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Blog Power – Why You Should Consider Setting up a Photoblog

In this article Natalie Norton discusses how creating a personal photography weblog can help you hone your skills as a photographer.

picture-5.png

The image to the left is the header of my personal photo blog.

The general idea of a blog gives me the giggles. If I think about it in a certain way, it seems borderline narcissistic. “I’m Soooo wonderful that I MUST self publish so the world can be a part of the glory that is me.” Kinda forces you to crack a smile and nod in agreement, eh? I recently saw a man wearing a shirt that said, “I’m SO blogging this.” I was watching television not long ago and after a big “to do” the main character said something to the effect of, “If I had a blog, this would be a big day for me.” I remember the first time (in the relatively recent past) someone suggested I check out their blog. I had absolutely NO concept of what on Earth they could be taking about. For all I knew it was a medical condition and I may want to keep my distance. So what is this blog mania that has swept the world, and what does it mean to you as a photographer?

10 Reasons to Set Up a Photoblog

Here are 10 reasons you may want to consider getting a photo blog of your own, particularly if you really are serious about becoming a notable photographer and/or making the jump to the status of professional.

1. It’ll Turn Up the Heat:

My blog has been a phenomenal motivational tool for me. I truly believe that ultimately, technical jargon aside, the best thing you can do to achieve steady improvement as a photographer is get out and shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. A blog will light the fire under you to get out and do just that. It does this by causing you to feel accountable in two arenas. First off, in order to keep readers, you feel accountable to post new images regularly, thus ensuring that you’re out there shooting. Second, you feel pressure to post your very best, thus you feel pressure to stay on top of your craft. For me, even lack of traffic in the early days of my blog didn’t let me off the hook. In the beginning I still felt that sense of accountability even though I’m almost certain that at that point there were only 4 people checking my blog on a regular basis, two of whom were my parents.

2. Track Your Progress:

Blogs are a fantastic way to track your progress. If you were to take a second to search through the archives of my personal blog, my growth as a photographer would be beyond merely evident. It’s so fun for me to look back and see how far I’ve come, particularly when I’m feeling discouraged by the prospect of how far I still have to go!

3. Feedback:

Photo blogs are excellent places to receive feedback. If you’re serious about becoming a better photographer, you may find it helpful to ask others what they think of your work. I know this is scary, but it can be invaluable. Post a picture and ask your readers to comment with their thoughts. NOTE: don’t be discouraged if not every comment is complimentary- positive comments may boost confidence, but sometimes it’s the negative ones that really lead us to great achievement.

4. Marketing:

Blogs are a great way to get your name out there. People will find you who NEVER would have otherwise. If you have a plan to make the push at some point to the status of professional, or if you’re a pro already, there’s no greater (or cheaper) way to get your name out there than a photo blog.

5. Publicity:

Publicity is more than marketing, more than just getting your name out there. Anyone can do that by simply paying for an advertisement in a magazine or newspaper. Publicity is actually EARNING people’s attention because of the quality of the work you’re pumping out. As you continue shooting and posting your work on your blog, you’ll soon find that people are recommending that their friends and family go visit your blog. Then they tell their friends. Then they tell THEIR friends. And so on and so forth. This is what you’re gong for. You’ll be amazed as this process truly spreads like wildfire. Along with this, remember that it’s one thing when you see an ad in a paper for a photographer, it’s another thing when someone tells you, “Oh my gosh! You’ve got to check out so and so’s photography blog. It’s fantastic!” Which publicity seems more credible? Clearly the second because it’s unsolicited. It’s genuine.

6. Relationship:

Blogs are a great way to create a more personal relationship with potential clients. They not only have an opportunity to see your work on a regular basis, but they also get to know you through the text you include. Then when they’re looking to hire a photographer, you’ll be first on their list, because though you don’t know much, if anything, about them, they on the other hand feel like you’re an old friend.

7. Announcements:

I commonly get people asking me how I built my portfolio so quickly. Well, here you go: I announced promotions (and hosted give aways) on my blog. When I noticed that I needed to do more head shots to plump up that aspect of my portfolio, for example, I did a post on my blog offering one lucky winner a free head shot sitting. Then I offered discounted sittings to 3 other readers ($30 for a half hour down from $100). I quickly had filled the discounted slots and booked a handful of other clients at full price. It was astonishing. It all happened within the space of a couple of HOURS. Lets say you’re not really prepared enough to be charging but are desperate for experience. In the VERY beginning, when I had JUST bought my first DSLR, I spread the word that I was looking to gain experience and would be happy to photograph families for their Christmas cards for free. I was RIDICULOUSLY BUSY for about a month before Christmas that year. It was a fantastic way to get some experience under my belt in a relatively short amount of time. I know it seems crazy to give away so much time for free, but I’ll tell you what, I was so passionate, so desperate to learn about photography, I probably would have paid THEM to LET me take their pictures. Actually getting out and SHOOTING is FAR more effective in my opinion than any class you could take. EVER.

8. Networking:

Blogs are a great way to build a network with other photographers, up and coming and pro alike. You can link back and forth, offer feedback, publicize each other’s events and promotions. The possibilities are endless. For more information on the importance of this tip, check out my recent DPS article on Networking.

9. Testimonials:

I’m currently in the process of designing my new blog and website. There will obviously be a section of testimonials. Thankfully, because of all the wonderful comments on my blog, all the testimonials will be completely unsolicited. It’s so wonderful to read through the comments people have made about my work, clearly because it boosts my confidence but it’s proving useful in another way too- AWESOME, GENUINE, UNSOLICITED TESTIMONIALS!

