Humans, by nature, are visual creatures. We're also natural and gifted storytellers.
"A picture is worth 1,000 words," the old saying goes. In online stories, where authors are competitng for viewers that possess increasingly small Internet attention spans, a graphic may make the difference in compelling a potential reader to stay on the page longer, read deeper, and engage with the story.
Studies show that stories with visual elements have a higher click rate and read rate than ones without visual elements... even if the subject matter is virtually the same.