So you’re thinking of seriously photo blogging in 2014?
One of my recent posts about buying art online from independent artists generated more than a few email inquiries from fellow photographers looking to take a more serious approach to photo blogging in 2014.
I’ve started to see more of a trend on social media outlets where more photographers are taking a serious look at developing content within their own space and accompanying their social media presence with links back to their blogs and websites.
I know more than a few photographers that abandoned their blogs when Google+ came on the scene, leaving these vacated blogs to fall into search engine wasteland.
It’s seems that this recent post ended up generating some interest from both the hobby and semi-professional level photographers alike, I was asked to visit 18 blogs / sites to offer some advice and insight on where to start, where to learn and where to get motivated with better blogging habits.
Find Your Own Voice – I think finding your own voice is the most important step in developing a following when photo blogging, you need to develop your own voice and unique style, immerse your own personality into your content and not just put a spin on someone’s personality or content. When you find your own voice you not only develop readership but you also will earn respect and trust within your niche, you also stand more of a chance of turning visitors into customers.
More than pictures – If you are just posting pictures and disgruntle that you haven’t achieved the level of blogging success that you are looking for it’s time to do some research. You will read over and over within the marketing circles that content is king, sharing just a pretty picture on Facebook may get you some likes but it is doing nothing for your search traffic. Photo blogging with just pictures may have worked in 2007 but in 2014 photo blogging is about providing the written content to accompany the photograph.
Know your customer – Maybe you have a great day job and you’re only looking to sell a few prints to cover gas or just a monthly a fix of Dopamine. That’s OK, you need to know who is going to buy a print from you and if that is your goal here is the secret sauce, if you are marketing yourself to other photographers you are missing the boat.
Now if you feel that confident that you have something that hasn’t been said before, can say it better or feel confident in being an educator by all means develop that educational content and jump in knee deep in pushing your skills and knowledge. There are plenty of people looking for photo education and it’s a great way to build a community especially if you are looking for some workshop revenue.
Givers Gain – This is something I truly believe in and something that comes from my sales and marketing background, “Givers Gain” is a phrase we commonly used when I was a BNI chapter president and it works for me even till this day. I still have friends and contacts that keep me in mind knowing that I either supported their efforts or helped them by generating a lead that was easily closed based on the value of a relationship.
Relationships – You need to build sincere relationships both online and offline, find out who influences your potential customers and you have an interest in networking with and build that relationship and trust. You don’t need a large army of brand advocates to get your message out, you need a small platoon of active relationships all working towards one goal. In 2014 photo blogging is more than just building a website, it’s not a field of dreams and if you build it they will come. You need to promote and be promoted as a trust worthy source online in order to build and maintain your authority.
Print sales don’t come easy – Don’t expect to put a blog post a week, 1 tweet a week to build a lucrative fine art business. You’ve just decided to enter one of the most competitive niches online and it will take more focus, time and determination than that if you are going to get serious about photo blogging for print sales.
Get Social – A photographer recently told me they were going to go back and spend more time on Facebook, Google Plus wasn’t generating enough +1’s on their work. I thought to myself are you crazy, you’re interested in selling prints and joined in on the ground level of an expanding social empire, Google plus is more than just about +1’s, get out there and develop circles outside of your photography niche and interact on different levels where your potential clients are. This is not to mention just the authority alone with Google+ can benefit your website and photo blog, I’m not saying place all your eggs in one basket but if you are serious about social media and building your website authority Google+ is where you need to be.
Check out this recent article on Photography Talk about 3 common social media mistakes photographers make.