Photo Blogging 101, Part 2
Now that you’ve been snapping away, you’ll want to build your photographic following. WordPress.com has an excellent photo blogging community, which you can tap into by following these tips and tricks.
Tags, topics, and phloggers, oh my!
Tags work to connect your blog to the larger WordPress.com community, so you can see others who are writing, or photographing, the same subjects as you. By tagging your post as “Photography” or “Black and White,” your posts will be included in the respective Topic page so that other viewers can find your site. If you haven’t added tags to your posts before, you can learn how to do so here.
However, tags can be used for more than just bringing traffic to your site, but as a networking tool as well. As your photo blog grows, taking some time to look at other photo blogging sites can both help you to find inspiration, tips and tricks, and new ideas, as well as put you in contact with your fellow photo blogging compatriots.
You can start following new topics in your WordPress.com reader by going to the WordPress.com Reader and inserting “Photography” or any related tag into the “Add a Topic” text box.
One of the best ways to boost readership and build a following is to do the same in return. This means that when you see a photo blogger that you like, comment on their post! Comments and pingbacks help to create connections between bloggers and their readers.
Blogging is about community and sharing, and this sets the tone. Just recently, I wrote a blog post inspired by a post on 1000AwesomeThings.com. I linked back, and hopefully turned a bunch of new readers onto the site. Because there was a decent amount of traffic sent to his blog, or maybe because he received a pingback, Neil Pasricha then came and commented on my blog! This is the author of two #1 International Bestselling books! I was so thrilled. I emailed Neil to thank him, and that began a back and forth, where I was able to ask him his blogging tips.
In browsing other photo blogs, you may see that many photographers add information about their camera and set up to each post. Generally, photo bloggers will include the camera they used to shoot the image, the aperture and f-stop information, and the lens. This is a great way to explain both the tools you’re using as a photographer and another method of contributing to the photo blogging community by sharing your experiences.
Protecting Your Work
Through consistent posting, commenting on other blogs, and tagging your posts, you can continue to build your photo blogging readership. As you get your work out there, it’s also important to make sure that it’s protected. For photo bloggers on WordPress.com, we recommend that you watermark your photos. This means adding a copy right, such as “© Erica’s Photography,” directly to your image with a photo editing program. Watermarking your photos helps to prevent others from taking your images and pretending they’re their own.
If you’re interested in licensing your work as well, the Creative Commons license is an excellent way to both protect your work, while still contributing to the photographic community as a whole. Creative Commons licenses establish you as the owner of your product, but still allow for others to use your work. For example, among the various Creative Commons licenses, you can state that anyone is allowed to use your work as long as it’s attributed to you and they’re not using it for commercial purposes. Better yet, they can follow all of the above rules, and may also build on your work, similar to sampling when it comes to music beats.
Now that your photo blog is well on it’s way, don’t forget to stay tuned for more tips and tricks with our final post on Photo Blogging 101. (Missed the first post? You can check it out here.)