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Why a Featured Image is Important in Your Article and How to Create One

Nikhil is a BCA graduate by education and a technical writer by passion and choice. He loves staying up to date with the latest technologies

Introduction

Many new and experienced writers don’t use the featured image in their blog posts. It may be because they’re unaware of the importance of a featured image.

Unlike the title of your article, a featured image gives your readers a graphical representation of your copy.

A good featured image can drive more audience to your article, especially when you share it on social media channels. Although some writers are inserting it in their articles, they may be using it incorrectly. They are not aware that there is an ideal image size that should be uploaded in the featured image section.

You cannot share and social media apps won’t accept all image resolutions.

Important of a Featured Image in your article

Important of a Featured Image in your article

In this article, le'ts discuss why a featured image is important in your blogs or articles. Later, I will explain how you can create an attractive image for your article for various platforms to make it social media-friendly.

But before that, let's see what exactly is a featured image:

What is a Featured Image?

A featured image is a special image that is embedded in a blog post or pages. It is the graphical representative image that should be related to your article’s content or title.

It highlights the relevance of the article as a whole. It can be usually found at the top of the blogs or web pages. Just like we have thumbnails in YouTube videos, featured images are the thumbnails for your articles. In layman’s language, featured images are also called image thumbnails.

Importance of a Featured Image in Your Blog Posts

Adding rich media or visual content in your article increases the chance of being shared online. And the featured image is the first visual element in your article that a user notices.

Inserting a featured image in your blog post or article is much more important than you think.

When it comes to integrating visuals in your content, you should not miss out on adding an attractive thumbnail. The image thumbnail (of ideal size) will then be shown to people with whom you share the article link.

Featured image benefits

Featured image benefits

Benefits of a featured image in your article:

  • It also helps you engage and attract readers on various social media.
  • Try to insert an emotional or funny image along with text, and your blog post may get viral on social media platforms.
  • If you own a brand, sharing a featured image with the title of the blog post and your logo will help you build a good reputation and recognition.
  • And if you’re a writer who is just starting, inserting a relevant and eye-grabbing image will be enough to drive traffic to your blog.
  • Adding a featured image to your blog or web page will lead to quality blogging.
  • Additionally, it also helps you get better SEO results on your blog or website.

So, it is clear that adding a good-quality and attractive featured image is very crucial in your blogging strategy.

Featured Images on Various Platforms

There are various content platforms where writers can publish their articles and generate revenue. Every platform has its own features that allows writers to make their articles amazing and worth reading.

Here, I've selected three such platforms to discuss how you can create great featured images for each one of them. So, without any further ado, let's have a look them below:

  • WordPress Featured Image

As per W3Techs stat, WordPress holds the biggest market share of 35-percent as compared to any other platform. It means it hosts close to one-third of all the websites present on the web.

So, it is clear that most of the websites on the internet is managed and powered by WordPress. It is because the platform is simple to use and understand, and offer many features to a webmaster to manage the content.

It allows you to upload a featured image in a separate section. When you add an image in this section, it will automatically become the blog’s default thumbnail.

If you’re managing a WordPress website, you must add a good-quality image of the required size. Not all image sizes will be uploaded in this section. The ideal featured image size in WordPress is 1200 x 628 pixels.

You can post any image above then these dimensions in your WordPress blogs, but it should not be too high.

Try to keep it till only 1280 x 700 pixels max. This will allow you to fit the image size in the section properly. And when it is inserted correctly, it will be visible correctly when you share the articles on social media.

  • HubPages Featured Image

HubPages is a platform on which anyone with a passion for writing can publish their articles. They get paid through the Google AdSense Ad program.

Unlike WordPress, HubPages doesn’t offer any separate place for inserting your featured image.

The first picture you add in your HubPages’ article will be considered as a featured image. I’ve noticed that many writers don't care about this and they add any picture in portrait or any other wrong dimensions.

If you want your articles to look good when sharing on social media or with your friend, make sure to add the first image in a landscape mode, ideally of around 1200 x 700 pixels resolution.

  • Medium Featured Image

Medium is one of the most popular and probably one of the most user-friendly writer’s platforms in the world.