10. It’s Plain ol’ Fun:

Blogging is just so darn fun. It’s that simple. It’s just fun to go out and shoot, come out of it with something you’re proud of and immediately have an audience to showcase it for. It’s wonderfully wonderful in every way.

Little did I know 1 year ago when I first began my life as a blogger that it would literally change they way I saw my world, push me to greater heights as a photographer and literally put my career in hyper-drive.

THE BOTTOM LINE?

Blogs are powerful. It’s quite remarkable the reach of a well thought out blog. If you’d like to encourage yourself to keep on shooting, keep on improving and perhaps to get your name out there in the photography industry, I definitely suggest you create a photo blog. Be sure to check back in the next week for the follow up to this post entitled, Building Your Blog: 10 things to consider when building your own rockin’ photo blog.

Happy Blogging!

If you enjoyed this article, you might also like...

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.

  • Greg

    Ok you pushed me over the edge! I have been studying blogging for a year and even have the software for a business blog and have not taken the leap. You pushed me off the edge and I am in free fall wish me luck.

  • http://photoblog.hoguechronicle.com Christine

    Great post! I agree with # 2 especially! I’ve had my photoblog for only a short time but I can already see progress in my skills. It also encourages me to try harder so I can keep improving. But I have the same problem as Irene: I don’t have many visitors! LOL

    Oh, and I use PixelPost for my photoblog. Very, very easy to setup and customize. :-P

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/rajatbansal Rajat

    Great post.

    this blog is going to push me to start my blog in near future. Waiting for your next post.:)

  • http://sightings.loneroad.info AC

    It just makes sense to have your own set of snaps to showcase. You can see your growth as a photographer and what interested you at what time. Acts as a bit of introspection as well.

  • Shelly

    I’m learning so much from all of your comments! Things I’ve never even thought of. Thanks so all of you for sharing!

  • http://thefadingrose.blogspot.com/ Gillian

    A very inspiring article – thank you. I too have a photoblog – at least it’s mostly photos.
    For anyone who is concerned that they don’t get many visitors or comments – it may help if you visit other blogs and whenever you genuinely enjoy the work make sure you leave a comment. It makes a difference and often people will return the favour. Slowly you build up a network of like-minded blogging friends. They make a list of blog-links on their sidebar and then more people discover your blog.
    Have you noticed too that there is a building fraternity of Daily City photo blogs? I’d love to join in but I live out in the country!
    My blog is: http://thefadingrose.blogspot.com/

  • http://Photo.SRLarsen.com Scott Larsen

    As others have said, your blogging has been inspirational, as is your actual (photographic) work. I’m curious if you can divulge anything about your updated blog. I’m just curious if you’re planning on staying with blogspot/ blogger, i.e. whether you’re happy with your current setup. I’m setting up a blog for a rapidly approaching (photo) trip to India and don’t know whether to go with blogger, wordpress or other. I have the option of hosting it on my own site but doing my own setup may be a little too much to ask before I leave (in three weeks). Let me know if you (or any of the other commenters) have any recommendations. Keep up the fantastic work.

    Thanks,
    Scott – http://Photo.SRLarsen.com

  • http://cavesinarizona.ya.ru/?ncrnd=161&ncrnd=720610 doug

    i am just starting and need advise/criticism.
    http://cavesinarizona.ya.ru/?ncrnd=161&ncrnd=720610

  • http://www.neochai1983.com Neo Chai

    This is such a Great Post! I’m very agree with all your point and personally I’ve set up my own photoblog since Nov 2007. Still consider new but have quite some visitors to my blog everyday..

    You guys can go and have a look at my photoblog at http://www.neochai1983.com

    Thanks..

  • http://www.thehaguedailyphoto.blogspot.com/ Lezard

    I totally agree! I started my photoblog over The Hague (Netherlands) 6 months ago, as part of the great City Daily Photo community. Though I’m a very amateur photographer, I have been enjoying everyday of this experience. As you say Nathalie, it really pushed me out to make some shots to publish on my blog. What I need now is to get a step further and increase my traffic, to get more comments and critics on the shots.

    Check it at http://www.thehaguedailyphoto.blogspot.com and join us!

  • http://www.big-easy-footage-library-software.co.uk Video library software

    Nice info! I also have blog, but related mostly to video. How can we keep in touch?

  • http://www.gshroti-fotoblog.com gshroti

    i do enjoy my fotoblog as above website and people love it.

  • http://www.gshroti-fotoblog.com gshroti

    a self expression idea. your mind is full. open it and let the thought flow to other people.

  • Smiles!!!

    I enjoyed reading this article, the comments too. But I do HAVE A QUESTION. hOW WORRIED DO i NEED TO BE ABOUT PEOPLE STEALING MY PIC??? Shoot, sorry bout the caps… sooo tired! I’ve seen people on Flickr put their name on the pic so it can’t be stole, but I’m not sure if I would know how to do this… let alone have the time to do it. Should I be worried about this??? How often does it happen?

  • Nancy

    I am also wondering like Irene and others about how do we get our counts up on visitors and commenters? How do you get traffic Natalie? Or how do we move up search engines? Thanks muchly!

