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Photography Blogging Resources

lee webb on motorcycleIf you’re wondering how to start a photography blog – or even maintain or improve an existing one – there’s a whole world of tools and software you could use.

So to give you some guidance, I’ve put together this collection of recommended photography blogging resources.

Everything here is something that I use myself, or have done in the past, and so can recommend to you based on my personal experience.

You can take a scroll through them all, or simply click the menu to jump to the photography blogging resources you need right now:

1. creating and hosting my photography blog
2. producing content for my photography blog
3. marketing my photography blog
4. monetizing my photography blog
5. selling photography from my blog
6. improving the photography on my blog
7. keeping the motivation for my photography blog
8. buying vintage lenses and a camera to use them on

I’m only recommending products and services that I believe can help you with your own photography and blogging.

If you’re going to use any of them anyway, signing up or buying through the links here can help me to keep this site running.

Disclosure: some of the links on this page are affiliate links. This means if you do use them and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

Cheers!  🙂

1. Creating and hosting your photography blog

Creating your photography blog with WordPress

If you’re serious about your photography blog, WordPress is the only platform I’d recommend you create it on.

Around 25% of the web is said to run on WordPress, which should tell you a lot about its versatility, reliability, and – perhaps most of all – its ease of use.

Countless themes and plugins, both free and paid, make customising your photography blog quick and painless, and allow you to add pretty much any functionality you can think of.

For full control over your site, and to be able to monetize it properly, you’ll need to use WordPress.org, rather than WordPress.com (or Blogger, SquareSpace, Wix, or anything else).

how to start a photography blog

 

Hosting your photography blog on FatCow

If you do go with WordPress.org for your photography blog, you’ll also need a web host. From the many, many options available, I use FatCow.

Like most other web hosts, FatCow have a one-click WordPress installation feature to keep things easy from the very beginning. They also have a WP Essential package for better speeds, security, and support for your WordPress site for just an extra $3 a month.

FatCow is a very cost-effective host for when you’re starting out with your photography blog, and I’ve always found their customer support to be very quick to fix the few minor issues I’ve had with my site (most of which were caused by me).

Also, rather randomly, I like how FatCow run all their offices and data centres on 100% wind energy.

 

2. Producing content for your photography blog

Processing your photography with Lightroom

If you want your blog to be a success, both the photography and the writing need to be as good as they can be.

Achieving the former means post-processing or editing your images, and the software I use for this is Lightroom.

There are a good number of reasons for this but, in short, nothing else I’ve tried is as intuitive, streamlined and capable of giving me the results I want with so few clicks.

There are free alternatives, but I think paying for Lightroom (and Photoshop, see below) is worth the financial investment as using the industry leader will mean never wasting time learning new software in the future.

adobe-photography-plan

 

Creating blog post images with Photoshop

Your photographs probably won’t be the only images you’ll have on your photography blog; they certainly aren’t on mine.

For things like logos, post header images and Pinterest pinning images, I use Photoshop. Again, there are free alternatives that can do similar things, but I prefer to learn and use the industry leading software.

Adobe’s Creative Cloud offers a Photography Pack that includes both Photoshop and Lightroom for around $10 or £10 per month. For the use of two great programs, including every update they ever release for them, I believe it’s well worth the money.

You can get it from Amazon here or direct from Adobe here.

 

Polishing your writing with Grammarly and Hemingway

If you’re going to be writing a lot on your photography blog, using some software to help you catch any errors you make is a good idea.

I like Grammarly for this. In fact, nothing gets published on here without being run through Grammarly first.

You can install the browser app and let it flag up your mistakes as you write, or you can go to the website and paste in your work after finishing the first draft, which is what I do.

Hemingway is a free program you can use to make your writing more concise, highlighting things like overly long sentences, words with simpler alternatives, and too many uses of the passive voice; a handy tool to use especially when writing for an online audience.


3. Marketing your photography blog

Social sharing buttons and more with Sumo

You can make the best photography blog in the world but if nobody sees it then what’s the point?

