You have probably been told that as a photographer, you should really write a blog to help your images get seen. In fact, we at Light Stalking have written copiously about it. But talk is one thing, writing it is another.
How long should it be? How often should I write and most importantly what should I write about? The answer to the first two is 600-1000 words and once a week if you can. The answer to the last question is a little more tricky. In order to get you started, we are going to suggest to your first 5 posts for your photography blog.
1. An Introduction
Your first blog post should be about you. This is your time to introduce yourself to your audience. Tell them a little about personal life, but more about your life as a photographer. write about the style of photography you specialise in, your inspirations and your experience
Don’t be afraid to mention a little bit about your gear. Your audience will generally be photographers or have a keen interest in photography. For the same reason, avoid the cliches of writing about photography being your passion or your life, that’s kind of a given.
In that first post also talk a little about what you want to achieve with the blog. What you plan to write about, and where you intend the blog to go. Don’t be afraid to engage your audience from the start by opening comments and inviting questions and suggestions.
2. A Gear Review
Gear reviews are always worth doing, especially as one of your early blog posts. Aim for something that does not have tons of reviews already and is something you own and have plenty of experience on.
Other photographers are always looking for good, impartial reviews about the gear they plan to buy. It does not have to be something new to the market, but it is preferable that the item is still available to buy.
As well as writing about the technical capabilities of your equipment, write about your opinions of it, both good and bad. Be subjective, this can be difficult with gear as you have money and time invested in it, but try to be impartial with what you say about it.
When your gear review goes live don’t forget to tell your peers. Post on forums or groups specific to that piece of equipment and ask people what they think, both of the review and the gear. That will keep your forum post or comment fresh and drive more people to view the article.
3. A Top Ten List
To be honest, it does not have to be ten but it does have to be a list. We all love a list and list-type blog posts consistently get good viewing figures. One of the great assets of a list-style blog post is that you can engage the audience with it, by making it subjective.
An objective list might be something like “the top ten best selling cameras of 2018”. The list is fact and gives a little leeway for your audience to comment on or argue against.
Drop the word selling and you have a subjective list, “the top ten best cameras of 2018”. That's based on your opinion and allows people to counter comment with their opinions. It can also lead to trolling so you will need to monitor the comments carefully and filter out anything that is clearly trolling or inflammatory.
Although you need to keep your lists photography based, this still gives a huge range of subjects to write about. Some ideas might be your top ten documentary photographers or the 7 greatest lenses from the film era. The scope is limited only by your imagination. One thing to remember though is although the blog post is subjective make sure any facts you quote are correct, you will soon be picked up on them if they are not.
4. A Post Production Tutorial
If you are a bit of dab hand in the digital darkroom then a post-production tutorial is a great idea for one of your first blog posts. Pick an editing skill you know well and write a clear, step by step tutorial on how to achieve it. Start with a brief introduction on why you should use this technique then get into the nuts and bolts of explaining the technique.
You should use the same image throughout the tutorial and screen capture each step of the procedure. If you are happy to do so you could also provide a copy of the image for your readers to practice on.
While there are a lot of tutorials out there for the Adobe ecosphere, there are a lot less for other post-production apps. As such you might find greater page visits for free editing software like Gimp and Darktable.
5. An Editorial Opinion
Opinions are like…ok let’s not go there, indeed it’s not really fair. Many people value opinions, especially from experienced peers. If you feel strongly about something in photography, then an editorial opinion piece is well worth doing as one of your first blog posts. Along with an introduction blog, it gives readers an insight into your thought processes about photography.
There is, however, a fine line to tread between editorial opinion and a rant. In a rant, you will come across as an angry photographer and while some might respect your passion, it will be a turn off for many more. A good editorial opinion will argue with reason and logic as well as passion. It will lay down points that can be countered but will not come across as angry.
Starting a photographic blog is not only a great way to market your website and images, but also very therapeutic. By committing your thoughts on photography to virtual ink, you can help peers learn new things, decide on new gear and see a different point of view.
The list above will help you on your way to getting your blog, up, running and read.