Mistake #1: Pictures
Apparently, all posts should contain pictures. This is key to attracting reader interest.
Now, I don't often do this. If the image is unique/mine (like my flower last Friday) or if it helps make a point or a funny (bad grad gifts), I'll throw in a picture.
However, I don't generally throw in stock photography just because they say I should have a photo of some sort. I figure if I'm talking about being stung by a bee, a relevant image would be the swelling on my arm but there's no point in including a random photo of a bee - I assume my readers are smart enough to know what a bee looks like.
Now, I realize that maybe an image would hint at the content of the post without having to read any words, so maybe I'm short-changing myself. Maybe that picture of a bee would increase readership. If that's the conclusion this conversation comes to, I'm willing to change my ways.
Personally, I'm more drawn in by words than by a photo of some random stock images but a photo taken by the writer can be a powerful lure as well. How important are images in persuading you to read a post? Does it matter if they're unique images or photos? In your own blogging, what's your photo philosophy?