Do you really know what the toughest thing is about Starting A Photography Blog?
You don't really know where or How To Start A Photography Blog in a manner that literally ensures your success!.
Because everything else is fairly straight forward and easy!.
"On memory lane pictures are used to travel back in time." #Photography #Blogging
without the proper "know how" you just won't pull in the quality targeted traffic or get the juicy commissions that will help you to give up your regular job and blog full time and live the life of your dreams.
If you really do want to know How To Start A Photography Blog the right way then keep reading this article as I show you exactly what keywords and search terms pull in not just traffic but interested buyers also!.
How To Start A Photography Blog
Through out this article you will learn various aspects related to creating and running a successful blog including:
- How To Brand Your Blog - and the importance of it!
- How To Monetize your site and the various options that you have at your dispense.
- What The Top Affiliate Programs Are.
- How To Generate Traffic Using Social Media, and some strategies to grow your social accounts.
- What To Create Content About.
- What Type Of Keywords Work Best.
- How To Generate Traffic From Search Engines And Increasing Your Search Engine Visibility.
- Top and Well Respected Photography Blogs To Check Out For Inspiration.
And with the Photography equipment market worth in excess of $12Bn yearly in The US alone, with currently 57% of that figure and growing being purchased online there is certainly a whole lot of juicy commissions to be made with an affiliate marketing blog in this industry.
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Finding Your Photography Niche
On the face of it defining an affiliate blog in the photography industry looks like something that might be difficult to do.
Thankfully, it is as easy and as simple as how a professional photographer defines their particular area or speciality in photography.
Such examples are:
- HDR Photography.
- Wedding Photography Blog
- Fashion Photography.
- Family Photography.
- Baby and new born photographer Blog
- Travel Photographer Blog.
- Nature Photography.
- Portrait Photography.
- Special Effects Photography.
- Real Estate Photography
- Time Lapse Photography Blog
- Street Photographer Blog
- Photo Journalism.
- Product Photography
- Pet Photography
Naturally there are many more such examples. Focusing on a particular niche and style helps your to reduce the competition and create more targeted content and articles for a very specific audience.
It is far easier and much faster to dominate a smaller market sector than a whole market or industry!. This is the very reason as why, as a photography blogger, you must drill down and define your niche.
Sure, once your site is established you can expand into other areas and photography niches.
Sexing Your Niche
"Sexing your niche" is a specific technique that I have given a rather cool and catchy name to. It is simply mixing and matching different industries or markets of your choice to make one larger and unique site.
You simply mix and match..or pair off 2,3, or 4 niches and thus "sexing" them.
With Photography you can legitimately mix and match the following niches or markets.
These are only and example of what can be mixed and matched or "Sexed" into your niche marketing site to make the following interesting examples.
- Travel & Photography
- Fashion & Photography.
- Food & Photography!
- Sports & Photography.
- Photography & Videography.
Those are just twinned niches, you can add in a third if you so desire to make, for example:
- Travel, Fashion & Photography
- Food, Fashion & Photography.
- Travel, Photography & Videography
Those are just three example of what would make quite and excellent blog.
When it comes to sexing a niche site I do highly suggest that you start off with just two and then grow into a third once you are more established and a strong readership base before expanding into a third area.
Because YOU KNOW you can MAKE MORE MONEY as a photography Blogger!. The question is: Will you TAKE THE MONEY?!?
Defining You Target Audience
How To Identify Your Ideal Photo Blog visitor
Once you have niched down and identified your Photography niche and and have an idea for your particular Photography Blog, you will need to have a good idea of who your Ideal Visitor is - in short create a nice bio for your ideal client and or website visitor.
Identifying your Photo Blog visitor is as simple as sitting down and having a good thought about who they are and answering the following questions and taking notes.
- Are They Male Or Female?
- How Old Are They?
- Where Are They From?
- What Is Their Social Status? Married? Single? Married With Children? Single With Children? Divorced? Separated? Engaged? No Children?
- What Level Of Education Do They Have? Masters Degree Or Higher? Undergraduate? College? High School?
- What Is Their Regular Job? Do They Work In An Office?, Factory?, Freelancer?, Work From Home?, Self Employed? Business Owner?
- What Are Their Hobbies And Interests?
- What Do They Want To Achieve By Visiting Your Site?
- What Is Their Name?
- How Can Or How Does Your Photography Blog Help Them?
That was quite detailed wasn't it?
I bet now, if your have gone through those questions and taken your time to do so you have a very detailed bio of your ideal website visitor and client.
Why Did We Go Through That Exercise?
Knowing who your perfect client is helps you to seriously target your content and create your website for them, around their needs and problems related to photography.
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Targeted content will help you to rank better on search engines as those who are searching for terms related to what you have created are far more likely to stay on your site longer and read what you have written and perhaps even read more pages.
This is something that google takes into serious consideration when it comes to ranking websites. It is called User Experience.
In short, the better that you serve your visitors, the higher your site will rank and the more traffic you will get to your site. And yes, more traffic means more money!.
...And that is exactly why we niche down and define an exact target audience!.
How To Brand Your Blog
When you are creating your blog, your affiliate marketing site, you are creating something way, way, way more important than "just making a blog!".
First and foremost, you are starting an online business, and sustainable one at that!.
And when you are starting a business, of any nature - on or offline, you are creating a brand!.
