Article by Jimmy McIntyre:
With so many social media options available to us, many photogaphers are choosing not to create a blog for their photography. People often post on sites like flickr, 500px, facebook, google+ etc., instead of facing the possible challenge of setting up their own website. However, having your own blog can provide you with some wonderful options you can’t get elsewhere, especially if you’re willing to devote the time to running your site well.
My photography blog, ThroughStrangeLenses.com, has been around for 2 years now. Here are some advantages of having a blog that I’ve found during that time.
A place to publish your photos in your own unique way
There are some great ways to publish your images online, but few sites offer complete customization, so that you can present your images any way you want. With a blog, you have complete control over everything. You can create an interactive slideshow, a 3D-style rotating display…you name it, it can be done. you can even have music playing automatically as people view your images.
Your blog environment can compliment your style of imagery in every way.
An alternative way to get new followers
Having a blog can open you up to a larger audience. Working intelligently, you may find yourself high in some search results in Google, which could drive decent traffic to your site. Each one of these visitors is a new set of eyes, and potentially a new fan.
Develop an email newsletter
Opening up the number of ways someone can subscribe to your updates is very important. Some don’t like facebook, or google+, or flickr, but just about everyone has an email address. I have a weekly photography newsletter that I send out on a Sunday with the latest tutorials and articles from the web. I get a much higher response from my email subscribers than I do on any other subscriber/follower platform. This is my Weekly Photography Newsletter.
A solid business platform for various income streams
If you can attract traffic and gain a decent readership, you can monetize your blog with quality products that are relative to your followers. You can advertise with other companies, you can sell affiliate programs, like the Photography Affiliate program we offer here, or you can even develop and sell your own product range.
A place to share your adventure
Having a blog allows me to stretch my literary creativity as much as it does my visual creativity. When I’m travelling and shooting, I make it my goal to paint a colourful, yet accurate portrayal of the adventure that lay behind the picture I’ve published. After a while, I started to get readers who were just as interested in my journal entries as they were my images.
Look more professional
Having a blog doesn’t mean you’re better than those who don’t own a blog, of course. But there’s something about a beautiful, or well maintained blog, that gives the photographer an aura of professionalism, rather than if they just published their images to facebook. It seems strange, but it’s certainly the case.
Add a Tutorials section
With a blog, we have the option to add various sections to our site. We could add a tutorial section to help other photographers. We could add a Behind The Scenes, where we publish candid shots of us on location. The options are huge, and completely dependent on your personal taste.
An easier way for people to reference you
When talking to other photographers, we’ll often recommend photographers whose work we enjoy. A good blog name is often more memorable than a name. I’ve spoken to a few people who follow my work that have said they found me because someone recommended my blog.
A Good way to be contacted
Having a blog is one of the easiest ways a person or company can contact you. If someone you’re not connected to on Facebook tries to message you, their message will be sent to the Spam/Other mailbox; 500px’s messaging system is deeply hidden; Google+’s is non-existent; flickr’s is great but, like all of the other sites, it is dependent on someone having an account on it.
With a blog, literally anyone can email you straight to the email address of your choice. Since you can use a contact form instead of giving out your email, you’ll be protected from spammers.
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