When did it become cool to bury your crappy internet writing behind a terrible stock photo?
Somewhere between 2013 and 2014, bloggers thought that they need to make their content look cooler. This probably occurred because of Medium, which features a huge image prominently with each post.
Maybe bloggers want to look cool. I don’t blame them. Blogging is pretty much the lamest thing you can do in 2014.
Maybe that giant image buys you two or three more seconds of a reader’s time. That’s a measurable but meaningless stat you can report to advertisers.
But a giant image at the top of post doesn’t signify great content. Some random person’s opinion does not gain meaning and gravitas because there’s a giant peacock standing on top of it.
Images shouldn’t bury great content. Images and blog posts need to be paired together. Think wine and cheese, not flies and shit.
Make it easy for readers to find your writing. Don’t be afraid to let your writing stand on its own. And use images meaningfully, not just because they boost meaningless metrics.