There was a time when a photography blog could become a gold mine. In fact, any image that we came across on the internet would fuel our inquisitiveness and we would dig further. Today, there is no dearth of photography blogs. Google Images and similar search facilities have made it convenient to search for millions of images, if not billions, in every category you can dream of. If someone has to check out a certain image or a specific photograph, then the search engines, social media in general and their own ability to research will be sufficient to satiate the need. There isn’t much benefit for someone to become an avid follower of a photography blog.
The only thing that would make a photography blog successful is if it is uniquely entertaining. Now, what makes a photography blog entertaining? The answer is obvious for most people: photographs. What makes it uniquely entertaining? It is the narrative, the personality of the photographer, the way one engages with the audience and how the followers embark on a journey with the photographer.
Anyone with a DSLR and a bit of knowledge of free content management systems can host a website and put up a plethora of images. Not many would be able to take the audience on an entertaining journey. Here is how you should try to make your photography blog uniquely entertaining.
• Be transparent. Who you are, what camera you use, where you live, where you shoot, what a particular photograph is, where was it taken, how have you edited it or not edited it at all, why you have taken the photo and many such questions beg honest answers. People don’t like secrecies any more. The internet has anyway educated every interest individual to know the tricks and secrets of almost every profession. There is no need to try and keep a haloed distance from your audience. Disclose all relevant information. That would make you transparent and people love transparency.
• Nothing is more important than trust. There is a reason why some blogs or a video blogger on YouTube have millions of followers. People trust the individual and what he or she does. As a photographer, you must be able to showcase your talent and by the virtue of being transparent, you can indeed become trustworthy. Build trust by being genuine on social media. Share content that you believe in. Be helpful or of some value to your audience. Ask them to spread the word.
• Work on interaction. Social media is not a place for introverts or those who are coy to speak out. Interaction and engagement with your audience will be the bedrock of your following. The reason why some famous people become celebrities and other famous people remain off the news and tabloids is because the audience can connect at a certain level with those people who speak out, interact with the people and convey their feelings, what they like and dislike, take standpoints or just speak through their work. You need to be there for your audience and respond to what they want to know or find out. You may generate a staggering following after attending an event, you may buy website traffic to increase your following or you may launch a massive social media campaign. No matter what you do to source your traffic and to increase your following, unless you interact and engage with your audience, your blog would not be entertaining and the followers will not stick around. It is not just about the photos.
• Welcome every point of view. Some people may not like what you shoot, they may even be hostile in some cases and there would always be technically contrarian viewpoints. Respect them, reason with them or just acknowledge them but don’t discard them.
People don’t just follow a photography blog. People also follow the photographer. Keep it professional but also make it personal.