“A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.”
Currently, there’s not much to write home about when it comes to the growth in the trend of photo blogging. And even though photo blogging hasn’t gained as much momentum as the more traditional form of blogging, but looking at the way those mobile phone companies are introducing powerful cameras and all those apps in their handsets, and with more and more people getting familiar with the concept of photo blogging, we can safely assume that photo blogging will soon become a widespread phenomenon. Mainly, because the camera phones and all those nifty apps will make it extremely easy to just take a photo and send it to your blog without any ado.
However, In spite of all these advantages and plus points, photo blogs do have an inherited limitation, and that’s the lack of content (i.e. text) as far as search engine optimization goes. As we’ve seen with the Google Panda update, search engines are still pretty much obsessed with the text based content when trying to gauge the “worth” of a website, and the emphasis has been on adding more and more content (AKA text), so it’d be safe to assume that photo-blogs will find it a little hard to rank anywhere near the top unless they are adding good amount of unique and relevant text, and/or spending a lot on link building.
However, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t start a photo-blog just because it’ll be hard to get in the good books of search engines, after all what good is a blog without some kind of audience or viewership? Truth is that there’s a lot you can do to promote your photo blog and make money out of it, especially with social media getting more and more powerful. Remember that having all those photographs and imagery on your blog will give you an edge over the text based websites.
Let’s take a look at some basics that you need to remember when trying to market and monetize a photo blog.
1 – Use Social Media Extensively
While you are at a disadvantage, when it comes to search engine optimization, you can find solace in the fact that photo blogs have an edge when it comes to social media optimization. And the good news is that social media is gaining more and more footing in the cyber world. You’ve got some popular photo sharing websites like Flickr, Pinterest, Mixbook, and Snap Fish, and who can forget the social giants like Facebook and Google Plus, but these are not all. You can look around and choose the best platform which is in line with your blog theme, and draw on the power of sharing to attract more and more visitors to your blog.
2 – Stick To a Theme
In the hindsight, there’re no obvious benefits of sticking to a particular theme, but it’s an established fact that websites or blogs targeting a specific niche will enjoy more loyal readership and fan following as compared to the general ones. It’s true that general ones can target a wider set of users, but in case of a photo blog, you wouldn’t be depending too much on unique visitors coming from different keywords in any case, so it’s better that you try to retain your existing users instead of going for more and more unique visitors.
3 – Optimize Your Images
Just because, you have certain limitations as far as Search Engine Optimization is concerned, doesn’t mean you should totally snub the idea of optimizing your website for search engines. Apart from adding some relevant text to your blog from time to time, you should use the “alt tag” to its fullest, while also using Meta tags to make sure you are getting some unique visitors every now and then.
4 – Interact with The Audience
Interaction is an often neglected, yet a key part of blog marketing and it baffles me to see comments being disabled at some photo-blogs. It’s true that a stream of comments beneath the photograph can sometimes spoil the overall impact, but I am sure you can find a designer who will find a way of showing comments without affecting the visuals. And even if you don’t want to do it under the images or posts, you can add a separate forum or at least try to interact with more and more people on your social profiles.
5 – Encourage Bloggers To Use Your Photos
If you are posting photographs and images captured/created by you, then you can encourage other bloggers or web designers to use them (while giving proper credits to your website). You can also post these images to photo sharing websites under the appropriate license. Doing so will get you some valuable back links, as well as some free promotion, especially when an established blog or website uses one of your image and give credits.
How To Make Money with a Photo Blog
Seriously, if you can engineer a popular photo blog and build good traffic, you won’t have to worry about ways of making money. There are quite some ways to monetize a photo blog, for example …
Use Display Ads by Google AdSense
Google AdSense offers all kinds of ads including text based ads, video ads, link units, and Display Ads. If your photos are accompanied by some text, you can place text based ads, and if the text is not sufficient, you have got display ads in the offing.
Again, if you are not overly touchy about the aesthetics, you can use In-image ads with your images. There are a number of In-image Ads companies like Image Space Media, Ads in Images, Gum Gum, Embed Anything, and the likes. You can try some of these services and stick with the one that works best.
Use the Gallery as a Portfolio
If you are posting your own work at your photo blog, you can always use the gallery as a portfolio to get some freelance work, for example a photography job at local events or functions, offer photography training courses, or get some freelance web or graphic designing job.
Bashir has a passion for photography. At his website weightlosstriumph.com you will find a review and discount deals for iStockphoto. If you are looking for professional quality images to use on your blog, iStockphoto is a great source that Bashir recommends.