Picking the right first shot for your blog can make all the difference in the world when it comes to capturing the attention of readers. So how do you do it?
Personally, I go through all of my pictures for a specific location and, first, select between 15 and 30 shots that I think are good enough to make it into the blog.. After working on the pictures (by work I mean converting to black and white, sharpening, cropping, etc.) I try to put them in some semblance of order. The next step is where the hard part comes in
those first couple of pictures can really capture someone’s attention if you pick them right.
Quick note: If you are writing a blog mainly for yourself, then the picture order is less important. If your blog is a means of documenting and archiving your personal experiences without regard for other people, then picture order purely is an emotional thing that should follow your own whims.
If you are hoping to capture readers with your blog, here are some of my thoughts on how to do it:
I always throw out long distance pictures like landscape. These pics don't grab attention when they are thumbnails because the details are too small. Readers will gloss over landscapes or long distance pictures because they can't really tell what they are looking at.
I rarely lead with a picture of people I know. This means I won't have the first picture be a picture of me, my wife, or friends etc. The average Travelblog reader is more interested in pictures of the place than they are in pictures of you. They may very well be interested in the experiences you had, and may, once they open your blog, wish to see those smiling faces but they need something new and interesting to draw their attention into the blog entry.
Next, I work to find a picture that grabs attention. For example, I recently took a trip to the relatively unheard of destination of Roanoke, Virginia. Very few people have heard of Roanoke or would be interested in reading about it. I made sure to chose my pics wisely so that I would increase my readership.
My first pic:
I chose this photo because I thought the sky was cool and the big star had "catch appeal." I figured that, as you scanned the front page of Travelblog or the United States page, this star might catch your attention and make you want to look further.
My next three pics:
These were picked because they reinforced the title of the blog and had some pizzazz that I thought might be interesting to others. Sure, they aren't perfect pictures but cool subjects can go a long way towards capturing people's attention.
When people are scanning the blogs you want them to pick you and read your stuff. To do this, think like a marketing person, make sure your blog has "catch appeal."
How do you set up your blogs for success? What judgments do you use?