I love both: photography and writing! So, I decided to blend my passions into this photography blog and writing photography books.
If you’re like me, who loves to share personal stories, learning, success, and failure through writings — you’ve reached the right post. I’ll guide you how you can create your own blog post, on your own domain, with own hosting, enjoy flexibility of presentation, and create your digital real estate in photography.
Take the pain of reading the whole post, word-by-word, only if you’re sure that you can commit to your fans and publish your pictures/ blogs regularly. Alright, let’s dive-in now.
A photography website would serve one of these purposes:
1. Publish your stunning portfolio
If you’re looking for publishing your photographs in a nice digital gallery. Go for it. Owning the space, rather than posting on social media, gives you the liberty of your artistic expression.
2. Publish articles and learning resources
Writing is painful. Those who’ve written even a single 1000 words blog would know that it seems a thankless job. On the other hand, if you’re a consistent writer, you’d know the results are amazing after few months of disciplined writing. You’ll not only attract your prospective customers, but also become influencer in your photography genre.
3. A hybrid website, serving both the purposes: portfolio and blogs
It goes without saying that a photography blog without a great portfolio is just one side of the story and a portfolio website without stories leave the fans unsatiated. Hence, I recommend you publish a photography website to showcase your masterpiece and share your experience through writing for others to follow and learn.
Before I start sharing how you can publish your photography on your own digital real estate, here’s quick dos and don’ts:
1. Care for your fans and package your photography and writing in a way that they find it useful. Maintain a continuous stream of photos and posts.
2. Don’t feel you’ve got nothing to share with community. We’re all a great storyteller with our friends and with those who seek our guidance. Treat visitors on the website as your buddies. Share your stories. They’ll find it worth reading.
3. Create a persona who’d visit your site. For example, a neighbor who always liked your photos and wants to learn the skills.
Sounds like too much to commit for? Don’t worry. Like every journey or any photography project, initial planning and set-up is heavy lifting. Once your website is up and running, you just need to stick to a discipline of writing and posting your recent artwork.
Alright, like a YouTuber says: without further ado, let’s jump into creating a photography blog of your own.
1. Book a domain matching with your personality or photography skills. You can go creative in creating a brand name for your website or make a simple “YourNamePhotography.com“. Before you decide a name look for the domain’s availability on websites like LeanDomainSerch.com or Godaddy.com. If you don’t get right .com domain look for .net or .org domains.
2. Find a hosting to publish your domain and contents like blogs, pictures, and other digital assets. I recommend creating your website in WordPress. It doesn’t require a computer geek to launch website in WordPress. Many non-technical guys have done it. You can follow few tutorials on YouTube to understand how to configure your site on WordPress.
For hosting, there are pool of service providers: Godaddy, Hostgator, Bluehost, or Hostinger. Check their price and select one of those. To start with, pick the most economical WordPress hosting for your blog. As your visitors on the blog grows, consider upgrading the hosting to dedicated server.
3. Basic branding of your website is important to keep the look and feel of your blog site in sync in with all the pages, posts, header and footer. Keep it simple. Here’s what you must do:
- create a logo for header
- decide the brand colors of your website
- pick a professional typography for title and text contents
As a photographer you may be trying your hands with various graphics tools. So, making a logo and keeping your brand colors consistent comes intuitively to us, right?
4. A website theme for WordPress is available free, paid, or can be created with the help of page builder tools like Elementor. Don’t burn your pocket to buy costly themes and plugins. Start with a free theme for your blogs and Google a free plugin for your gallery. I’ve created my pages and posts templates with Elementor. It provides me lots of flexibility to build my pages in a blank canvas.
As I said, heavy lifting is in setting up and launching the website. Once it is up and running, all you need is to follow a blogging schedule.
How to post a blog?
There’s a basic anatomy of a photography blog post. Which consists of blog title, a featured image, category of the blog, tags to group blogs in common interest, content of the blog (text and pictures), and attributes like author, post-date, and comments. We’ll keep it simple.
If you’ve just started posting blog, care only about the title, a featured image from your artwork, and a well-structured text-based content.
Keep the categories under which you’ll post your blog ready in your master data set-up. For example, you want to post about behind the scene stories, camera reviews, and your travel — your categories will be (i) Behind the scenes, (ii) Camera Review, and (iii) Travel Stories. This is just an illustration. Generate your own category of posts which you’d like to identify your posts with.
Tags are like categories, for logically grouping your posts and tagging it with a similar post for your viewers to browse in the tags archive at one place. This is the beauty of a CMS (Content Management Software) — it’s versatile to keep your posts engaging by grouping the under various classifications. Examples of tags would bird photography, portrait photography, photography lessons etc. You’ll discover more as you start you posting.
