Use Visuals to Boost Your Christian Blog Engagement
Did you know that 65% of the population are visual learners? It’s true, and if you write to inform or persuade, then you’ll want to include visuals in your blog posts.
The same source reports that about 30% of the population is composed of auditory learners. That’s why so many websites are adding audio playback at the top of posts.
Kinesthetic learners who need movement to learn are only 5% of the population, but there is little bloggers can do to address their needs.
Visuals are important. They:
- Improve understanding of your content
- Concepts remain longer in the memory of readers
- Motivate readers
How can you make 65% of the visual learners more responsive to your written content? Here are some ways you can add visuals and some tips to use them effectively.
It’s never been easier to add photos to illustrate the ideas you express in your posts. You can take photos will your cellphone, or you can get free images to use for any purpose, without cost, at sites like Pixabay.com, Pexels.com, or Unsplash.com.
The third way to get illustrative images is through computer screen shots. You capture something on your screen and insert it into your post. Use a free tool like GreenShot to do that. The PublisherRocket image I used in a recent blog post is a screenshot.
A common blogger mistake is using large, high-resolution images directly from their cellphone or from one of the free image sites. That is deadly; those big images load slowly, and site visitors hate that. You normally don’t want images larger than 1000 pixels wide, and the resolution should be between 72 and 96 dpi.
How can you control size resolution? You don’t need to buy a copy of Photoshop. Use a free, simple-to-use tool like Krita.
Often you will want to remove the background of a photo. There’s a free, quick, and easy online tool to do that here.
An infographic is any chart or diagram that illustrates your content. They should be simple, but even more complex informatics can be helpful to your site visitors if you make them easy to understand.
I’m fond of infographics. Here is a somewhat complex. I added text explanations to each “Triangle” in the post to clarify points. The infographic and text work together.
I used PowerPoint to create both of those examples. I used the shapes, text, and color options and then saved the single slide as an image as PowerPoint allows you to do. You could also take a screenshot of your completed infographic using GreenShot, mentioned above, and insert it into your blog page.
There are many sites that offer infographic templates. Examples with both free and paid options include Visme and Infograpify, but there are scores of other such services.
Infographics add value to your Christian blog posts.
People love videos. Nothing proves that more than the growth of YouTube.com. It started as a viewing platform in 2005, and was purchased by Google in late 2006. Today (2022) 122 million people watch 1 billion videos each day. 81% of US adults use YouTube. 62% say they visit the site daily.
Those are impressive numbers. The best part is that you can leverage YouTube videos on your own site. There are two ways to do that. The first is to curate videos on YouTube that fit the topic of your blog post. You can embed that video on your blog page without asking permission from anyone. You have an automatic license to use it. You can write a post about the embedded video and either praise or pan it depending on the points you want to make as a curator.
The best way to leverage YouTube is to make your own videos. I started doing that for my writing website aimed at a general audience, and before I knew it I had 23,000 subscribers.
Video Production Tools
In order to make videos, you need a good webcam like a Logitech 920 or a Logitech Brio (that’s the one I use), a good but inexpensive mic like the Blue Yeti (I’ve owned mine for seven years). Don’t even think of using the webcam and mic on your laptop, even just to get started. The quality will be far too low to get and keep viewers. You will also need an understanding of how lighting works. There are hundreds of videos about lighting videos on YouTube.
Beyond that, you need a script. That is not a problem since you are a writer. You might even try making a video of a blog post you already wrote. You never want to just read it. You want to make your presentation as interesting as possible, even inserting photos or infographics into the video as overlays of your “talking head.”
Most people don’t do well talking off the cuff. They also are not good at memorizing an entire script. That’s why learning to read off a teleprompter is a skill worth having Here’s a free onscreen teleprompter to get you started.
Some people do voice-over slides, even though they are not as interesting as talking head-style videos. You can see examples of voice-over videos here. They were made with PowerPoint and a good mic.
Other Types of Visuals
You can enhance your text in other ways that are visually appealing. The most important one is making sure your font is easy to read. That means a serif font that’s at least 16 points, and headlines and subheadings that draw readers into the text. This post is a good example of a visually pleasant, easy-to-read page.
It’s a great idea to break up “walls of text” with pull quotes and bullet points.
You can also add posters you create, memes, and even slide presentations. Keep in mind that your goal is not to decorate pages with visuals. You want to use them sparingly to reinforce your text.
Add visuals to your Christian blog posts. They may take a little extra time to create, but they add tremendous value for your readers.