Building Your Blog: 10 things to consider when building your rockin' photoblog - Digital Photography School

Building Your Blog: 10 things to consider when building your rockin’ photoblog

Building-Photoblog-
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!

1. Keep it Fresh

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.

  • Clearly you’ve got to get readers excited to stop by for a visit. There’s nothing like hitting up a blog fav and finding something NEW! You know the feeling. It’s like your daily blog fix. Instant happifying bubbly. Yum. . . or should I say “Cheers!”? If people start getting that feeling every time they come by. . .you can count on the fact that they’ll keep on comin’. Mark my words. . .unless your blog is crap. . .but no worries, it won’t be by the time I’m done with you. “Muahaha!” she said with a sly little grin as she threw her head back in hearty laughter. (Yes, ok, that’s why I’m not a novelist). Moving right along.
  • Say it with me, “Gew Gul Rank ing.” Very good. Google ranking. This is SUCH a broad, highly complex topic. I can not possibly address it in its entirety here. There are too many search engines and too many processes to even skim the surface. Just know that the more you post, the more your name will come up in search engines. It’s a fact. We’ll discuss other ways to optimize yourself. . . in search engines that is. . . below.

2. Share the Love

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.

  • Remember how in the first installment on blogging I talked about the narcissistic tendency of some blogs: “Let me introduce you to the beauty and splendor that is me?” Well that’s a turn off. Period. Yuck. Ew. Get me off your page as quickly as possible and I’m NEVER coming back. Linking to other sites makes you seem kind and helpful and happy to give and share. I promise you it will come full circle. If you link to others often enough, they’ll probably end up linking back to you. Go to their blog or site and send them a comment or little note that says “hey I did a post about you on my blog! You’re so great. If you want to check it out visit xyz.com.” They’ll come over, leave a comment. . .hopefully like what they see. . .eventually return the favor. . .you see where this is heading. It’s like Joni Mitchell once told me, it goes “round and round and round in the circle game.” She’s right. I love you Joni. Forever.
  • Say it with me, “Gew Gul Rank ing.” You’re getting it! Your Google ranking increases with how many people are linking back to your site. This is a good way to start the motion in that regard. But please be genuine. My biggest fear in writing this article is that I’m going to create a bunch of eager, over the top, blog freaks who don’t understand the concept of being genuine and showing respect. . .which leads me to my next tip.

3. R.E.S.P.E.C.T

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.

  • Treat your readers with respect. If they email you, do your best to respond. Even if it’s a simple, “I wish I had time to answer your question, but I’m swamped. Let me refer you to this link I found the other day that you may find helpful.” Don’t just blow them off. You could even have an automatically generated response that says, “please refer to my FAQ (link included).” ANYTHING is better than NOTHING. You may think that it’s no big deal to ignore just one reader. Well, let me illustrate why I am right and you are wrong…he he he. I recently emailed a blogger who shoots with a camera I’ve been eying lustfully (yeah, that $8,000 Canon. YUM.). As it’s (cough, gag, cough) 8k, I’m really trying to cover my bases so that I can justify the expense. I sent this blogger/photographer one simple question. This blogger could have responded in a sentence. In 5 seconds. They didn’t. I used to link to their site from my blog. I don’t anymore. I know what you’re thinking, “They were probably just insanely busy.” You know what, you’re right, they probably were, but if I’m going to recommend their site to my readers, I’ve gotta be certain I’m fond of the person that backs up said site. Soooo I made the choice to remove the link from my favorites. Not in a mean and spiteful kind of way. AT ALL, that is so not like me. But in a “my credibility is worth a lot to me” kind of way. It is. Worth A LOT. So, that’s the choice I made, and I’m standin’ by it. So there.
  • Treat other bloggers with respect. My mom and I had a conversation about this today. Unfortunately we live in a world that sees things in a very obscure way. I’ve talked about this before; it’s a scarcity mentality. In this instance it’s an, “If you get too many readers there won’t be any left for me!!!!!” state of mind. It’s bologna. Nasty bologna. BUT it is nonetheless how the majority of people see the world. Sooooo exercise prudence when you try to solicit readers from other bloggers. IE comments such as, “Hey, if you like this blog, you should totally come and check out mine, here’s the site.” You will not be well received in the blogging community. Plain and simple.
  • Respect yourself by being true to yourself. Make your blog your own. You don’t have to blog like me, nor I like you. Find your niche. Find your zone. Ride your own wave. It’ll feel a whole lot better than trying to match/plagiarize someone else.

4. K.I.R, Keep it REAL

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.

5. Keep it Simple

90 percent of the photographers I contacted when getting ready for this post included the exact words, “Keep it simple.”