To become a well-renowned writer, you must make the use of this publishing platform to showcase your articles in the beginning.

Coming to the featured image, the website allows you to set an image as an article thumbnail.

While publishing the post, you can select the picture you want to add and press Shift + F keys. It also allows you to crop the image size as per your requirements.

You can also preview the featured image of your article to see how it will look when you share it with others on social media.

Various Tools to Create Amazing Featured Images

So, now the next question arises on how to create a featured image for your articles or blogs? How to create thumbnails that will attract and excite more readers to your blog post? Well, here, I’ll share different ways on how you can create a nice and attractive image for your blog. So, let’s get started on this below:

  • Pixlr X Photo Editor

Pixlr X Online Photo Editor is the tool that helps you easily create images of different sizes. Simply visit the website Pixlr.com/x to and click on the ‘Create New’ on the left side of your computer screen to start creating an image.

Now, you can choose from the predefined sizes of templates, such as Web 720p (1280 x 720), Full HD (1920 x 1080), or Web 1440p (2560 x 1440).

Pixlr X Photo Editor Homescreen

Pixlr X Photo Editor Homescreen

In the corner, you can also select the option ‘Background’ to create a colorful background of your featured image.

One of the best things about this tool is that you can even search for stock images of your choice. You don’t need to create an account to use the Pixlr X Photo Editor tool.

  • Crello: Free Graphic Designer Software

Besides creating featured images, with Crello Graphic Designer software, you can create awesome designs for your social media posts. You will get more than 25,000 different templates to choose from.

As per your requirement, you can create videos, images, and animations in just a few clicks.

Create your free account with Gmail, Facebook, or your email to get started. It’s extremely easy to use and create a featured image for your next article.

You can choose from more than 140 million royalty-free images as per your choice.

why-featured-image-is-important-in-your-article-and-how-to-create-one
  • Canva

Canva is among some of the top graphic designing platforms on the internet. It’s because of its amazing features, easy usability, and overall fluid user-experience.

Just sign up with your Google, Facebook, or email account and you’re good to go. After this, click on the ‘Create a design’ option in the top-right corner of your screen to create a featured image or any other design.

Here, you will see ‘Custom Dimensions’ where you can create custom pictures. Choose 1200 x 700 pixels dimensions to create an ideal featured image for your articles.

Canva homescreen

Canva homescreen

I hope these tools will help you create amazing featured images for your articles flawlessly. Try out all of the three to see which one you like the best.

Final Words

Whether you’re just starting your writing career or have years of writing experience, you must never underestimate the power of a featured image.

No matter which platform you choose, adding a simple yet attractive thumbnail will attract more readers to your post. And if you keep sharing awesome featured images, it will likely to get viral on social media someday.

When you set a featured image, make sure it’s in the landscape orientation and it clearly shows the image or design you want the readers to see. Needless to say, it should also sync with the article title as well as the content.

How do you use a featured image in your article? Do you create one from tools or just upload a royalty-free photo like most of the writers? Do share your comments below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Nikhil Sharma

Comments

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on October 19, 2020:

Thank you for reading the article, Tammy. I hope that you've found the information in the article valuable. Sure, try them out, and don't forget to share your feedback.

Tammy Winters from Oregon on October 11, 2020:

Thanks for this article... I will be checking out Pixlr and crello.

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on June 23, 2020:

You're absolutely right, Mr. Murlikrishna. One should always try to insert pictures originally clicked by him/her. If not, the illustration will be the next best alternative. You see to know a lot of social media promotions, Mr. Murlikrishna, which is a good thing.

I didn't know before about the GIMP image editing software (https://www.gimp.org/downloads/). So, thank you for adding it here. I will download it and will start using the editor in the future. I think CorelDraw (https://www.coreldraw.com/en/) could be yet another cool designing platform to try out. Thanks a lot for enriching the article with your valuable suggestions and feedback, Mr. Murlikrisha.

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on June 23, 2020:

Hey, Avyukth.

It's good to know that you already have some knowledge of social media marketing. Embedding an attractive featured image of the ideal size in your article can bring more readers from various social media channels. So, an online writer shouldn't ignore the importance of a featured image.

