The Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Photography Blog

Finding new ways to showcase your photography can seem like a never-ending journey. However, if you don’t get your name and content out there, it could be difficult to make a living doing what you love.

That’s where a dedicated photography blog can benefit you. It’s a personal way to display your favorite content, while simultaneously growing your audience, selling prints, and making new connections with potential clients.

In this article, we’ll first go over some of the benefits a photography blog can offer. Then we’ll explore the different ways you can use a photography blog, and walk through how you can set one up. Let’s dive right in!

How a Photography Blog Can Benefit You

You may already use multiple social media platforms to promote your work. Indeed, it’s quite common to see photographers using various popular mediums, such as Instagram, to display their skills. Indeed, that approach can be reasonably successful.

However, it may be time to consider starting your own photography blog as well:

This can lead to some unexpected benefits for you and your photography business. By running a photography blog, you can:

  • Showcase different styles to display your skills as a photographer
  • Own your own platform to control as you see fit
  • Display your technical prowess through ‘befores and afters’
  • Practice storytelling with your photography
  • Use Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to widen your audience
  • Create a newsletter to accompany your blog
  • Monetize your blog or sell prints through an e-commerce store
  • Connect with new audience members and clients
  • Track your successes over time, and see where you can improve

As you can see, the potential advantages of showcasing your talent on your own blog are many. Even better, you have a wide array of choices when deciding what kind of photography blog you want to create.

The Different Ways You Can Use a Photography Blog

When you think of a blog, what comes to mind? You probably picture a wall of text, briefly broken up by the occasional GIF or image.

While that’s one way to do it, long gone are the days when blogs were fairly predictable. Now, you can shape a photography blog in any number of ways. After all, blogging is one of the most diverse mediums on the web.

For example, you could start a blog that is focused on providing useful tutorials to amateur and novice photographers. You could even consider creating accompanying courses, and selling them to anyone looking to improve.

There’s also photojournalism to consider. Through this avenue, you can display your skills at conveying a story while simultaneously reporting on world events. Alternatively, a travel photography blog could be a means of showcasing beautiful shots from all over the world. Plus, you’d be giving yourself incentive to travel!

If you specialize in a certain field or niche, you could start a themed photography blog. There, you could show off your wedding photos to attract new clients, display night shots to demonstrate your proficiency with editing and lighting, or focus on capturing a wide array of street art that you come across during your travels.

No matter what your focus might be, starting your own photography blog is a valuable stepping stone to honing your abilities and building a strong audience for your work. Furthermore, you can always use your blog to attract clients as well.

How to Start Your Own Photography Blog (In 5 Steps)

All of the above benefits might sound appealing, but starting your own blog can seem intimidating. That’s especially true if you’ve never done it before. Fortunately, there are a few ways to make the experience easier. Let’s take a closer look at the five main steps to getting your photography blog up and running.

1. Decide Which Blog Type Works Best for You

Choosing which type of blog you want to create is a largely personal decision. You can base this choice on your past portfolio, or alter your path and think about which direction you want to take your photography business in the future.

For example, many photographers struggle to earn a consistent living, especially those who are just starting out. With that in mind, event photography is a secure means of supplying yourself with continuous work. After all, event photographers are in high demand for weddings, anniversaries, graduations, birthdays, religious ceremonies, and much more.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t focus on your true passions rather than simply making money. If you love traveling, then photojournalism or a travel blog could be the best avenue for showcasing your work. Again, this decision comes down to your unique perspective and background as a photographer, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

2. Select a Content Management System (CMS)

When you’re starting a blog, it’s smart to use a Content Management System (CMS). A CMS is software that enables you to create and manage your content online, and is more flexible than the simple website building platforms you’ll also run across.

Choosing a CMS gives you nearly total control over how your photography blog will look and function. With a platform such as WordPress, you’ll also get access to a wide-range of plugins and themes that can help you showcase your work (we’ll introduce a few of these later on).

Meet_WordPress

While a CMS might sound daunting compared to a template-focused website builder, this kind of platform makes it much easier to develop a site that meets your standards and needs. It’s the more customizable choice, and can be very approachable even for first-time website owners.

There are a number of options, but our recommendation is to go with WordPress. It’s the most popular CMS available, and because of that there are many tutorials, walkthroughs, and step-by-step guides available online.

Moreover, if you choose a specialized WordPress hosting provider for your blog, they can offer you plenty of guidance and support for setting your blog up on the platform. With a website builder, on the other hand, you’re typically locked into a single web host rather than set free to choose the best one for your site.

