Imagery is super important for blogs. You need to have the right blog post images to get people to your blog and keep them there.
Bad blog post images can really turn people off to your blog, even if you’re sharing awesome content. So, how do you create a good blog post image? By avoiding these 11 things.
11 Things to Avoid in Your Blog Post Images
There are a lot of things you can avoid in your blog post images. These are my top offenders.
Squishing or Stretching Text and Images Unproportionally
This one annoys me the most. When I see a logo or image that’s stretched out of proportion, it’s like sticking a needle in my eye. Seriously.
So, what do I mean? It’s when you change the size of something, but you’re changing the height more than the width, or vice versa. Let’s look at an example.
Here’s my dinosaur logo in its original form. If I were to resize it unproportionally, it would look like this:
No good, right?
What to do instead. Hold down the Shift key while you stretch. Doing this locks in the proportions, so everything grows or shrinks in a way that’s pleasing to the eye.
When I hold down the shift key while resizing my logo, I get this:
Too Many Colors
As you can tell by my blog design, I love bright colors. But you’ll also notice that I’ve only got 3 colors in my brand: teal, gold, and pink. I originally had something crazy like 6 or 7. Don’t do that.
Blog post images that have a ton of colors are really distracting. Sure, they might catch your attention, but not in the right ways. I’m not talking photos here, by the way. Photos inherently have a ton of colors, and that’s perfectly fine. But don’t be splashing color all over your blog post images willy-nilly. When it comes to text, you should only be using two colors.
What to do instead. Keep it simple! You’ll also notice my blog post images are predominantly one of those three colors: teal for design posts, gold for blogging posts, and pink for feminism posts. It makes them much more attention-grabbing and easier to read. Try not to have more than 3 colors in one blog post image. Neutrals (like grey, black, and white) aren’t included in those 3.
Similarly, avoid colors that clash. It’s really hard to look at a blog post image with clashing colors. I’m looking at you, red and green. See, for example, how much it hurts to look at them:
Make it stop.
What to do instead. Pick colors that go together well! They shouldn’t make your eyes hurt. You can easily adapt the red and green like so:
Okay, so maybe I removed green entirely. But the bottom line is: pick colors that go together well.
Too Many Fonts
Just like with colors, it’s very easy to go overboard on fonts. And I get it. There are so many amazing fonts out there, it’s hard not to want to use them all. But you’ve got to resist. You want to look professional, not indecisive, so don’t have any more than 2 fonts on your blog post images.
What to do instead. Stick with two fonts! Have a main font and a secondary font. That’s really all you need. Learn to appreciate fonts without having to use them all.
In order to grab someone’s attention, you need them to actually be able to read what you’re writing, amirite? So avoid fonts that are really difficult to read. Fonts that are super scripty are beautiful, but they can get hard to read, quickly. And please, please, please, don’t use caps lock on a script font. That’s just not how they were designed to be used.
What to do instead. It’s okay to use script fonts, but use them sparingly. Your main font should be an easy-to-read font that grabs people’s attention. And if you are going to use a script font for your secondary font, use Title Case or all lowercase.
Not Aligning Your Text
Remember when I talked about how you shouldn’t throw color on your blog post images willy-nilly? Well the same goes for your text. There are alignment settings for a reason. Use them. Don’t just throw text up there and see how it fits.
What to do instead. Align your text! It doesn’t matter if it’s left-, center-, or right-aligned. Just use one of them. And after you’ve done that, make sure it lines up within the borders of your image as well. Don’t center-align your text and then put it on the very left-hand side of your image.
Too Much Text
You want to attract people with your blog post images, not give them all of the content right away. It clutters up the image, and no one ends up reading it.
What to do instead. In my college advertising class, we talked about the maximum number of words a billboard should have. Any guesses? Seven. People don’t have a long attention span (especially when they’re driving faster than the speed limit on the highway) and therefore can’t process more than seven words on a given billboard. I like to think that social media sites like Pinterest are the same way. You’ve got to grab their attention right away, in as few words as possible. Don’t make it too complicated.
Not Enough White Space
On a similar note, don’t fill up every bit of available space with text and graphics. Leave some space. They need to know what to look at, so don’t give them too much to take in. Otherwise they’ll skip over you. This “white space” doesn’t actually have to be white, but it should be blank.
What to do instead. Give everything some breathing room. At least 1/3 of your blog post images’ space should be empty. Again, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be white, but it should be distraction-free.
Overly-Used Stock Images
There are some stock image websites that every blogger goes to. And with good reason. The photos are really good quality, and they’re free. But because of this, it feels like every single blog you go to features the same images.
What to do instead. Either take your own photos or highly edit the stock images you’re using. I, for example, use stock images, but I cover them with one of my brand’s colors and put the text over it. It gives the image some depth without being super obvious that they’re the same photos everyone else is using.
If you’re going to take your own photos, don’t let them be blurry. This could happen for two reasons: 1) the photo was blurry to begin with, or 2) you stretched the photo to make it bigger. Even if you stretch it proportionally, don’t try to make your photos bigger than they are. It will make them super pixelated and gross.
What to do instead. Take good, sharp photos (or edit the stock photos everyone else is using) and don’t stretch them to be bigger than they’re supposed to be. Even if you stretch them proportionally.
This is another big one for me. People work really hard (and often pay a lot of money) for their blog post image designs. So don’t blatantly rip them off. I’ve seen a ton of different bloggers take the designs that The Nectar Collective and byRegina are using, and it just isn’t cool. Don’t be an asshole.
What to do instead. Get creative! Figure out what elements of different bloggers’ designs you like, and combine them into something unique that fits your brand. Or, you could hire a designer if you don’t have the time or skill to do it yourself.
Or you could download this free blog post image template I’ve made just for you. Check it out below!
What do you try to avoid when you’re creating blog post images? Let me know in the comments!