  • http://www.nekraszphoto.com Joe Nekrasz

    It’s funny but I’ve had my portfolio online for years now w/o ever really thinking about how it helped my photography. I agree 100%. It HAS pushed me to keep fresh pictures on the site that meet my high standards of creativity and quality.

    http://www.nekraszphoto.com/gallery2

  • http://www.jozefnagy.com Joe

    Not every photographer is interested in becoming a web developer just to post his photos. In fact, you shouldn’t have to. If you fall into that category I’d highly recommend Drupal. It’s a free, open source CMS (content management system). WordPress is another popular one.

    In the meantime, you should absolutely have a Flickr page. The community on Flickr is strong and thriving. My large photo collection there has generated some comments, but mostly it generated private emails from people interested in the shots I took.

    Flickr Page: nothing award winning :(
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jozefsk

    As for a photo blog, my interests are more technical photography than artistic. That’s why on my usability blog I chose to write posts on things like a usability assessment of the Nikon D50:
    http://www.usablestuff.com/use/?q=node/7
    as well as a usability assessment of Flickr which was a lot of fun:
    http://www.usablestuff.com/use/?q=node/9

    I still keep studying what Darren Rowse puts on this site. Maybe one day I’ll have some worthy shots to share with you all in the forums. Until then, keep posting yours because you guys are taking some amazing shots.

  • neo

    Natalie, you rock.
    I will be starting a blog within the next 4 weeks, thanks for the push!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/wijew wijew

    I had been toying with the idea of setting up my own photoblog for a while and after reading this article i actually went and created it (http://devwijewardane.blogspot.com). Unfortunately I’m not sure how to attract regular visitors to it. do you guys have any advice for me??

    I upload most of my shots to flickr and a lot of people see them when i submit the pics to groups.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
    Dev

  • http://untilblack.blogspot.com/ Gabo

    You’ve inspired me to create my own photoblog at http://untilblack.blogspot.com/! I really hope that this will improve my photography.

    Thanks, Natalie Norton!

    Gabo

  • Peter Hooper

    Great article Natalie and thanks also to everyone else for the great comments. It has certainly whetted my appetite to do something too. Not sure though whether to stick with my Flickr account which I only opened last week or go with something else.

    Peter

  • http://zoinks.aminus3.com Marlon

    Being a “techie”, I’ve started numerous blogs (text) over the years, but never found the motivation to go on and update it.
    However, after reading this article about starting a photoblog (I’m a newbie to photography), I went ahead and created one at http://zoinks.aminus3.com. And my, were you right about it building “pressure” and “accountability”. Now I find myself bringing my camera everyday, hoping to capture something to post to my blog (I don’t want to dissapoint my “imaginary” viewers, hehe).
    Thanks for the article.

  • http://www.thephotographerblog.com Mandy

    I started a photo blog five months ago to follow my journey as an aspiring digital photographer, with the view of working my way up the ladder as I go.

    And it has definitely pushed my photography on, I’m now feeling limited by my camera, I really NEED a dslr!

    I love the fact you can get out there through blogging, it brings up so many opportunities, it’s just finding enough time in the day…

  • http://lizimage.aminus3.com/ liz

    Hi , all photo lovers,

    could you please advise me a free photoblog hosting . My reuirement is quite simple:
    1.home page
    2.categories(** being able to creat my own categories and listing easily)
    3.portfolios ..,
    4.About…
    (comments system, statistique, RSS..)

    I use Aminu3 but daily picture restrict makes me crazy , and we can not creat our own categories.
    (http://lizimage.aminus3.com/)

    Flickr is ok , but there is not necessary for a photographer and seems not enough profesional…;-(
    (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lizimage/ )

    thanks for your suggestions,

    Best,

    liz

  • http://archive.skyworks.co.uk/ Aerial footage

    Thanks for nice information :) How can I get subscribed to your news?

  • http://www.julieharrisphotography.com Photographer : Julie Harris

    Great article, Natalie. I was pretty slow to adopt blogs and blogging but I finally did and can’t imagine life without it! I blog nearly every day and I agree that it is an invaluable marketing, networking, publicity and relationship-building tool. Photographers, more than most other professionals, should be blogging and blogging often.

    Great stuff!

  • http://www.Recherche-Photography.com Recherche Photography

    Nice article. I’m currently working on getting my blog onto my site off of blogspot. Hope to get it working soon! http://www.recherche-photography.com/blog

  • http://www.marcfuller.com/2008/12/amazing-increase-in-professional-photographers-website-traffic-from-merging-existing-flash-template-into-webblog-site/ Marc

    I think the time for having a separate blog has passed.

    There are a number of structural reason for this. Bsut rather than get lost in details … one needs only to look at the results that pioneers like Jessica Claire and Christine Tremoulet have had wrapping their Flash site in a web/blogsite or going totally web/blogsite. I can list more. In all cases, the search marketing results, search rank and site visitor traffic are astounding with seamlessly merging the blog content and structure and letting it become your website.

    http://www.prophotoblogsite.com

  • http://www.bryangrantphoto.com/ Bryan Grant

    i am now inspired to finally keep up with my blog

  • http://www.hollandphotostudio.com Phil Holland (wedding photographer in Dallas)

    Great advice. I know many wedding photographers miss out by not blogging regularly. By targeting specific post with keywords for venues and locations you can really heat up your traffic and SEO.

  • http://vincenthunter.com Vincent

    Thank you! This article was so inspiring :) I’m two days into my photoblog journey and it’s already changing my life for the better.

    Keep it up! Your blog is absolutely beautiful!

  • http://www.truephotographyweddings.com orange county wedding photographer

    We currently have a blog that brings in around 300 visits the day it is posted and 100 on the other days bringing in plenty of leads to us.

