PhotoChat; Blogging

PhotoChat is a weekly conversation between Photography Pro’s and Amateurs that takes place on Thursdays at 1PM EST hosted by Prime Social Marketing. To follow the conversation or take part use #Photochat on Twitter.

This blog post covers my longer answers to the questions that are condensed then put into tweets for the Photochat.

Q1: Do you run a photo blog? If yes, what made you start it? And if no, then why not?

The photography blog I run is here, Aperture64. The origins of Aperture64 actually came about due to a change in work. I had not worked much in photography since completing my degree due to not finding any work. After looking for photography work for a while, the priority was shifting to work that got the bills paid, taking me away from photography. I still kept taking photos and doing some work on the side from time to time, but photography was not my priority. Last summer with a change of school, I was offered the opportunity to teach photography. I started a blog as a place for me to begin my journey back to photography as well as writing topics that I would end up teaching. I began the blog with three pillars, to discuss, showcase and share photography.

Q2: Why do you put the effort into running a photography blog, and what sort of images do you post on it?

One of the reasons I put a lot of effort into it running a blog is firstly because it feeds my ego, somebody likes what I have written or a picture I posted really makes me smile. Secondly by blog is a is draft for lesson topics, and writing out ideas and getting them straight in my head. I have always understood photography naturally and when you understand something naturally explaining it can become difficult. In writing down what I understand it makes it easier to communicate what I know about photography.
The images I post on my blog are things I have been working on recently, or experiments I have been trying out. I would say that 99.9% of images are photographic, from time to time I do post graphic and computer generated images.

Q3: Can blogging be used to help market a photography business or get someone’s work noticed? Explain.

I would say as part of a wider marketing strategy a blog could help, as the more you are represented on the net the better the chances someone came come across you, although it depends on the content and the tone of the blog. I always find blogs which are a bit more personal slightly more appealing and it can be a way for a client to get to know who you are before hiring you.

Q4: What do you think the best photo blogs do right? Alternatively, what are some of the worst mistakes bloggers can make?

What the best blogs do right is posting content that come from the heart, about things that they care about. It can be quite easy to write for the masses, and it is always advised to keep an eye on your stats to see what people are reading. Though I have found that some posts have had huge spikes of views when posted but people aren’t reading them through the year. Whereas other posts have had a low number of readers on the day it was posted but people have come back to that post time and time again and in the end it has got more views in the long term. I think a mix of these two types of articles is best.
Personally a good blog is where people can communicate with each other and form a loose community.
I think the biggest mistake you can make as a blogger is to not post anything or have huge regular gaps in between posts. A reader may not come to your blog daily, but if there are weeks with no content then their visits may become less frequent. Of course there are times when you may not have time to blog and this is ok, just explain why there maybe less content and people will understand.
When blogging you also have to beware of your tone especially when dealing with comments. Most people will write nice things, although when there is criticism before defending yourself, think about what has been written, is it positive or negative? With positive criticism give a considered response and for negative criticism just say thank you and ignore the person. It is too easy to react defensively when someone may be looking to help you.
For some bloggers social media is just a dumpsite to get more views. Sharing on social media is great but don’t clog up peoples newsfeeds by posting the same link over and over in the same day with hash tag diarrhoea.

Although this is not just for blogging but also for social media, there is a custom among many people to like for a like back and follow for a follow back. I think this is a big mistake, if you are not sincere about what you like and who you follow and are just doing it for views then it will show. Yeah you have 100,000 followers but only 10 views for a post. This ratio would say to me that there is something wrong.

Q5: Share some of your favourite photography blogs with us!

http://abduzeedo.com/

A great blog not 100% photography but there is some great design posts and photo editing ideas.

http://www.stuckincustoms.com/

All there is to know about HDR is here updated regularly. I have been learning so much here.

http://photofocus.com/

This is a fantastic blog with a variety of photography posts written by a collection of contributors.

http://ajh57.wordpress.com/ (all downhill from here)

Andrews’s blog is a great mixture of reportage, nature and landscapes, with the personal twist of daily life living in Hong Kong. Really enjoy reading Andrews post with my morning coffee.

http://lightbox.time.com/

Times blog has a great collection of images and articles from Time Magazine.

just-keep-blogging

I would love to know what your opinions to the questions are. Do you agree or disagree with my answers? Either way you can let me know using the comment box below.

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