You and I both know a lot goes into running a successful blog—editorial calendars, advertisers, editing, uploading, social sharing—but the only thing your readers see is the content. They see the design of your blog, and then they see the content. Unfortunately, content usually all looks the same. It’s all a bunch of words. You need to have a catchy title and a catchy photo to really draw in your readers. If you’ve been running a blog for a while, you know that this can get very difficult, so somewhere along the way someone decided that the actual text needed to look more interesting. Enter—the infographic.
An infographic is a visual representation of information. Consumers see infographics every day when they stop at a stop sign, read the weather report in the newspaper, or look at a chartor graph. Businesses are now beginning to create infographics to put on their blogs to help draw in readers. Infographics work well for a few reasons:
- They work well when you are trying to report complicated or boring information. These are typically the two types of articles that are most difficult to read, so showing the information pictorially tends to help keep readers engaged and help them understand the information easier and without frustration.
- They can help show the creativity of your company. This will help make your company more appealing to consumers and help improve the visibility of your brand. After all, the longer people stay on your site the better chance you have that they will return.
- An infographic works the same way as a traditional article in terms of SEO. If someone links back to your infographic, your SEO will improve (and people are much more likely to share an infographic than a big block of text).
Just about every blog has tapped into the infographic mania that has taken over in 2012, but creating an infographic isn’t easy. Many blogs cannot afford to hire a web designer to create an infographic, so they are forced to do the design on their own. This can make for a more confusing piece of text than a traditional article if done incorrectly. Consider how to create a successful infographic below:
Top 5 Tips and Tricks to Creating an Infographic for Your Blog
1. Keep your graphic short and sweet:
Too much information is the biggest thing that blogs do wrong when it comes to infographics. Infographics are popular because they are simple and easy to understand, so too much information takes away the appeal. See if you can cut down your facts and split them up into two infographics, like a Part I and Part II, so that you can use the graphic to its full potential. You not only want to avoid too much information crammed into a little infographic, but you want to avoid a long infographic. Your information could be clear, but this will bore your readers. Utilize linking within your graphic to send people to other pages where they can learn more information. Below is an example of a short and sweet infographic:
2. Be as clear as possible when choosing your design:
It’s important that you do not have an infographic with too many fancy designs. This overlaps a little bit with the “keep it simple” point, but instead of thinking about text you need to think about the design elements. Make sure you stay away from too many bright colors and too many different font styles. This could give your readers a headache!
3. Make sure that all charts and graphs used are accurate:
This may sound obvious, but those who are not graphic designers sometimes forget that there are a lot of numbers involved with charts and graphs. You will want to make sure that your pictures are drawn to scale so that there is no room for confusion. Below is an example of a chart that causes a little bit of confusion because of the size of the bars. Notice that the “1” on the reddit graph is the same height as the “23” on the digg graph:
4. Make sure that your infographic covers a specific topic:
Covering something broad defeats the purpose of an infographic. You want an infographic to teach a reader something that they can’t discover on their own. In almost all cases, this is something specific. It won’t be the end of the world if you have a general infographic, but it will be more successful if it has a clear focus.
5. Consider creating an interactive infographic:
Most infographics featured on a blog offer a way of understanding information. However, some infographics combine an interactive element to help customize the information for the reader. This will also help the reader learn how to do something through practice as opposed to memory. Business.com came out with an infographic that allows people to answer questions about their business, and then the infographic leads them to the type of structure they should choose based on their answers.
If you’ve been putting off creating an infographic, 2012 is the right time to get with the program. Infographics are quickly becoming the most popular way to share information, and I think you will find that creating a graphic can actually be a lot of fun.
Most blogs install software to help them create the perfect infographic. For more information on software choices, visit the MakeUseOf.com.
Photo Credit: makeuseof.com, raterush-digg-reddit-infographic2