Stating your own photography blog can be fun, enriching and an effective marketing tool for your photography business. An attractive blog can build your profile among fellow photographers, and bring in leads and clients as you demonstrate your skills, knowledge and personality.
How to start a photography blog in eight steps
- Clarify why you want to start a blog
- Zoom in on your target reader
- Choose a blogging platform
- Build your photography home
- Identify photography post topics
- Create a posting schedule
- Make sure search engines index your posts
- Build an engaged following
Step 1: Clarify why you want to start a blog
Start by identifying the reason why you want to start a photography blog. A few of the most popular reasons photographers start blogs are to:
- Showcase their work and grow their businesses.
- Interact with and learn from other photographers.
- Exchange tips and tricks with the photography community.
Once you’ve established your goal, this will serve as a guideline for what content to post.
Step 2: Zoom in on your target reader
The more targeted your blog is, the easier it will be to attract customers and engage an audience. Are you a master wedding photographer? Is travel photography more your style? The more focused your niche, the more targeted your blog will be and the higher the chance you’ll become known as an expert in your field.
Step 3: Choose a blogging platform
There are many blog builders out there – Blogger, Tumblr and Medium, to name a few. WordPress is a great option for photographers because it’s highly customisable, thanks to thousands of available themes and plugins.
GoDaddy has a managed version of WordPress that features quick setup. It offers the power of WordPress without the hassle of installing the core software and security updates or making daily backups.
If you want to keep things super simple, you can use a photography website template from GoDaddy’s website builder. Website Builder makes it simple to create a modern, professional site with no technical knowledge required.
Step 4: Build your photography home
Now it’s time to bring your blog to life.
Choose a domain name
Your domain name is your identity on the web. Here are a few tips for choosing the right one:
- Keep it short and sweet. People need to be able to remember your blog name.
- Do some research into your preferred domain name… is the name already registered?
- Check if the name is already taken on all the major social media channels. Social media is essential when it comes to promoting your blog and its posts. Keep your social media names/handles consistent with your blog name, so it’s easy for your audience to remember.
These days, you don’t need to stick with a co.za or .com domain name. You can register a .photos or .photography domain name to make it obvious what you do.
Select a hosting service
You can skip this step if you choose to use a website builder, including any managed WordPress option, because these usually include hosting as part of the service.
Here are a few things to look out for when choosing a host:
- Excellent customer service. You don’t want to be left on your own when your website suddenly goes offline.
- One-click WordPress installation on hosting will make your life a lot easier if you’re not familiar with databases and the more technical side of websites.
- Is the domain name registration included?
Choose a theme
If you’re building your photography blog on WordPress or GoDaddy Website Builder, you’ll want to find the perfect theme. For your first theme, choose a simple one that showcases your work in a visually appealing way. Later, you can expand into more complex themes where you can, for example, sell your photography.
Most premium (paid) themes on WordPress come with customer support and regular updates. Your blog will always work with the latest version of WordPress and be compatible with all browsers.
Step 5: Identify photography post topics
Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
- Photo essays are perfect for showcasing your skill on a certain topic.
- Tutorials are helpful posts. You could, for example, elaborate on a certain technique you employ that you know might be beneficial to other photographers.
- FAQ: Answer questions that are frequently asked by your audience.
- Personal stories: How did you get into photography? What has been your most challenging shoot to date? Who is your main influence?
Try to identify gaps in the market, solve a problem not many have written about, or come up with another view for a well-known subject.
Step 6: Create a posting schedule
Consistency is key in the blogging world, so favour quality over quantity. You don’t need to publish a post every day because, if you do, the quality of those posts might not be high. Instead, post according to a schedule that works for you and that you know you’ll be able to maintain. You should not need to neglect other parts of your life and business. Even if it means posting only once a week or once a month.
Step 7: Make sure search engines find your posts
Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is an important part of blogging because it helps your posts rank higher in Google search results. For best results, you’ll want to add the keywords potential clients are searching for to your blog posts.
- Create content that provides value to your target readers. Research the topics they’re searching for, so you can create posts that meet a real demand.
- Write compelling headlines. The headline can mean the difference between 10 people and 10,000 people reading your blog post.
- Earn backlinks and social shares. Backlinks and social media activity act as votes of confidence from external sources praising your content. They heavily influence a web page’s ability to rank for a target keyword.
- Include keywords in meta tags and the head section of each web page.
- Optimise images. Include your target keyword(s) in image file names and Image Alt tags.
- Make sure your blog loads quickly, especially on mobile devices. Use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to check your site speed.
Step 8: Build an engaged following
Once your blog is online and you’ve published a few blog posts, the moment has finally come to introduce the world to your new blog!
You scratch my back…
Use your blog to network with fellow photographers, offer tips and tricks, and share each other’s content. This way you not only grow as a photographer but can gain new leads through your photography friends (and their friends).
Start collecting e-mail addresses
Make sure to add a newsletter sign-up form on your website to grow your e-mail list.
Whether you’re a novice or pro photographer with years of experience under your belt, starting a photography blog can be a highly useful marketing tool for your business.
Start brainstorming now, then follow the above steps on how to start a photography blog to create your own personal space on the web!
This article has been adapted from an original piece by Lies Veldeman.