Monthly Archives: January 2012

Photographers SEO and Social Marketing – Part 3

In Part 1 Photographers SEO and Social Marketing I wrote about how the content you create and share is can be more important than SEO.  In Part 2 I wrote more about SEO and useful WordPress plugins to help.  In Part 3 I’m going to discuss how the look and functions of a photographer’s website helps their marketing.

Layout

The layout for your blog should be very clean.  It should not have too much going on, but at the same time you don’t want it to be bare.   Advertisements are acceptable but you don’t want too many.  People do click advertisements but when there are many scattered on a single page you will find yourself losing visitors rather than making money.  Affiliate links work the same way.  Some are good, too many are bad.  Also, don’t be afraid to tell people about your advertisements and affiliations.  In fact, FCC  wants you too.

In the footer of your website you should have copyright information.  Depending on your advertising strategy you could take advantage of this space for possible income.  I will explain more later on.

Sharing

On each individual post there should be a way to share your article on various social websites.  Remember I said that you can share on StumbleUpon in one minute or in seconds depending on your website?  The way StumbleUpon works is they ask for the link and a review when submitting a page.  After you enter that information it then asks for keywords or tags.  The way to bypass “the review” is by using a Stumble button on your website.  Then all you need to enter are the keywords.  Simple!

There are many share tools out there.  There are WordPress plugins and scripts to place sharing features on your website.  For those that are not very tech savvy, use the plugin.  Want a better integration?  Use a javascript in the website design.

Here are some of these tools:

  • ShareThis.com (script and plugin)
  • AddThis.com  (script and plugin)
  • AddToAny.com (script and plugin)
  • SexyBookmarks (plugin)
  • Socialize (plugin)
  • ShareDaddy (plugin)
  • Sharebar (plugin)

You also want to make sure that whatever button you are using has the most popular social sites most visible:  Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc.  You will also be surprised that people will take advantage of the “email this” feature.

Many of these sharing tools have tracking systems built-in but you should also be using your own stats system for your website.

Too many extras

messy-websiteWould you keep your house that messy?

Many people like using the Wibya toolbar, Twitter and Feedback float boxes.  Using all three of these things on one website is really ugly and adds too much bulk to a design.  Try sticking with one, or hire a developer to combine them all.

Pop-ups

They get annoying quick

Turn them off or you will lose visitors.  Marketing like that doesn’t always work like it used to.  People are smart and will stop coming back.  If you really want the pop-up box make sure that it logs IP addresses so the next time a person returns they do not get the same pop-up.

Keep them around

When you have someone on your website, you don’t want them to leave.  One of the ways to keep people interested is to show similar posts and popular posts on your blog.  Many themes have these built-in but for those that do not there are a few ways to carry out the job.

Use a WordPress plugin: A simple search of the WordPress directory reveals many plugins that will show similar (or related) posts.  Same goes for  popular posts.

Another would be a customized script that would be written by a person with knowledge of PHP, SQL and WordPress to accomplish.

The third way is to use a script like LinkWithIn.  They do a great job of displaying your related posts, however their name will be underneath the list.

Breadcrumbs

Somewhere in your layout could be something called “Breadcrumbs”.

“Breadcrumbs typically appear horizontally across the top of a web page, usually below title bars or headers. They provide links back to each previous page the user navigated through to get to the current page or—in hierarchical site structures—the parent pages of the current one. Breadcrumbs provide a trail for the user to follow back to the starting or entry point. A greater-than sign (>) often serves as hierarchy separator, although designers may use other glyphs (such as »), as well as various graphical treatments.  Typical breadcrumbs look like this:

Home page > Section page > Subsection page or Home page >> Section page >> Subsection page

The reason for using Breadcrumbs is very similar to popular and similar posts.  A reader might see that small link and say “Hey, there could be other good articles under the same category”

But is it?

There are those that believe breadcrumbs are good and there are those that do not.   WPCandy.com published an article, “Why WordPress breadcrumbs are almost always pointless” that talked about a user experience and what types of websites should have breadcrumbs.  If done correctly there is no harm in a UI.  If done poorly a website can look quite ugly and turn a viewer away.

Tell them where to find you

Or how to get in touch

So you’re now on a bunch of social media websites and want to interact and communicate with other people right?  One of the best ways to let people know where you can be found is by placing icons on your website.  There are many ways do this.  One of which is to use plugins like similar to the social media sharing plugins however they would link to your social websites instead of sharing your posts.

Another would be to manually insert each icon with a link.  In my opinion that is better because it is one less plugin to use.  Further optimizing could be made by using CSS Sprites but that would take some web design knowledge.

In Conclusion

There are many plugins in the WordPress repository that can help improve a website, keep readers on the site and increase engagement.  Browse, research and experiment.  See what works, see what people enjoy and get rid of what does not.  Until next time…

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

I’m an Uncle

holding-holden

On Friday (late) night Melissa and I became an aunt and uncle for the very first time.  Very exciting times!  This week I will be sharing a few new photos and another great article, but to get the week started I thought I would share a photo of my nephew, Holden.