Here’s the skinny:

  • You’ve got to keep it simple first off for your sanity. Blogging can easily take over your life. If I ever got to that point I’d drop the blog cold. It’s NOT worth it to me. You’ve gotta keep it simple.
  • Having talked above about being personable and soul bearing, well you’ve still gotta keep it simple. Ever been to a blog, seen a big block of text, and high tailed it outta there? Sure you have. Me too. Keep text brief. Not to say don’t include text. . . though that’s really up to you, but if you do so choose, you have GOT to be brief. If you need to include a large amount of text, be sure to break it up into smaller chunks. Maybe image, bit of text, image, bit of text and so on. Just don’t overwhelm readers with painfully long bits of babble.

6. LARGER than Life

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.

7. Piracy is Better than Obscurity

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.

  • WATERMARK. Have a prominent watermark on your images.
  • Pick a hosting that glues your images to your page. They can still be taken by a screen shot, but obviously not printed, even to 4×6.

8. For the Love of Children Everywhere, Chill

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.

9. Know Your Numbers

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.

10. To Be Continued. . .

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!

  1. Keep it Fresh
  2. Share the Love
  3. R.E.S.P.E.C.T
  4. Keep it Real
  5. Keep it Simple
  6. Larger than Life
  7. Piracy is Better than Obscurity
  8. Chill
  9. Know your Numbers
  10. Check back soon for the follow up!

Happy Shooting and Happy Blogging!

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Natalie Norton is a writer and a lifestyle wedding and portrait photographer who shoots across the globe. She is based off of the North Shore of Oahu and out of Gilbert, Arizona. Enjoy more of her photography and writing at www.natalienortonblog.com. You can also connect with Natalie via Twitter or on Facebook.

  • Shari

    Thanks for the great post. I am considering putting up a photo blog and this is just the insight I needed.

  • http://innerbeing.aminus3.com Debbie

    Thank you so much for your article on the importance of photoblogging. After the first one I read someone’s comment about aminus3.com and I immediately signed up and now enjoy sharing the pictures I take. I’ve been uploading 1-2 photos a day.

    http://innerbeing.aminus3.com

  • http://Blog.basilkhleif.com Basil

    Check out my Photoblog and let me know wat you think…
    http://blog.basilkhleif.com

  • http://shotsbydeb.com Deb

    I just started a blog on my website last fall. I try to post something every month and hope to start doing it more frequently. The blog is the MY NEWS section on my website.

    shotsbydeb.com

  • http://www.thephotographerblog.com Mandy

    I needed this post I have been getting a little down about the growth of my blog at the moment it’s become a bit stagnant.

    But this has brought back a bit of focus to it, a bit of a kick up the behind. Thank you very much!

  • http://natalienortonphoto.com Author: Natalie Norton

    Hi folks. There are a few people in the comment section here who had some questions, soooo here we go. I’m splitting this comment into two because it’s insanely long, be sure to scroll down to find your answer!

    CALVIN: You asked about posting pictures of kids on your blog. That’s a legitimate concern. I was recently at a pro photog workshop where this topic came up. The general consensus was it has got to be a personal decision. I decided to go ahead and put up the shots. . . if I had more a ridiculous amount of traffic, I may feel differently. Lame answer, I know, but no one can really make this decision for you.

    NICK: You wondered about “gluing” photos to the page as I mentioned in the article. I don’t know exactly how it’s done, but the designer I’m working with for my new blog does. I’d find a techie to ask, but like Marcus and Rich said, in the comments above and below respectively, if someone is really determined they will eventually find a way. That said, I’m choosing NOT to glue my images down. I’m choosing to watermark them. I WANT people to grab them and spread them around. IT’S FREE PUBLICITY FRIEND!

    MARTIN: You asked about whether or not a photo blog could contain other content. It’s really your preference. It’s your stomping ground. I do blog personal things sometimes, but I ALWAYS try to post an image. The main purpose of a photoblog in the beginning is to get you out there shooting. If you get it in your head that you can just blog something “else” whatever that may be, you may not get out shooting, which kinda defeats the purpose. OH, and PS- you English is SUPERB!

  • http://natalienortonphoto.com Author: Natalie Norton

    Ok, Natalie here again: answering more questions :)

    Be sure to scroll down (or see above) to find what you’re looking for. :)

    MARKUS: Thanks for the plug!

    LAURIE: You asked about free blog templates. I’ll be discussing that in the final blogging installment coming within the next couple of days here on DPS.

    WADE: You asked for a how to. . . ask and ye shall receive. It’s due out in a couple of days.

    JEFF: Thanks for the link! I for one am excited to check it out! Are you an SEO or what?

    Ok guys, hopefully I covered most of the q’s. Anything I didn’t discuss should be covered in the upcoming post on blogging services and how to choose what’s right for you. Check it out here on DPS in the next couple of days. Darren and I have also been talking about making this a forum topic, so be sure to get all signed up in the forums and we’ll have ourselves a little chat after the post goes up.

    Happy Shooting and Happy Blogging!

    xoxo,

    Natalie

  • http://natalienortonphoto.com Author: Natalie Norton

    Ok, one more thing. All you little tumblers who left the link to your blogs. . . I’ll do my best to stop on by sometime in the next couple of days. When I find my head and get it back up on my shoulders! Crazy week!!

    xoxo,
    N

  • http://michaelandannacosta.com Michael Costa

    Learned so much! I even modified my most recent post to conform to your awesomeness!

