How the Pro's Use Featured Images

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How To Craft Featured Images That Engage Traffic and Boost Your Online Identity

Let’s start this lesson by taking a look at some great examples of high-profile websites that use their featured images to create strong visual identities.

Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income Blog

Pat Flynn's Smart Passive Income blog grid.

Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Blog simply combines flat colored backgrounds with professionally designed icons to create featured images.

Notice also that the icons used in the featured images are always placed in the same right-third location.

The background colors are varied to avoid placing the same colors next to each other on the blog grid.

Wait But Why

The Wait But Why blog grid.

The Wait But Why Blog is a great example of what you call a "quick-and-dirty" visual identity done very well.

It shows that you don’t need high quality graphic designers to establish a strong brand for your website.

Depending on the nature of your content, audience and industry, you can even get away with using the most basic art skills...as long as your images still work to engage viewers and communicate the message you want to seed in their minds.

Furthermore, Wait But Why’s simplistic stick figures are now the graphic centerpiece for the website’s brand.

Online traffic instantly recognizes Wait But Why content through its stick figure featured images and is entertained by its clever simplicity.

Toggl Blog

The Toggl blog grid.

An example of keeping it super simple can be seen by visiting the Toggl Blog.

Toggl uses does minimal editing to stock images (adding its logo in places) to illustrate article content. Their website theme simply adds a transparent-grey overlay to each featured image on the blog grid to improve readability of the all-white headline text.

The headline typography is simple, but consistent across all the featured images.

And Now a Bad Example: The Bulletproof Blog

The Bulletproof blog grid.

The Bulletproof Blog illustrates an example of what not to do when crafting featured images for your website.

In this example, the featured images are thumbnail sized photos that have no visual consistency from one post to the next.

Adding insult to injury, each featured images completely fails to communicate anything about the brand or founder and "Bulletproof Exec" Dave Asprey.

Random head shots of podcast guests mixed with a stock photo of root vegetables just doesn't help boost site recognition or create a visual consistency.

On To the Next Lesson

In the next lesson, we’ll break down a simple yet professional design style you can use immediately across your website's featured images.

Click the "Next Lesson" button below to continue.​

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