Thankfully, there is absolutely nothing complicated about the process at all!. In fact, when I first started out I was all nervous in regards to starting a brand. I thought it would be difficult, complicated, complex and all "businessy".
It is none of that at all!. totally and absolutely nothing to it. Just be aware of certain things like creating a logo, having a catchy and memorable name, a dot com,.org or .net ending.
(unless you are a country or language specific site, in which case go for the related suffix for the language or region).
“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.” #Photography #Blog
There are some other things that you ought to be aware of when it comes to creating and building your brand. These include:
- Your Theme - Having A Good Quality Premium Or Custom Theme. A Good Theme Stands Out, but originality is better.
- Your Choice Of Colour For Your Logo And Site. Too many colours or too bright or too dark can spoil the look and message that you are trying to create and get across.
- Your Site Design. A good and well designed and well organised site is paramount for ease of use and user experience and site navigation.
- Your writing style. This is not to say that you have to write the most excellent piece of prose in your articles. "Your voice" has to be one in which your crowd resonates with. Perfect English and Grammar is not required.
(Your writing and writing style is something that always naturally improves as you create more articles and content).
- The Marketing Of Your Site. The marketing of your site and how you market it has a direct impact on how you are perceived by your potential audience. Spam and you won't be taken seriously! Anywhere! or by Anyone!.
I shouldn't need to say this but I will, just to make the message clear! Don't spam - period! no matter how tempting or tempted you may be!
- Enter Your Site Domain Name On Social Media Profiles. This is one signal that search engines use to identify if a website is a brand or just another website. So do include your website on your social media profiles, pages, Groups, and listings. Don't forget to use your logo across all the platforms that you use.
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There are two main branding strategies and concepts when it comes to branding, those are business branding and personal branding
Let's talk a little bit about those two branding strategies and what they mean for you and your photography blog.
The importance of building and creating a brand is of such importance as search engines have a way of separating and giving preference to sites that are branded Vs sites that are not branded.
Predominantly this is where and when your own name is used as the sites address and your image is strategically used across the site.
One of the major benefits for this is if you are personally branded and using a personalised "Your Name" domain, you can take the site in any direction that you wish easily adding new markets (see sexing your niche above), or taking a completely new twist and direction and moving to a completely unrelated industry.
Like from Photography Blog To..Skincare Site for example!.
(With a business name like "Photograffiti" switching to something else would be quite difficult or nearly impossible to do).
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Famous example of Personal branding include well known sports stars and personalities like the Beckhams and Kardashians, or Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi.
This style of branding you are the name and face of your site. When it comes to photography, personal branding is a very good option for you to consider.
When it So happens, as it is for most of us with a common name, your name as a web site is already taken you can consider business branding.
In all essence and in a nut shell, business branding involves the use of a business name for your web site or blog's domain name.
“#Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything."
When deciding upon a name try to think of something related to your niche, in this case photography and something that is catchy, relevant and memorable. Also do try to get the .com suffix, but if and when that is unavailable go for the .net or .org.
The reason for those three terminations is because they are considered "Top Level Domains" Or TLD for short and are a tiny bit easier to rank than other suffixes. And when it comes to ranking on search engines and getting more free organic traffic I'll take every single bit of "tiny" help and assistance that I can get!.
Also worthy of mention and note in regards to your sites name, do try to avoid dashes, hyphens, numbers or anything other than naked letters!.
The main reason for this is that it can be difficult to remember where the number is (was it a number or spelled as a word?) or where the darn dash is/was and you will end up on missing out on return traffic!.
A Potential visitor that might be ready to buy something and earn you nice fat commission!.
(not forgetting a return visitor is a good SEO signal!)
Just for the record, when it comes to the online world of blogging and content marketing I very much recommend that you use your own image on your business branded site name very much in a similar way as you would if you were personally branding your site.
The very reason for this is that we are moving towards a new business model, a new way of doing business, alongside the well established Business To Business And Business To Commerce models.
This new third model is Person To Person and very much due to the digital age in which we are living. People trust people and are more willing to do business with someone that they know, or feel that know and trust.
Hence the power of strategically using your own image on your site and in your marketing efforts. It will certainly help you to convert more interested leads and traffic into buyers!.
Will you Step up, take action and do what is necessary to live the life of your dreams and build that Photography blog or will you just let be a pipe dream?!?
How To Monetize A Photography Blog
Ahh...The nitty gritty of generating revenue for your blog. Thankfully, this is much easier and straight forward than it might seem. There are a variety of methods and strategies available for you to choose from namely:
- Affiliate Marketing.
- Display Advertising
- Selling Your Own Digital Products Or Services.
- Creation of a Membership site/area
- Sponsored Posts.
Lets now discuss those options in more detail.
Affiliate marketing is the most popular and commonly found method of aiding a website or blog to generate an income for the owner.
Put simply, affiliate marketing is a reward based system where you are rewarded for your marketing efforts by receiving a direct commission, which is usually expressed as a percentage of a product or services value or as a fixed monetary amount on the sales that you have made.
Of course no sales = no money, like wise, more sales = more money!.
Some affiliate companies offer recurring commissions for as long as a client remains a subscriber to their services. This is quite common amongst SaaS (Software as a Service) companies.
Your earning potential as an affiliate marketer is unlimited. You are only limited by the amount of quality targeted traffic* that you generate and the sales that you get from that traffic.