  • Mike

    These are great tips to remember. Thanks. I have been toying with the idea of a blog, but as of yet, not started it. My problem is not knowing what to focus on. There are so many interests, it is not easy to pick one. My fury for a topic will burn for a while then I get stumped and set it down and go to the next one (whatever that may be) or something will catch my attention and then it is all or nothing on that subject for a season.

    I think I would just confuse the heck out of my would be readers.

    Aren’t you glad I am not sending you to my blog? ;-)

    Mike

  • http://lindseyellen.com Lindsey

    Hey! I just found this post and had a questions. I’m in the process of building a blog on blogger and wondered how to make your photos bigger (as you suggested). I did the whole upload them to flickr first thing but I don’t like that when you click on a photo it takes you to the flickr site…seems a little tacky. SO, I know people on blogger have big photos that are not linked to flickr how do people make photos bigger on blogger???

  • http://natalienortonphoto.com Natalie Norton

    Lindsey,

    I don’t know, HOWEVER check this link and you’ll probably be able to find the info you need.

    http://bloggerfordummies.blogspot.com/

    Good luck!!

    Natalie

  • http://blessed-inabundance.blogspot.com/ Lisa

    This was very helpful…I’m anxious to take these things to heart. I’m new to photography, but ready to learn and dig in…looks like your site and DPS will be most helpful!

  • http://www.doityourselfershelper.com/ do it yourself

    Very good blog. I enjoy taking pictures an have found ways to make my blogs more interesting, unique and clear by usineg photos. Digital is SOOOO nice. Easy to work with great quality presentation.

  • http://www.foto-wire.com Peter Salisbury

    Hi there. I just found this post a few moments ago and thought it was great. I’m just setting out with blogging, so found what you said very helpful. Thank you.
    Peter

  • http://www.imagineitkc.com Erin Hernandez-Reisner

    Hi Natalie,

    I have no idea how old this post is…I GOOOGLED the prase, “Blogs for Photographers” and her I was. I wanted to say thank you. I have been looking and looking at the right blog for me and honestly I still am. I have a blog that is there but doesn’t work well for me. To K.I.R I don’t even like to go there. :) I was wanting to know where good places are to get blogs. I am hoping to find something not to expensive. There are some amazing sites but they are as of right now above my budget. I didn’t know if you could suggest something for me.

    Thank you again for the article, I love the way you write.
    I hope to hear back from you
    -Erin

  • http://www.natalienortonphoto.com Author: Natalie Norton

    Erin,

    There are so many free services out there, but it’s sounding like you want something custom. My custom blog is in the works and it’s running me roughly 3k. HOWEVER there are ways to cut costs. I’ve heard of friends who have found coders in other countries, specifically India, who were able to code her blog for next to nothing. However, the main thing with a custom blog that tends to get costly is the design. The more prepared you are with exactly what you’re looking for the less time your designer will have to spend on their end and this can cut costs.

    There are so many companies who do custom blog design, but for you and your budget I might suggest finding a newer free lance designer who wants to build his/her porfolio. Then you’d be more likely to get a bargain.

    Maybe try craigslist??

    Good luck!

    Natalie

  • http://buonaluce.net Alessandro Burato

    Just wanted to say thanks for the uber-useful post. Sometimes I feel frustrated as it’s very difficult to build an audience. But I’ll try to follow your tips and just keep shooting & posting!

    Meanwhile, if you want to check my humble photoblog, feel free to do it and (maybe) leave a comment!

  • http://tchrismartin.blogspot.com/ Chris Martin

    Very nice list Natalie. This is great advice for novice and seasoned bloggers. Thanks.

    Speaking of Jasmine Star, here is some other recent blog advice: Look on page 4.

  • http://heart2heartdesigns.typepad.com/digital_scrapbooking heart2heartdesigns

    Great stuff here! It’s really got me rethinking my blogs. Thanks so much!

  • Edson

    In regards to your #6 Larger Than Life comment, I thought this link might come in handy for some specs on certain wordpress themes.

    http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/maximum-image-width/

    It gives you the themes maximum upload widths and the actual tested widths that work without image distortion or cutoff.

    Love your posts BTW. Working on my blog to get it up and running…

  • Laura

    YOu’ve inspired me to start my own photoblog, thank you Nathalie!

  • http://digitalbeautyphotography.blogspot.com/ DBPhotos

    I am a budding photographer, having recently purchased my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D90. I have no 35mm film experience so I take that as a clean slate to learn the right way to do things. The D90 might have been a big jump for a beginner but I wanted something I would not outgrow quickly. Now I am learning the basics of Photography as well as all the buttons on the camera. Your blog is very helpful and I wanted to say Thank You and I look forward to your new one. BTW I added you to “My Blog List” on my blogsite. YOU rock…

  • http://www.shellynortonphotography.blogspot.com Shelly

    I’ve already read all your articles but NOW I’m really LEARNING from them! Thanks, Natalie!

