How to Start a Photography Blog
A Step by Step Dummy Proof Guide
A picture says a thousand words; this blog says more than a thousand words. It is a comprehensive guide on how to get your picture out there. A photography blog is perhaps the best way to show the world your photographing skills and also share the story unfolding before your lens. We will explore the secrets of starting and managing a successful photo blog.
As a photographer, you must love exploring and sharing. I know you are already sharing your photos on your social media accounts. But a blog gives you more exposure than a social media account will ever do. Blogs give you enough room to tell your photo stories without the worry of character limits.
Photography blogging is the ultimate crowning of digital photography. Don’t be left behind, share your life with the world; share your skills with internet users. Let them know what it feels to be you. Show them what you are looking at, where you are at, what you are eating. Tell the world what’s in your mind. Start a Photography blog and here is a simple step by step guide.
How to start your own Photography Blog in 3 Simple Steps
You will only need to spare twenty minutes of your time. In just three steps, you will go from a photo loving guy with an SD full of photographs to a proud blog owner ready to showcase their life to the world. Below is a three step guide to having your first blog followed by a video tutorial on the same. So brace yourself, aim and click your way to stardom.
1. Choose and Buy Your Domain – A domain or URL is the web address pointing at your photography blog. For instance, our domain name is http://www.buildyourownblog.net/. A good domain name should be unique, easy to remember and related to photography. An example of an ideal domain name is www.throughthelens.com.
Ideally, you should use a .com or a .net extension since there are the most popular and easiest to remember for your visitors. Good News Alert: If you purchase a hosting package from Bluehost you get a free domain! Once you’ve selected your desired domain name and confirmed it is not taken, you can proceed to step two. PS: a domain name must be unique.
2. Sign Up for Hosting – A Web host is a remote computer that stores all your web content. By all, I mean everything (including the fonts and Twitter button). A good web host will prove valuable, especially when you start getting increased traffic. Anyone who clicks on your domain name will retrieve the website from a web host server. I always recommend Bluehost for hosting because:
a. It is so easy to use
b. Signing up takes just moments, and they let you register your domain on their site as well.
c. If you purchase a hosting package, you get a free domain!
d. Their service is also very affordable so you don’t need to invest much at all to get your photography blog started.
e. They offer excellent 24/7 customer support if needed.
[Disclosure] BlueHost gives me a small commission for my referral and it doesn’t add anything to your cost. This helps me continue to provide lots of free information for bloggers.
3. Install WordPress – You are now a step away from becoming a proud blog owner. Finally, you will need to install the actual software that will run your website. In this case we recommend the easy to use WordPress. WordPress is the most popular website platform in the world, and it is exceptionally easy to use, even for those with no previous experience. From your Bluehost control panel, you can have WordPress installed in just one simple click.
I tried as much as possible to use less technological jargon in order to accommodate both IT people and “people people”. I’ve found that it is easier to follow these steps if you can actually see them being done. With this in mind, I’ve created a simple video that will walk you through each of these steps so you can see how it is done yourself. Watch this video, and then follow the link, which will bring you to BlueHost where you can purchase your domain and hosting.
Tips for the Photography Blogger
- Choose a nice theme for your blog
Photography is more of an art than science. Most of your visitors will have an eye for art. Choose a theme that is simple enough not to steal the spotlight from your photos and elegant enough to compliment your photos.
- Be dedicated to your blog
Photography is blogging calls for dedication. You need a lot of time to create both the photos and the photo stories. At times you will need to write script after script before getting the right content for your photo. Lack of content is a major turn off for new visitors. Ideally, it is best to write at least five posts before launching the blog. Once the blog is online, you can start posting regularly. Understand your visitors’ habits. You don’t want them missing a post or lacking a new post to savor
- Share what you love
The perfect job is one that is done out of passion. For you to be a successful photography blogger, you must do it with passion. Make sure you post only the photos and stories that you can connect and relate with. Remember you are your first and most loyal fan.
- Read and Respond to Comments
When your blog starts getting popular, you will notice that they will be making comments on your blog posts. This is a perfect way to learn more about your readers. The internet is full of all manner of people. Some will love your work; some will hate your work. But as the owner of the blog, you should show all of them love.
- Connect your social media accounts with your blog
Your default way to market your blog will be your social circle. You should integrate your photography blog with your social media accounts. There are so many ways to do this, but perhaps the easiest and most beneficial is to share your work on social media. Alternatively, you can add social buttons to your website. A photography blog should at the very least have an Instagram, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and Picasa buttons.