Don’t worry about tags and categories while you’re drafting your blog. Draft it in free-flowing mode. Keep categories and tags pre-populated in your website and assign it to your blog post before publishing.
What is ideal words count for a blog?
An informative blog should be nearly 1000 words long. But it really depends on how deep you want to go on a topic. Do you prefer to split a topic into multiple smaller posts or want to pour all your thoughts in a single epic post? Plan the length of the post accordingly. SEO gurus demand for longer posts. But I prefer to keep the length what suits to my narrative.
What media content should go in the post?
The media which helps building the story of the post should go into the blog. Don’t embed pictures, graphics, or videos just for the heck of doing it. Your media should contribute or illustrate the specific section of the story.
From SEO point of view, having few media content is good. But in my view less is more. Because it makes your post heavy and loads slow when a reader browses it on Internet.
Should you do keyword research?
You’re already writing in a niche genre of photography. You’d write specifically about portrait photography or wedding photography. So, it’s fair to assume that your posts would be keyword loaded already. So, don’t bother about researching keywords on various tools and plan the post according to the keyword. Make your expression free flowing. Keywords are incidental.
Keep in mind while writing:
(i) Don’t stuff same keywords or key phrases at a cluster
(ii) Find alternate words for any keyword if you find it getting clustered in one section.
What’s the process of drafting and publishing a blog?
For the first draft, write profusely. Let your fingers do the talking when you hit the keyboard. Don’t apply your mind. Don’t think whether you’re writing perfect grammar or whether the sentence makes sense or whether the tense is correct or where you should stop. Create your first ugly draft as soon as possible. This is the easiest step.
Once your draft is ready, look for the flow whether it tells the story that you intended to tell.
In the third step, correct the grammar, tenses, and find alternate words for any word or phrase used frequently. I won’t suggest hiring a professional editor if you’re just starting your blogging website. It will dig your pocket deep if you start hiring editors for reviewing your blogs. Trust your English and hit publish with confidence.
After you finish your text, look for the right media — photographs, video, or graphics that you’d like to embed in-line with the text. This is where a photographer like you have an advantage. You guys have no dearth of pictures. Non-photographers look around the web to find pictures for free or paid!
I’m not doing the tutorial of how to post a blog in WordPress. The steps are very simple. But let me know if you’re facing any challenge in posting a blog and attaching pictures.
What should you blog about as a photographer?
You’ve no idea that you’ve a wealth of information worth sharing that many people are dying to read. Here’s a list of few topics, among many more, you can talk about:
- Are you a self-taught or learned in an Institute
- Talk about your gears and lenses
- Write reviews about gears, glasses, tripods, light equipments, editing softwares etc
- Share your editing workflow
- If you’re a wedding or any other niche photographer, talk about specific challenges and how you handle them
- Let people know about your personal photography projects
- How was your last photo tour or studio photography session
You see! There are no limitations of what you can write about. You can easily churn out 100s of blog titles today and, as you start writing, you’ll churn out 1000s of topics worth sharing.
How to monetize your photography blog?
Define your goals you want to achieve with your photography blog. Do you want to attract your prospective clients? Do you want to launch own photography tutorials and sell your video courses and presets? Do you want to monetize your blog with various online advertisement programs like Google AdSense? Do you want to recommend a product and make an affiliate income from the sellers of the product? Or, you want to become an influencer and go-to-person in photography?
There are myriad of monetization opportunities through your blog! Pick one in your personal vision. You don’t necessarily need to share your vision with community. Let community get benefited from your blogs and let the blog contribute to your handsome passive income. Well, few bloggers love to share their blogging incomes on the web in the spirit of transparency. You can find your own calling and fine-tune the monetization approach as you grow your audience on the photography website.
Photography websites which I found useful in my journey:
The site has plenty of bloggers contributing and helping the community keep abreast with photography techniques, tools, and personal experience.
This also has wealth of information, ranging from photography knowledge to camera reviews.
Steven Heap is author of stock photography book and posts about his own success with stock photography. He also shares his monthly income from various stock sites. It’s incredible and encouraging for beginners who want to make passive income with photography.
Eric is a street photographer. His blogs are great source of learning street photography.
There are many such bloggers who write in specific genres like Street Photography, Portrait Photography, Wildlife Photography etc.
A blog helps you reach people whom you can’t reach out 1:1. Setting up the photography blog for the first time is major work. Keeping up with your writing and photography passion will pave your way to become influencer!