Featured Image Paradigm > Every article has a picture.
It’s really a simple rule, but you can look at almost any major website on almost any topic (news, sports, fashion, food, science, technology, etc., etc., etc.) and you’ll see it being followed. Even if the image for an article is not showing on the front page, click on the link and you’ll see it.
Social media is built around this concept. To get the full real estate available for your post in Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook, you need to include a picture. Just like you can’t have a serious social media profile without a profile pic, increasingly, you can’t post a serious article without a featured image.
Featured images make the web visual. They organize content, providing the first view of the material hidden behind each click. More so than headlines, images are our first impression.
Featured images give the web life. They make the front pages of websites different each time you visit.
You don’t have to participate. You can continue to leave visuals off of your priority list. Just don’t complain that nobody is reading your stuff when you fail to follow one of the most basic rules for the contemporary web.