Top Free & Paid WordPress Themes for Photography Blogs
A WordPress theme will control the appearance of your blog. It will dictate the color scheme, the fonts and in most cases the layout of your photos. Needless to say, this is one of the most important aspects of your blog. You should dedicate adequate time to choosing the perfect theme for your blog post. Here is a guide that will help you choose an amazing theme. I have arranged them in no particular order.
Freedom is a straightforward and tasteful photography theme designed to let you tell a picture story. The free theme allows you to have 4 layout options. It also comes with different customizable options so that you can easily adapt it to your brand. It is the most customizable theme we have seen so far.
RokoPhoto Lite is a simple but sleek WordPress photography theme built as a blog but could also double up as a portfolio. It is awesome since it has seamless and fast transitions that improve user experience. The smooth scrolling effect makes your website look more professional without draining the fun away.
Snapshot has a simple and classy homepage. With just a slider and three thumbnails on the homepage it can never become any simpler. The thumbnails lead to single pages that show off the photo in an upper area that’s devoted only to the photo itself. The bottom area of the page contains a description and then a comment area. The theme will be perfect for photo blogs.
Unite WordPress is a fusion of simplicity and style. This sleek and highly responsive theme is user friendly on all ends and has an array of customizable aspects such as footer, color, fonts, menu and many more. It permits for a sophisticated showcase, but in a simple manner.
Oxygen is another free and fresh WordPress theme. In this theme, photography meets life. The homepage features a slider that allows you to showcase your highlight photos. The theme also comes with five different widgets on the sidebars and a navigation menu for quicker access.
Recommended WordPress Plugins for Photography Blogs
WordPress Plugins allow you to add custom features and abilities to your blog. The following are some of the most essential options for anyone who is looking to start a photography focused blog:
- NextGEN Gallery this is a classic WordPress plugin. With this plugin, you’ll be able to display your images in thumbnail galleries with lightboxes, sliders, and awesome post/page layouts.
- Slider Revolution is a powerful slideshow plugin used by many WordPress websites to create beautiful, animated slideshows. This plugin may look a bit complex and make take time to set up but could be a great way to showcase your digital photography.
- The Soliloquy Slider available in both free and premium. It offers you a clean and responsive slideshow. Add these dynamic slideshows on your blog using short codes to bring added effects to your pages and posts.
- BookingWizz is available for those who are selling their services rather than taking stock photograph. This plugin brings the power of the BookingWizz software into your WordPress blog. Your clients will be able to schedule a session with the easy-to-use interface.
- AddThis is the seamless, most powerful, and easiest way to add great social media integration to your photography blog. With this plugin and service, your readers will be able to share your content easily putting your hard work in front of their community.
Great Photography Blogs to Network With and Be Inspired By
In order to become a top photo blogger, you must start from somewhere. The best way to get inspiration and ideas for your own photo blog is by visiting and networking with already established bloggers. Here are a few to get your ball rolling…
- Psychology for Photographers – This site is created by a brilliant photography who is also a psychologist by profession. She showcases another dimension in photography that will prove inspiring for starters.
- Skip Cohen University – the website is owned by Skip Cohen (referred as the The God Father of Photography) Skip Cohen uses his industry influence and long-time relationships to curate content that can only be described as a must read for any photographer looking to grow their business and improve their work.
- Sprouting Photographer – This blog has a beautiful, clean aesthetic and a plethora of useful educational content this is one site you will come to appreciate. Known primarily as an educational resource for the business aspects of photography, site owners Bryan Caporicci and Rob Nowell, collaborate with some of the photo industry’s most influential players to help photographers access the knowledge and tools they need to develop their professional careers.
- Stoppers’ – this site has only been live since 2010 but its popularity is immense. It has now become the anchor site for creatives to visit when searching for online content like gear reviews, how-to’s, news and BTS videos. The dynamic duo of Lee Morris and Patrick Hall has built an outstanding team of contributors that continue to educate and inspire over a million photographers worldwide each month.
- The Sartorialist – the blog has been featured in countless magazines and has won countless awards. Simply put, Scott Schuman has been able to create, with The Sartorialist, an amazingly famous blog because of its focus on fashion photography and worldly images.
I know you are now all excited to start your own photography blog. I promised you there’s nothing hard when it comes to publishing your own photos on a blog. This journey may seem daunting at first, but if you are willing to take the jump with me then it will be smooth every step of the way.
I will always be happy to help you when you get stuck and update you when the story changes. With the right partner, your blog too can be featured on other blogs and magazines. For a successful blog, you need commitment and a good partner. You have a partner in me, are you committed?
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