  • http://www.photographyg.com Photography G

    Having a photo blog makes it easier to archive photos and information and it would be easier to share with other people

  • http://www.photographyg.com Photography G

    Having a photo blog makes it easier to archive photos and information and it would be easier to share with other people.

Some older comments

  • Photography G

    December 2, 2011 05:18 am

    Having a photo blog makes it easier to archive photos and information and it would be easier to share with other people.

  • Photography G

    December 2, 2011 05:17 am

    Having a photo blog makes it easier to archive photos and information and it would be easier to share with other people

  • orange county wedding photographer

    August 30, 2011 07:51 am

    We currently have a blog that brings in around 300 visits the day it is posted and 100 on the other days bringing in plenty of leads to us.

  • Vincent

    February 1, 2011 04:55 pm

    Thank you! This article was so inspiring :) I'm two days into my photoblog journey and it's already changing my life for the better.

    Keep it up! Your blog is absolutely beautiful!

  • Phil Holland (wedding photographer in Dallas)

    December 17, 2010 01:39 am

    Great advice. I know many wedding photographers miss out by not blogging regularly. By targeting specific post with keywords for venues and locations you can really heat up your traffic and SEO.

  • Bryan Grant

    October 26, 2010 02:12 pm

    i am now inspired to finally keep up with my blog

  • Marc

    December 21, 2008 03:10 am

    I think the time for having a separate blog has passed.

    There are a number of structural reason for this. Bsut rather than get lost in details ... one needs only to look at the results that pioneers like Jessica Claire and Christine Tremoulet have had wrapping their Flash site in a web/blogsite or going totally web/blogsite. I can list more. In all cases, the search marketing results, search rank and site visitor traffic are astounding with seamlessly merging the blog content and structure and letting it become your website.

    http://www.prophotoblogsite.com

  • Recherche Photography

    November 13, 2008 05:58 pm

    Nice article. I'm currently working on getting my blog onto my site off of blogspot. Hope to get it working soon! http://www.recherche-photography.com/blog

  • Photographer : Julie Harris

    August 19, 2008 08:28 am

    Great article, Natalie. I was pretty slow to adopt blogs and blogging but I finally did and can't imagine life without it! I blog nearly every day and I agree that it is an invaluable marketing, networking, publicity and relationship-building tool. Photographers, more than most other professionals, should be blogging and blogging often.

    Great stuff!

  • Aerial footage

    May 28, 2008 08:15 pm

    Thanks for nice information :) How can I get subscribed to your news?

  • liz

    May 12, 2008 12:08 pm

    Hi , all photo lovers,

    could you please advise me a free photoblog hosting . My reuirement is quite simple:
    1.home page
    2.categories(** being able to creat my own categories and listing easily)
    3.portfolios ..,
    4.About...
    (comments system, statistique, RSS..)

    I use Aminu3 but daily picture restrict makes me crazy , and we can not creat our own categories.
    (http://lizimage.aminus3.com/)

    Flickr is ok , but there is not necessary for a photographer and seems not enough profesional...;-(
    (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lizimage/ )

    thanks for your suggestions,

    Best,

    liz

  • Mandy

    April 28, 2008 06:17 am

    I started a photo blog five months ago to follow my journey as an aspiring digital photographer, with the view of working my way up the ladder as I go.

    And it has definitely pushed my photography on, I'm now feeling limited by my camera, I really NEED a dslr!

    I love the fact you can get out there through blogging, it brings up so many opportunities, it's just finding enough time in the day...

  • Marlon

    April 26, 2008 01:03 pm

    Being a "techie", I've started numerous blogs (text) over the years, but never found the motivation to go on and update it.
    However, after reading this article about starting a photoblog (I'm a newbie to photography), I went ahead and created one at http://zoinks.aminus3.com. And my, were you right about it building "pressure" and "accountability". Now I find myself bringing my camera everyday, hoping to capture something to post to my blog (I don't want to dissapoint my "imaginary" viewers, hehe).
    Thanks for the article.

  • Peter Hooper

    April 25, 2008 11:53 pm

    Great article Natalie and thanks also to everyone else for the great comments. It has certainly whetted my appetite to do something too. Not sure though whether to stick with my Flickr account which I only opened last week or go with something else.

    Peter

  • Gabo

    April 24, 2008 02:27 am

    You've inspired me to create my own photoblog at http://untilblack.blogspot.com/! I really hope that this will improve my photography.

    Thanks, Natalie Norton!

    Gabo

  • wijew

    April 23, 2008 08:03 pm

    I had been toying with the idea of setting up my own photoblog for a while and after reading this article i actually went and created it (http://devwijewardane.blogspot.com). Unfortunately I'm not sure how to attract regular visitors to it. do you guys have any advice for me??

    I upload most of my shots to flickr and a lot of people see them when i submit the pics to groups.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
    Dev

  • neo

    April 23, 2008 03:37 pm

    Natalie, you rock.
    I will be starting a blog within the next 4 weeks, thanks for the push!

  • Joe

    April 22, 2008 01:42 pm

    Not every photographer is interested in becoming a web developer just to post his photos. In fact, you shouldn't have to. If you fall into that category I'd highly recommend Drupal. It's a free, open source CMS (content management system). Wordpress is another popular one.

    In the meantime, you should absolutely have a Flickr page. The community on Flickr is strong and thriving. My large photo collection there has generated some comments, but mostly it generated private emails from people interested in the shots I took.