Some older comments

  • Shelly

    November 24, 2010 06:32 am

    I've already read all your articles but NOW I'm really LEARNING from them! Thanks, Natalie!

  • DBPhotos

    October 15, 2010 12:18 pm

    I am a budding photographer, having recently purchased my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D90. I have no 35mm film experience so I take that as a clean slate to learn the right way to do things. The D90 might have been a big jump for a beginner but I wanted something I would not outgrow quickly. Now I am learning the basics of Photography as well as all the buttons on the camera. Your blog is very helpful and I wanted to say Thank You and I look forward to your new one. BTW I added you to "My Blog List" on my blogsite. YOU rock...

  • Laura

    April 21, 2010 03:43 pm

    YOu've inspired me to start my own photoblog, thank you Nathalie!

  • Edson

    December 24, 2009 07:56 am

    In regards to your #6 Larger Than Life comment, I thought this link might come in handy for some specs on certain wordpress themes.

    http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/maximum-image-width/

    It gives you the themes maximum upload widths and the actual tested widths that work without image distortion or cutoff.

    Love your posts BTW. Working on my blog to get it up and running...

  • heart2heartdesigns

    May 29, 2009 11:55 pm

    Great stuff here! It's really got me rethinking my blogs. Thanks so much!

  • Chris Martin

    May 9, 2009 07:23 am

    Very nice list Natalie. This is great advice for novice and seasoned bloggers. Thanks.

    Speaking of Jasmine Star, here is some other recent blog advice: Look on page 4.

  • Alessandro Burato

    February 2, 2009 07:54 am

    Just wanted to say thanks for the uber-useful post. Sometimes I feel frustrated as it's very difficult to build an audience. But I'll try to follow your tips and just keep shooting & posting!

    Meanwhile, if you want to check my humble photoblog, feel free to do it and (maybe) leave a comment!

  • Author: Natalie Norton

    January 19, 2009 06:04 pm

    Erin,

    There are so many free services out there, but it's sounding like you want something custom. My custom blog is in the works and it's running me roughly 3k. HOWEVER there are ways to cut costs. I've heard of friends who have found coders in other countries, specifically India, who were able to code her blog for next to nothing. However, the main thing with a custom blog that tends to get costly is the design. The more prepared you are with exactly what you're looking for the less time your designer will have to spend on their end and this can cut costs.

    There are so many companies who do custom blog design, but for you and your budget I might suggest finding a newer free lance designer who wants to build his/her porfolio. Then you'd be more likely to get a bargain.

    Maybe try craigslist??

    Good luck!

    Natalie

  • Erin Hernandez-Reisner

    January 19, 2009 11:34 am

    Hi Natalie,

    I have no idea how old this post is...I GOOOGLED the prase, "Blogs for Photographers" and her I was. I wanted to say thank you. I have been looking and looking at the right blog for me and honestly I still am. I have a blog that is there but doesn't work well for me. To K.I.R I don't even like to go there. :) I was wanting to know where good places are to get blogs. I am hoping to find something not to expensive. There are some amazing sites but they are as of right now above my budget. I didn't know if you could suggest something for me.

    Thank you again for the article, I love the way you write.
    I hope to hear back from you
    -Erin

  • Peter Salisbury

    January 15, 2009 10:22 am

    Hi there. I just found this post a few moments ago and thought it was great. I'm just setting out with blogging, so found what you said very helpful. Thank you.
    Peter

  • do it yourself

    November 27, 2008 03:09 pm

    Very good blog. I enjoy taking pictures an have found ways to make my blogs more interesting, unique and clear by usineg photos. Digital is SOOOO nice. Easy to work with great quality presentation.

  • Lisa

    September 25, 2008 05:53 am

    This was very helpful...I'm anxious to take these things to heart. I'm new to photography, but ready to learn and dig in...looks like your site and DPS will be most helpful!

  • Natalie Norton

    August 2, 2008 10:55 am

    Lindsey,

    I don't know, HOWEVER check this link and you'll probably be able to find the info you need.

    http://bloggerfordummies.blogspot.com/

    Good luck!!

    Natalie

  • Lindsey

    August 2, 2008 08:58 am

    Hey! I just found this post and had a questions. I'm in the process of building a blog on blogger and wondered how to make your photos bigger (as you suggested). I did the whole upload them to flickr first thing but I don't like that when you click on a photo it takes you to the flickr site...seems a little tacky. SO, I know people on blogger have big photos that are not linked to flickr how do people make photos bigger on blogger???

  • Mike

    April 29, 2008 01:31 pm

    These are great tips to remember. Thanks. I have been toying with the idea of a blog, but as of yet, not started it. My problem is not knowing what to focus on. There are so many interests, it is not easy to pick one. My fury for a topic will burn for a while then I get stumped and set it down and go to the next one (whatever that may be) or something will catch my attention and then it is all or nothing on that subject for a season.

