• Michael Linsin

Can You Succeed with a Text-Only Blog?

Seth Godin and Leo Babauta of Zen Habits both have text-only blogs, and they're two of the biggest, most successful bloggers ever.

Having said that, including photos and images within your blog posts can make them more shareable, especially if you have an image of your post title. This has been my thinking with my blog Smart Classroom Management.

I include a title image with every article I write.

However, because I like to experiment, and because I think breaking standard blogging practices can give you an advantage in a very competitive industry, I decided not to use photos or images here at Renegade Blogger.

I like the fresh look and readability of the design, and I think having images is a distraction from the content. A clean, white background also stands out in a way few other blogs do, thus providing a simple way to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

Another thing to keep in mind: Although they're appealing and can encourage readers to share your content, creating images and finding the right photographs to fit the theme of each article is time consuming - especially the first year or two of doing it.

It takes at least that long in my experience to become skilled enough to knock out a design in 15-20 minutes. Otherwise, it can be two hours.

Another important consideration is that people nowadays more often access blogs on their phones than on a desktop computer.

To them, images are a nuisance.

They just want to get to the content, which, if the blog article is free of images or photos, is above the fold. Above the fold is a newspaper business term that refers to content a reader can see without scrolling (ie. above the midway fold of a newspaper).

So can you have a successful blog that is text-only? Absolutely. If you write good stuff, if it's helpful and interesting, then people are going to find it and share it with their friends and followers.

In fact, I think we're going to see a day soon when elaborate images, photos, and pictographs within blog posts are a thing of the past, especially because you can share images and photos separately on social media.

What's my advice? If you're just starting out, and unless you have a blog niche where photos are critical - like travel, food, or pets - then I would go without pictures or images. You can always add them later if you change your mind.

This is the approach I'm using with Renegade Blogger.

The focus is on the written word. The blog is going to live or die on helping others navigate the blogging world easier and more efficiently. We're here to provide benefit and nothing else. No nonsense. No filler. No BS. Just helpful content.

I think you'll do well to do the same.

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