    Flickr Page: nothing award winning :(
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jozefsk

    As for a photo blog, my interests are more technical photography than artistic. That's why on my usability blog I chose to write posts on things like a usability assessment of the Nikon D50:
    http://www.usablestuff.com/use/?q=node/7
    as well as a usability assessment of Flickr which was a lot of fun:
    http://www.usablestuff.com/use/?q=node/9

    I still keep studying what Darren Rowse puts on this site. Maybe one day I'll have some worthy shots to share with you all in the forums. Until then, keep posting yours because you guys are taking some amazing shots.

  • Joe Nekrasz

    April 21, 2008 04:40 pm

    It's funny but I've had my portfolio online for years now w/o ever really thinking about how it helped my photography. I agree 100%. It HAS pushed me to keep fresh pictures on the site that meet my high standards of creativity and quality.

    http://www.nekraszphoto.com/gallery2

  • Nancy

    April 20, 2008 05:00 pm

    I am also wondering like Irene and others about how do we get our counts up on visitors and commenters? How do you get traffic Natalie? Or how do we move up search engines? Thanks muchly!

  • Smiles!!!

    April 19, 2008 05:46 pm

    I enjoyed reading this article, the comments too. But I do HAVE A QUESTION. hOW WORRIED DO i NEED TO BE ABOUT PEOPLE STEALING MY PIC??? Shoot, sorry bout the caps... sooo tired! I've seen people on Flickr put their name on the pic so it can't be stole, but I'm not sure if I would know how to do this... let alone have the time to do it. Should I be worried about this??? How often does it happen?

  • gshroti

    April 19, 2008 04:12 am

    a self expression idea. your mind is full. open it and let the thought flow to other people.

  • gshroti

    April 19, 2008 04:10 am

    i do enjoy my fotoblog as above website and people love it.

  • Video library software

    April 18, 2008 06:09 pm

    Nice info! I also have blog, but related mostly to video. How can we keep in touch?

  • Lezard

    April 18, 2008 05:01 pm

    I totally agree! I started my photoblog over The Hague (Netherlands) 6 months ago, as part of the great City Daily Photo community. Though I'm a very amateur photographer, I have been enjoying everyday of this experience. As you say Nathalie, it really pushed me out to make some shots to publish on my blog. What I need now is to get a step further and increase my traffic, to get more comments and critics on the shots.

    Check it at http://www.thehaguedailyphoto.blogspot.com and join us!

  • Neo Chai

    April 18, 2008 01:45 pm

    This is such a Great Post! I'm very agree with all your point and personally I've set up my own photoblog since Nov 2007. Still consider new but have quite some visitors to my blog everyday..

    You guys can go and have a look at my photoblog at www.neochai1983.com

    Thanks..

  • doug

    April 18, 2008 10:16 am

    i am just starting and need advise/criticism.
    http://cavesinarizona.ya.ru/?ncrnd=161&ncrnd=720610

  • Scott Larsen

    April 18, 2008 07:40 am

    As others have said, your blogging has been inspirational, as is your actual (photographic) work. I'm curious if you can divulge anything about your updated blog. I'm just curious if you're planning on staying with blogspot/ blogger, i.e. whether you're happy with your current setup. I'm setting up a blog for a rapidly approaching (photo) trip to India and don't know whether to go with blogger, wordpress or other. I have the option of hosting it on my own site but doing my own setup may be a little too much to ask before I leave (in three weeks). Let me know if you (or any of the other commenters) have any recommendations. Keep up the fantastic work.

    Thanks,
    Scott - http://Photo.SRLarsen.com

  • Gillian

    April 18, 2008 04:56 am

    A very inspiring article - thank you. I too have a photoblog - at least it's mostly photos.
    For anyone who is concerned that they don't get many visitors or comments - it may help if you visit other blogs and whenever you genuinely enjoy the work make sure you leave a comment. It makes a difference and often people will return the favour. Slowly you build up a network of like-minded blogging friends. They make a list of blog-links on their sidebar and then more people discover your blog.
    Have you noticed too that there is a building fraternity of Daily City photo blogs? I'd love to join in but I live out in the country!
    My blog is: http://thefadingrose.blogspot.com/

  • Shelly

    April 18, 2008 03:45 am

    I'm learning so much from all of your comments! Things I've never even thought of. Thanks so all of you for sharing!

  • AC

    April 18, 2008 01:34 am

    It just makes sense to have your own set of snaps to showcase. You can see your growth as a photographer and what interested you at what time. Acts as a bit of introspection as well.

  • Rajat

    April 17, 2008 10:38 pm

    Great post.

    this blog is going to push me to start my blog in near future. Waiting for your next post.:)

  • Christine

    April 17, 2008 06:46 am

    Great post! I agree with # 2 especially! I've had my photoblog for only a short time but I can already see progress in my skills. It also encourages me to try harder so I can keep improving. But I have the same problem as Irene: I don't have many visitors! LOL

    Oh, and I use PixelPost for my photoblog. Very, very easy to setup and customize. :-P

  • Greg

    April 17, 2008 06:20 am

    Ok you pushed me over the edge! I have been studying blogging for a year and even have the software for a business blog and have not taken the leap. You pushed me off the edge and I am in free fall wish me luck.

  • Fort Myers Photographer

    April 17, 2008 06:16 am

    Great article Natalie! We have been meaning to setup our blog, this is good inspiration. There are only a few Ft Myers wedding and portrait photographers in the area that have them too. So it is good to be on the leading edge. I would be interested to know what most people use as their platform. Wordpress? Blogspot?