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*I say quality targeted traffic as this is the best kind of traffic for your photo blog as it aids your user experience signals and above all, converts better into sales!. I'd rather 100 sales from 1000 visitors than 100 sales from 2000 visitors every single time!
Affiliate Marketing is actually the best way to start your blog. Once you are generating sufficient traffic you can start to diversify your income sources, which is always a pretty smart thing to do!.
Hey, I'm talking more money from the same traffic here!. Always a good thing, right?.
You also wish to have a fully diversified source of affiliate commissions and not fully dependent on one particular merchant. Work with at least 3 different companies and aim for a 40% - 30% - 30% split.
This way, if anything happens to your main affiliate income source of 40% (for example they go out of business or cut commissions), you remain relatively unaffected or the "damage" is limited Vs being fully dependent on them.
As you grow and progress with your site you ought to aim to have three different monetization methods for your site to ensure a fully diversified income for your blog.
Which brings us to talk about...
Earning Revenue From Display Advertising
Display advertising revenue is as simple as it sounds - money gained from having adverts on your site.
Some private companies and website owners may offer to pay you a certain amount for displaying their adverts on your site.
How much you charge is completely up to you and is usually dependent upon the amount and quality of traffic that your site attracts.
However, the main method of getting adverts on your blog will usually involve the use of an advertising agency which, in most cases will pay you a share of the revenue in which they gain and on a per click basis.
The main three main companies specialising in this type of display advertising are Google Adsense, Media Vine and Amazon.
While there is no minimum requirements from Google Adsense and Amazon in regards to their display advertising programs in terms of traffic generated you ought to have at least 10-15 articles published for them to see that you have a quality site with content.
About Amazon Display Adverts
personally, I think this is something you ought to avoid if you are using Amazon Associates, Amazons affiliate program as a source of income simply because it is Amazon + Amazon which is not exactly diversifying your source of income as both originate from the same company.
When it comes to making an interesting amount of money from this method, I advise that you wait until you have a reasonable amount of traffic before adding these type of adverts to your site as little traffic = very few clicks = earning pennies!.
The program of choice for bloggers tends to be Media Vine. Now this is one that is definitely worth your while considering. To qualify you must first have at least 25,000 visitors per month.
This is simply part of their quality control and ensuring that their adverts are going to sites that do generate traffic. Earnings, depending on niche and optimisation can fall in the $20 to $50 per 1000 visitors.
For basic qualifying site that is $500 to $1,250 per month...EXTRA FOR DOING NOTHING!.
(Yes I said extra, that's extra on top of your affiliate and other earnings! Sweet!).
Creating Your Own Products
Creating your products in the photography sector is most certainly something that you should give serious consideration to particularly as this is what can bring in the serious bucks.
You can even turn things on its head and run your own affiliate program and have affiliates working for you for a set commission.
When it comes to product creation there are two main options Physical Products and Digital Products.
Physical products you can consider drop shipping from your site or better still having your own products made for you. "White Labelled" product is an option also - an existing product made by a manufacturer with your brand label put on it for you.
Such Physical Photography Products can be:
- Lightening equipment.
- Shoot Through Umbrellas
- Photography Carry Bags
- Mounting Brackets
Selling Your Own Digital Products
On the face of it, this is a cheap and low cost option that when starting out will cost you only your time and effort.
As per Physical products, digital products have to be well produced and of quality. The very reason for this is branding and establishing yourself as a trusted quality brand.
Because you know that you will be in the money with a photography blog!. The question is: Will You put in the effort and take the money?!?
I bet you are wondering what kind of digital products you can produce and sell!. It just so happens there are actually plenty and perhaps as an avid and keen photographer you can come up with your own ideas.
- Photography tutorials and how to's guides.
- Video lessons or course on different areas of photography, landscape, portrait, wedding, pet, HDR, trick photography and special effects.
- Photoshop or other software like lightroom settings as an installation/download/plugin .
- Photoshop training course.
- Training program for use of other software like adobe lightroom.
These are all viable digitally downloadable products that you can sell online.
Many people are buying DSLR cameras or getting into photography and really do want to know how to take better photos, and make better use of their cameras as well as how to process their images better!.
(Some, like me buy a DSLR and have no idea how to use it!)
What makes #photography a strange invention is its primary raw materials are light and time. #blogging
The creation of a membership site is viable option if you have the time and/or resources to do so.
Running a membership site is no more difficult than that of a regular site. It does though require a lot more work as you have, effectively speaking two, sites or two sides to the same site, a premium area for paying members and a free area for regular visitors.
You will need to keep both the front end free site and the back end premium area regularly updated with new fresh content. Obviously something that is easier to do if you have freelancers, Virtual Assistants (VA's) or writers working for you.
Potential is there for membership photography niche sites. In the premium area you can include tutorials, photoshop settings and training.
in all essence what you would normally sell as stand alone digital products you can include in the monthly membership area and collect a monthly fee and give access to the whole range of products and updates for as long as a member remains a subscriber.
This is something that is unbelievably brilliant! You get quality content on your site that help your to rank and get more traffic and...other bloggers will pay you for it!.
It does go without saying a new site is not going to attract a lot of people in your industry or niche willing or wanting to write for your site and pay you for the privilege of it!
And, yes, the content provided has to be of quality and of relevance to your niche. The more popular your site, i.e the more social followers and more active your social media accounts are and the more traffic you generate both from social media and organically from search engines as well as other sources the more you can charge on a per post basis.
