Blogging is a fantastic way for any business to drive traffic and increase visibility online. Photographers can also benefit from the power of a blog to boost their search engine visibility and get more eyes on their photographs—and more commissions.
If you are a photographer, a blog is also a fantastic way to show off your work, and you can turn it into a portfolio of your latest and greatest shots.
But blogging is not always straightforward. It’s easy to make mistakes that can see you spend a lot of time on your blog with very little to show for it. In such situations, you need to learn from the best.
Here are some of the most important lessons you can learn from experienced WordPress bloggers.
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Make Sure Your Blog Is Fast
A slow site will always hurt your business. If you want to delight your visitors and show up in the search engines, you need a fast-loading website. As a photographer, you are particularly at risk of a slow-loading site because of all the images you upload. You want them to look large and beautiful, but that can slow down your blog posts significantly.
Make your images smaller when editing them. They can still look amazing, but they will help to make the page load faster.
Follow other best tips for ensuring your site runs smoothly, such as using a fast web host. You could also create a cached version of your site. If you’re unsure how to go about this, WordPress makes it easy because you can simply use a plugin like WP Rocket Cache, and this is an easy way to speed things up.
Only Post Amazing Images
The rule of blogging is to create amazing content. Don’t waste time with short, repetitive content that readers can find elsewhere. Your images should follow the same rule, so make sure your photos are special and unique to you.
You should only post your very best images on your blog, so always keep this in your mind when you start. Post them large so they look spectacular on the page. People will primarily want to see your best work, so show them what you can do.
Name Your Images
Whenever you upload an image, make sure you give it a name. Simply describe what it is using three or four keywords broken up using hyphens.
The reason is that search engines cannot read images. They need to know what the images show, and you can only do this using words. You won’t suddenly get a traffic boost because you name your images, but it is a good habit to get into.
Tell Interesting Stories
Photos will clearly be the main focus of your website, but you need written content as well, which is important for SEO. Google needs text to rank your blog posts for your main keywords, and it can only do this when there is enough content to provide context.
Text also helps you to tell stories. Of course, photos can tell stories on their own. But your visitors will often want to hear what you have got to say. They want to hear your motivations and inspirations behind the photos, and you could even tell them the story behind each photograph.
It could be a simple as a few lines about where the photo was taken, what was happening just before, and what happened after. Or you could go into great depth about your inspiration behind each photo and what you were trying to achieve.
How much you write depends on your personal writing style and what you feel is important. If you are unsure what to write, look at other photographer websites to get ideas. If people ask you questions in the comments or on social media, these are the sorts of things you can answer directly in your blog posts.
Almost every well-known WordPress blogger highlights the need to blog consistently, and especially at first. Big-name marketers like Neil Patel are very clear about this.
When you are first starting out, aim to blog at least once a week, but more is better. Aim to provide visitors with something new all the time—it’s great for your visitors, and this can also help improve your SEO.
Always Build an Email List
The best WordPress bloggers invariably have email lists, and this is considered essential. Follow their lead by setting up your email list using a pay-as-you-go service like Moosend. Create a sign-up form and offer something in return for signing up (e.g. your guide to taking better landscape photos). Add the form to different places on your site and to your blog posts.
Once people sign-up, keep in touch by sending regular tips and exclusive photos. Don’t forget to direct them back to your blog posts.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective types of marketing for any business, and when you do it right, it can become an important source of traffic and sales.
Look at your blog as the hub of your marketing efforts, but understand that people don’t just read blogs and then go away. The best blogs let them contribute.
Add a section for comments, and reply to the people who engage with your content.
Almost every serious WordPress blogger takes their social activity very seriously, so add social share buttons to make it really easy to share your content. If people like an amazing image they find on your site, they will want to share it. You should actively encourage this because it will help to drive more people back to your blog.
Get More Eyes on Your Blog
Running a blog is a time-consuming process and one that takes a lot of dedication if you want to get it right. But the results are well worth it when you start generating traffic, building your email list, growing your brand, and getting more commissions and sales.
You can learn something from anyone. That means photographers can learn from people of all disciplines, including bloggers. Follow the lessons of experienced WordPress bloggers and apply them to your own blog to make sure you’re getting the most out of it.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a content writer for Micro Startups — a site dedicated to spreading the word about startups and small businesses of all shapes and sizes. Visit the blog for the latest marketing insights from top experts and inspiring entrepreneurial stories. Follow us on Twitter @getmicrostarted.