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6 Awesome Reasons to Create Visual Content for Your Website or Blog

6 Awesome Reasons to Create Visual Content for Your Website or Blog

Big Data has been a theme for 2013, and it poses the threatening question of how one can possibly interpret all the data that is available to take in.

As consumers of data, we’re constantly deciding whether to “bookmark” a particularly interesting file, or make an entry in Evernote to come back to read it later. There is so much data being generated every single minute on the Internet that it becomes increasingly time-consuming to make decisions such as: Should I read it now? Should I make a note of it in my Moleskin notepad? Should I email the link to myself?

In short, we spend more time sorting through, curating and organizing data that already exists. In doing so, we create more data about data!

Similarly, as a “provider” of information, whether you’re a recruiter looking for perfect candidates for a job, a designer showcasing your skills all in one place, or an educator speaking about a challenging topic, you too face a challenge: How do I gather the massive amount of data at my disposal in a clear, compelling format for my reader swithout losing the point?

Enter Visual Content Marketing! Realizing this dilemma, some smarty-pants on the Net came up with a unique blend of pictures and raw data—infographics.

What Are Infographics?

Infographics are visual presentations of information that compress complex ideas and present it to the viewers in a digestible format. They let you communicate hard to grasp data quickly and clearly.

An infographic could be a supplementary image for your blog post or web page, or it could be a stand-alone piece of information with little supporting text. That means you can base a whole blog post on an infographic.

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A study analyzed by Jakob Nielson concludes some interesting findings. For starters, people will spend more time on your page if you cram in more words; however they only spend 4.4 seconds for each additional 100 words. More importantly, people will spend time understanding the layout and looking at the images on your page, so they realistically end up reading only 20% of text.

Since we are discussing infographics, it seemed fitting that we included this one: An infographic to explain an infographic.

What is an infographic

    Click to expand. (Source)

    Why Use Infographics?

    A study conducted by Wharton School of Business found that 50% of the audience was persuaded by a purely verbal presentation, whereas 67% were persuaded by a verbal presentation that had accompanying visuals.

    Another study found that the color visuals of infographics increase the willingness to read by a whopping 80%.

    Here are 6 reasons infographics are so effective for content marketing:

    1. Humans are wired to process visual content. Think about it—would road signs be as effective if they were presented in purely text form? Most people wouldn’t even get a chance to read them while driving!

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    2. Humans are tired of the information overload. According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, we are bombarded with approximately 2 million bits of information every second, whereas we can only process 134 bits per second. We simply can’t process the excess input.

    3. Humans can recall visual content quicker than any other form. We’ll remember 80% of what we saw and did, 20% of what we read and 10% of what we heard.

    4. Adding carefully crafted visuals make what we’re reading more believable.

    5. Since infographics are easy to digest, attractive and fun, more people are keen to share them with others. That means more people being engaged with your content! (Speaking of fun, this infographic wins hand-down, don’t you think?)

    6. The first step in converting prospects into long-term visitors and paid clients is to hold their attention. Infographics are pretty engaging by themselves and make this easier to achieve.

    If you have a website or a blog, you can no longer settle with plain, boring text. For starters, no one “reads” text online. Most people will skim your page without actually using the information on the page. But with infographics, you have a neat little method to make them stay longer and want more.

    How to Use Infographics

    Researchers Barbara M. Miller and Brooke Barnett said:

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    On their own, text and graphics are both useful yet imperfect methods for communication. Written language allows an almost infinite number of word combinations that allow deep analysis of concepts but relies heavily on the reader’s ability to process that information. Graphics may be easier for the reader to understand but are less effective in communication of abstract and complicated concepts…This study showed that for the presentation of scientific information, combining text and graphics allows communicators to take advantage of each medium’s strengths and diminish each medium’s weaknesses. (p. 63, “Understanding of Health Risks Aided by Graphics with Text”)

    This means it’s best to use an infographic along with a supporting piece of text. This allows an infographic to become instructional in a compelling and attractive manner. For example, on your website or blog you can embed colorful, attractive infographics that can act as a recruiting tool, present survey data, explain how things work, and compare concepts.

    From superheroes to complicated ideas, infographics have found their place everywhere. Check out some of the most effective ones below:

    How to be a Superhero: An Illustrated Guide

      Click to expand. Source: Zia Somjee

      How Would You Like Your Graphic Design

        Click to expand. Source: Cool Infographics

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        Or, this interactive one about 13 reasons your brain craves infographics!

        How to Create Awesome Infographics in Less than an Hour

        Okay, you’re convinced about the effectiveness of visual content online. Being an organization or a small business, you want to give this a proper go. The next natural question that arises is: How do I create an awesome-looking infographic for my website?

        The most obvious way for some people is to hire a freelance designer. But depending on whom you hire, you can end up paying hundreds or thousands of dollars and not get what you want in the end.

        If you’re more of a DIY type and like to learn and implement new skills for life without spending any money, EWC Presenter is your go-to infographic maker. All you have to do is create a free account at www.ewcpresenter.com and choose Infographics—you can create presentations, banner ads, product demos and infographics.

        How to Create Awesome Infographics in Less than an Hour

          There is no additional software needed to be installed as the app is cloud-based and works on HTML5. Plus the themes are beautiful!

          The best part of using this app is it saves you hundreds to thousands of dollars and brings several features—such as multi-lingual options, being search-engine friendly and over 600 Google fonts—all to one place.

          Easy Web Content Presenter

            Check out the app for free and share your thoughts below!

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            Last Updated on September 20, 2018

            8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

            8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

            You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

            Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

            When you train your brain, you will:

            • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
            • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
            • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

            So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

            1. Work your memory

            Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

            When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

            If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

            The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

            Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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            Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

            What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

            For example, say you just met someone new:

            “Hi, my name is George”

            Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

            Got it? Good.

            2. Do something different repeatedly

            By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

            Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

            It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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            And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

            But how does this apply to your life right now?

            Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

            Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

            Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

            So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

            You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

            That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

            3. Learn something new

            It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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            For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

            Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

            You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

            4. Follow a brain training program

            The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

            5. Work your body

            You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

            Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

            Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

            Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

            6. Spend time with your loved ones

            If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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            If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

            I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

            7. Avoid crossword puzzles

            Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

            Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

            Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

            8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

            Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

            When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

            So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

            The bottom line

            Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

            Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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