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How To Tell Stories With Images

one-wayWe have all heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. If content marketing in the digital age has taught us anything, it is that the saying is completely true. You can do more with a well chosen, well place image than you can with several paragraphs of text. People actually expect something to look at to break up an article, and you might have people skipping over your post entirely if you don’t have at least one.

The average blogger or website owner has to learn to tell a story through pictures. A couple of tips can help you to do that more effectively, and will properly leverage your content.

Don’t Tell, Show

A major rule of thumb is to never tell when you can show. When handling a topic that is instructional, or when providing a tutorial, you should eliminate confusion by providing photos that describe each step and the end result. Of course, text should also be given to provide context and better explain the process. But having visual cues is important.

Enhance With Images


Sometimes you don’t need to give too many pictures to get the point across. When you aren’t offering an actual step-by-step process, one or two can be plenty. The aim here is to enhance the content with visuals, rather than focus the post around them. Place a photo at the top, and if you like you can add additional images spread through the post to provide further context to the reader.

Choose The Right Photos

When you use a picture that isn’t relevant to the post, you might as well be using none at all. All photos have to be well chosen to the topic you are discussing. If it is only vaguely related it fails to convey the message, and it definitely won’t tell a story. Bloggers run into this problem a lot when they use free stock images. Often a creative commons picture just won’t cut it, and you will have to seek images elsewhere. Which is why you should…

Pay For a Stock Photo Subscription

A good stock photo site that charges a monthly or annual fee is an affordable way to get more targeted images for your posts. It is also cheaper than paying by-the-photo, which can add up really quickly. You will be surprised by the range of images you will discover on these sites, which can have even the most obscure concepts covered.

Paid subscription at Smart Photo Stock is also coming soon by the way!

Take Your Own


When at all possible, try to take your own photos to post. These will always tell the best story because you are aiming at a very specific message when you take it. It also adds a personal touch and more professionalism to your post. For added profit value, you can even offer these as stock photos to be purchased through the same subscription sites mentioned above.

Use Pinterest

This is less a storytelling angle and more a marketing process. When you take your own photos you should be sure to upload them on Pinterest to link to where they will be posted. It shares both the blog post, and tells the story to a wider audience.

Use Facebook

Want to spread the message even further? When you upload a link to Facebook it will show off the image first. Having a well chosen image that tells a story is very beneficial here, as you can catch the attention of the reader right away. It is a means of direct engagement that has been shown to pay off again and again.

Do you have a tip on how to tell stories using images? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credits: 1, 2, 3.

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