  • Irene

    April 17, 2008 01:17 am

    great post! no one visits my blog though ... how do we solve that?

  • onewayphotoblog / Mark

    April 17, 2008 12:31 am

    Very good article... especially points 1 and 2, which I had never thought about before.

    I started my photoblog about 14 months ago and have managed a picture a day ever since. It really does absolutely motivate me to take more and better images, and I would say my photography has definitely improved over that time.

    Yes it is nice to receive comments, but more than anything I just do it for myself to keep myself creative and sane ;-)

    And I would add this to Niels Henriksen's comment about theft of images: the host I use, Shutterchance (which, incidentally is VERY easy to use), provides a "photo-shield" which, as I understand it, prevents people from downloading your images. I'm sure there's a way around it if someone really wanted to steal you shot, but it's a good start.

    My photoblog is at http://oneway.shutterchance.com

  • policomm

    April 16, 2008 11:55 pm

    PIXELPOST is a good platform with a good support forum and range of templates and add-on features.

    policomm
    http://photoblog.policomm.info/

  • Pete Langlois

    April 16, 2008 11:48 pm

    I set up a blog to post occassional photos I'm not a full time photographer so it's just a hobby for me. I also use my blog to post technology tidbits I find.

    http://blog.petelanglois.net
    http://www.petelanglois.net

  • My Camera World

    April 16, 2008 10:14 pm

    The Risk of Theft is way Overrated.

    I find most new or apprising photographers worry too much about theft of their images.

    If you are publishing image up to a 1024 x1600 pxs which is somewhat large for the web then if sometimes and image it will only print a 4x6 inches at 260 dpi. This is only a post card size.

    If you look at the stock image sites then this image if sold with unlimited rights would only net you $1-$2 anyway.

    There is a very small chance that a company would have paid more if not on a stock site, $50-300 max in the vast majority of cases, but not more as there is a vast collection already available as these lower prices.

    Custom shoots for clients is were the larger fees are generated and then it is not really for the photography but more for the vision or creative directions you bring the client.

    Even if stolen and you try to sue for damages you will only get 1-4 times the normal rated that to charge and have actually sold at. If no sales then no real damages.

    Just keep the very large files off public display and enjoy photographing things you love and sharing your passion with others.

    Niels Henriksen

  • Peter Bryenton

    April 16, 2008 09:46 pm

    Publishing our photos is risky: there will always be those who steal them, or steal our bandwidth as well (they link to our servers to get the picture for free on their page).

    One solution is to only post small, low resolution "web" versions.

    On the positive side, I've had reputable publishers asking for my work in high resolution, then paying me. On balance, my photo blog is good fun for me.

    Peter Bryenton
    www.brypix.com

  • Kenneth

    April 16, 2008 07:04 pm

    For a nice, easy to install, theme-enabled photoblog i use http://www.pixelpost.org/ excellent for pictures, but behaps not so great for writing

  • Ben

    April 16, 2008 06:36 pm

    Flickr is great for this. The publish to blog function allows me to post photos to the blog in a pre-formatted set from anywhere I have email. I can even take the photo on my dSLR, put the memory card in my phone, and send it!

    There are a host of solutions like this, but flickr does work well. Also, there is a plugin that allows you to select photos from flickr and put them on the blog with a single click.

  • xlt

    April 16, 2008 06:32 pm

    Huh, i allready have one: http://www.xltphoto.net

  • Sweetpea

    April 16, 2008 06:28 pm

    Suze I love your photoblog.... aminus3.com looks much better and I think I may consider moving my blog to this provider if it's free!

  • WDOphoto

    April 16, 2008 12:48 pm

    Another great thing about blogs is that the more you update them the more the search engines like them. You can really help your ranking.

    It also can directly help your readers.

    I am posting this comment here, and because the topic is about photography and I am a photographer then I get a bump in my page ranking. If it were about the kind of photography that I usually do (weddings and portraits) then I'd get an even bigger bump. So you are helping yourself and your readers (if they are comment leavers).

    Thanks for posting this it is important that people get this information and it is not talked about in photo circles enough.

  • Rickyp

    April 16, 2008 12:46 pm

    I've got a photoblog, and in this day and age of protecting "Intellectual Property", I'm a bit paranoid about someone "stealing" my photos and using them for other purposes? As photographers do we have any sort of protection or does taking that risk come with photoblogging?

  • laanba

    April 16, 2008 10:49 am

    Very nice article Natalie. It was good even for someone like me who has been blogging and photoblogging for quite a while. Confirms some things I knew and gives me a kick in the pants to get working on other areas.

    I think OhCaptain added some wonderful advice. Do it for yourself regardless of your visitor count and you will get enjoyment out of it. I was not enjoying it when I was trying to make my site look like all the others out there and I was disappointed in the lack of visitors. Once I stepped back and realized that I wanted to blog for me things were much easier.

    I love photoblogging and am glad to see so many people getting into it! Cheers.

  • CLim

    April 16, 2008 10:30 am

    Natalie, thank you for the wonderful post.

    I started my photoblog about a year ago. For me, it is a way to share photographs with my friends and family who are in the U.S. and Asia. Also, it is an avenue for me to write about the places I visited. I do not post regularly as it takes time to upload my photos and write. It gets discouraging at times because beyond my friends and family, my blog seems to be lost in the blogosphere.

    I am looking forward to reading your next post.

