Photocrati Feature: Turn Responsive On and Off

With Photocrati 4.8 out we decided to take an opportunity to share some of the new features we’ve included in the theme.

In this video you’re going to see how you can easily turn responsive capability on and off.

When we decided to add responsive capability into the theme we didn’t want to force all theme users to use it. Because when it comes down to it, not everyone wants that feature.

So we converted the standard Photocrati theme into what is now called legacy and modern.

Legacy – how the theme was prior to version 4.8, with a non-responsive view that doesn’t shrink on mobile devices.

Modern – a fully responsive design where the content and images will shrink and the menu will adjust for mobile devices.

The neatest part is we made the switch literally a couple clicks. One to choose legacy or modern (legacy is on by default for upgrades and modern is default on new installs), and one to confirm the change.

Check out the video:

It is worth noting that if you are running a preset that is untouched or customized in anyway then you are better off simply re-choosing that preset rather than just switching from legacy to modern. The reason is because once you switch to modern further customization is required to the theme.

New custom CSS blocks will be used rather than the original legacy custom CSS blocks. The menu will change because it’s now a responsive menu, and potentially other things won’t look identical. If you are already using a customized preset then you’ll have to customize further for the new responsive feature.

We hope you enjoy Photocrati 4.8 – please be sure to comment with a link to your new website using 4.8 or send us a link on social media. We’d love to share it with the Photocrati community.

Thanks and enjoy,
Scott

Photocrati Instagram Weekly Roundup

Welcome to the new Instagram Weekly Roundup. We want to share your favorite Instagram photos. To join in the fun, post your photographs on Instagram using the hashtag #photocrati. All the photos you share will be aggregated and we will pick our favorites to include in the Instagram roundup each week. We will include a link to your Instagram account, the filter used, your caption and of course a link to the original photo on Instagram.

We can’t wait to see your photos!

Follow us @photocrati on Instagram!

T-shirts ordered #photocrati
via scottwyden
Filter used: X-Pro II
T-shirts ordered

Harper sporting my #Photocrati hat on Easter at the zoo
via scottwyden
Filter used: Valencia
Harper sporting my hat on Easter at the zoo

Sprouting Photographer & Skip Cohen University Partner for new Podcast

sprouting-photographer-podcast

Bryan Caporicci from Sprouting Photographer and Skip Cohen from SCU have come together for a new podcast series over at Sprouting Photographer.

You may recall a mention of Bryan from the last article talking about content conversion.

However, the Weekend Wisdom with Skip Cohen podcast is filled with incredible inspiration and advice surrounding marketing a photography business. The coolest part is that it is in no way aimed towards only portrait or event photographers. In fact, the first guest is Don Komarechka who self published an extremely successful book with macro photography of snowflakes. That might not interest you in text, but if you look at the photographs your mind will be blown away at the beauty in something that melts away.

Instead of going on and on I encourage you to visit the first episode, listen and then subscribe.

From Content To Conversion – Tips from Sprouting Photographer

content-conversion-tipsOur friend Bryan Caporicci has published a series of amazing articles for photographers on his website Sprouting Photographer. Each article talks about some aspects of a photography business that can be improved upon.

The first article talked about pricing photo services.

The second talked about converting leads into clients.

The third is one that I was most excited for, talking about converting website visitors into leads and clients. This is what I want to briefly touch on here, and then have you head over to the SP website to continue reading.

Bryan says it well when he says “Content is king and photographers need to implement a content marketing program in their businesses.”

In fact, the biggest issue that wedding photographers face today are how to attract and convert website visitors. So many wedding photographers will post blog content that is not valuable to their potential customers. So many wedding photographers don’t know how to take the appropriate steps towards offering value or how to add context to the content.

In the article, Bryan shares 20 ideas for creating valuable content for your target market.  But he also talks about why to create the content, like making you an authority and adding credibility.

So without further ado, please head over to Sprouting Photographer to read Bryan’s article on content marketing.  You won’t be disappointed.

Photocrati 4.8 Available

What's New With Photocrati

We’re happy to announce that Photocrati 4.8 is now available via automatic update in your WordPress admin section!

Before Installing or Updating

Before installing or updating, we recommend backing up your existing files and database.  We also recommend saving your current customization features as a preset.

*Please note that even after updating, you may still see additional updates available. This is due to caching and will go away within a few hours. To verify that you are running version 4.8, visit the Appearance tab of your WordPress admin and the Photocrati theme should display the version number, 4.8.

As always, you can also download the newest version of the them from the Photocrati members area and update your theme manually.

