If you’re a photographer, a traveler or both, sooner or later you’ll want to have an accurate way of recording your journeys. A great way of doing that is to create a photoblog, which is a combination of images and text, though the main emphasis is on the images, rather than text. In this article we look at 10 ways of creating great results.
1. Planning/Brainstorming: Before you start hunting for a theme, take some time to write about the purpose of your photoblog. Is it a showcase for your work? Do you want to tell stories with the occasional image? Or is it the other way around? Do you want to sell images from your site? All of these considerations will influence what theme will be right for you.
2. 2. Premium (Commercial) vs. Free Themes: In general, I recommend using a commercial theme, mostly due to being able to obtain support, which can be dicey or non-existent with a free theme. If you need to modify a commercial theme support can help you. If you want to do extensive modifications, read “The Process of Building WordPress Themes.” As for themes you can download, check these out:
3. 3. Number of Images per Post: When creating a blog post it’s important to consider the number of images you have on a page. If you have too many images it will take time to load and you run the risk of losing your audience.
One feature often touted is many photoblog themes is automatic image sizing. On the surface, this is a time-saver but I recommend avoiding it because you do not know how the software will size your images. Using an image editor such as IrfanView, Adobe Photoshop or Paintshop Pro will give you better control.
Use JPEG for photographic images, not PNG. PNG will bloat your file sizes by 5-10 times. For text or line drawings, GIF or PNG-8 will do the trick. Both will give you similar results.
4. 4. Height and Width: When working with images make use of the Height and Width measurements. Include those with the coding for your images and size your images to match.
5. 5. About File Names: When building your photoblog it’s really important to create recognizable filenames. Not only can this help with SEO, it also makes it easier to track your images in case you want to sell them. So instead of using a generic name like image1.jpg, use something like: girl_frolicking_under_swing_summer_rhode_island.jpg.
6. 6. How to Sell Photos from Your Blog: There are several plug-ins you can use to sell photos from your blog. A sampling of those is available here.
7. 7. Use Google Analytics: This will help determine what posts are the most popular and what keywords people use to find your site. In addition to Google Analytics, install a plugin to help keep track of the data. A good one is the Google Analyticator.
8. 8. Building Your Audience: Take time to build the blog and interact with your audience using an autoreponder like AWeber, iContact, or MailChimp. Make sure you have comments enabled. Often, users will give you valuable feedback. Another important step is to build community outside of your blog.
10. 10. Use Caution with Flash: It’s a great software program but it’s not searchable. To make sure search engines can find your site create an accompanying HTML file with information on the purpose of the Flash animation. Include keywords and an SEO rich description.
As you can see the need or join photography forums and ask your questions there. This is a great way to resolve issues and build friendships/community at the same time.