketplace that suits your needs – or even create your own customized graphics!

Digital Screenshots

When going into more detailed topics such as TV shows, video games, or even computer programs, try including as many relatable screenshots as needed. These do help to break up the reading process so the post isn’t just a long page full of paragraph blocks.

Additionally you could incorporate computer screenshots within tutorials or walkthroughs. If you need to explain how to code a website, or how to use Adobe Illustrator, screenshots are much more helpful than generic text on a website.

winxp windows os screenshot control panel ui

Premium Stock Photos

Stock photography is often a hit-or-miss situation that can be tough to figure out. In some articles it can work really well to illustrate your thesis, yet in other articles can make the whole website appear unprofessional. Quality of each photograph should always be crucial in the decision making process.

If you have a large reader base you can always ask for opinions from the article page itself. Natural feedback is often the best way to grow and improve your business. This includes content writing and managing a happy audience. If you want to browse through sample photos in various categories take a look at some of these websites:

The best thing about stock photography is the access to libraries of high-quality work on the Internet. When used properly, one or two photos can change up the emotional tone in your writing. It casts a new light onto the page and readers may be able to see your point a little clearer. Although that’s not to say it would be impossible without images.

I always think it’s a good idea to test theories and gauge your own reaction first. Look at the article with and without image(s). Try to feel how you might react as a new visitor landing on your website. It can also be useful to try mixing together stock photos with other graphical styles mentioned in this article.

Custom Diagrams

Explanatory diagrams are some of the best images you could include for technical or confusing articles. Think about explaining a course of events in history, or how a power surge travels through wires into people’s homes and electronic devices. These ideas might be easier to explain using a graphic either created by yourself or something found online.

diagram example photo explain heat ovens

Many topics can be explained in words alone. But as mentioned previously there are some readers who learn quicker with photos. As the old adage goes, a picture is worth 1000 words. You can map out exactly what needs to be explained within a very small portion of the webpage. You want to explain the relationship between objects and how they relate to the topic – think about simple concepts that may be confusing at first, but are very easy to pickup once visually understood.

Anybody with a general understanding of Photoshop or GIMP should be able to make diagrams and charts. Although these may be the least commonly used graphics, they also help tie together articles into one solid vision for the reader. Always use these intellectual graphics to support your thoughts instead of cluttering the page.

Final Thoughts

There are numerous ways to approach the use of images within your content. Everything should flow naturally without too much disconnect. It takes practice, but once you understand how online journalism should flow you begin to notice solutions you never thought about before. I hope this article may provide some inspiration or ideas when writing your next article.

Posted by Jake Rocheleau

Jake is a writer & digital designer/illustrator. He writes about all things web and creative. Check out his website for work samples and follow his latest updates on Twitter @jakerocheleau.

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