On today’s podcast, we are going to be looking at blogging and why I do it. It is something I’ve been doing since 2010.
Changes are coming, but I am looking forward to the future. I have to start making all this work, as I have spoken about before. I have been getting so much advice on what I should be doing with this blog and everything I have, that my head has been swimming. I almost don’t know where to start, but I am trying to plough through it all. However, that does mean that changes are going to start happening here. Hopefully you will like what happens.
For quite some time I’ve really struggled with how I should do this blog. I’ve been at a loss and everything I try seems to take so much time, or is similar to other work I’m doing.
I thought about monetizing it, get paid to blog, but that hasn’t really happened, so it seems almost pointless. I hate doing the hard sell, and that has meant that getting money for it is even harder. Ultimately I have to wonder if it really is for me.
Last week on U4D we looked at social media in a general way. Today, I thought we could look at it for photographers and how you can use it. I have been trying to find lists of the top 5, but it seems everyone has a different opinion on the matter. Also many articles are quite old and social media is changing so quickly that what was relevant a year ago, is not now. Perhaps, I will just talk about what I use and why.
This would have to be the number one platform for me right now. It is amazing, and is bringing lots of new opportunities. It has provided a good incentive to work on photos and put them up. It has been one of the best social platforms I’ve seen as far as the social side goes.
It has been around for a few years now. When it started it was for putting photos from you mobile phone up on it. It still really is only for the phone. Though some things have changed over the years, and you can view photos on the computer, you still can’t load photos, except on your phone.
The photography has come a long way as well. While there are still many people who use photos taken with their phone, there are many more putting up images taken with their cameras. It means that the variety is incredible and really inspirational.
There is a real social side to it, in that I have met so many other photographers from Melbourne through it. I’m finding out places to take photos and then meeting others as well. It really is a social platform.
While many don’t include it in social media, it shouldn’t be underestimated. Blogging platforms give you an opportunity to let people know more about you. You can say more, and show your images.
More and more people are writing and using blogs to showcase their work. There are so many out there now that it is hard to stand out. Still worth doing and finding your own niche in the world.
One aspect that really helps is the ability to use your blog as your website as well. People can find out information readily as well, especially if you are trying to run a business.
While people seem to be turning away from Facebook, it is still a fairly important platform. Though, I’m not sure for what. My experience is that it seems fairly ineffective these days, except to keep up to date with friends. It is hard to be social when you only see a fraction of what people actually post. The messenger or chat function is probably the best thing about it.
Some of the problems with Facebook are the way it is monetised now and how do you find people to follow you. The only way, it seems, to get people to look at your posts is to pay to have them boosted. I haven’t found that boosting works, but others say it does.
Most social media platforms have a way to almost advertise yourself, hey I am here. However, that doesn’t seem to be something that Facebook have. You have to let people know about your page on other platforms, or, pay for it. The second option is not something that is recommended.
This is quite an under estimated platform. It is easy to forget that Google is the biggest search engine in the world and then there are Google images. You want google to find your images and show them in searches that people make. They won’t tell you how they do things, but it can’t hurt to have an account and put your images up there.
Google+ are pushing more for their collections now. They want you to create collections, which are basically galleries of your images. You will get more hits and it is shared more. It isn’t that hard to do either.
Google+ is said to be great for photographers, and it is. You get to see some wonderful work. There are also many groups and such that you can join as well. There also don’t seem to be pay to use things that Facebook have.
There are the rumours that Google are going to shut it down, but since they just created a whole new interface that does seem unlikely. Though I asked my husband about it and he said the rumours have been around for years.
I’m putting these together because they seem to work the same. They both show your work beautifully and can be used as a portfolio of your work. Though with so many other places it is hard to see how they are going.
Flickr is a more general platform and you will find people of all sorts of levels there. Those that are photographers and those that aren’t. I am not sure how effective it is anymore, but it still looks good. I tend to only put my best work up. I was told it was a great place to get work, that has never happened for me, but I’ve heard it has for others.
The platform for 500px was designed for photographers to use. I have used it and do have an account, but I don’t use it. I found the whole competitiveness aspect of it a bit of a turn off. I didn’t need that, but there are many people that think it is wonderful.
Which is for you?
Only you can decide. The reality for many of us is that you can’t do it all, unless you don’t want to have a life. It is recommended you pick about 3 and concentrate on those. So you can see what my three are, the first three. I post on the others, but rarely. I like to see what happens from time to time, but I know that I have to work on the sites that bring me the most reward.
This is a just a brief overview and in the coming weeks I will try to do more comprehensive articles on most of them.
The weeks are flying by and before we know it Christmas will be here. I have a lot going on and a lot I want to do. I am trying hard to be productive, but I can get distracted quite easily at times, especially when it comes to going out and taking photos. Let’s take a look at my news.
Dynamic Range Magazine
As I’ve stated previously, if things don’t get better with it, meaning sales, then I am going to shut up shop with it. The people who have supported it have been amazing and I truly thank you for that. However, we do sell very few copies and the money made certainly doesn’t cover my time, let alone anyone else’s who works on it. We are not giving up just yet, but the writing is on the wall.
