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Natalie Norton recently authored a post entitled Blog Power: Why you should consider setting up a photoblog. This post is a follow up to that article. Here Natalie discusses 10 ways anyone can create a photoblog that will really shine!
Goodness me. Goodness me, oh my. The anticipation! I’ve been chomping at the bit over this post. I’m SO excited to share the follow up to the popular post Blog Power that went up early last week here on DPS. The response to that post was phenomenal. Comments both here and on my personal blog as well as emails galore asking follow up questions-I even got a couple of phone calls! WOW! It seems you’ve all caught the vision and are rip rearin’ to GO! AWESOME! I dig the enthusiasm. The tips compiled here are tried and true, both from my own experience as well as other industry greats. I actually contacted a handful of my industry friends who I feel have incredibly successful photo blogs to get the 411. You ready to rumble? Well then let’s go!
You’ve GOT to post often. Period. If you want your blog to achieve and maintain high traffic you should plan to post a MINIMUM of twice or three times a week, ideally every day. I post every day except for Sunday as that’s my church and family day. Occasionally, come flood or high water…or sick kids…I may skip out on a day or two. But 99% of the time you can count on the fact that I will post daily. This is important in more ways than one.
Link. Link. Link. Link to other blogs and photographers. This just makes you cool. Period. I know, there are at LEAST a handful of people saying to themselves right now “NO WAY! I just got them here, I’m not sending them anywhere!” You’re wrong. Plain and simple. Linking back to other sites is awesome.
Ok, I know I’ve beaten this one to death. I mention respect in nearly every article I write. But Aretha’s right. You’ve got to be a respectful blogger. Respectful of your readers, respectful of other bloggers and respectful of yourself.
My friend Jasmine Star hit me with this one the other day, and I am so in love. She said, “There’s a phrase my friends and I use often: K.I.R. ‘Keep It Real.'” She went on to say, “A good blog is written by someone who can K.I.R. all the time. Often times, photo-bloggers want to create status for themselves by talking about themselves. They drop important names and details like hot coals, and it really puts readers off. When a person is accessible and relatable, it makes readers more inclined to return because it feels like a conversation with a friend. Not only do I blog about my photography, I blog about my OCD with tomato sauce, my recent diet endeavors, and the love affair with my dog, Polo. I blog about my life…which I’ve discovered is the best way to K.I.R.” I lean this direction as well in my blogging. . . for me sharing part of myself, genuinely so, is keeping it real. For another photographer friend of mine, Jonathan Canlas, keeping it real in the blogosphere is a totally different phenomenon. To him real is this: “I don’t want to hear about how you went to the park with your kids and they stepped in duck poop. I want a blog that shows me pretty sparkly images that keep my attention and make me want to come back to your blog for more. . . If it’s a photography blog, that is what I want to see, photos.”
Final say: photographer Cody Buell was spot on when I asked him what constitutes a good blog. “Focused, on topic, generally free of tangents or rants. Make it intuitive. Keep it simple.” I’d just like to add, make it yours.
90 percent of the photographers I contacted when getting ready for this post included the exact words, “Keep it simple.”
Here’s the skinny:
Large images. Hurray! That’s the point of the blog in the first place right, to show off your photography? I’m in the process of designing a custom blog and guess what’s TOP priority on my list?? LARGE IMAGES. I LOVE visiting blogs with large images. Jasmine’s blog is a good example you could check out. My friend Michelle Ellis has the large photos jammin’ out right on her blog as well.
When I go to a photo blog I regularly see something along the lines of “Welcome. I’m so glad you stopped by.” Then in the next breath, “If you so much as TOUCH my images without my written signature, penned in my own blood, I will hunt you down and rip out your heart with a spoon.” They don’t realize that what they’re really saying is “Just GO AWAY. Don’t even look at my images. They are MINE. A single glance from you might spoil their majesty.” I’d much rather see, “Hey, if you want to grab a pic from my blog and post it on yours, be my guest, just be sure to link back here with a prominent photo credit. So glad you stopped by!” In the comments from the last post I realized that many of you are sincerely concerned about piracy. My dad is in the intellectual property industry, he is an amazing man who consults many of the MARVELOUS leaders of thought throughout the world. He once said to me in his stern, “I’m totally right about this so don’t try to argue”, tone, “Natalie, piracy is far better than obscurity.” He was right. He didn’t have to be such a jerk about it, but he was right. I love you daddy! If this is a genuine concern of yours there are a couple of things you can do.
Ok it’s obviously getting late. But seriously people chill. The comment fire is not the blaze you think it is. So many bloggers are concerned by lack of comments on their blogs. It’s not the crisis situation you think it is. A few days ago I had around 900 unique visitors on my blog. That’s about average for me. Guess how many comments, like 5. So chill.
You’ve gotta track your progress with an analytics software. I use Google Analytics. There are other great systems out there. I like Google Analytics because it’s Google. Hell.OOOO! They’re taking over the world and I so want to hang on to their coat tails! My analytics tell me how many unique people visited my blog within a given time period, how many actual visits within a given time period, the general geographic location of my viewers, their loyalty, how long they stayed on my site, how deep they dug and more. It’s a MUST. Plain and Simple.
Obviously there are some things I’ve left out. This is a bulky post as it is. I’ve decided to hold off on discussing options as far as choosing a blogging program that’s best for you. There are so many worthy choices out there, it’s gotta be it’s own post to do them all justice and to help you make an informed decision. I promise it will be worth the wait.
LET’S REVIEW your steps to blogging splendor!
Happy Shooting and Happy Blogging!