    I think I would just confuse the heck out of my would be readers.

    Aren't you glad I am not sending you to my blog? ;-)

    Mike

  • Michael Costa

    April 29, 2008 12:59 pm

    Learned so much! I even modified my most recent post to conform to your awesomeness!

  • Author: Natalie Norton

    April 29, 2008 02:12 am

    Ok, one more thing. All you little tumblers who left the link to your blogs. . . I'll do my best to stop on by sometime in the next couple of days. When I find my head and get it back up on my shoulders! Crazy week!!

    xoxo,
    N

  • Author: Natalie Norton

    April 29, 2008 02:11 am

    Ok, Natalie here again: answering more questions :)

    Be sure to scroll down (or see above) to find what you're looking for. :)

    MARKUS: Thanks for the plug!

    LAURIE: You asked about free blog templates. I'll be discussing that in the final blogging installment coming within the next couple of days here on DPS.

    WADE: You asked for a how to. . . ask and ye shall receive. It's due out in a couple of days.

    JEFF: Thanks for the link! I for one am excited to check it out! Are you an SEO or what?

    Ok guys, hopefully I covered most of the q's. Anything I didn't discuss should be covered in the upcoming post on blogging services and how to choose what's right for you. Check it out here on DPS in the next couple of days. Darren and I have also been talking about making this a forum topic, so be sure to get all signed up in the forums and we'll have ourselves a little chat after the post goes up.

    Happy Shooting and Happy Blogging!

    xoxo,

    Natalie

  • Author: Natalie Norton

    April 29, 2008 02:01 am

    Hi folks. There are a few people in the comment section here who had some questions, soooo here we go. I'm splitting this comment into two because it's insanely long, be sure to scroll down to find your answer!

    CALVIN: You asked about posting pictures of kids on your blog. That's a legitimate concern. I was recently at a pro photog workshop where this topic came up. The general consensus was it has got to be a personal decision. I decided to go ahead and put up the shots. . . if I had more a ridiculous amount of traffic, I may feel differently. Lame answer, I know, but no one can really make this decision for you.

    NICK: You wondered about "gluing" photos to the page as I mentioned in the article. I don't know exactly how it's done, but the designer I'm working with for my new blog does. I'd find a techie to ask, but like Marcus and Rich said, in the comments above and below respectively, if someone is really determined they will eventually find a way. That said, I'm choosing NOT to glue my images down. I'm choosing to watermark them. I WANT people to grab them and spread them around. IT'S FREE PUBLICITY FRIEND!

    MARTIN: You asked about whether or not a photo blog could contain other content. It's really your preference. It's your stomping ground. I do blog personal things sometimes, but I ALWAYS try to post an image. The main purpose of a photoblog in the beginning is to get you out there shooting. If you get it in your head that you can just blog something "else" whatever that may be, you may not get out shooting, which kinda defeats the purpose. OH, and PS- you English is SUPERB!

  • Mandy

    April 28, 2008 06:50 am

    I needed this post I have been getting a little down about the growth of my blog at the moment it's become a bit stagnant.

    But this has brought back a bit of focus to it, a bit of a kick up the behind. Thank you very much!

  • Deb

    April 28, 2008 03:20 am

    I just started a blog on my website last fall. I try to post something every month and hope to start doing it more frequently. The blog is the MY NEWS section on my website.

    shotsbydeb.com

  • Basil

    April 27, 2008 10:22 pm

    Check out my Photoblog and let me know wat you think...
    http://blog.basilkhleif.com

  • Debbie

    April 27, 2008 11:48 am

    Thank you so much for your article on the importance of photoblogging. After the first one I read someone's comment about aminus3.com and I immediately signed up and now enjoy sharing the pictures I take. I've been uploading 1-2 photos a day.

    http://innerbeing.aminus3.com

  • Shari

    April 27, 2008 07:45 am

    Thanks for the great post. I am considering putting up a photo blog and this is just the insight I needed.

  • jeff campbell

    April 26, 2008 02:50 am

    Good article. As my day job is to get traffic (and analyze it) for websites, here are a few more tips for bloggers looking to gain readers:
    http://www.findresolution.com/2008/03/seo-blogging-best-practices.html

  • Marissa

    April 26, 2008 01:46 am

    This is so insightful and useful, thanks Natalie! It comes at the perfect time for me as I'm starting one up for myself. I will be waiting on pins and needles for the follow-up posts.

  • Carrie Harvey

    April 26, 2008 01:06 am

    I have had a blog for a few years now...originally started to keep family and friends in other parts of the world updated. I love the advice in this article! Taking it to heart!!