3. Pick a Theme for Your Photography Blog

Selecting the right theme is an important building block for any CMS-based website. A theme can provide your site with extra functionality, give it a visually-appealing design, and deliver customization options that help you turn your site into the perfect photography platform. All of this can be achieved without the need for coding know-how or specialized skills.

Some themes have a specific focus, and are optimized accordingly. There are themes designed for education, e-commerce, travel, and of course, photography. Plus, many themes are well-suited to multiple types of sites and blogs. They can offer a variety of style and layout options, letting you choose your favorite default look and then customize it as needed.

Some WordPress themes are free, while others are premium and cost a small fee. There are many excellent free themes, although they can often be limited in features and style options.  Premium themes tend to come with more customization choices and tools out of the box, along with dedicated support from their developers.

Whether your desired theme is free or premium, it’s important to make your choice carefully. You’ll want a theme that sets your photography blog up for success from the very start. That means looking for a theme that is:

  • Highly customizable
  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Regularly updated and stable
  • Responsive to mobile devices
  • Well suited to showcasing lots of high-quality media files

As an example, let’s take a look at the Sidewinder theme:

Sidewinder offers a template that is adaptable to many styles and blog types. At the same time, it’s a solid choice for a photography blog, thanks to its stylish look and many options for displaying media to great effect.

Of course, you may prefer a theme designed more specifically for the focus you have in mind. There are plenty of options for you as well. If you’re looking to showcase event photography, for example, the Softly theme is one to check out.

4. Choose Plugins That Add Key Features

Your next step is to find the right plugins for your photography blog. Plugins are similar to themes in that they’re add-ons for WordPress. Instead of focusing on improving your site’s look, however, they add a wide variety of new features and functionality to your website.

With the right plugins, you can turn your photography blog into a robust platform that delivers a high-quality experience for both you and your site’s visitors. No matter what you want your website to accomplish, there is likely a plugin to help you get there.

As a photography blogger, you’ll probably benefit from installing a range of different plugins. For instance, a tool like Yoast SEO enables you to improve your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and bring in more traffic.

Other plugins can automate various administrative tasks, making your job easier. For example, WordPress to Buffer Pro automatically shares your content to your social media accounts. There are also plugins designed to enhance your site’s security, protect it from spam, and back it up to keep your data and photos safe.

Of course, your main concern is probably how you’ll display your work for maximum effect. For that, a WordPress gallery plugin such as NextGEN Gallery can help you organize and display your photographs with ease:

Moreover, the Pro version of this plugin comes with its own e-commerce functionality, enabling you to sell your prints, courses, or digital downloads. Both versions also smoothly integrate with Yoast SEO, Imagify (an image compressor), and a variety of other WordPress plugins.

5. Brush Up on SEO to Attract an Audience

SEO involves using a variety of techniques designed to boost your site’s rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). If you haven’t considered SEO before, it’s important to look into how it might impact your photography blog.

After all, there are millions of websites out there, including plenty of other photography blogs and portfolios. Competing with them means investing time into optimizing your website as a whole, along with its individual pages and images. This is your best bet for attracting lots of new traffic your way.

To give your blog its best chance at success, you’ll want to start by:

  • Investing plenty of time into creating a solid User Experience (UX). For instance, it’s vital to maintain a mobile-friendly design, quick loading times, and clear navigation.
  • Using keyword research tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, to identify words and phrases that you can include in your posts, image captions, and more.
  • Downloading an SEO plugin like Yoast, as this can help you optimize your blog posts for popular keywords and improve your content’s readability.
  • Optimizing your photographs by using descriptive file names made up of single words separated by hyphens, and adding ‘alt text’ to your images.

SEO might sound daunting at first, and that’s fair. It can involve quite a bit of work. However, it’s also crucial, since your blog’s success may rely as much on search rankings as it does on the quality of your photographs.

Conclusion

Most photographers are looking for new and innovative ways to display their work. A blog can be the perfect medium to do just that, and attract new clients and work at the same time.

Let’s take a final look at the four steps you can take to starting your own photography blog:

  1. Decide on the kind of blog you want to create.
  2. Select the CMS that will work best for you.
  3. Choose a theme to help lay the groundwork for your blog.
  4. Choose plugins that add in key features.
  5. Learn a few SEO techniques to help expand your audience.

Do you have any questions about starting your own photography blog? Our team of WordPress developers understands precisely how the system works, and we can work with you to make updates to your photography blog, install a new theme, upgrade plugins, and much more.