  • Luis Murillo

    April 16, 2008 09:32 am

    I don't know if anyone has mentioned this...I currently use Wordpress for my blog and I have a flickr pro account, now you don't necessarily need the flickr pro account since the free one will also do. From flickr I can blog a photo and even write a post along with it. What I like about this combination is that it nicely positions the photo on the right side and wraps the text around it.
    You can see an example, if you haven't seen or used this before, on my blog :)

    -LM

  • Trude

    April 16, 2008 09:30 am

    From a sales standpoint, it makes you human. :) I really use my blog, which I started about a year ago (Blogger is a fantastic free service), to keep in touch with family and friends more easily. I like to think of it as a year-long Christmas letter. ;-) With everyone so spread out (Europe and North America), its a great way to share photos and stories without filling up everybody's email accounts or using up their cell phone minutes!

  • Taryn

    April 16, 2008 08:47 am

    Oh, and to Torax ... thanks for the words of encouragement! It'll be nice to have an "audience" of my own some day. LOL

    I'm looking forward to Natalie's follow-up article on ways to improve my photo blog. :)

  • Taryn

    April 16, 2008 08:45 am

    Natalie,

    My photoblog can be found at http://newyorkrat.blogspot.com. Thank you for showing interest. I truly appreciate any comments/feedback!!

  • Natalie Norton

    April 16, 2008 08:28 am

    One and All,

    In response to all the inquiries above, don't forget that there will be a follow up piece coming to DPS soon. In this piece I'll not only be discussing how to create a successful photo blog, but also the many hosting options, free and otherwise, my thoughts on Flicker, and how to PRESENT your blog in a way that will ensure repeat visitors.

    Check back soon,

    Natalie

  • Torax

    April 16, 2008 06:16 am

    Taryn,

    There's no need for discouragement. As long as you have some visitors.

    With my daily updatecycle I have between 30 and 50 visitors that access my site at least once a week. That may be nothing compared to the famous sites but I like them anyway because they are my audience.
    What I miss most is some kind of feedback. I hardly ever get a comment. But still now and then I meet some people that tell me how much they like my pictures.

    ...and apart from your audience your photoblog is your own personal playground - just like photography itself.

  • Chris

    April 16, 2008 06:00 am

    Great article Natalie. I just started my blogspot today because of your post. You've inspired me to get my work out for people around the world to see!

    I did want to know how you got your huge banner put on you blog. I also opened a blogspot as you did, but i don't know how to make a big banner at the top of my page like you did! Can you help me out!

  • tkny

    April 16, 2008 05:50 am

    I've been managing a photoblog for a number of years now and it is a great way to motivate and focus (no pun intended).

    In response to the question about good photoblog systems...

    I used Movable Type (www.movabletype.com) for a couple of years but then moved onto PixelPost (www.pixelpost.org). Word Press (www.wordpress.com) is a robust blog system and seems a bit overkill for only posting daily photos.
    There are positives and negatives of most of the blogs systems out there when using them strictly as a photoblog. in my opinion, PixelPost is the best of the basic and simple daily photoblog systems for the beginner to the tech savvy.

  • Scott

    April 16, 2008 05:33 am

    Youre spot on about a photo blog making a person get out and take more photos. Another great use is if you're a long way from home like we are, its great for posting photos of the kids and what has been happening in their lives for all the relatives.

    Thanks Natalie for another article, keep em coming.

  • Scott

    April 16, 2008 05:30 am

    Thanks Natalie for another article,

    Youre spot on about the making Another great use is if youre a long way from home like we are, its great for posting photos of the kids and what has been happening in their lives for all the relatives.

  • Natalie Norton

    April 16, 2008 05:22 am

    Taryn,

    What's your blog address? I'd LOVE to come by for a visit!

    xoxox,

    Natalie

  • Al

    April 16, 2008 05:03 am

    This post is wonderful. I too have a photoblog that I try and post my better stuff to. I'm hoping to learn from what other people think, but it seems like people only find your stuff if you post on Flickr.

  • Barrie

    April 16, 2008 05:01 am

    Great article. I've been slacking on my blog the past couple of weeks. You've inspired me to get cracking on it!

  • Taryn

    April 16, 2008 04:38 am

    Amazing article ... once again! I have a blog, but sometimes get a little discouraged because I feel like no one pays attention to it. But I'm keeping up with it and hopefully I'll have more than my faithful husband checking my blog one of these days.

  • Heather

    April 16, 2008 04:28 am

    This article is so inspiring! Thank you Natalie! You really are amazing!

  • Rasmus

    April 16, 2008 03:56 am

    I had a photoblog for a while, until I got too busy with other things to update it as often as I wanted to. It really does do all the things listed in this top ten - from fun to motivation.

    The obvious alternative is to use Flickr as your platform. Most people (like me) upload whatever on Flickr, but I have seen some who use it as a photoblog, and given the groups and tagging system, it's a great way to get a lot of viewers fast.

  • Richard

    April 16, 2008 03:49 am

    SO true. This is a "powerful" post. I've seen the marketing vs. publicity thing in action. Here is the magical effect of blogging (some call it viral marketing):

    1. Photographer has scheduled a shoot.
    2. Takes pictures of client.
    3. Photographer tells client that s/he'll send client an email when s/he posts some of the pictures on her/his blog.
    4. Client gets EXCITED and tells friends/family about the great shoot and that some of the pictures may go up that day or the next on photographer's blog.
    5. Photographer emails, texts or calls client letting client know some pictures are up.
    6. Client RACES to check out photographer's blog. THEN, the client emails the link to friends, family and even posts the pictures on his/her own blog!
    7. Friends, family check out the blog. Love it (especially because they are incredible pictures of someone they love) and consequently love the photographer too. The visitors blog about it on their own blog, make comments on the photographer's blog, the client's blog and their own blog.
    8. Friends of friends do the same thing and like a virus the photographer's blog GOES VIRAL!
    9. All of a sudden the photographer leveraged his/her website as a "marketing" tool which in turn creates as Natalie said EARNED "publicity".
    10. Some of the visitors stick and return to the blog often. The photographer now has a community that feeds him/her business, joy, motivation.

