Love it or hate it, the internet these days is ruled by social media. If you don’t share, like, +1 and comment, the chances are, you are not going to be seen. One important way to get your work noticed is by the use of blogging and promoting your photography blog through social media. So what is blogging? Put simply it’s a regular text and image based diary of what you are doing – a public window on your daily life. For photographers, this means people can get an in depth understanding of how you take images, what techniques you use, what your inspirations are. You can talk about specific projects, your general day to day photography or use the blog to impart your own knowledge on a particular photographic subject.
How to Set Up Your Blog?
Many of you, I am sure, will have your own website or one hosted by a dedicated photographer’s gallery site. Many of these give you options to add blog pages to your site. However, the key to increasing your social media standing is to link sites together, so it is often better to have a stand alone blog site. The two main free options for this are Blogger.com and WordPress.com. Both allow you to create your own blog styles from a range of pre-made templates. For a premium you can add your own dedicated web address and buy more exclusive templates. Setting up is pretty simple but before you go firing away on your keyboard, there are some things to consider.
ZERGE_VIOLATOR, on Flickr
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First and foremost, you need to decide what your blog is going to be about. Keeping on theme is important to maintaining and increasing your reader base. If you are blogging, for example, about a particular photographic project you are working on, don’t suddenly add posts about a new piece of equipment, unless it is related to the project. Another very important consideration is the look of the blog. As a photographic blog, your readers will expect to see photographs. Think carefully about the template you will use – does it compliment the type of images you will be showing?
What to Post on Your Blog?
With your blog set up, it’s time to start posting. The secret to good blogging is concise information regularly. A good blog post should only be between 500-1000 words long. In your posts, distill all the information that you wish to convey without rambling on into irrelevance. Learn and understand search engine optimization – search engines adore blogs, and by placing relevant keywords and key phrases within your blog, you will elevate its ranking in the search engines. Don’t overload the keywords, this will put off your readers by making the post disjointed and reduce your search ranking.
When you write, try to convey a sense of you – don’t be afraid to use a little humor, so long as it is relevant to the post. The best photographer’s blogs are ones where the readers feel that they know the blogger and can relate to their photography. You should inspire without being arrogant, teach but not preach. When you write your posts, you can import images. Often it is better to embed them from your photographic website. This will improve the SEO of both sites.
Jason Row Photography, on Flickr
Getting Your Blog Noticed
Of course, there is no point in going through all the above if the only people reading your blog are your grandmother and a bored teenager in Finland. Getting your blog noticed is the next thing to do. The first thing you need to do is link your blog to all your social media accounts. In Facebook, for example, you can use RSS Graffiti to post your blog to your Facebook timeline whenever you make a post. There are similar tools for all the main social media sites. If you use WordPress or Blogger there will be tools to add sharing and liking buttons to your blog. Make sure you enable all of these. Every time someone likes, comments or shares your post, it will be seen on their timeline and hence the timeline of their friends too. This is the secret to getting seen, getting people outside your immediate social circles to see the posts. If you are a member of groups, post the link and a brief synopsis to the group. Make sure you stay within the rules of the group. Don’t be afraid to ask for comments and likes and request people to share the blog. You should, however, make sure any comments on your blog page are moderated before posting. Unfortunately we live in a world of trolls and ignorance, so it’s best to prevent obnoxious and offensive comments getting posted. That said, don’t be afraid to post criticism if it is well argued and relevant.
Jason Row Photography, on Flickr
Lastly, make sure you blog regularly. Take time once week if possible to make a post. Once your audience starts to build, they will look forward to the next post.
Blogging is often seen as a chore by photographers but it can be fun, and once you start to build a regular following, it can both promote your photography and become a great place to interact with like minded people.