Also a determining factor is your "DA" - no not your District Attorney but your Domain Authority - the higher the better!.
The benefit that the provider of the post gets is that of a quality back link from your site to theirs which (currently) aids in their ability to rank well in search engines!.
They get and gain in exposure to a new audience! - your audience!. In short they are leveraging your traffic to increase their own while compensating you with a source of traffic - the sponsored or guest post.
The amount that you can charge varies from niche to niche and the aforementioned DA and traffic amounts.
What also helps is your brand...if you have a great well known stand out brand that is respected in your market sector then you have prestige. Something that you can leverage and charge more for such sponsored or guest posts.
My own advice in regards to this type of content is to vet it strictly, retain full editorial control as to what gets accepted and what does not. I would strongly advise a pricing and or linking structure that encourages longer articles.
- 1000 words: 1 link, in the Author bio only - $100
- 1500 words 1 in content link (greater ranking use)+1 author bio link - $80
- 2000 Words 2 in content links + 1 in the author bio $60
Prices are indicative only for the example.
See how in the above example how it is much cheaper and of greater benefit for the provider of the content to put in the extra effort and write an extra 500 words to save $20 and to get that extra in content link.
If the content received is not of quality or up to your standards or from sites out with your niche area then don't accept such posts. Relevance and quality are worth more than any amount of money given.
Photography Affiliate Programs
Given that affiliate marketing is the life blood of blogging and very much how you will go about generating an income from your photography blog, thus is the time to discuss some of the best photography affiliate programs.
Amazon is very popular amongst affiliate marketers due simply to the sheer popularity amongst digital and online consumers and the millions if not billions of bucks put into converting traffic and clicks into sales.
Despite a low 4.5% commission for most categories, when it comes to photography and the sale of DSLR cameras that can mean $18 to $22.50 per sale for a good camera.
Certainly not something to be ignored!.
eBay has a great affiliate program, and one in which you can certainly join!. When you check the listings of digital cameras there is an abundance of products, packages of a whole variety of cameras, lenses, and everything photography related.
eBay is a popular choice for many who live in states where amazon associates is not possible for them to join.
For over 40 years this company has helped over 1.6 million talented photographers. They are the biggest and most popular pre-owned photography and camera equipment store worldwide!.
The average sale amount is a nice $450 and with a 4% commission that adds up to a very nice $18 average sale amount for affiliates.
Given their large and incredibly extensive inventory they have the ability to meet the needs and requirements of almost all of their visitors!. Their price match guarantee means that they will match any price that you see else where!
Thus find it cheaper and KEH Camera will match your price for the exact same product!.
Get more information about KEH Camera Affiliate Program Here
Because You just know that you can become a successful affiliate marketer with the right training!. The Question is: Will you apply what you learn and put it into action?!?
Samy's Camera, as the very name suggests has been a leader in Photography gear and equipment since the mid 1970's. They provide a service for both amateur and professional photographers both in their stores and online.
They have gained a top class reputation and strong and loyal customer base thanks to their dedication to customer service and the very knowledgeable staff that they employ.
Their range of products include all major manufacturers and brands of cameras, and video equipment.
Commissions are 4% and with a standard 30 day cookie. Given that their average sales order is $500+ this equates to a rather lovely $20+ per sale!. Nice!. A couple of those a day and you are well on your way to affiliate success...from just one affiliate program!.
Their affiliate program is run by the highly respected ShareASale affiliate network. Get their details here!.
This company specialises in Photo, video and professional audio equipment and have served over 3 million enthusiasts and professionals in the industry to date.
Their massive 70,000 Sq ft MegaStore in New York City's Manhattan is the biggest of its type in North America.
Incredibly they feature an astounding 10,000+ demonstration products and over 5000 people visit their shop on a daily basis!.
Online, they get a truly staggering 12 million monthly visitors!.
As you can imagine they stock all known brands in all of the related fields of Photography, Videography and Audio.
Commissions are a kind 8% and have a whole host of affiliate tools and a dedicated affiliate manager to help you.
If anyone can Cannon can! and too can become a Cannon affiliate!.
One of the most prestigious things you can do as an online business to enhance your own brand is to work directly with known, established and well respected brands in your industry and Cannon certainly fits that bill!.
More so they are a HUUUGE company with a range of very well known products and exact models. Writing a review for an exact precise model will certainly bring you in very targeted buyer traffic.
One of the other top reason to affiliate with Cannon is being a known and established brand their trust factor is huge! people, consumers won't doubt if their products will arrive or not or if they are originals or not!.
Their commission structure is tiered and performance based. The more you sell the more your commission will increase. The Cannon affiliate program is currently run by one of the best and well known affiliate networks, CJ.
You can get more information about their affiliate program here!.
Awesome Affiliate Programs!
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KelbyOne is one of the faster and rapid growing online education sites for photography enthusiasts and pro's alike with over 750 digital courses to select and learn from.
They have partnerships with a variety of other businesses in the industry such as Adobe, Apple, B&H and many more permitting them to offer discounts to members.
And Those discounts could very well end up paying for membership to KelbyOne.
The KelbyOne Affiliate Program uses the ShareASale Network to manage their rather interesting affiliate program.
Who, in the world of digital photography does not use or need to use at least one software product from Adobe is few and far between.
Similar to what I said about the above Cannon affiliate program, working directly with well established global brands goes well to enhance your brand reputation as you will be seen as providing or recommending known and established high quality products.
