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Use Images (not Words) to Turn Your Distracted Visitors Into Engaged Readers

More than half the surface of the brain is reserved for processing visual information.

With that much brain power behind understanding visuals, it makes sense to harness the power of images to communicate our messages.

Besides, we all know we’re drowning in words.

So. Much. Content.

Not. Enough. Time.

Fortunately, images are processed in a different part of our brains than words.

Using them gives the over-stimulated, word-crunching parts of our brains a break.

And images will help your carefully crafted words attract and hold attention and have more impact.

In tomorrow's post, +Pamela Wilson will show you how to harness the power of images.

Stay tuned. 

Update: Post now live:
http://www.copyblogger.com/use-images/

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22 comments
 
It would have been awesome if you guys used more images in this post instead of all those words. I didn't have time to read the entire post. I hope it was interesting. 
 
If you're too lazy to read the post, you'll be too lazy to implement the strategies. No success for you! 

;)
 
Thanks for sharing the links to sites for photos and photo editing. Not just good advice, but real tools. You rock!
 
compfight.com is a Flickr Creative Commons search tool that's saved my bacon a ton of times. Great article!
 
+Jenny Kessler, I second the vote for Compfight (and we should have included it).

It allows you to filter out Creative Commons photos so you're only searching the ones that can be used for commercial purposes. It's like Google for Creative Commons images. A huge timesaver.
 
Thanks for the great advice.

There is one thing to be careful about though. Some pictures labelled as creative commons actually are copyrighted images, and it can cost you A LOT. So always check with google reverse image search.
 
It's nerve-wracking to use CC images, that's for sure, Benjamin.

+Demian Farnworth suggests reaching out directly to the photographer and developing a mutually beneficial relationship.

I have done this before. It's pretty easy to track down and message photographers to speak to them directly about usage.
 
I'd be careful about doing any editing beyond cropping and re-sizing w/o a pro designer. I think you're better off using a plain image than adding unreadable text with 15 photo filters. Online tools are great, but they don't make you a professional designer, so I think your best bet is to keep it simple.
 
It's important to always take pictures. You may not think you're going to use them now but if you save them in a file you can use them later. This is a great way as this article says to capture your readers attention.
 
I really love taking photos as much as I love writing. I've been trying to figure out how to use images and very short (a few sentences) blurbs on my website. Since I'm a fulltime professional writer, I'm having a problem wrapping my brain around how to use imagery as the primary focus instead of words. Thoughts??
 
+Nancy Hendrickson, it might be helpful to think about the blurbs as "captions" rather than text. Let the image do most of the talking, and add shades of meaning with a few additional sentences.

For inspiration, take a look at magazines and newspapers to see how they handle captions.

Does that help?
 
+Pamela Wilson good advice! For the most part, images play on our emotions, so you can use images to convey feelings or emotional triggers.
 
+Pamela Wilson thanks for the links to tools and sites. 

I would also add Pixlr to your list of online tools for basic editing of photos and images. 

Video is also a great way to engage people as are animated gifs which seem to be catching on in popularity. 
 
I also use Freeimages.com - some of the images require you to notify the photographer before use but most just require a credit!
 
+David Anderson Definitely something to dig into there... thanks. Perhaps a more current stat is relevant here: our brains process images in 13 miliseconds http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/in-the-blink-of-an-eye-0116
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