    Great post Natalie!

    THANK YOU!

  • boris

    April 16, 2008 03:42 am

    I guess you´re right. At the beginning it´s quite tough, because you´re unknown and need to start up your network. I think for the beginner, the well known communities are also a good alternative to share the first photos and make some contacts. The comments might not be useful all the time (e.g. I love your pic, great, wow, ...) but as I said, it might be a prior step to the own blog...

  • PIERRE

    April 16, 2008 03:36 am

    This is great. I am just getting started blogging and this motivating. p

  • Suze

    April 16, 2008 03:33 am

    As a novice photographer and blogger, I use aminus3.com for my blog. It's photocentric, but gives you room to write as well.

    I've been posting for just over a year. My goal in 2008 is to post daily.

  • Fiona

    April 16, 2008 03:29 am

    I've just recently started my own blog--but I'd never considered all these advantages. As always, I love your articles. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Shelly

    April 16, 2008 03:27 am

    By the way, I've recently been checking some other amazing blogs, and I read that one of them is actually making about $45,000 a MONTH on advertisements...incredible.

  • Luke

    April 16, 2008 03:25 am

    Thanks for the encouragement Natalie. I have been trying to blog about a year now, but get sidetracked most days. Your words here may help push me to write more! I hope ;)

  • Shelly

    April 16, 2008 03:20 am

    Just let me say this again...I love your articles, Natalie! Your blog happens to be one of the first on my "thing to do" list every morning.

  • thekevinmonster

    April 16, 2008 03:14 am

    I tried to set one up, but.. I never posted to it. I guess that kind of motivation wasn't going to help my lack of motivation otherwise :)

  • OhCaptain

    April 16, 2008 03:12 am

    I wouldn't call myself a professional. I have a photoblog and I use it just to share the pictures I take and the stories that go with them. I think of it more as a photo journal.

    I don't have any fast rules as to when I update. Spring in Minnesota is terrible for my motivation, but as spring begins to green and things bloom, I get click happy and then my blog comes back to life.

    There is no one definition of a photoblog. Make it your own and express yourself. Its not just for the pros. Anyone can do it.

    The main reason I photoblog is to express myself. Why else do we do any of this? I hope that photography never becomes a "job" to me.

  • Natalie Norton

    April 16, 2008 02:56 am

    Photochick,

    Short answer? YES. ABSOLUTELY.

    If you need further encouragement. . . feel free to contact me via my blog: natalienortonphoto.com and I'd be glad to discuss them with you. . . ie kick you in the pants to get you going!

    Happy Shooting!

    Nat

  • Natalie Norton

    April 16, 2008 02:55 am

    Torax,

    I'll be discussing some options in my follow up piece, Building Your Blog: 10 things to consider when building your own rockin’ photo blog.

    Happy Shooting!

    Nat

  • Photochick (Amanda)

    April 16, 2008 02:29 am

    Do you all recommend setting up a photo-blog even if you're aspiring to go professional? I maintain a personal blog, and truly hope to someday go pro, but I can't say I'm there yet! Recommendations...? Thanks in advance. Much love & God Bless!

  • Sweetpea

    April 16, 2008 02:29 am

    I have a photo blog but I find it's not the ideal format to showcase your photography. True it provides a platform for displaying your work, and you can track your development as posts are dated, but I think using Flickr can sometimes be slightly preferable for getting your photography 'out there'. With that said, as a free way of publishing your shots on the web, which is truely customisable, it is a good tool...

  • croote

    April 16, 2008 02:21 am

    Hi,
    In fact I would like to ask the same question as Torax!
    I've a blog for almost 2 year: wordpress and a tuned version of AniGA plugin. I've spend a lot of time to customize the plugin, customize the blog design and so on but I'm not fully satisfied. I've looked for a photo oriented blog system but I have not found what I wanted.

    Have you got any clue?
    Thks

  • Peter Bryenton

    April 16, 2008 02:14 am

    I got fed up with managing the coding (HTML & CSS2) side of publishing a picture a day a few years ago. The fun for me is in the picture making and writing, not the file management and archiving.
    So now I pay those nice people at TypePad to do it all for me, leaving me free for more photography.
    Peter Bryenton
    BryPix</a)

  • Torax

    April 16, 2008 01:48 am

    I have my photoblog for over 1.5 years now (and I am still able to stick to my strict "one picture a day" rule). But I still don't like the blog-system itself. I use Wordpress as software and a plugin called myGallery to manage the pictures but it's far from comfortable to use it. Do you know any photoblog-centric piece of software with decent picture management features?

  • fernando

    April 16, 2008 01:00 am

    Thanks for this helpful information. I have been thinking about setting up a blog. Does anyone have any good tips on any free photo blog sites that I should consider using?

  • Tom Leuntjens

    April 16, 2008 12:37 am

    Great post, Funny thing is I just set one up last week.
    But I hadn't announced it yet *g*
    http://tomleuntjensphotography.wordpress.com

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