  • Kirk

    April 26, 2008 01:02 am

    Thanks for the informative article. I'm going to start tightening up the old blog ASAP! Thanks again. Kirk

  • Meredith Williams

    April 25, 2008 12:15 pm

    Hi,

    I found your site through Jasmine Star, great article! It was so timely since I am just now in the process (literally, today!) of changing to BIG photos on my site. Of course, inspired by Jasmine's blog! So happy that I found your site, the articles look great :)

    Meredith

  • Kaz Kiss

    April 25, 2008 10:15 am

    Hey Nat, Thank you so much for sharing! Im totally new to the idea of blogging but buzzed by it all the same. We all have such diverse lives and perspectives... what a great way to share. Thank you again, Im sooo looking forward to your next instalment!

  • Natalia

    April 25, 2008 09:19 am

    Natalie:
    Thanks a lot for sharing. You are so fun and gentle writing... Is inspiring!
    I have visited your blog, sorry, i left no comments. But the next time i´ll do it.

  • OneCowgirl

    April 25, 2008 07:19 am

    I have no idea how I found your blog but you've got great advice! Love your list of ten. Thank you.

  • Wade Simon

    April 25, 2008 05:38 am

    Was there a how too that went with this? I'm not even sure how to do this. I have a slightly vague idea, but that's about it. Could we get a post on the more "technical" side of blogging. Like what do we need to know, and where should we go to do this? Sorry if that is a naive newbie thing to ask.

  • Richard

    April 25, 2008 05:18 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us Natalie. I'm willing to read the second part :)

  • Laurie

    April 25, 2008 03:34 am

    Hi there,

    I've just started a blog for my photography and have enjoyed reading this post as well as the previous one. I also thought having a blog was so gratuitus but I find that the few people that do visit it really do enjoy it. I do wish I could have a different format but don't know too much about html or formitting. Also want to have a free blog as I already have a website that I pay for.

    Have you used any of the free blog templates??

    Thank you
    Laurie
    www.laurieoneil.blogspot.com/

  • Roger McCarty

    April 25, 2008 03:31 am

    Natalie

    Thank you for reinforcing the idea that a photo-blog is mostly about the photographs and less about the words. Some day my writing will add value. Until that time I can be happy sharing my images!

  • Markus Puustinen

    April 25, 2008 03:10 am

    Great tips!

    I’ll start applying them immediately by mentioning that I featured your post on my blog at: http://markuspuustinen.com/index.php?showimage=478

  • Amy

    April 25, 2008 03:03 am

    Hey Natalie,
    I'm a regular lurker on your blog, you're listed in my favorites and I check it daily. You really do rock! Thanks for the great tips, I just have to find the time to create myself a blog - I think it's a great way to get "out there!" You always know how to inspire me.... Thanks again!

  • Homeboy's Skiing Blog

    April 25, 2008 03:01 am

    Hey, this same applies with any blogs you write, not just photo blogs. I write about skiing, music, astronomy and few other topics, and your tips work with my blogging as well.

    Thanks for these tips! Back to the basics!

  • Rich

    April 25, 2008 02:58 am

    Unfortunately there's no such thing as a webhost that'll "glue images to the page" because if it's transmitted as a jpeg someone can extract that file somehow from temporary files or the like. The only way would be to use flash but that just makes life miserable for your readers.
    The trick is to chill out, unless your image is being used to advertise porn or Coca cola then relax and realize that's life.

    More importantly, have your photoblog feel like a blog. That means you must have your content arranged chronologically down the page, with links to older archives somewhere easy to find. Try and have tags or similar so people can find similar posts. Make life easy both for people who will visit every day and those who will visit once but will trawl your entire back catalogue that day.

  • Sabrina

    April 25, 2008 02:18 am

    Great article! You've inspired to start my own photoblog!

  • New York City Wedding Photographer

    April 25, 2008 02:01 am

    I love it! Useful. Insightful. way to K.I.R. I would definitely add "find your voice" to the list. Trying to show photos or create a blog that too closely resembles the style of a pre-eminent photographer aint cool. obviously our industry is loaded with trends but we will always remember trendsetters so....be yourself and focus on finding your own creative voice.

    Peace,
    Parris Whittingham

  • Joni

    April 25, 2008 12:34 am

    Thanks so much for this article and for sharing so much with us. It's great to come across someone who's helpful instead of stingey with their knowledge. Not to mention hilarious! Great job!

  • anamika

    April 25, 2008 12:28 am

    Thanks for a very informative article. I don't have a photo-blog currently but these tips are pushing me towards creating one :)

  • Charlene Anderson

    April 25, 2008 12:23 am

    Post often, post often, post often. Blog readers want new content all the time. The more I post the more readers I find I have.

    Char

  • Mo

    April 24, 2008 11:10 pm

    I had to post a link to DPS on my very first photoblog. This site has a lot of good information for beginners like me. Now I have the motivation to get out almost everyday with my camera. Thanks and Keep up the great work!

  • mw

    April 24, 2008 10:30 pm

    User interface is also really important. This obviously gets into web design basics here - but people need to know exactly how to get to your other pictures easily (with a short load time).

  • Justyna

    April 24, 2008 10:14 pm

    Thanks for all the great tips :o)

  • jessica peterson

    April 24, 2008 08:30 pm

    great article. and great writing!! entertaining enough to keep me from 'goodness me' to your crazy boys in oahu...I'll be bookmarking you now, tyvm.

