A successful photo blog depends on the photographer or photo blogger to utilize and keep it fresh. Doing otherwise drives off an audience and the “staleness” may be off-putting to potential readers.
There are ways for a photographer or photo blogger to utilize a blog in a manner that will turn a one-time visitor into a regular at the website.
These four tips can help improve a photography blog.
Providing Fresh Content-Photo Projects on a Blog
A photography project has two benefits: It gives a photo blogger inspiration and motivates her to produce fresh work, while providing new content for a photo blog’s audience.
Photo projects can be anything from a personal project to a weekly documentary or portrait series. The topic depends upon the photo blog’s direction and audience (a portrait series might clash with a food photography-type blog, for instance).
Photography projects also afford the photo blogger a chance to engage the local community and draw possible traffic to the blog.
Ideas for blogs can include:
- Documenting the local community (festivals, events, etc.), providing good experience for future photojournalists.
- A 365 photo project, where the photo blogger usually focuses on taking one unique and good photo per day.
Engage Readers with Blog Contests
A component to successful blogging is engaging the audience. Hosting contests on the photographer’s blog is a great way to do this. It allows blog followers to flex their creative vision while garnering the photo blog a more loyal following.
But what are contests without prizes? A photo blogger can get creative with this, whether with doing a profile on the winner, inviting the winner to do a guest post, or even prizes (a limited edition print or a useful book like John Harrington’s Best Business Practices for Photographers).
Problogger.com founder Darren Rowse offers some suggestions for hosting successful contests in his blog article titled, “ My Secret to Running Successful Competitions on a Blog.“
How to Display and Market Work on a Photo Blog
Photographers and photo enthusiasts often use their blogs to display their work, even if they have a primary website. It often reaches a different audience than a photographer’s main website, adding an influx of new visitors.
But a photo blog also provides the photo blogger with a way to market herr photographs. A blogger set up an online photo store and integrate it into their blog. Services like SmugMug provide photo bloggers with the option of hosting and selling photos; photographers can also set their own prices.
These services do charge a fee, but they also allow a photographer a secure way to host her work. It is one of many useful tools that photo bloggers can utilize.
Spreading the Word with E-mail Newsletters
E-mail newsletters are a very valuable resource for any blogger, especially those with a heavy subscriber base. Whether a photo blogger uses a service such as Aweber Communications or designs one independently, it allows the photo blogger to reach his/her audience and provide content that’s not otherwise available on the blog.
Updates, tips and announcements are a just a few uses for an e-mail newsletter, as are additional updates to any monthly or weekly photo project. Popular photog community Phot.net utilizes this tool very effectively, sending out a monthly e-mail newsletter to its subscribers as well as occasional, shorter ones every few weeks.
Photo bloggers shouldn’t take it as simply throwing something together and sending it out. Careful design and planning of quality content goes a long way, showing that the blogger respects her audience.
Whether photo bloggers are searching for new ways to improve their blogs or seeking inspiration for fresh content, these four suggestions provide a way to better utilize it. Fresh and interesting projects, interacting with the audience and marketing the photographer’s work provides the blogger with some additional tools and possible methods of increasing her audience.