To try and improve things for the next issue, which will be out in a couple of weeks, we are taking away the Photography by Women. I don’t know if that makes a difference, but there is this idea that if it is meant for women then it must be pink and frilly. If you knew me you would know that is not me at all. I never wear pink and am far more comfortable in black.
Another thing that I’ve noticed is how many people are surprised when they get it. Surprised at how good it looks and how professional the articles are. So it seems the pink and frilly thing continues, and people are expecting that and finding that it is really nice inside. So to combat this, we have decided to give away a previous Issue so you can see how good it looks. We have decided on Issue 3 to give away.
Here is the link that will let you download it for free,
That should work. We were really finding our feet with this issue and if you were to ask me, was probably the first one that we got right.
The Six Seasons of My Backyard
Sales for the book have been interesting. I’ve sold almost none overseas, albeit a few, and sold a few here. I suppose I knew that people would be more interested in the book here, but I had thought I would sell more overseas. I guess you just never know.
I’m now getting ready for the book launch. It is going to be on the 24th of November, if you are in Melbourne and interested in going let me know and I can give you the details.
This Blog and Website
I have been talking about changes on this blog for a while and I think it is time I got more serious about it. I want to start being more professional with how I run it. I am figuring out that my writing is okay, certainly better than what it was, and that is where I should concentrate my efforts.
I’ve spoken about doing reviews here, but I also want to start doing some editing posts as well. I’m not keen to show people what I do, I think if I was earning a lot of money from it, yeah, I would be happy to. I just know that if I start sharing what I do then someone who is better at marketing than me will make a lot more money from it, and I don’t think that is fair.
However, what I am prepared to do is share my knowledge of Photoshop and Lightroom, and maybe introduce you to other software editing platforms. I have been given a couple to play with, and I know at least one of them seems quite good and not very expensive, but more on that later.
That is about all for now, but start expecting some changes soon, maybe even next week. I would also be interested in hearing what you thought and if there are posts and such that you would like to see me do.
Today I thought I would show you more photos from my day at Rippon Lea in 2013. This time I have all the photos from the garden there. They are magnificent and if you go on a lovely day the photos can look stunning. I must go back with my Lensbaby gear.
Another aspect of switching over to this blog is that I can revisit old posts and update them, or just post them again. The following post was one of my first Up for Discussion (U4D) posts on my old blog. Once I publish it here I will delete it from the old one.
This post looked at why we blog, or why I blog. It generated a lot of discussion and it was fantastic to read what people thought. So I am reposting it, and at the bottom I will update with now. Why I’m still blogging.
Why I Blog
from February, 2015
I wrote my first blog post on WordPress, in September 2010, however it wasn’t my first blog. I originally started in January 2010 on Blogspot, First One.
I started a blog for a couple of reasons, one was because I was photographing cycling and trying to sell the photos. A guy who worked with my husband suggested that I start a blog, that people liked blogs. Well it never helped with the cycling, but then it had a second effect. Suddenly I wanted to post, I wanted to share my photos, and over time I realised that the photos I was taking for the posts was changing.
I changed to WordPress in September because I liked the stats better. WP had much better stats, still do, you could really get an idea of what people were looking at, it was good. Then I started meeting people, I started making friends. I have met some amazing people virtually, I love seeing what they do. It has been such an incredible experience.
I really came to WP and blogging with the intention of using it to help me produce work. In September 2010 I was trying to do lots of things, art wise that is, painting, printmaking, drawing and taking photos. I thought having the blog would make me do work for it, but it really didn’t work out that way. Within a year of starting this blog I made the decision to give everything else up and concentrate on photography, I have never regretted that decision.
Then in November 2011 I decided to challenge myself to see if I could do a post every day, and post a photo each for the month of November, and since that time I have done a post nearly every day since. With the exception of the odd here I still post everyday. It works for me.
Posting each day makes me to go and take photos. Being a relatively lazy person, going out to take photos can be hard, so with the threat of a blog and the need for photos, I have taken far more photos than I would have otherwise. I have found the blog a fantastic incentive to take photos.
The blog has meant I have met people who I would never have met otherwise. It drives me to get out and take photos to show people. It has been an incredibly positive experience for me.
My blog now
I have left WordPress.com and moved to a self hosted site, that would have to be the biggest change. Part of the reason for that was so I would have more control over what happens. I can charge money for advertising if I choose and don’t have to worry about WP shutting me down.
Another reason was because so many people were confused between the two sites and many thought it would be better if I just had one, and I have to say, it has been much better. It is easier for people to find me, but also only doing one blog is much better to manage. It has taken a while to find my feet here, but it is slowly getting there.
Why do I still blog, well the answer is simple, I love it, and I love the people I have got to meet through it. From blogging I have been given some amazing opportunities. I have meet some wonderful people who are now friends.
Blogging still remains a worthwhile activity for me. It is still helps me to get out and take photos. I just hope that you still find what I have to say interesting and enjoy my photography.
So why do you blog?
NB: photos are from the first couple of years of blogging, nice to look back.