  • Ruprect

    April 24, 2008 07:19 pm

    Hi Natalie,

    First of all thank you for your articles on Photo blogging, it made me start my own photo blog.

    Up until a week ago I had my normal textual/video/images blog at http://ka.nelgiffel.dk/ and I also used flickr and Ipernity to display my creative sides, but you gave me a boost in the right direction and I have installed Pixelpost which is an excellent photo blogging tool (and it also integrates nicely with my Lightroom via a addon).

    The use of a Photo blog makes it faster and easier to post your latest shot, instead of having to type up a lengthy post I just right-click my image in Lightroom and export directly online. In my opinion Text blog are for text and images, not only images.

    The only thing I forgot was the Google Analytics, but as soon as the article was read i added that.

    Regards,
    Michael Nielsen
    Denmark

  • martin

    April 24, 2008 05:57 pm

    hey there! thanks for your tips! really really interesting! especially because im just setting up my phot-blog :) what i am still wondering about: you say that one should blog as often as he can. what if i dont shoot everyday? ok i could use older pics. but how about blogging "something"? like regular blogger stuff like "today was a strike at the tram. i had to walk home the 12 miles" . .. or should a photoblog only be used for photos, equipment and so on? whats your opinion?

    sorry for my maybe weird english .. i´m german . .and not really awake yet ;)
    byebye and keep on your good work!
    martin

  • Denise

    April 24, 2008 03:07 pm

    I found your blog through Jessica claire (I think) and thanks so much for this post. I just started out in photography and got my blog going - this definitely helps :)

  • nick w.

    April 24, 2008 02:48 pm

    Thanks for the article, it was a great help. Can anyone recommend a photo hosting site that "glues" the posted images to the page?

  • michelle ellis

    April 24, 2008 02:33 pm

    Natalie you R O C K!

    Great article!

  • Mary

    April 24, 2008 02:29 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I began a photoblog months ago but just let it fall to the wayside. I have renewed inspiration now, and plan to revive it in the coming weeks.

    Thanks again and I'm looking forward to the next installment!

  • shelly

    April 24, 2008 12:48 pm

    I just checked out Aaron Snyder's (above) blog. Wow! Really, really good. Aaron, I can't believe you're in high school! You've got quite the talent. I kept trying to comment on the great photo you posted (smiling older man), but each time I tried, it "aborted". I don't know if you're aware of a problem, but it doesn't happen to me on any other site. May be a glitch.
    Once again, Natalie, thanks for these posts on photo blogging. It's been very informative!

  • Jasmine*

    April 24, 2008 11:20 am

    Natalie...you rock my world! Thanks for such a great article! :)

  • Gary

    April 24, 2008 08:49 am

    Something very important I learned the hard way....

    Most photo blogs I've noticed get the majority of their traffic from Google Images. If you host your images off site, Google will not send any traffic to your site. You have to host the image yourself if you want to get any search engine traffic.

    I use Flickr, but when I put an image on my site, I make a copy of the image and host it directly on my server. It is more bandwidth and storage, but you also get the traffic as well.

  • Aaron Snyder

    April 24, 2008 08:42 am

    I really love DPS, I've been WAY too much of a lurker so I've decided to share my two cents.

    I've had a photography blog, aaronsnyder.net, up and running for the last four or five months. I can say that hands down the best thing you can do is to post OFTEN. Whenever I'm posting every day/every other day, I'm getting the most visitors. Now-- my skills aren't the best- I'm only in high school. But last month I had well over 20k page views and a google PR of 4. Not bad considering I usually put up short posts and a plethora of pictures.
    Another thing I reccomend for photo blogs is to tell how you took a shot, what you were thinking, what technical skills you were honing in on. I've written a few portraiture guides and consistently get hits on them from google.
    So yeah I got to say there are three real killers to a blog:
    school, work, girlfriends. Taking the time to get a picture (in my case multiple) every day or every other day is VERY hard. Just this month I've had taken on a landscaping job, as well as 3 ap classes, and it's been a week since I shot my first wedding and still the pics aren't online. So yeah, what I'm saying is- if you wan't to have a good blog with lots of hits, you need to invest time into the content.

    The key works being _Time_ and _Content_. If you put a lot of those two into your blog I can garuntee you will be seeing more steady traffic.

    I have only updated my blog twice this month and I've still got over 1200 visits and 9000 page views. Why? Because not only do I have good content on there but I have content that people want to come back to. For example-- I hate, hate, shooting school sports. But I know that by going out and shooting the high school basketball championship I'll get a bunch of hits on my site. People always want to see themselves or their children online- so that's why I'm still getting on soccer games I shot in October. Yes- it may be prostituting your talents by shooting stuff you hate, but in my opinion it's another investment of _time_ and _content_ that will hopefully bring more visitors to see the stuff I love to shoot. (Street, candids, portraiture, abandoned places...)

