Photography

How To Start a Photography Blog

Is photography your passion?

Has the thought of sharing your snaps online ever crossed your mind, but you don’t know where to start?

You can share your passion with numerous people around the globe using a blog over 1.8 billion photos are uploaded daily on the internet.

With such a large number, it is true that standing out from the crowd might be a challenge. However, the most important point to note is that this is possible as there are numerous photographers who have done it already. To replicate this success, you will require a strategy which involves starting a blog and there is much to learn about this.

Below is a detailed guide on how to start a photography blog.

Why Get a Blog?

Whatever your intention having a blog is a very good idea, there are over 3 billion people online after all and you can share your photography to a whole new audience.

A camera next to a laptop

Professional Photographers

If you are a professional photographer then a blog is vital. It is a place that you can easily refer people to see examples of your work and can be an amazing marketing tool for people to find the services you offer and for you to get new clients.

Just like any modern-day business, any serious professional photographer needs to have an online presence and a photography blog is the perfect way to do that.

Recreational Photographers

If photography is more of a hobby than a profession it can still be a great idea to start a blog. It is a place you can share your work all in one place, get feedback and maybe improve your skills.

You probably already share your photography with your family and friends but you might want to start sharing it with the whole world and blogging platform is the ideal way to do that.

Blogging

You can write about photography, sharing your ideas and knowledge.

If your photography blog starts to get traffic you can make money from it by putting adverts on it, promoting products or even selling courses or digital guides.

A notepad next to a camera

It could be a great way to make some supplementary income and could even turn into a full-time business. Many people make an excellent full time living from photography blogging alone.

General or specific niche?

You can create a general photography blog that covers all types of photography or if you specialize in a specific subcategory you can build your blog around that niche.

Select a unique photography style or specific photography skill, specialising in a particular niche makes you an expert in that field. Below are what to consider when selecting your niche.

  • Does the field excite you?
  • Are you familiar with the field?
  • Do other individuals have an interest in the field?
  • What will make you unique?

Some of the photography niches that you can consider include;

  • Animals
  • Fashion
  • Urban
  • Food
  • Travel
  • Weather
  • Black and white
  • Digital darkroom/editing
  • Nature

Choose your domain name

The perfect domain name should be catchy, memorable and representative of you or your brand. You could use your own name or give your blog a specific name.

Your domain name should be unique so whatever name you come up with, you should cross check it to ensure no one else has the same name.

When developing your domain, you should ensure that no hyphens are involved because they are arguably used to indicate spam and this might have a negative impact on your blog.

With domain names, you can either get it from the company that will host you or use a different domain registrar. When you get it from the host company you do your registration and hosting in one place.

However, if you take a separate domain registrar, you will have to register and manage your own domain. Numerous hosts usually give the domain name for free with a plan for you to purchase a hosting plan.

Registering a domain

You can go to NameCheap or GoDaddy to search for your desired domain name. This will essentially be your blog name so choose something memorable.

Many domain names are already registered, especially “.com” domains so you need to check first.

Visit one of the sites and type the domain you want into the search box and it will tell you if it is available.

Unsurprisingly the .com domain is taken for my name:

But the domain ending in “.photography” is available so I could choose that if I wanted to:

After getting your domain name you can get going with creating your blog:

Picking a platform

You not only require a place for your site, but also a platform where it will run. This platform is a program that runs your site through a hosting server.

There are two main options here.

You can go with a self-hosted WordPress site which will take a little bit of set up work (don’t worry I’m going to walk you through the process!). It also takes a little bit of learning to get comfortable using it.

There are many advantages of using WordPress including:

  • It powers almost 75 million websites globally
  • 3% of entire websites use it
  • It has 40 different languages for use
  • It has numerous 3rd party resources and a large support community
  • Far more customisable,
  • Unlimited design possibilities
  • Hundreds of helpful plugins to use
  • Better for SEO and marketing in general

The second option is Wix.

Wix is easier to use for a novice and you can create a site with its Drag & Drop site builder. The draw backs are it is limited in what you can achieve and is not seen as being very SEO friendly (it’s going to be harder to get people to visit the site via search engines such as Google).

WordPress Setup Guide

Setting up your site on WordPress takes a little bit of effort but in my opinion, it is worth it in the long run. I’m now going to talk you through the steps to make it as simple as possible.

1. Choosing a theme

Unless you are also a web designer, it is a good idea to purchase a pre-built theme for WordPress. This just means some has already built the website and you can just add your own text, images and logo to make it your own blog.

Here are some super themes that we recommend for a photography blog:

https://my.studiopress.com/themes/elegance/

https://themify.me/themes/ultra

https://themeisle.com/themes/neve/

https://www.cssigniter.com/themes/coastline/

https://pixelgrade.com/themes/portfolio/fargo/

https://wordpress.org/themes/shutter-up/

https://teslathemes.com/wordpress-themes/shape/

Or search for a theme on Theme Forrest: https://themeforest.net/category/wordpress/creative/photography

2. Finding a hosting company

Key things to look for in a good host are reliability, security, uptime, customer service and price.

