So how do I start a photography blog and do it the “right way?”
Photographers are a blogging and tweeting juggernaut of an industry. Just do an internet search for photography blogs and you will have a multitude of results to choose from. Search for photography tips on Twitter and you can find thousands of profiles ready to give you their tips and reviews on all things related to the industry. So you think you want to join the conversation? Is there a “right way?”
There certainly are best practices in the photography industry that apply to blogging and tweeting. Although not everyone adheres to these standards, they offer generally recognized guidelines that will help you create a professional online presence. According to the book by Harvard Business Review Press, Groundswell, if you are considering blogging and/or tweeting, your main goal should be to engage with your audience. First and foremost, your blog and/or tweeting should be a conversation.
Once you have determined that you want to blog or tweet, to engage your audience then Groundswell suggests you need to determine a goal for your blog. Do you want to grow your business? Do you want to provide your current audience with new information? Once you know what you want to blog about, you can create a plan and structure your blog on the hosting site of your choice.
Photographers need to keep several technical mechanics in mind when creating their blog (Allender, 2011). When you upload your photos to your blog, be sure to rename your photos to a filename that makes sense for web archiving as opposed to the random numbers assigned by your camera software. Also, make sure you resize your photos to optimize them for web viewing. Finally, do not link your images from another website (Topherlin, 2013). You may end up with meaningless computer jargon instead of the beautiful picture you intended to display.
Ok, so you know you want to engage and you have an idea of how to engage – but now what? According to Google+ for Business by Chris Brogan, sharing is an opportunity to engage your audience and connect them with information of value to them. In other words, post about topics that are relevant to your readership. Help them in some way solve a problem at hand or gain information that they did not have to begin with, and then ask for engagement in return. Craftsty, in their photography blog, stated that a photography blog should not only be relevant but also inspirational and entertaining and this will keep your audience coming back for more (Donner, 2014).
Finally, how do you get people to read your blog? Be consistent. Blog and tweet regularly (Demos, 2013). Your readership will want to hear from you. Link generously. According to a Lifehacker article about blogging, linking generously will help make your posts search engine friendly (Pinola, 2013). They also suggest adding a blogroll of blogs you like to read.
So it is your turn. Start your blog and post a link to it in the comments below. I would love to add it to my blog roll.
Allender, T. (2011, March 3). Ten Common Mistakes Made by Photographers Using WordPress.
Retrieved October 24, 2014, from http://graphpaperpress.com: http://graphpaperpress.com/blog/ten-common-mistakes-by-photographers-using-wordpress/
Brogan, C. (2013). Google+ for Business. Indianapolis, IN: Que.
Demos, S. (2013, November 17). Social Media in Photography.
Retrieved October 24, 2014, from http://sarahdemos.wordpress.com/: http://sarahdemos.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/best-practices-for-photographers-tweeting-and-blogging/
Donner, N. (2014, October 17). 6 Tips You Should Follow When Starting a Photography Blog.
Retrieved October 24 2014, from http://www.craftsy.com: http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/10/starting-a-photography-blog/
Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell, winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.
Pinola, M. (2013, September 05). How Can I Write a Successful Blog and Get More People to Read It?
Retrieved October 24, 2014, from http://lifehacker.com: http://lifehacker.com/how-can-i-write-a-successful-blog-and-get-more-people-t-1257476541
Topherlin, C. (2013, March 20). Do not link your images | blogging best practices.
Retrieved October 23, 2014, from http://www.slrlounge.com: http://www.slrlounge.com/do-not-link-your-images-blogging-best-practices/