The previous post 8 Photography Tips for Travel Bloggers was so well-received it inspired me to flip the whole concept around and offer some blogging tips for photographers. I picked the blogs of 30 photographers and compared them to the top 30 travel blogs out there. Here’s what I came up with:
1. Plan ahead, way ahead
Long-term bloggers will keep an editorial calendar with posts scheduled weeks ahead of time. They will plan out the content and schedule the posts to go on at the most optimal time of the day. But when it comes to blogging for photographers, I find that most of us write up an entry usually after a day of shooting and hit publish when we’re done – even if it’s in the dead of night. Planning with an editorial calendar can help make blogging feel less like a chore and more part of our photography business. It also helps us to schedule the content to go live at the best time of the week. For example, the social networks are at its busiest on Mondays at 7am Pacific and Wednesday at 2pm Pacific. If you want to get more specific, I use SocialBro to scan for my twitter followers are the most active, and schedule posts to accordingly.
2. Publish consistently
8 of the 20 travel photographer blogs I visited while coming up with material for this post had not been updated in the last 2 weeks. One hadn’t been updated since December 2012. Blogging consistently sets a pace for readers so they are used to revisiting your blog at a certain frequency. There’s nothing more annoying than a blog that has 5 posts one week and 0 the next.
3. Guest blog
Travel bloggers guest blog for each other all the time, it brings them traffic, link backs, and builds their credibility. I don’t know why photographers – particularly travel photographers – don’t do enough of this. Blogs and websites are always looking for good content, make a list of websites that you want to guest write for and reach out to them.
4. Choose topics that interest your audience
This point is important for not only travel photographers but photographers in general, you must write topics that interest your audience. Too many photographers write about highly technical aspects about their job like their gear or the light setup for a particularly photograph – topics that would only interest other photographers. Are you writing a blog for other photographers? Or are you writing a blog for future clients – brides, mothers, seniors? If it’s the latter, then you need to write about things that actually interest your clients, in addition to photos of recent shoots you’ve done, talk about what they should be wearing to a shoot or your favourite bridal shop.
5. Showcase others in your field
While it is common for travel bloggers to feature each other on their website, I rarely see this in the world of photography. Perhaps we want to avoid highlighting our competitors, or perhaps we are not as connected as a network than travel bloggers who, by the way, always seem to know each other. Either way, we need to do more of this. Not only can it boost traffic for your blog, it’s also a great way to expand your own photography network. People are flattered when you ask them to be part of your blog, and I’ve used this as an excuse to connect with many photographers whom I admire.
6. Interact with readers
Interacting with readers is simply a blog best practice. Someone came all the way to your blog, read an entire post, and stayed around the write a comment. How can you not reward them by at least replying?
7. Keep your posts <500 words
I think bloggers have got it right – the best length for a blog post is between 300-400 words and most blog posts written by full-time bloggers max out at 500 words. These days, too many websites are competing for the same eyeballs and we’ve all got a case of tl: dr, generation too long, don’t read.
8. Grow your traffic
Travel bloggers are aggressive about growing their traffic, so why shouldn’t travel photographers do the same for their blogs. Guest blogging for others and featuring other photographers on your blog are two ways to do that. In addition, holding contests / giveaways, and buying ad spaces on other blogs can also help you increase readership.