I illustrate several web sites with my own original cartoons. Some are my own web sites and others are commissions. Illustrating blog posts with original cartoons has many benefits both to myself and other web site owners.
Images for blogging and any other article is essential. If someone clicks on a page and sees mile after mile of text you will lose them. If there are attractive images on a blog post the reader is more likely to stay. If there is an injection of humour they are likely to enjoy the article a bit more.
By placing the images at the right size, right place and right context you ramp up the ‘stickability even more’ If you think that randomly throwing one or two images onto a page or post is OK then please think again.
SEO and keeping readers on your site
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and referrals from social media and other web sites is generally the way to get traffic coming your way. If the page is SEO optimised with all the right technical stuff the audience will at least find you on search engines such as Google.
Keeping them interested on page and on site is the next biggest factor to creating a successful web site that people enjoy, get value from and ulimately make the web site owner money. And guess what – it is down to the page/post designer to get the right balance.
So why would cartoon illustrations work well?
Original – without legal comeback!
Original cartoons which I put onto my sites and other sites have no copyright issues. I have drawn the cartoons. I don’t need permission to use my own artwork and give permission to people who buy my cartoons for their sites.
I am lucky to have a skill which enables me to produce original customised artwork. Most web owners have to source their images or run the gauntlet of downloading from the internet without permission from the originator.
There are plenty of horror stories of web masters who have used images from the net without finding the source to get permission. I know of one example where the owner of an image sued – resulting in a $1000 fine.
Custom drawn cartoons to fit the blog topic
Article writers and web masters often spend more time looking for the perfect image that they do creating the article. A cartoon can be tailor made to suit the article perfectly and can be more appropriate for the article than any image found on the net. The article on pet fleas on humans (not a nice article I agree!!) on my new web site doorstepzoo.com is an example of this (see case study below).
Here is another cartoon I created for a review on glue guns to demonstrate the dangers of heat and the reason to wear protective gloves. It would have taken ages to find a suitable image on the internet then get the permission to use it. In any case I don’t think I could have found anything that would work like to cartoon does.
Cartoons can liven up a blog post
Photos are great but a cartoon can put empathy, expression, humour and a lot more into a blog post than a photographic illustration. This in turn can really resonate and appeal to readers heightening their experience. This makes them more likely to read more, tell their friens and come back for more.
This is another strand of income. A service that you could advertise and provide for article writers, web masters and bloggers. Making a living from art is a tough call and the secret is to diversify to have multiple streams of income.
Don’t have all your eggs in one basket – particularly if you do not control the basket your eggs are in then it could have dire consequences. Have many streams of income such as affilliate marketing, selling your own products, offering artistic services or even writing an e-book you reduce the risk if one strand fails.
If your cartoons can take the pain away from a blogger and is resasonably priced there is no reason why this cannot produce a regular stream of income.
A well constructed blog post with great cartoon artwork has a much better chance of being shared on social media. Why? – because they can make people laugh, connect their thoughts to friends and make them want to share something funny.
Some of the cartoons I have produced for my Facebook pages have have gone viral in some cases because of the humour and appeal and this can have the same affect when placed in a blog post.
Case Study Doorstepzoo.com
Doorstepzoo.com is my latest web site and is centred around pets and wildlife in and around your home. One of the articles I produced was on fleas. I wanted the article to be informative and also with a little bit of humour added as cat and dog fleas on people is generally nothing to smile about.
Finding ready made images to suit the article was near impossible so it was ideal for cartoons.
The first image was to encapsulate the whole article theme which is entitled ‘Can Cat and dog Fleas live on Humans’ – I imagined a person with fleas scratching with two worried onlookers…
I gave mine big eyes, vampire fangs, a round fat body and one set of arms and legs.
I added antennae (which fleas don’t appear to have but it is stereotypical of an insect) and gave it a slightly armoured look with bristles here and there.
It looks flea like with an impish grin – just what I wanted.
The article talks about deterring fleas from cats and suggests washing the cats collar in eucalyptus. I have two cats myself and the thought of either trying to dip a cat in eucalyptus or trying to re-attach a collar soaked in eucalyptus wouldn’t go down well. I know if I attempted either with either of my cats I would end up scarred for life!!
The last cartoon in the article was killing fleas. Murdering anything is not in my nature but if you don’t see off a flea attach they will keep coming back. I kept the flea black and white to allow the green spray to really impact and I think it works quite well.
As this article was for my own web site the only cost to me was time. The cartoons took around an hour to complete in total but I do work really quickly and produced them all on a tablet so there was no scanning or further processing required.
The beauty of illustrating an article is that you can feed off the words to create the cartoons. it is all there in the text and totally down to your creativity to find the right drawing.
They are relatively cheap and simple to use and if ypou are struggling to make a realistic sketch of a scene or someones face this is the way to go.
See my review of 5 top rated light boxes here…