The blog mon­ster

Fo­lio con­sul­tant Christina Force dis­pels some of the myths and mis­con­cep­tions around the value and effort needed to main­tain a blog

The Shed - - Column - Christina Force

One of the things that most seems to con­fuse pho­tog­ra­phers I meet is the blog. All man­ner of scary myths sur­round this amaz­ing tool which, if used prop­erly, can save you masses of time, get your work out to more peo­ple than you ever imag­ined, prompt you to sus­tain per­sonal projects that oth­er­wise would go unat­tended (or un­viewed), and make you fa­mous. Oh, and get you work. Re­ally nice work.

If you are a se­ri­ous pho­tog­ra­pher who wants to cre­ate in­ter­est around your work you have to stop see­ing a blog as a jour­nal, and start to see it as a shar­ing plat­form.

You know your style and di­rec­tion. You know the clients you are speak­ing to. Now for­get your blog for a mo­ment and write a list or make a vis­ual di­ary of per­sonal projects that you’d like to de­velop. To help de­cide which one is best for your blog con­sider the fol­low­ing:

One: which of these projects has an on­go­ing na­ture, i.e. one which you could keep shoot­ing all year round?

Two: per­haps you have an idea which could be shot in one or two blocks but would pro­duce 30–60 fi­nal im­ages.

Three: what are the holes in your port­fo­lio and what projects could help close these gaps? Per­haps you need to shoot more peo­ple, land­scapes with some­thing in them, or still life.

Four: think of projects that align most with your di­rec­tion — what you want to be shoot­ing, not what you think you should be shoot­ing. Be creative.

Five: projects that would be most ap­peal­ing to your tar­get mar­ket. You know who they are. Do they like sport? An­i­mals? Travel? Find some­thing you would gen­uinely like to shoot (see 4), which would res­onate for them too.

Six: so­cial con­science projects. What do you care about, and how could it be­come a project that could gen­er­ate a re­sponse? What val­ues align with your tar­get clients? Now I’m go­ing to dis­pel some myths about blogs:

● You don’t have to write copy. Im­ages are enough. Dys­lexia is no longer an ex­cuse.

● You don’t have to post daily. You can choose how of­ten you are go­ing to post.

● You don’t have to be avail­able to post. You can post a whole year in ad­vance on presched­uled dates if you like. Now that we’ve cleared that up, here are the fi­nal steps to get­ting your work out there with very lit­tle effort (ex­cept shoot­ing it).

● Choose as your project the one that ticks the most boxes.

● De­cide how of­ten you’re go­ing to post (and stick to it).

● Name the project, and name your blog ac­cord­ingly.

● Write (or get some­one else to write) a brief in­tro to the project (this is the only time you have to write any­thing, I prom­ise). Suc­cinct is per­fect. You just want to hook your view­ers.

● Upload shots and back­date them, or pre-date them, in sep­a­rate batches (or one by one). Do not dump ev­ery­thing in one post. Spread it out. When you have pop­u­lated it with a few posts (shots), you can share it.

● If ap­pro­pri­ate, set up Face­book and Twit­ter pages with the same name.

● Au­to­mate your blog to feed out to your so­cial me­dia pages ev­ery time you post.

● Con­sider shar­ing the im­ages via In­sta­gram too (more on so­cial me­dia later).

Here’s what will hap­pen:

● Peo­ple will click on so­cial me­dia links and it will bring them to your blog, which will be sit­ting on your web­site, so they might stay there and have a look around (this is what you want).

● Peo­ple will share, ‘like’, retweet, and com­ment on your posts. You’ll gen­er­ate dis­cus­sion.

● Peo­ple will start fol­low­ing your blog for the next in­stall­ment.

● You may be in­ter­viewed for pub­li­ca­tions around the world.

● These ‘peo­ple’ will in­clude po­ten­tial clients.

● Clients may seek you out to shoot more of the same, for which you will be paid.

Now ditch your old dodgy blog, come up with a project, and go share your cre­ativ­ity with the world.

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