It is this well established and high quality products from a well known brand that increases the trust factor and converts much better in to sales!
Commission structure is 85% of the first month sale (first month only) or 8.33% of the yearly subscription that is paid yearly (first year only) for subscription to their creative cloud.
$72 commission for subscription to adobe stock.
One great way to work with Adobe is to teach how to use their products like adobe light room and Photoshop tutorials and link to the product for those that may be interested in buying the software.
Which makes a nice extra earner if you are making your own digital products teaching photoshop, for example.
This company has their own photo editing tools for photographers and enthusiasts of all abilities and levels.
The majority of the sales are of Photoshop and light room presets which aid professional photographers by helping them to save time and to get their photos to really stand out.
Amateurs can benefit by learning what certain settings can do and improve both their photography and photo editing skills.
They also have a lot of interesting learning tools that your audience might need and want. The average sale is $75 and their commission is 20%. Making you an effortless $15 per sale made.
Interestingly, the tracking cookie is a lifetime cookie!, meaning whoever clicks your link is wired to you for life!.
When they go back to buy another product, another learning tool or a lightroom or photoshop preset you will get the commission on that purchase also.
Likely they will be hardwired as your clients by means of email address or delivery address as well as IP address.
I work with a few of these "lifetime cookie companies". Your aim here is to build up that client list!.
On one of my sites, I am not actually doing anything, zero, zip, nada!..but I am still pulling in some nice 4 figure commissions doing nothing thanks to those lifetime cookies.
something worthy of note. This company, are willing to pay you to write on their site, given you meet a certain a criteria!. And that could mean more exposure for your photography site!.
Because you know that you deserve to live that crazy life doing what you love following your passions!. The question is: Will you TAKE ACTION and live it or just let it be a dream?
Just "Incase" you did not know or had already guessed Incase are a company that make and provide a range of products to protect cameras, photography equipment, laptops, mobile phones, drones and many more such items of technology that need protecting.
And with the amount of travel I do I might as well order a KEVLAR laptop bag or have them design one!
Commissions are a lovely 12%. You can get more information about them here.
An established, trusted and known brand is always great to be working with. They are famed of course for not only their digital and DSLR cameras but for lenses, audio recorders, binoculars and much more.
Their products, are rugged and durable and great for the professionals as well as enthusiasts.
Commissions might seem low but a 3% commission of an average $400 sale is a nice $12. And remember, affiliate marketing is something that can provide a recurring income.
Do the work once and get paid an infinite amount of times provided you continue to make sales. I do love the sound of that!
Get more information about their affiliate program here
It was only really a matter of time before I mentioned Nikon and their affiliate program. I am guessing that these guys need no introduction to you as a photography enthusiast or an individual interested in building a photography site.
I am a Nikon owner myself and love their cameras, D-SLR D5200 is the one in which I personally own with a great 17 to 105mm lens.
Their affiliate program offers a rather nice 5% commission setting them apart from Cannon and Olympus.
Join the Nikon Affiliate program Here.
These guys are rather unique in which there the only fully serviced photography, videography and electronics store in the whole world!.
Rather interestingly Adorama also offer the rental of professional equipment as well as having their own comprehensive in-store photography lab.
The also have a very well established and respected education centre for photographers and were voted by Forbes Magazine as "the best of the web"
The average sale amount is in excess of $400 and commissions are base 2%, which is not so bad when you consider that they also have incentives based on your performance. On certain brands commissions are a nice 10%.
Click Here For Info About The Adorama Affiliate Program!.
Traffic Generation - Getting Traffic To Your Photography Blog
When your building and running your blog in whatever industry, genre or niche there are many moving parts to it and not just the simplicity of creating static content.
There is the complexity and on going process of generating traffic. You can of course leave it all down to the search engines to find your site, and wholly depend on search engines to bring traffic to your site.
This is fine, and absolutely so if you are looking for something to be very much hands off when in this matter. Just create, write and publish your well optimised content and viola - job done and that is it.
This is not something that I advise you do.
....and for a number of reasons. Principally those reasons being the security and safety of having a diversified source of traffic and remaining independent of any one particular source.
What would happen if you were wholly reliant on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo for traffic and they put out a major algorithm change and you suddenly lost a ton of traffic?.
...And don't think that you are too smart or so smart or that your site that you are immune to that! heck no!. It does happen to the very best of us, yours truly included!.
The very same can be said of social media, what would happen if there was a major change in the social media platforms that you use as part of your social media strategy and traffic generation techniques if there were to suddenly change and negatively impact your exposure and reach?
Thus we must seek balance and equilibrium.
And when it comes to social traffic seek out a balance between all social traffic sources. For example 40% facebook, 30% Twitter and 30% Pinterest if you are using 3 social sites.
Because you know that your photography blog will be all the buzz that people are talking about! The question is: Will you STEP UP and showcase your talents and knowledge and help people to take better photos?!?
Now, with that let's talk a little bit about....
Using Social Media To Generate Website Traffic
Getting Twitter Traffic
Oh good gawd ma lord!
I can write and talk all day long, and create an entire guide about twitter growth and traffic generation - something that is on my to do list! Keep your eyes open for it!
There is a reason as why I find it easy to build Twitter Accounts in the tens of thousands of followers in only a matter of weeks rather than months!
I do have to say that it is not always about how big your account is, more how active you and your followers are.
