Photocrati Feature – Responsive Galleries

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 your Photocrati galleries are now fully responsive.

This means that when viewed on devices with smaller screens the gallery will shrink down to fit the device screen. This happens on the fly and naturally alongside the rest of the content on your website.

Check out the video:

The coolest part is there is nothing you need to do to make this work. As long as your site is set to the modern skin then it’s now fully responsive

Thanks and enjoy,
Scott

Blogging Advice: Add Context To Your Content

Blogging Advice: Add Context To Your ContentWorking at Photocrati I am typically blogging for photographers on a regular basis.

However, every so often I write articles, as guest articles, that need to relate to many other industries.

Actually, even the photography specific articles can technically relate to other industries but many people overlook that.

Today I want to share some simple advice on how to add context to your blog content without making it too difficult on yourself.

Add Context To Your Content

Some of these tips come from the fact that so many photographers are visual learners instead of book learners.  So the context I will talking about are things you can do on top of the text portion of your blog article.

1. Audio

Open up Quicktime or another audio recording application on your computer and start talking about the same topic your blog article is about.  Once you are happy with the results upload the file to Soundcloud and then embed the audio file into your blog article.  Now your readers have a way to listen and read at the same time.

2. Video

Take the audio idea to the next level by recording yourself talking about the topic with video as well.  I use software called Screenflow which allows  me to record video from a webcam at the same time as recording computer sounds, a microphone and my computer screen.  I can then edit the video all in the the software and upload it directly to YouTube.  I highly recommend Screenflow for Mac users and using YouTube since it is the most popular video website and the second most popular search engine.  So you get that added SEO benefit.

Embed the video in your blog content and let readers also watch you talk about the topic.

3. Slides

Create a simple PowerPoint or Keynote presentation and upload it to SlideShare.  Using a website like that has many benefits including the large social network of slide searching, navigating slide by slide and one other large one.  With SlideShare any links included in the presentation are converted into regular text links, which provide a search engine friendly backlink.

4. PDF

If your blog content can be converted into a PDF checklist or something like that, then use Scribd to share it with your blog content.  Like SlideShare, Scribd will convert your PDF to text which helps add more text to your website, but in a more visual way, and creates backlinks if a link is in the PDF.

5. Infographic

Infographics are extremely popular because they visually show information that would otherwise be in an excel spreadsheet or in paragraph form.  Infographics are some of the most Pin’d items at Pinterest but are not the easiest thing to create.  Fortunately companies like Infogr.am, Piktochart and Visual.ly make Infographic creation a little bit easier.  I’d start there before hiring Infographic designers to create one for you.

6. Photographs

As mentioned earlier that I typically write for photographers, since Photocrati creates and sells WordPress photography templates.  On a photography blog it would be strange to not see a photograph included with any article.  Elsewhere a photograph can help illustrate the topic better than just text, or add that special boost to help get the point across.  The best part about photographs is that you don’t need to use a site like Flickr or 500px to embed them.  Pretty much ever content management system has a way to insert image files into blog content.

7. Hangouts

You might think Google Plus Hangouts would fall under the video category, and you could be right.  However I am separating it because they are also very different.  When I talked about videos I talked about you recording a video of yourself talking and/or screencasting to illustrate and elaborate on your topic.  With a Google Plus Hangout you are talking with other people about a topic.  So for example, if you are writing about blogging advice then you could have a recorded conversation with other bloggers sharing their advice.  You can then embed the Hangout like you would any other YouTube video.

8. Embedding Social

The last item on my list is embedding social posts and this is a fun, but tricky one.  I say that because the social networks do not make it terribly obvious on how to embed their posts.  But here are a few links to help you out:

Not only can these add a more visual form of getting your topic across, but it provides a way for your readers to interact through social media without leaving your website.

So there we go – 8 awesome ways that you can add more context to your blog content.  Each of these are visual and interactive.  Take advantage of the free services and embed, create and make it happen.

Bonus Tip: Offer something extremely valuable to your website visitors and watch the leads conversion rate start to raise.  Read more about that.  Here is the perfectl example for wedding photographers.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

Photocrati Instagram Weekly Round 1

My favorite WordPress host #photocrati #wpengine
via scottwyden
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“My favorite WordPress host”

Mascot #photocrati
via scottwyden
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“Mascot”

The lights.... #vscocam
via gevonservo
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“The lights….”

#Silence has fallen ... I have walked off into the Bokeh... A Career has ended & a new adventure begins on Monday! #vscocam
via gevonservo
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“has fallen … I have walked off into the Bokeh… A Career has ended & a new adventure begins on Monday!”

Table deco #vscocam #instaphoto #iphoto #photocrati
via fdan1
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“Table deco”

Mid engagement session #hoboken
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“Mid engagement session”

Wish I had a longer lens .... adds ... to wish list .... #vscocam
via gevonservo
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“Wish I had a longer lens …. adds … to wish list ….”

Success in #TheArtOfChange is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to a new purpose. #vscocam Paraphrasing #SunTzu
via gevonservo
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“Success in is gained by carefully accommodating ourselves to a new purpose. Paraphrasing”

2014 Photo Plus Expo Photowalk

photo-plus-expo-photowalkAre you going to the 2014 Photo Plus Expo in New York City?

If so, please join Scott for a photowalk with Nick from the Photographers Adventure Club on November 1 at 4:30pm EST.

The photowalk is starting at the 110th Street Central Park subway stop. To get there, take the B or C train from Penn Station (NYC) to the 110th Street stop.

The group will make our through Central Park walking by one of the lakes and the reservoir. The route will end at 81st which is the location of the Museum of Natural History.

Photo Plus Expo typically gets pretty chilly weather in NYC so please be prepared by dressing accordingly.

For more information and to RSVP please visit the event page:

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
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T-shirts ordered

Harper sporting my #Photocrati hat on Easter at the zoo
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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