I Wasted My Life Designing Blog Post Thumbnails

Thumbnails on Your Blog or Medium Articles Are Completely Different Than on YouTube

Nate McCallister
4 min readNov 26, 2023


Your thumbnails on your blog posts or Medium articles mean almost nothing.

I’m begging you, please don’t make the mistake I did and spend time adding fancy text overlays to your thumbnails.

I have made, and I’m under-estimating to protect my ego a bit, 500 text centric thumbnails for blog posts.

Google Results vs. YouTube Results

There’s a misconception that they matter because on YouTube, they mean everything. If you have a lame thumbnail, your video won’t perform well.

Let’s take a quick example. Here’s what appears when you type in “Amazon Influencer Program Tips” in Google.

Notice a lack of images?

Although Google does now actually show Thumbnail clip previews on some results pages (there’s a great article on that here), it doesn’t always and when they do, the text is often hard to read.

The writers of the post above did use a text overlay style thumbnail on their blog, but as you can see, it’s purely for on page purposes.

They could have easily done without it at all, but luckily it doesn’t look like they spent much time on this one.

Now, here’s what the thumbnails looks like for that same search on YouTube.



Nate McCallister

I over analyze topics in the internet business and self development space. I share my findings here so you can focus on growth. 👍