Update: for more up to date information check out our sister site ProBlogger – in particularly How to Start a Blog” target=”_blank”>check out the article on how to start a blog.
In this post Natalie Norton shares pieces from her interviews with 8 successful photographers where they shared all kinds of resources to help you find the blogging service that is right for your photoblog.
I’ve spent the week thinking over this article. . . it’s the final part of a 3 part series. We began with a WHY TO BLOG installment: Blog Power. We followed up with the WHAT TO BLOG installment: Building Your Blog, and now we’re wrapping things up with the HOW TO BLOG piece you’ve all been waiting for. Though I am currently in the process of designing a custom blog, my blogging experience thus far has been with Google’s Blogger for my personal blog, along with my brief moments with WordPress when I’m blogging here at DPS. As many of you loyal DPSers have been inquiring as to what blog service to use to best showcase your work, the conclusion I came to was that I am COMPLETELY incapable of offering a balanced response to this complex question on my own. Thankfully, I recently asked 8 successful photographers 4 simple questions. Their broad range of answers will rock you to the moon and back if you’re serious about starting your own photoblog, so this week. . . we’re gonna learn from some friends of mine. I hope you enjoy.
ME: What service do you use for your blog?
- Michael and Anna Costa: We have two blogs! His & Hers? Anna’s blog is a “Blogger” blog and Michael’s is “Big Folio Blog.”
- Jasmine Star: I had my blog custom designed by the world’s best blog company, Infinet Design – www.infidesign.com . The designer, Brock Martin, was a dream to work with and designs for many serious photography bloggers.
- Ed Pingol: I use Blogger for all my blogging needs.
- Michelle Ellis: I use WordPress. It’s uploaded to your own server so you host it yourself. I actually bought a template that is designed for photographers. I had seen a lot of really cool custom blogs out there and looked into getting one. The starting price quote was $1500. I’m not at a place right now where I could spend that kind of money on a blog. I found a wordpress template by this really cool company called Pro Photo it has all the elements I was looking for and at the price of $99? A STEAL!!! Really, the best money Ive spent for web presence. The owner/creator is so wonderful. He’s got all these tutorials and stands behind his product. http://www.professionalphotographertheme.com/
ME: Do your images appear true to what you imported from your computer once they’re published on your blog?/Do you feel your blog allows for a good representation of your work?
- Michael and Anna Costa (Blogger/BigFolio): Yes! We love how both our blogs show off our work accurately.
- Pascal Wowak (Typepad): I use the biggest format to allow for the biggest images posted = I only post the completely processed file as presented to my clients and ust a frame/logo border rather than a watermark on top of the image. I thin watermarked images ruin the feel of the image so I stick to a black frame with copyright info at the bottom.
- Jonathan Canlas (Blogger): In the beginning yes, lately, there seems to have been a change and I can’t figure out what it is. The images look good on the blog but they look SO much better in print…
- Jasmine Star (Custom): Yes and No. Yes, when I view them on my MAC computers. No, when I view them on my dad’s PC computer.These issues may have to do with calibration and monitor size, but I’m okay with it. More than anything, even if my images don’t look exactly how I want them, I understand it’s more about getting my work out there, not the idea of perfection. Afterall, I HIGHLY doubt Picasso would like the idea of having his fine art paintings printed on 4×6 postcards and mass-produced for consumers, but it’s about familiarity and exposure. **Please note: In no way was I trying to equate myself to Picasso…it was just an example!! 🙂
- Leo Patrone (Blogger): Blogger allows me to get a good representation of my work. I can upload images, text, videos, pretty much all I need.
- Ed Pingol (Blogger): I never upload any images through Blogger because the image gets automatically resized if it’s too big. So to get around that, I use Photobucket.com (the professional version) which only costs $20 a year to be able to host an unlimited amount of images with an unlimited amount of bandwidth. We average about 85gigs of bandwidth per month for you geeks out there. =) In addition, you can upload any images as large as 2mb! Awesome!
- Sakura Photography (WordPress): Since I convert to sRGB, size down to the actual size that I have fitted for my blog (650 pixels in width), and sharpen the newly sized-down image (just the simple “unsharp mask” in PS really makes the image pop), the images show up exactly as expected.
