If you’re a photographer, you should have a blog.
Blogs allow you to promote your professional photography business, showcase your portfolio, attract new clients and customers, and in some cases, they can even bring in an extra source of income.
Blogging has opened up a huge number of doors for me during the past few years, and these days, mine brings in more money than all of my stock agencies combined.
They hone your writing chops, they provide a unique and regular outlet for self-expression, they spurn on new ideas and they also provide a platform whereby you can connect with other photographers around the world.
At the same time, being a successful blogger requires a number of skills. You’ve got to be highly creative, or at least be willing to put your photos, stories, tutorials and personal musings out there for the world to see on a regular basis. You also need to be somewhat technically inclined. Most blogging platforms are pretty easy, but in order to run a successful site, there are a few software related things you’ll need to know.
In effect, a good blogger a a content provider, a computer guru and a marketer all wrapped into one.
I realize that many of you already have blogs. I’ve seen them. I also know that there are quite a few of you out there who are still sitting on the sideline. For whatever reason, if you’re a little intimidated, overwhelmed, mystified, or otherwise confused about how to get going, then check out Jolie O’Dell’s new book, Blogging for Photographers: Showcase your creativity & build your audience.
This awesome little resource is written specifically for beginning and aspiring photo bloggers, and it does an excellent job priming your for what blogging is all about, and how to get started with one. Whether you want to run a purely personal site to show off your best imagery, or whether you want to engage with other readers, tell your stories with words and photos, pass on your knowledge to other photographers, Jolie’s book covers everything you need in a concise, easy to understand manual.
The book starts with an overview of blogging, and then outlines different blogging platforms, software like WordPress and Tumblr, themes, sidebars, widgets and even how to get a URL and set up your own blog.
It then shows you how to find your voice and write effective posts that attract an audience, how to engage with the blogging community, and how to monetize your blog so that it can become a money making source for you and your photography business. There’s quite a bit in this chapter, more than you might think!
A chapter in inspiration gives you some ideas for those times when you run out of steam. Believe me, it happens to every blogger. Coming up with regular content week after week can be pretty challenging. There’s also a chapter on Photoshop and how to prepare your image for your blog, and finally, a resource section that lists a wide variety of software, hosting and app options.
Throughout the book, Jolie points to a number of other blogs and outlines how each one has found success in their own niche. Although I’m totally crushed that didn’t include my blog in there, she did pick some pretty good and diverse examples.
Truth be told, there are a lot of blogging books and websites out there, but I find Jolie’s Blogging for Photographers book to be a refreshing little tome. It’s very well laid out, extremely easy to read and it covers a wide range of material without going overboard or going off track. It’s very relevant, and even for someone like me who’s been blogging for awhile, there are some inspiring tips that I feel will help me with my own site.
If you’ve wanted to start a blog but have been waiting for the right time, the right reason, or the right anything else, NOW is the time to get started. The world is not stopping and waiting for you to get on, and the sooner you get your blog up and running, the sooner you’ll be able to reap the creative, motivational, community and perhaps even monetary related benefits that blogging brings to your photography life.
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For photographers who don’t have the time (or writing chops) to regularly write high-quality posts may I recommend hiring a ghostwriter? You get the best of both worlds; more traffic to your blog without all the extra work.