Definitely, you should try out any of these cool designing platforms to create your graphics. I'm sure you'll slowly learn how to create an amazing featured image for your future articles. Do let me know if you face any issue or need assistance, Avyutkh. I'd be happy to help. I appreciate your wonderful thought and feedback.

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on June 23, 2020:

Hey, Ms. Sowrabha. As always, your comment is delightful to read. Thanks for your kind words and appreciation. I love helping others through my articles and social media posts. In the future, hopefully, I will educate my readers through videos and other types of content.

Yes, almost everyone knows Canva. But Crello and Pixlr are something that shouldn't be ignored completely. Yes, Pixlr X is free to use, Ms. Sowrabha. Keep coming to my hubs.

Risha Khan from Bhilai, Chhattisgarh on June 21, 2020:

This is such an amazing hub, Nikhil. It seems like I have been taking featured images on my hub for granted. Apart from title and summary of a hub, featured image also plays a significant role for catching the attraction of our readers. Canva is an amazing tool for creating featured images. I will use it to create featured images for my upcoming articles. Thank you for sharing!!!

Halemane Muralikrishna from South India on June 17, 2020:

As far as I can understand, original photo clicks are the best ones to support an article as a featured image. In case if it is not there, then related indicative images are the next alternative. I use GIMP for editing and designing, as it is free and open source. For hard copy printers, it may not be useful. They can do more with CorelDraw. It is a really useful article for beginners, Mr Nikhil.

Avyukth Krishna from Bangalore on June 15, 2020:

Hi Nikhil,

Having some knowledge of social media marketing, I know the importance of creating images for promotion. The thought of creating a graphic to promote my own article never crossed my mind. I'll surely explore the applications that you have mentioned and try to build my designing skills. Thank you for this article !

sowspeaks from Bengaluru on June 13, 2020:

Hi Nikhil, wonderful article as usual. We writers still coming to terms with creating visuals and images look forward to your take and tips.

Canva, I use but Crello was a revelation. Worth trying. Is Pixlrr free as well. Coming to your hub is always an educational experience. Thanks much!!

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on June 13, 2020:

Another honest appreciation from you, Mr. Vikram. I really enjoy reading your comments. I'm flattered to know that you love reading this hub. My only aim in writing technical articles is to share complex information in an easy way. It's my pleasure to read your comment. Stay connected.

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on June 13, 2020:

I'm glad that you found this article interesting, Liz. Yes, attractive and relevant featured images can also help in building links to social media websites. HubPages are now running their own Ad Program for writers. Thanks for sharing your thoughtful comment.

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on June 13, 2020:

Hi Arnaba! Thanks a lot for appreciating my work. Yes, there are several reasons why most of the people love Canva over any other platform. Every professional should make use of the platform for their work.

Yes, featured images help articles look attractive without actually reading it first. Thank you for sharing your feedback, Ms. Arnaba.

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on June 13, 2020:

Thank you, Ms. Sneha, for your encouraging words. Yes, I've also recently started using the Canva app. But I'm looking forward to trying out the other two websites as well. Your articles as quite useful, Ms. Sneha.

Vikram Brahma from Assam, India on June 11, 2020:

Very nice another technical content writing article by you Mr. Nikhil. You have mentioned all important points in easy words. I really enjoy reading your articles. Full of knowledge about technical things in the easy way.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 11, 2020:

I am trying to link images from my articles on HP through Pinterest, so I have found this interesting. I thought HP dropped the link with Google AdSense a few months ago.

Arnaba Saha from New Delhi on June 10, 2020:

Hi Nikhil. Awesome post. Canva has been my go to site for all image related work. Yes, it is super easy to use and comes with cool templates for various platforms.

I strongly agree with you that featured images are crucial for a blog post. Frankly, I am guilty of judges posts by the quality of their featured images.

Thanks Nikhil for sharing such insightful post.

Sneha Bhat from India on June 10, 2020:

Nice article sir. I am struggling to get my articles featured. Very recently I have started using Canva app. After reading this article, I will try using other two apps for images

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