3 Tips to Growing Your Blog Readership – A Case Study by SLR Lounge

Photocrati makes wonderfully designed WordPress themes and web platforms for anyone that desires to have a strong online presence. The big question is once we have our wonderful blog and website all setup, how do we go about driving traffic to our blog?

While growing a website is something that takes time and consistency, there are definitely things that we can do to push things along just a little bit quicker. In this article, we will be doing a case study on SLR Lounge’s iPhone Fashion Shoot to give you 3 solid tips on how you can create articles that will instantly boost readership and traffic to your site.

Let’s start off by first showing you guys a few of the images. All images are taken by the iPhone 4G, post produced using the SLR Lounge Lightroom Preset System and copyright Lin and Jirsa, Wedding Photographers in Los Angeles.




1. Create Viral Content

This sounds like a no-brainer, but our first tip is to create viral content. We have all been bombarded with the term “viral” as it is constantly thrown around in relation to online videos that receive millions of views (unfortunately with cats being the subject of many). However, your content doesn’t need to generate millions of hits for it to be considered “viral” (nor does it need to include cats).

Viral simply refers to readers or viewers taking content and organically sharing it with their friends. Creating viral content simply means that we are creating content that generates enough interest that it is worthy of sharing. While it can be difficult to try and brainstorm concepts that are “Star Wars Kid” viral, it is fairly easy creating content that is “viral enough” for those that have interest in that particular subject to share the content with their like-minded friends. The more creative and interesting your content, the better the chance that it go viral.

When it came to the SLR Lounge iPhone Photo Shoot, our concept was to prove that great photography didn’t have to come from expensive professional gear. So, when brainstorming how we were going to illustrate this concept, we set a few rules.

Rule 1 – Poor Quality Camera: The first rule was that we wanted to use a poor quality camera, one that was even worse than everyone’s standard point and shoot.
Rule 2 – Cheap Budget: Rule number two was to set a budget for the shoot that anyone could afford. So, we decided to use 2 pieces of equipment (reflectors) that cost in total under $60
Rule 3 – Amateur Models: Rule number three was to use amateur models (friends) for the shots, to show that you don’t need a professional model.

The goal behind these rules was to create a “wow factor” where people would be amazed that we could achieve professional results with virtually nothing. Being impressed themselves, these people would then take the video and stills from the shoot and show it to their photographer friends. This was intended to be the “creative viral” side of our article.

2. Provide Valuable Content

Tip number two is to provide valuable content whenever possible. Valuable content differs from viral content in that valuable content provides something back to the reader, while viral content generally does not (at least, not beyond simple entertainment). Valuable content can come in many different forms. Some examples might include the following:

Educational – Content that is designed to teach and inform the viewer.
Monetary – Content that is designed to help the viewer save or even earn money (coupons, etc).
Giveaways – Content that includes “freebies” for viewers (free downloads or other “shwag”).

Regardless of what direction you go, the more valuable your content is, the more it will appear to viewers. In the case of the SLR Lounge iPhone Fashion Shoot, we thought that in addition to showing off that we pulled off this shoot, let’s also follow up the original article with a behind the scenes tutorial showing people exactly how they could do this same thing on their own. Hence, shortly after we released the SLR Lounge iPhone Fashion Shoot article, we followed it up with How to Create Professional Photos with a $30 Reflector. In the follow up video we used the exact same model (which was recorded on the same day of the original shoot), to show exactly how we pulled off the looks and lighting in the SLR Lounge iPhone Fashion Shoot.

This was our “value proposition” in educating our readers on these photographic techniques.

3. Join Existing Conversations

Our last tip is whenever possible, use your articles and content to join existing conversations. Joining existing conversations will generally help boost traffic much quicker than simply creating new conversations for the following reasons:

Existing Community – An existing conversation will already have an existing community behind it. They are already interested and engaged in the topic, hence it is easy to move their interest and traffic onto your addition to the conversation.
Develop Relationships – Joining existing conversations can often develop relationships if you are willing to give “credit and props” to those that have came before you in the conversation.
Refine Your Concept – An existing conversation will help you in refining the overall concept to your content. You may find answers to existing questions, as well as new questions and thoughts that can be addressed with your content.

When we initially thought of the concept for this shoot, we did research to see if there was already existing content on the subject of using a “crappy” camera to create professional results. At that point, we hadn’t decided what camera we were actually going to use for the shoot.

After a few minutes of research, we found the FStoppers iPhone Fashion Shoot. The FStoppers were actually the first ones in pulling off this exact concept. They had done a brilliant job in showing that you could create professional images with virtually any camera. However, in watching their video and reading through the existing conversation, we discovered that many of their readers were coming up with “rebuttles” in relation to their concept. The general consensus was that “They were still using expensive professional lighting, as well as a professional model.” This is actually where we came up with the concept to use only $30 reflectors along with an amateur model.

So, being well versed on the existing conversation helped us to refine our idea. In addition, we decided at that point to also use the iPhone and then to create a video that would be a “follow up and tribute” to the FStoppers iPhone Fashion Shoot. We wanted to be sure to give credit to the FStoppers in coming up with the original concept, while we went on to help address concerns from the conversation. When we posted the article we included our follow-up tribute, as well as the original FStoppers video. Then we notified the FStoppers who were excited that we had addressed the ongoing conversation on their website. They featured the video to their readers which immediately brought us into the conversation and boosted immediate traffic and awareness of SLR Lounge.

In Conclusion

Creating well thought out content that follows these three tips is of course time consuming. However, it is virtually guaranteed to not only boost short-term traffic, but also to create long-term readership on your blog or website. The best part about these techniques is that it only requires “sweat equity” as opposed to having to invest in traditional advertising. We hope you all enjoyed this article!

Click here for the SLR Lounge iPhone Fashion Shoot full article, including the behind the scenes video, along with additional images.

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