Now, lets clarify one thing I am only going to follow active accounts. By active in the twittersphere that is 7 days!. If you have not tweeted in the past week, nope..not following your account.
I'll frequently unfollow accounts that have not tweeted in the past 7 days. I'll also force an unfollow using software for those accounts following me that have not tweeted in the past 7 days!.
Twitter growth and exposure, given that there is no algorithm behind the functionality of the twitter feed is very much on an active account basis.
If you have not tweeted in 7 days it is, to me, a sign that your account is inactive and thus my tweet goes unseen!. Not something that I want!.
Growing your twitter account is something that can be done quickly and easily using some cloud based software.
If your budget is tight don't worry because the free version of Tweepi (google it!) is good enough for you. It will only have the slight drawback of taking you a bit longer to grow your account.
Growing your following is very much a follow for follow basis. You find popular accounts on Twitter related to your market or niche, in this case photography. If you can find popular accounts for your exact niche (i.e trick photography, special effects and so on) then all the better for you
Take note of them, and follow their followers!.
Given that a follower is following an niche specific account it is very likely that they are interested in the subject and will follow back and Boom! you have a targeted following that is interested in photography!.
Relevant traffic and relevant targeted traffic for your blog!.
Following in mass you can do yourself...which will take you a long time!.
Or better still!.
Use Tweepi! and in a matter of minutes you have followed the daily maximum of 200 followers.
Twitter does have an imposed following limit and sometimes you just have to unfollow many who have not followed back in order to follow more. The following limit is 200 per day (although currently not published).
They also have an following to follower ratio of 10%. You are not allowed to follow have more than 110% of your followers. i.e if you have 10,000 followers you can follow 11,000 total. Under 2,000 followers there is no ratio imposed.
When it comes to who I follow, I am also strict at that, I only follow those that have at least 100 followers!.
Simple! I want as many people to see the retweets as possible. If an account has few followers, less people get exposed to the retweet and the less chance the tweet has of going viral.
Also I only follow English Language accounts. Reason - again relevance and highly targeted active audience!
Tweet frequently and relevant content that is of interest to your targeted audience. I tweet out every 15 mins or more, using software that does it for me. I personally vet and see what gets tweeted out.
I use the free, and it is pretty good to keep using the free version forever, of Viral Content Bee.
This software also helps you to get retweets of your own content which increases your exposure further and aids in the social signals that help your articles to rank in search engines and this get not only more social traffic but more organic search engine traffic also
Also, tweeting out regularly in this does help to increase your following much better than sending out repetitive generic tweets like success quotes, which are nice, but not targeted to your audience.
Hash Tags! don't use a ton of them!
Research has show that the optimum number of hash tags to use is just two! And take guess work out of which ones to use by using RiteTag.
Rite Tag is both free and paid, for me and our purpose the free version is perfectly fine.
Just go right ahead and use the search facility in app and use the most relevant tags for you based on the amount of traffic both short term (now!) and long term.
Using a mix of long and short term popular hash tags helps you to get good instant and long term traffic from your tweets.
When it comes to better and greater visual exposure for your tweets it is advisable to use images or video in your tweets. These take up a considerable amount of "Twitter feed real estate" and are more visible and more likely to be seen by your followers.
A final super cool thing to do is once a month check out who your most followed follower is using twitter analytics. And study their profile, check them out!.
See what type of stuff they tweet, retweet and are generally active on and target tweets specifically for that user every now and again @mentioning them in the hope for a retweet which will help you to leverage their following and perhaps win more of your own organic following on twitter.
It goes without saying, don't participate follow chains the "follow for follow back" as you end up with a whole bunch of untargeted followers.
Which is exactly what you don't want!.
Pulling In Pinterest Traffic
Similar to Twitter, Pinterest operates very much on a follow for follow basis. This is a social media site, or search engine, which ever way you wish to look at it.
In my opinion, it is very much a pictoral search engine as people are searching for images on the site. One of the strong points is the fact that your pins and boards hang there forever drawing in traffic.!
The strong point of this platform is that Pinterest users are twice as likely to convert into buyers than Facebook users!. With average earning well into the six figure range these folks have money to spend!.
You can use Ninja Pinner, which is software that you need to install on your computer and runs in the background automatically following and unfollowing followers of interest related to your niche.
As per Twitter, use the search facility in Pinterest to find accounts of interest that have large followings. I actually let my laptop run in the background while I sleep and let it run in the background while I work.
Generally I find building your targeted audience of followers this way you can with in 6 months have 25 to 30 thousand followers. That is pretty good in my opinion.
Because you know that you could be the "King Pin" of the photography blogging world!. The Question is: Will You Get Off Your Ass and take action and build that awesome money making blog?!?
A few more things you can do to enhance your Pinterest presence is to make your pins more visible by targeting keywords for the names of your boards and pins. Also use keywords as hash tags and give each pin a good 100 or so word description.
Pinning to popular boards and groups and repinning others pins helps immensely with gaining exposure for both your account and your pins and thus traffic.
The previously mentioned Viral Content Bee has a great option for repinning related pins.
Also don't forget to repins some of your own from time to time.
When you pin, make sure your pins are beautiful, good looking pins tend to get shared more often and result in more traffic. Currently what works very well on this platform is How To's and infographics.
YouTube Traffic Generation
I willing to absolutely bet that you never thought for a single second that the video sharing giant was a social site.