Meet the new default Photocrati preset, Sidewinder Full.

sidewinder-full

Visit our Demos page to see all our new designs.

What’s New With Photocrati:

  • Made Photocrati Theme layout liquid and responsive for small screens
  • Added width settings to manage layout appearance
  • Added layout spacing options for main layout distance
  • Made font sizes adaptive for high density displays such as Retina
  • Added alignment options for the sidebar
  • Added side style headers
  • Added header margin and positioning options
  • Made Menus responsive for small screens
  • Added button for responsive submenus expansion
  • Added menu padding options to adjust Menu height
  • Added options for menu alignment
  • Made images not exceed size of container
  • Added background settings such as opacity and image settings
  • Changed background images to use WordPress media images
  • Added background image slideshows for homepage
  • Added “Page Without Content” template for homepage background slideshows
  • Fixed footer widgets resizing incorrectly
  • Increased dimensions of resized gallery images to 1200px
  • Added Magnific Popup as a Lightbox and for the ecommerce popup
  • Added drop shadow settings for main container
  • Added custom CSS fields for Mobile and Desktop only
  • Added extra alignment options for post meta
  • Added new series of presets to the theme selection
  • Added new batch of background images
  • Assorted fixes for e-commerce functionality
  • Fixed cart amount not totalling over 999
  • Added ecommerce option for International shipping pricing method
  • Added ecommerce option for custom currency symbol
  • Added ecommerce galleries column width option
  • Adjusted PayPal IPN notifier to not spew errors back to PayPal
  • Added grid albums column width option
  • Updated Galleria library to the latest version
  • Removed default borders from images
  • Add support for jetpack responsive video
  • Fixed naming convention for duplicate uploads for images in galleries
  • Made many small styling adjustments to modernize looks
  • Fixed file type filters for image uploads to galleries
  • Adjusted input fields length in settings to ensure no overlapping
  • Fixed uploads breaking when WordPress is run in debug mode
  • Fixed some PHP warnings and notices

Questions:

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to our support by visiting the members area.

What Are Local Citations? How To Gain Reviews For Local Citations

Local citations is a term used to describe signals on local listings showing that a business is legitimate and trustworthy.

local-citations

As you can see in the screenshot, the local results when searching for a photographer in Dallas, Texas brings shows the following three photographers. first.  The first of which contains no reviews, but is linked to a Google Plus Local business page.  The second photographer has three reviews and the third has seven reviews and five stars.

The star rating and the review count are considered local citations.

When a potential customer sees reviews he/she will be more likely to click on the search result and visit the photographer’s website.

So how do you get more citations?

If you ever received an email from a customer that contains a nice testimonial, reply with a request for the person to copy/paste that testimonial in a review at your local listings.  Provide the customer with full instructions on how to do it.

I know it is time consuming to write up a tutorial for each site, but it’s worth the effort.

If you can clearly guide your customers through the review process then you’re more likely to get the reviews posted.  Include text, screenshots and even a video tutorial if you think it will help your customers.

Where do you need citations?

There are many places where you can have your business listed and gather reviews.  Here are a few of them that I highly recommend focusing on.

  • Google Plus Local
  • Facebook Business Page
  • Yelp
  • Foursquare
  • Bing Local Listing

Where else?

Once you have those local listings set up and citations posted then start thinking about the smaller local listings like niche websites that get less search traffic than others.  If you’re a wedding photographer then wedding sites are great for getting listed.  Not all allow for reviews, but getting features on a wedding

Thanks for reading and good luck,

Scott

Learn More About Your Twitter Followers

Twitter Analytics is now available to everyone.  With it you can learn more about how you’re tweets are doing.  You can also learn about your followers.

That’s want to share with you today.

The screenshot below is from the Followers tab in my Twitter Analytics for @scottwyden.

twitter-follower-analytics
Here you can see that the bulk of my followers from the United States, which makes sense since that’s where I am located.  You will also see the top interests of my followers is 82% photography with the rest mixed between technology, other creative niches and more.

Identifying what your followers are interested in can help you reach further followers in addition to connect deeper with current followers.  For example, I know that 26% of my followers are interested in music. So if I tweet about music then I am more likely to engage with my followers than I would be if I tweeted about a topic that my followers are not interested in.

The last piece to the Follower analytics from Twitter is the list of other people that your followers are following.  You can see that people who follow me are also following a vareity of other photographers and even a photography store and photography news website.  The percentage is between 31% and 40% which shows that my tweets are very similar to theirs.