I have used many hosts in my time and have found the best ones to host a WordPress blog to be WPX Hosting or Siteground. This website is hosted on WPX and I have other sites with Siteground so these recommendations are based on my personal experience.

3. Domain nameservers

To use your domain with your hosting you will need to update the nameservers so they point at your host. This is really easy to do, you can just follow these guides:

WPX: https://kb.wpx.net/how-to-point-your-domains-nameservers-to-wpx-in-3-steps/

Siteground: https://www.siteground.co.uk/kb/how_to_change_my_ns_record/

You could also just buy the domain from the hosting company if you want to.

4. Install WP

Both WPX and Siteground have easy “One Click” WordPress installation options. Just follow these guides:

WPX: https://kb.wpx.net/how-to-install-wordpress-with-one-click/

Siteground: https://www.siteground.co.uk/tutorials/wordpress/installation/

5. Set up WP – install theme

Once WordPress is set up you need to install your theme. When you bought the theme you will have received it as a file, now you need to upload that file by logging in to WordPress and going to Appearance > Themes:

Then clicking “Add New” then “Upload Theme”.

Then click “Choose File” and select the file you received when you bought the theme:

The click “Install Now”.

6. Plugins

There are many thousands of plugins for WordPress which allow you to do an enormous amount of different things. It will ultimately be down to you to decide which ones you need But there are some we would recommend installing from the beginning:

WordFence – keeps your site secure

UpdraftPlus – allows you to keep backups of your site

Yoast – helps with your website SEO

Plugins that are great for photography blogs include;

  • Lazy load
  • NextGEN gallery
  • Flickr Feed gallery
  • Soliloquy

7. Add your content and images

You now should have a WordPress site set up with a theme installed so it is time to add your own text and images to the site. If you are using one of the themes we suggested it is easy to just upload your photographs and start creating your photography portfolio.

Wix Setup Guide

Wix is simple just go and sign up for an account here.

Word of warning do not use the free Wix account as your website will not be on a proper domain it will be on a Wix subdomain (yoursite.wixsite.com).

Your site will also have ads on it with the free account. You don’t want this it looks really unprofessional!

Check the full free v professional differences here:

Once you are signed up it’s really easy to either use the domain name you have purchased or choose a domain name, through their own platform with a free domain for Combo plans and above.

You can then either use one of their premade themes and just load your text and images onto it or if you are feeling adventurous you can build a site from scratch. Both are done using their easy to use drag and drop editor:

Other Blog Platforms

Although we would advise going with either WordPress or Wix there are a few other options available such as:

  • Tumblr
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • Blogger
  • Koken.me
  • Movable type
  • Exposure.so

H2: Uploading photographs

Photography is a highly visual art form and for this reason, visitors expect to see a website that is nice looking. Images of high quality are essential and the way they are displayed is critical to the success of your website.

Do’s

  • Use JPEG format files –  they will load quicker
  • Editing is required prior to uploading
  • Crop the photographs to perfectly fit the website
  • Use photo editing programs

Don’ts

  • Never upload originals
  • Forget to save the originals prior to editing

Promotion and marketing

In order to tell what your page is about search engines consider the words that are on your page and therefore you should use the title, heading, alt tags and meta description in a logical manner that is descriptive.

You can install Yoast as mentioned earlier which will allow you to change your page titles and meta descriptions easily.

Ideally you should do some keyword research for any blog posts you intend to write, you can use SEMrush for this.

You should assign image titles and alt-text to every photograph in order to increase rankings. Text that is relevant to your niche can promote rankings in search engines as well as complementary content to increase readership.

H2: General tips

A blog is an amazing way to share your photography with the world and in the case of commercial photography can also be a great way to get some business.

Here are some general tips:

  1. Use high-quality images
  2. Make sure your images a correctly sized and are Jpegs
  3. Make sure your website is easy to use
  4. Have clear contact information on your website
  5. Blog regularly on interesting and helpful topics
  6. Make sure your content is high quality
  7. Use social media to share your photography and blogs
  8. Think about who your audience is and write for them
  9. Engage with your audience (answer comments, social posts, emails etc)

Monetization

Your blog may be a way to get people to see your work and hire you as a photographer, if that is the case you may not want or need any extra income. But if you do or if you are just a recreational photographer, there are several ways you can make some extra money from your blog.

Once you have a reasonable amount of traffic coming to your blog you can try the following monetization methods:

  • Putting display ads on your site. You can use AdSense for this.
  • Using affiliate marketing to receive commissions on products and courses you promote.
  • Creating a digital product that you can sell on your website.
  • Creating a mailing list and selling products to them.
  • Selling physical products on your site.

So that’s it! It’s really not difficult to create a successful blog for photography the only thing left to do now is to get started and create a blog. We wish you look and hope to read it soon!

Richard Hammond

I am the founder of 9Mousai and am deeply interested in creativity and what inspires it. My main passions are writing, film and music but I have huge respect for all the arts. I'm also an animal lover and have a little cat called Winston and enjoy the occasional whiskey or two...

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2 Comments

  1. Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up and the rest of the website is
    extremely good.

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