Becoming the Editor of Your Blog

Another talk I went to see at the Photography Show last month was one by Catherine Connor, Founder of Aspire Photography Training who gave a talk entitled ‘Becoming the Editor of Your Blog’ and discussing how to build a brand for your blog and how to encourage engagement with loyal fans.

I was a few minutes late to this seminar but found a space at the back as she was telling everyone to share their blog to as many places as possible. She always shares her posts to Pinterest and re-shares it on as many different boards as it is suitable for. On Pinterest it will encourage others to share your information.

Connor reposts to the Aspire accounts on twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Periscope.

Connor recommended that if someone comments, we should always comment back and always accept any compliments. This helps us to build a relationship with the people that are reading our work.

Another good way to increase your following is to ask other people to guest on your blog. If you ask other people to write for you, you reduce some of the workload and may pick up some of their fans too. Customers, clients and suppliers are all good advocates who can write for you.

Connor reminded us that our blog should be a gallery and not a library. Post our best work and not all of our work. Curate it as an art gallery. Don’t ever apologise for your work (“this image could be better if…” type comments).

Blog readers are generally women of all ages and Conner told us to get to know our customers. She urged us to entertain our customers and enjoy our blog. Saying that we shouldn’t make it about the words but about the message. Consider what message we are trying to get across in each blog post and ask ourselves have we inspired, informed, entertained, educated and sold in each blog. Don’t forget the blog is there to support our business, it must attract new clients and keep the clients we already have. It is ok to keep bigging yourself up.

Where possible Connor suggested that we include moving pictures. She said that customers don’t want to scroll through 70 photos but a short scrolling collage in one post and a gallery in the next will keep interest.


I do enjoy writing my blog and may continue to do something after my course has finished. I thought this was a really useful talk that actually did inspire me to keep going with it.

 

Building Your Brand Through Social Media

At the Photography Show I popped along to the Mobile and Social Stage to hear photographer James Beddoes speak about building your brand through social media. Although he wasn’t a very confident speaker and he was a little patronising to those of us of more mature years, he did have some useful tips for us.

He suggested that we Piggyback on the back of other things, national events, national holidays and the like. A themed photo is likely to get added attention if it links in to whatever others are talking about.

Beddoes has had good success by submitting his work to others and asking them to share it on. People that you admire and follow on social media are likely to support you in this way.

Another message that I have heard elsewhere over the past few weeks is about specialising. He recommended that we develop a style and an aesthetic. He pointed out that agencies want to see a style and not a range of different things. He said that when people are looking for a photographer they want to know what they are going to get from you. He told us to become known as the person who shoots X…

It is a good thing if people can sum you up in one photograph.

Beddoes encouraged us to think about who we are targeting our work at. If we are talking to everyone, we are talking to no one. He told us not to post the same photograph everywhere but consider posting different photos to different sites. While Facebook is still the most popular social media site, Twitter, Instagram and even SnapChat are all key. I have found Beddoes on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Blogspot and Pinterest.

He suggested that posting something three times a day was a good number as people may be checking their social media sites on the way to work, at lunch time and then again on the way home from work. I thought this was a very good tip especially as it doesn’t all need to be brand new photos, some of it can be reposts.

Although we may not put much weight behind likes and followers Beddoes pointed out that Likes = credibility. He said that they have value and that agencies understand the value of a strong following.

Finally he said that the aim of social media was to drive traffic to your website where it can be used as leverage for book deals and other work. Surprisingly I have not been able to find his website though!

Self Promotion for Photographers

We have had a discussion in class about how best to promote ourselves and our businesses. We discussed the different social media outlets that we already use and shared ideas about others that we could use.

I already have a Facebook page, Twitter feed and an Instagram feed and we discussed the pros and cons of them suggesting that regular updates – around three per day is ideal. We also suggested that there should be a split between what we produce ourselves and what we repost from other people. If we find something interesting then our followers are likely to find it interesting too.

I was not previously aware of Society 6. An American website that allows you to print your photos on a range of products and to sell them in an online shop. Although all the sales are in American dollars I have set up an account, uploaded a few photos and begun to promote them on my social media sites. I’ve chosen subjects that I think are bright and colourful and will look good printed on the various different mediums. I think the products are a little expensive but I’m optimistic that someone may buy something and I’ll add further photographs over the coming weeks.

 

Saatchiart is another site I was unfamiliar with but it looks very good. It is a website where you can buy and sell art of all kinds in an online gallery, but with the Saatchi name behind it, it has more kudos than Artsy or other similar sites. I haven’t set up an account for Saatchiart yet but will do in a few weeks and I hope to be able to include my FMP photos on there for sale.

We also discussed posting photos to stock photography sites. We discussed several sites but I felt that Alamay was probably best for me as they do a really good deal for students and while I am a student I can make the most of it. I’ve set up an account, but haven’t yet uploaded any images to the site.

Self-promotion takes time and when I am busy it is one of the first things to get missed but I recognise that it is very important and if I get into the habit of routinely adding information to all of these sites now it will be better for me in the long-term.