    Anyways- I hope this wasn't too long winded, just a bit of my experience. Also- those numbers weren't meant to be cocky or anything, just to give an idea of how easily one can move up in the blogosphere if one wants to invest the time.

    -Aaron Snyder

  • Richard

    April 24, 2008 08:23 am

    AWE.SOME.

    Thank you so much for this detailed post. This the most thorough, practical article I've read on blogging anywhere!

  • Fiona

    April 24, 2008 07:26 am

    I look forward to your posts here every week, Natalie. And today, as usual, I'm lovin it! Thanks for so much good, juicy meat.

  • marcus

    April 24, 2008 05:51 am

    I agree with the point about piracy being better than obscurity. However, I think the comment about gluing images to your page is a bit misleading. There is absolutely no way to prevent images from being stolen and reused elsewhere on the internet. Your host can prevent images from being hotlinked, and you can use dirty browser tricks like disabling right click, but these are only deterrents. They're very easy to get around, and won't stop anyone intent on stealing your images.

    The best way to protect your images from unauthorized printing is to post low-resolution images online. 900 px image @ 72dpi is just fine for viewing on a computer monitor, but will look bad if printed larger than 3 inches. If you're images are going to get stolen, and they will, you don't want the thieves to have access to high quality images that can be turned into prints.

  • Calvin Hill

    April 24, 2008 04:31 am

    This is a great post. Thank you. I have just started photoblogging recently too. Though, I have concerns of putting pictures of clients on it. What I mean is, when I get the opportunity to do a kid photo session, I don't feel comfortable with adding their pictures to it. I don't mind adding adult pictures from my session(s). It isn't a problem of letting the client know as much as it is that I don't post my own kids on sites that I know that have lots of hits. What are your thoughts on this? or Anyone else's thoughts?

    Thanks

  • Luke

    April 24, 2008 04:00 am

    Great stuff as usual. I will be revitalizing my blog in the next month. I will keep these all in mind!

  • Christine

    April 24, 2008 03:57 am

    Another great post! I like writing and I like photography. That's why I have 2 seperate blogs... one is just kept simple and for showing off photos. Wouldn't have it any other way! I love visiting photoblogs but rarely read it if it is long-winded.

    One thing you mentioned... you have that many visitors but only 5 comments. I tend to be a lurker too. I am making a mental note to comment more often on my blogs I visited. I know it makes my day when I get a comment on mine! :D

  • D. T. North

    April 24, 2008 03:48 am

    I'm in the same boat as Fredrick Steffen...started a blog not too long ago. Of course, after reading your post here, I think there are a few things I could afford to tweak.

    'Evolve' should be a major item. In the short time I've been running my blog, I've already learned that there are some things that could be improved and some things I've tweaked here and there. For example...my site didn't render perfectly in IE6 - analytics told me that more than half my viewers were still using IE6. Guess what...I had to swallow that pill and make my site backwards compatible.

    Great post and some great tips. Thanks,

  • Tombo

    April 24, 2008 03:22 am

    Very nice article. I wholeheartedly agree about linking to other people. That is one way that people find your blog (you'd be amazed at how many people watch their backlinks).

    Also - don't be afraid to comment on other people's blogs. Lots of people find new blogs by visiting the comment sections of the blogs they go to everyday. If they like what somebody is saying, they go check out that person's site too. I know I do this on a regular basis.

  • Max

    April 24, 2008 03:21 am

    Regarding piracy, a photo blog is a great opportunity to take advantage of Creative Commons (www.creativecommons.org). This is a set of licensing options that allows you to retain copyright and to make your photos available for certain uses with certain conditions quickly and easily.

  • Shelly

    April 24, 2008 03:16 am

    Natalie, what a great article! I'm a serious blog READER, and each of the points you made are things that make me want to return time and time again to a blog. Thank you!

  • The Author: Natalie Norton

    April 24, 2008 02:51 am

    Hi folks! Sorry for such a TEXTY piece. I just wanted to be sure it was thorough! Thanks for stickin' it out to the end!

    Now, SULE:

    I recently started a photo blog for my 4 year old (at his request). It's so fun! You can check it out at raleighnortonphoto.blogspot.com.

  • Sule Bryan

    April 24, 2008 02:42 am

    This is a great article. I'm thinking about setting up a blog for my son who has taken an interest in photography. He's almost 3yrs but it's amazing to see what he manages and chooses to capture.

    thanks again.

  • Jill

    April 24, 2008 02:31 am

    What a great article, Natalie!! I love your sense of humor!! What great advice...right now I just post my pictures to my 'regular' blog from time to time, but you make me want to go out a start a DEDICATED photo blog just to utilize all your great tips!

  • Fredrik Steffen

    April 24, 2008 02:10 am

    Good pointers. I started a photoblog last month and I'm amazed by how fast the number of visitors will increase. Last month I had 10 per day, this month 34 per day.

  • taryn

    April 24, 2008 02:08 am

    thanks for this great article! i'm going to work on my blog right now!

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