Yet is absolutely is!. The key to the clue lies in the fact that you can like, dislike, comment and share videos, and of course make your own.
When you have your own channel, and comment on another video you get a lovely internal link from one YouTube Video to your YouTube Channel. This is something that helps your ability to rank a tiny little bit.
The real power of this social channel is, not just the quality of the traffic that you can generate from your own videos!.
YouTube visitors tend to stay on your site longer and check out more pages - great for SEO and user experience and helping you to rank better on search engines resulting in a postive feedback loop there - more organic free search engine traffic due to augmented rankings.
The real power is the enhanced awareness and humanisation of your brand. Appearing in font of the camera and like a real person that real site visitors can connect to.
This helps to create trust for you and your brand! and results in higher conversions!. YouTube is certainly something you ought to take advantage of, particularly when is comes to photography and photoshop tutorials!.
In the latter, a screen cast is fine!.
Building Your Community With Facebook Groups
Personally, one of the most powerful things that we can do as marketers, business owners and bloggers is to build a community of loyal fans and followers.
If you can do it on your own site fantastic!, by far that is the best option simply because you own it!.
When you can't do that for whatever reason, Facebook Groups is darn good second best option. This is something that takes time, patience and consistent and persistent action on your part.
Eventually, all that hard work will pay off. Get your group up and get it out there. There is no great or secret fantastic technique to building Facebook Groups other than a few simple techniques:
- Let people on your site know about your FB Group - mention the address on your Contact Us Page like I have,
- Mention it in your introductory Email Follow Up.
- Post often, and at peak times, asking relevant questions that stimulate people to respond.
- Participate in and start Discussions.
- Join Similar Groups and Participate there.
That last part, don't go spoiling it by posting links to your site or your group without permission. That is spamming and Spam is massive no-no!.
Instead become a regular contributor in the groups as if you would your own group. Do this on 5-6 key related and popular groups.
Soon people will be wondering who you are, check out your profile, and there...you will have links to your group on your page and naturally speaking, some folks will join.
You can also, offer to advertise or sponsor a related group and thus gain and grow your group that way. It really is a case of persistence pays.
And when or if you get hit by any change in search engine algorithms, you loyal community is by your side!.
Getting Traffic From Search Engines
When it comes to getting traffic, you must not forget about search engines and search engine optimisation (SEO for short).
This type of traffic is the most absolutely targeted traffic that you can get for your website. Thankfully, SEO is much easier than you think. It requires very little other than giving search engines what they need and want.
That is quality content!.
At the same time you must serve your audience well and help them with their pertaining problems in relation to your niche site, which is photography.
You also must be as helpful as you can. This goes well with building trust and establishing yourself as an authority in your niche.
One of the best ways of establishing your authority, helping your audience and getting quality targeted traffic from search engines is by answering their questions.
Finding the questions that your audience is asking is as easy as heading over to quora and performing a search related to your niche.
What You ought to do to go right in there and answer the questions you find as best as you can and in detail, with a nice link in your bio showing your expertise and your site.
You can of course write an article around each of the the questions that you see answering on your blog in great detail with images and video where possible. I do suggest that you first create and publish the article on your site and then, later go answer the question on Quora.
Make it a habit for you to visit Quora on a daily basis checking out and answering questions. The people asking are your potential audience. Treat them as such.
Another great place to visit is Yahoo answers. Go right in there and answer any and all questions related to your site.
Answer The Public is another place to find absolutely brilliant sets of keywords that your audience is typing into google search box. Many of which are questions!.
This is obviously a great way of finding questions and potential problems that your audience is experiencing in your niche area. It is the very first site I use when it comes to keyword research.
When it comes to the art of keyword research, and finding keywords and topic in which to write about on your site it is a skill that can be easily learned. You ought to check out this article on keyword research.
A large part of ranking your site on search engines centres around good quality keyword research techniques.
Best Photography Blogs To Inspire You To Blogging Success!
The brilliantly named Fstoppers blog is actually an online community with the main goal to educate and inspire professional and amateur photographers as well as enthusiasts and newbies to creating better photos.
Their content is wide and varied from how to guides to detailed articles regarding technical skills.
It was started in 2010 by Patrick Hall and Lee Morris and generates a whopping 6 million views on a monthly basis!
Peta Pixel has absolutely brilliant tutorials that are a god send for avid photographers and enthusiasts alike. The editorial style is very "viral like" including industry news and reviews of equipment needed for taking stunning photos.
The also have an excellent and interesting podcast and, rather brilliantly a section for inspiration when and where you need it!. Great inclusion.
Have a look at Peta Pixel for inspiration here
Because you know that you can emulate the success of these excellent blogs. The real question is: Will step up to the plate and stop thinking about it and actually take action and build your own photography blog?!?
This site focuses more on what is going on behind the camera and focus on emerging techniques and trends. They have first class guides and excellent light room presets and effects that readers can learn from.
Their aim is to help teach photographers how to take the photographs that their aspire of taking.
Have a look at this pretty nifty and awesome site here.
Another site that I absolutely love the name of!. Sure I said no numbers in domain names earlier but in this case, it is an exception rather than the rule.
These guys offer long detailed articles by established photographers and experts in their field. They also have excellent how to style videos as well as technical guides.
Have a look at 121 Clicks here
Digital Photography School
This site is owned by the famed and well respected blogger Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.
