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