Half the battle in blogging is getting your work in front of people’s faces, and Sumo has a whole suite of tools that can help you do that.

Some of them are only available with a paid account, but some that you can use on a free account include social share buttons, a scroll bar that you can set with a call-to-action and a button, and heat maps that let you know how people behave on your site.

There are plenty of other options for everything Sumo does, but I find it very handy to have so many tools all in one place.

 

Automating your social media updates with RecurPost

While the social sharing buttons from Sumo are great for getting your readers to share your photography blog posts, you should be doing the same on your own channels too.

Automating this will leave you more time for your photography and writing, which is why I use Recurpost.

Some social media scheduling platforms delete the posts from your list once they’re posted, which means you have to keep it topped up.

RecurPost recycles them. By sending them down to the bottom of the list, they remain in your schedule until everything else has been posted and its their turn again.

This means once your schedule is set up, you can leave it alone, let RecurPost (which is free to use for a schedule of under 100 posts) post for you, and just deal with any engagement you get on them.

 

Building a photography blog email list with MailerLite

If you want to keep your readers coming back and maybe even one day buying something from you, having them on an email list is one the most important things you can do.

When you’re starting out though, you probably don’t want to pay for all the advanced features most of them have. That’s why I went with MailerLite, whose services you can use for free until you hit 1001 subscribers.

At the time, they seemed to be the only provider offering automated email sequences on their free plan (and their visual flow-chart makes setting them up a breeze).

Some of the other providers have now followed suit and provide free automation too, although they may cap the number of emails you can send per month; with MailerLite, there’s no limit.

 

Growing your photography blog by guest posting

One of the most effective ways to get traffic to your blog is to borrow someone else’s audience. In other words, by guest posting.

If your photography blogging style matches with what I’m doing here, you can always submit a guest post for consideration in the Get Your Work On section.

The most important thing to have when submitting is good photographs and a good story. You stand a good chance of being featured if you do. And if you shoot street or travel photography with vintage lenses or film as well, I’d especially like to hear from you.

I know approaching other bloggers to ask if you can post on their blog can be intimidating. That’s why I wanted to make it easy for you here with Get Your Work On.

Go check the page and see what you can come up with.

 

4. Monetizing your photography blog

Adding Amazon affiliate links to your photography blog

Once your photography blog is set up and you’re adding good content to it and getting traffic, you might want to think about how it could earn you some money.

The quickest and easiest way to do this is by adding affiliate links to products you’re already writing about and earn commissions on any sales they lead to. For most people, that means signing up for Amazon Associates.

The program isn’t without its restrictions. The cookie window is short, the commissions are low, and you’ll have to sign up for each territory’s Amazon program to make money from them all.

But for ease of use, the range of products available, and the level of customer trust it has, Amazon is pretty much unbeatable.

p.s. this is my Amazon affiliate link. Feel free to bookmark it and help me out with a commission the next time you buy something  😀

 

Geo-targeting your Amazon affiliate links with Geniuslink

One problem with the Amazon Associates program is having to send your readers to their own country’s Amazon site to earn a commission.

If you send a reader in the UK to Amazon USA and they have to switch to the UK site themselves, your cookie is lost; even if you’re signed up to all the separate Amazon associate programs.

Geniuslink solves this problem by geo-targeting clicks made on your Amazon links to the Amazon site of whoever clicked it.

If you’re signed up for that country’s Amazon Associates program, you can then earn a commission from any sales made there.

Amazon does have its own mini version of this, called OneLink, but this only allows you to link US, UK, and Canada Amazon accounts right now, whereas Geniuslink can do them all.

 

Adding further affiliate links with Skimlinks

Amazon Associates isn’t the only affiliate program in town, and another one I use is Skimlinks.

A lot of people use Skimlinks to automatically convert any product links on their blog to affiliate links, which can obviously save you a lot of time and effort. They also have thousands of merchants whose products you can promote on your blog, should they be relevant.