His Photography site, Digital Photography School is for both advanced and beginners to help improve their photography skills and serves as a resource for them to learn the tricks, tips and techniques that are needed to take great photographs.
Because you know that you can make a site every bit as good as the ones shown here: The question is: Will you Take Action and Build it or just day dream about it?
Starting A Photography Blog FAQ Frequently Asked Questions
If you don't see your question here, by all means ask it in the comments area below, I will be delighted to answer any and all questions that you have.
Can Photography Blogging Make You Rich?
As long as you are willing to put in the hard work there is absolutely no limit as what you earnings can be as a photography blogger.
Keep working, keep creating great content and keep growing your business and you will keep attracting more traffic.
I have absolutely zero doubts in regards to your own ability to break free and earn your own freedom, both physical and financial, by means of a photography blogging business.
This niche market is of such potential that I, as an enthusiast of digital photography myself, catches my own attention and heart as an industry to enter!.
It is pretty simple as long as you follow my recommended training and put in the work you will make money. It is that simple!. If you don't make an effort, well you can guess what will happen!
...You just won't make it as a photography blogger.
How To Create A Photography Blog In WordPress?
Actually, WordPress is what I use! and highly recommend!. All of what you have been reading in this detailed article is applicable to WordPress. Grab my free ebook and e course, as well as my recommended training - all are WordPress based.
Just follow the instructions and you will have a great WordPress blog.
Photography Vs Graphic Design?
The more talented of you may be torn between a Graphic Design Blog, viable niche also or a Photography Blog.
There is absolutely no reason as why you can't start out initially as a photography site and then later diversify and expand to include Graphic Design.
Also, you can start out covering both topics very well as per the "Sexing" technique mentioned above near the beginning of this article, which is simply mixing and matching closely or loosely related niches.
In this case, Graphic design works very well alongside photography.
Photography Blog Vs Instagram
Photography blog. Period!.
With your own photography blog, you own it! it is your site, it is your blog and nobody can take it from you!.
That is the inherent danger of running an enterprise from social media of any kind. If they change their Terms of Service or cut your reach or worse still terminate your account you are done for!
Bye bye to your years of hard work and labour and your business! - no to mention your source of income!.
You can of course run an Instagram and any other social media account in conjunction with your blog. That is to say, you use social media for branding purposes and to bring traffic from there to your site.
Don't do it every post or you might end up getting banned and don't put your affiliate links in social media sites - It is much better in my opinion to get traffic to your site and bring in traffic and brand awareness.
What To Write In A Photography Blog Post?
I discussed a few content ideas before in the section on traffic and gaining traffic from search engines. Creating "How To's" and tutorials teaching a variety of related photography techniques.
The internet is predominantly an information tool, a research tool. People use it to find answers to their problems and to educate them selves in relation to something.
In our case it is to help people to solve their pain points related to photography and teach them how to improve their photography skills. Do this and you will go far in this industry, very far indeed!.
You can also create "Best" style articles which can and cannot include affiliate links depending of the keyword that you use and article that you write. E.g "best Lightening equipment" will require you to review such equipment and place affiliate links in the article.
"Best Beach Photography Techniques" will not require you to create an article with affiliate links. In short when you come up with and find a topic and keyword to write an article about go google it.
If you see reviews - make a review based article with your affiliate links. If you don't - make an informative article without affiliate links!.
This, is the same for "Top" based keywords i.e "Top 10 DSLR Cameras" and "Top Ways To Improve Your Photography Processing Skills" one will require affiliate links and the other a more informative article without the commercial intent.
Teach, and help people, tips on how to create great photos, how to improve lightroom, photoshop, anything related to taking better photos and mentioning your story and the gear that you use.
You can also interview other acclaimed and famed photographers and bloggers in your genre.
Why Start A Photography Blog?
Because it is a fabulously great, fun and interesting niche. It is a highly profitable niche, and above all there is a very high possibility of it becoming your full time source of income providing that you work at it and put in the effort consistently.
It is more a question Why not start a photography blog!.
How Do Photography Blogs Make Money?
Photography blogs predominantly generate revenue from affiliate marketing, display advertising and the sale of their own digital and physical products. Some are fee paying membership sites.
See the section above on How To Monetize A Photography Blog for more details and a greater explanation of each of these methods of monetization.
Starting A Photography Blog - The Final Conclusion
Through out this rather detailed article you have learned exactly what it takes to become a photography blogger.
You Have Learned:
- How To Start A Photography Blog.
- How To "Niche Down" And Target A Specific Audience.
- How To Identify Your Ideal Site Visitor.
- Branding Strategies And The Importance Of Having A Brand
- How To Monetize Your Photography Blog.
- Found Some Top Paying And Interesting Affiliate Programs.
- How To Grow Social Media Accounts And Generate Social Media Traffic.
- How Get Organic Search Engine Traffic
- Seen Some Of The Very Best Photography Blogs For Inspiration.
In short, in reading this article you have learned a lot and know exactly what it takes to be successful in this niche market.
Information by itself is nothing!. It is what you do with this information that really counts. You need to........
Fill in the form below, grab my free guide and help to get yourself on the way to building a profitable photography blog.
I'll also send you access to my free 7 day blogging e-course!.
....You success is only a click away!.
I hope and trust that you enjoyed this article and now know exactly how to start a photography blog.
If you have any questions just pop them in the comments box below and I have happily answer them as quickly as I can.
To Your Success And Blogging Best!.