- Michelle Ellis (WordPress): Absolutely! I save directly to my own server so the images are exactly what I upload. There is no 3rd party resizing or sharpening. I love that! I have complete control over how my images appear.
ME: What do you LOVE about your blog service?
- Michael and Anna Costa (Blogger/Big Folio): With Big Folio – we love the clean, designer layout of it. It is a seamless transition from our website to our blog because the looks are so similar. I love the Blogger blog because it’s user friendly and everyone is comfortable posting! Since so many people have a blogger blog it’s very familiar to use. Anna’s blog was created to interact with clients/friends/family & fellow photographers more – so it’s been great in that way, the Bigfolio blog is more an extension of our portfolio.
- Jasmine Star (Custom): I LOVE the personal attention I receive from Brock. He answers every email in 24 hours and sets aside time to talk and develop design ideas together. I totally dig this guy! 🙂
- Jonathan Canlas (Blogger): That it is Blogger, which is Google and which helps a ton with keywords. Like for example, if you Google “Becca Chico, CA” I show up on the second page. What the heck is Becca Chico, Ca? I have no idea and don’t care as long as it puts me up in searches. I just booked a wedding outside of Chico, CA because when you Google “Chico CA photographer” for some reason I come up. They loved the work and are flying me out. Fantastic. I heart Google. I also love that you can pay to have more space if needed.
- Michelle Ellis (WordPress): OK, I have to let you know…I LOVE my blog. I love it more than my website. It’s like my own special place on the web where I can have a voice go with the images. Letting people get to know ME and personalize my work. I love that the address is a branch from my own domain. I love the control I have over all the input and design. I also love the REALLY big photos I can show. 900px wide baby!
- Ed Pingol (Blogger): For the most part… It’s FREE. Also, we update our blog about 3-4 times a week to keep things fresh for our “stalkers”.
- Sakura Photography (WordPress): I have full control over it- my blog template, header, colors, etc..
- Pascale Wowak (Typepad): I have had ZERO problems with Typepad and their customer service has always been super helpful and prompt. The system is easy to figure out and affordable. I absolutely love it and have no complaints.
- Leo Patrone (Blogger): It’s really easy to use and you don’t have to pay a penny for it.
ME: What would you change about your blog service?
- Michael and Anna Costa (Big Folio/Blogger): For Big Folio – I would change the method of leaving comments. Since they are going for style and design, the comment links are really small and they are also repeat for every image post – even if it’s within the same over all post. It make creating a conversation type atmosphere a little more challenging For Blogger – If you customize your URL away from the standard “blogspot” they make it a lot more difficult for you to customize the blog. I can see why they do this, but it’s still sort of annoying!
- Pascale Wowak (Typepad): I’d love for a search feature to type in a name of a client and have their post show up, but I’m sure there is probably a way to do that and I just haven’t figured it out yet! I’m not computer savvy so I just stick to the basic stuff 🙂
- Jasmine Star (Custom): Well, in the broadest sense, I would love to change the design more often. When you pay for something custom…it’s, well…custom. Using Blogger or WordPress offers customization options and changes that are quite alluring…
- Leo Patrone (Blogger): I wish I could customize it a little bit more.
- Sakura Photography (WordPress): More spam protection.
- Ed Pingol (Blogger): Nothing really.
- Michelle Ellis (WordPress): Nothing. I’m so in love.
- Jonathan Canlas (Blogger): A bit more common knowledge about customizing the blog. More options of templates etc, or the option to pay them or someone to make a custom one for you (CUSTOM, do you see a pattern here?).
Ultimately, as you can see from the varying opinions above, it just comes down to finding a service that meets your particular needs. You have to find the shoe that’s right for you and then wear it with pride!
Well boys and girls, there’s the 411, the skinny, the haps. A special thanks to my photog friends for sharing the love. May it come full circle as it always dose. I hope you’ll be sure to hop on over to the DPS forum where we’ll continue this discussion on blogging/blog service. I’ll be sure to come around to answer questions and just plain old chit chat about whatever your little hearts desire.
Happy Shooting and Happy Blogging!
Natalie Norton lives and shoots on the North Shore of Oahu, HI with her husband Richie and her 3 crazy boys. You can check out her blog at natalienortonphoto.com.