Another way to use Skimlinks would be route your Amazon affiliate links through your account to take advantage of their lower payout threshold, meaning you don’t have to wait so long to get your money.

However, the main reason I use Skimlinks is for their eBay search boxes. Like Geniuslink above, they automatically send readers to their country’s eBay site. I researched a lot, and Skimlinks was the only way I could find of doing this.

skimlinks

 

5. Selling the photography from your blog

Selling prints of your photography

If your photography is good enough for you to blog about, then maybe it’s good enough for people to buy prints of too?

There are several print-on-demand marketplaces you can sell your work on, but I stick to RedBubble and Fine Art America.

Both of these sites are free to upload and host your work, with the only cost being the time it’ll take you to do so. They only print when somebody orders your work and take a percentage of the profit, making it another way to earn some passive income from your photography blog.

If your photography is the type that people like to put on their wall, making it available on places like RedBubble and Fine Art America is really all upside, as far as I can see.

 

Selling your work as stock photography

As above, if your photography is good enough to blog about, why not make it available for sale as stock images?

Again, there are plenty of places you can do this, but I make my work available on just two of them: Alamy and Picfair.

As with the previous section, the only cost of making your work available for stock images is the time it will take for you to upload and keyword your work. Once that’s done, any sales will lead to passive income as the platforms take care of everything.

Picfair allows you to set your own price, which is cool. However, Alamy has been better for me so far in terms of actual sales.

 

6. Improving the photography on your blog

When you’ve been blogging for some time, it’s nice to look back and see how far you’ve come since you began.

Your photography will improve just by shooting, of course, but you can get even better if you actively educate yourself as well.

Three eBooks that have helped me are Transcending Travel (which I reviewed here), Captivating Color, and Natural Light. All are published by Digital Photography School.

Depending on the kind of work you do, you might get more value from eBooks on different topics. So it’s a good thing Digital Photography School have a whole range of others to choose from too.

transcending-travel-dps

 

7. Keeping the motivation for your photography blog

If you’ve had your photography blog for a while and aren’t seeing the progress (whatever that means for you) you’d hoped for, you might need a shot of motivation.

Create or Hate is a book I read that can give you just that.

Written by Australian author and entrepreneur Dan Norris, it’s a deliberately short, sharp, kick-up-the-arse kinda offering with the by-line ‘successful people make things’.

That doesn’t mean you’ll definitely be successful if you make something… but you definitely won’t be if you don’t.

You can read my review of Create or Hate here or go check it out on Amazon here.

 

8. Buying vintage lenses and a camera to use them on

Buying vintage lenses on eBay

If you want to add something different to your photography blog, or even just your photography, I’d recommend trying a vintage lens.

The best place to pick them up online is eBay, and you can use the search box below to find yours right now.

If you already know which one you want, or even just which focal length, you can paste that in. If you’re not sure, just paste ‘vintage camera lens’ and hit search!

If you don’t see a search box and think I’m imagining it, you might need to turn off your ad blocker for it to be displayed.

 

Buying a mirrorless camera on Amazon

If you do pick up any vintage lenses, you’ll need a camera with interchangeable lens capabilities to use it on. Obviously, Amazon will have you covered here.

If you already have a DSLR, that will work just fine. However, if you need to buy something to use with your vintage lenses, I’d recommend a mirrorless camera instead.

They’re a lot smaller, which is good when shooting with a small vintage lens, and the image quality is pretty much on par with DSLRs anyway – although you shouldn’t really be worrying about that if you’re shooting through vintage glass.

The focus peaking feature on Sony models is great when shooting in manual focus, as you will be with a vintage lens, and FujiFilm are putting out some lovely cameras too.

 

What other photography blogging resources do you use?

So, this is my list of photography blogging resources.

If you’re just starting out and have been wondering how to start a photography blog, I hope at least one thing here has helped you.

If you’re already blogging yourself, I’m sure you’ll have a few resources to recommend that I’ve missed.

Hit me up on Twitter and let everybody know what they are!  😀

And if you think other people will find this useful, please share or pin it!