Head over to your Twitter Analytics and learn more about your followers today.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

What Photographers Should Know About gTLDs, Habits and SEO

gTLDs, Habits and SEO

I received an email from a very popular website hosting company asking for more feedback on gTLDs for photographers. For example, the new .photography, .gallery and .camera gTLDs.

Unfortunately the hosting company wanted me to lie about the value of the gTLDs to make them sell more. Of course I refused. So I decided to take their questions and use them here instead.

So in the Q&A below, you will see questions from one of the most popular website hosting companies, and the point of view from SEO, branding, etc for photographers.

Do you have any thoughts on the new gTLDs that have become available?

I definitely do.  The new domain styles are valuable for photographers to have for their protection.  For example, if I own johndoephotography.com I should also own johndoe.photography.  Otherwise a competitor could purchase the domain and use it to redirect potential leads to their own site.

However, search engines are cracking down big time on exact match domains, so having a domain like that does nothing for SEO.

In addition, the majority of website users enter .com for all domains even if the actual domain is a .net.  So why risk losing potential leads with a fancier domain for your actual business?

It makes sense to purchase the fancy domain for protection and have it forward to the actual official site.  But with the lack of SEO value and the risk of someone not entering it correctly in a browser, why take the chance of losing business by having .photography as the official domain?

A while back I wrote more on this and recorded a video rant on top level domains for photographers.  Please check it out.

Do you think you’d be recommending people to register them for their own blogs or businesses?

Yes, for protection and forwarding only.  Not for the money making part of the business.

I love finding out what people are expecting from them going forward.

I expect to see a lot of photographers purchasing them for protection and the .gallery TLDs for off-site portfolios or client proofing galleries.

It wouldn’t surprise me if some photographers also put their equipment list on a .camera or .equipment domain rather than on their main site.

Is this something you’d be willing to talk with me about?

Not if you want me to lie :-)

I am getting mixed responses from the community at large and am not really sure people even know about the availability of these domains yet – not just from REDACTED, but just in general.

Some photographers know about, less general public know about it.  It has been how many years now since domains have existed and people still don’t use .info, .biz and other long time TLDs in the masses?  Why would someone think the new TLDs would be any different? Why try convincing people to enter .photography when it’s second nature for someone to type .com?

Why try changing people’s habits instead of benefiting from their habits?

gTLDs, Habits & SEO

I care way too much about the people I educate than to lie about the usefulness of the gTLDs.  Now, of course what I wrote as responses is an answer to the general photography community.  There will be some cases where gTLDs will be more powerful and useful than others. There will be photographers who believe that having the .lighting or .gallery domain is more important than .com.  It will happen and that is perfectly fine.  If it’s working for you.  If it’s making you money.  If people are typing it in their browsers.  Great.

If they’re not.  Please rethink your strategy.

A great example of a gTLD working in favor of a website is Productive Photography.  It’s a new site from Aaron Hockley, and as the site grows in the photography community, people are becoming more aware of .photography.  The idea of having a website dedicated to making photographers more productive, without having to type .com is a play on words of sorts.  So there the gTLD made sense. Oh, and be sure to subscribe to the site because the emails contain awesome productivity advice.

If you have questions about gTLDs please comment.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

Should You Tweet Content More Than Once?

A really interesting discussion was going on at Twitter. Rand of Moz was saying that he wanted to convince his wife Geraldine to tweet content more than once.

That one tweet stirred up a conversation that you can read on Twitter.

Here is a quick screenshot of part of the conversation.

Should You Tweet Content More Than Once

As you can see, Rand is an advocate for tweeting content more than once because it’s unlikely that all of your followers will see your content the first time.

I agree with Rand completely. In fact, here is my method of tweeting.

I use Buffer to schedule my tweets, and FollowerWonk to determine the best time to tweet.

I then use two WordPress plugins to automate sharing. WP to Buffer is used to add new content to my Buffer queue at specific intervals.

Then Buffer my Posts is used to schedule older content to reshare at a specific interval.

At the same time I mix in fresh content from other websites that I curate and feel my followers would enjoy. That way it’s a good mix of old, new and other people’s content.

This has worked for me, and I constantly adjust the timing and intervals to make it more optimal. That’s the key… try, fail, adjust, try.

I hope you found this helpful in your journey towards Twitter mastery.

Thanks for reading,
Scott

What have you done for your photography business lately?

photography-business-lately

What have you done for your photography business lately?

I’ll ask again. What have you done for your photography business lately?

This has been a friendly reminder to take time here and there and find ways to improve your photography business.

Thanks for reading,
Scott