Melissa used my iPhone to snap this in Instagram.  She is a great iPhoneographer!

Friday the 13th is a very lucky day.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

No Shopping Anytime

no-shopping

I have a quick tip for you.  When you are out photographing street life, make sure you read the signs.  I mean it.  Look at stores, street names, bus stops and more.  Having an easter egg like this just adds more fun to a cool city shot like this one.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

Changing Of The Tree Guard

changing-tree-guard

This soldier defends the big Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. If you have ever been to Rock Center during this time of year then you know how busy it gets. It’s packed with tourists, which isn’t a bad thing. I struggled for some time trying to find a shot that I was proud of. Then I walked behind the statue and the vision hit me. This is what I saw in my head.

Stop thinking about having to get a shot and something will trigger that perfect idea.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

iPhone Blogging Workflow Tip

Last week I published a very simple iPhone Shortcuts Workflow Tip as a way to help you save time when tagging, signing or writing in general. This week I wanted to share a tip for streamlining your mobile blogging. There are many apps out there for blogging. In fact, WordPress has their own. However, my tip will help any iPhone or iPad photographers blogging on any platform. It will help whether you’re writing for a long post on Google Plus, Posterous, Tumblr, WordPress or Facebook.

Best app for blogging

Did you know that Apple has the greatest blog post writing app built-in to very iPhone and iPad? It’s called Notes. Why is this so good? Well, it will automatically save your drafts and sync the drafts with your computer. It’s simple and clean. It’s not trying to squeeze extra goodies into the package.

iphone-notes-blogging

How to use it

  • Type your article in Notes
  • When finished, select all text and copy
  • Open the necessary app for posting the article from your device
  • Create a new post/article/status update
  • Paste the article text
  • Post

If you plan on posting the article when you are back at your computer, just open Apple Mail (Mac) or Outlook (PC) to access your saved notes. Then you can copy and paste the content into your desktop blogging application.

In Closing

Being a dedicated notes app makes Apple Notes super fast and my blogging app of choice. I would love to hear how you blogging from your iPhone or iPad. Please comment with your tips.  Interested in writing a guest article with your iPhoneography tip?  Please reach out with your idea.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,
Scott

That’s Just Dirty

just-dirty

If you smoke, I am sorry, but I hope that you find a way to quit. I find it gross and cannot stand it when people smoke near me, throw their cigarettes out their car window. What gets to me worst is when I see someone drop a cigarette on the ground when there is a place for it attached to a garbage can.

If you do smoke, please clean up after yourself and be mindful of others around you.

I hope you find this photo as a example of my rant.

Thanks for reading,

Scott

The UFO of Baltimore

ufo-baltimore

On Friday I shared a photo of the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse in Baltimore, Maryland.  It was a simple shot just to show what the structure looks like.  Today I wanted to share another view, from underneath it.  To me it looks like an old school UFO… not one of those modern metal disc shaped ones.  You know what I mean!

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse

Seven-Foot-Knoll-Lighthouse

The Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse was built in 1855 and is one of the oldest screw-pile lighthouses. It was initially installed on the Patapsco River. The northern reach of this river is the Baltimore Harbor, where the lighthouse is now located as a museum.

The lighthouse gave me an impression of simplicity so I wanted to replicate that in the photograph.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

Buffer Your Updates The Right Way

buffer-stats

To me, Social Media is about the conversation and engagement. It’s about connecting with customers and colleagues around the world. Even with Twitter and Facebook being around as long as they have, there are so many people out there that completely automating their streams.

In my opinion, automation is okay as long as the person replies to a mention afterwards. Automation does save time and takes some of the stress out of getting an update out when you want.

When Buffer was released I was super excited to try it, and I fell in love with the service right away. The beauty of Buffer is the ability to add tweets, Facebook page, LinkedIn, App.net and Google Plus page updates easily and from practically everywhere. Buffer has an analytics feature that shows how much reach the update had, its retweets and how many clicks a link received. Buffer claims it can increase clicks on Tweets by 200% and sometimes I really do see this happening. It’s impressive really.

crowdbooster-summary

UPDATE: As of March 1, 2013 Crowdbooster no longer offers a free account.

So once you set up a Buffer account, scheduling your updates is super simple. But how do you know the best time of the day to schedule your buffer? That’s where Crowdbooster comes in to play. Crowdbooster analyzes your Twitter account and will send you weekly updates about your growth and possibly more important, the best time to tweet. There is an extra value-add from Crowdbooster. The weekly email will also tell you which domain that you linked to was clicked and retweeted the most. Check out Crowdbooster and request an invite.

buffer-tweet

Other tools that can be useful:

There you have it. Two awesome tools to increase your Social Media reach. Just make sure you follow up and engage with others. What’s your best time to tweet? What do you like and dislike about Buffer?

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,

Scott

 

From my eye: Williamsburg Bridge

On January 1, 2012 Melissa and I went into New York City to meet up with +Brian Matiash +Nicole S. Young and +Chris Robins. We walked around the lower east side for a bit, went half way across the Williamsburg Bridge and then up to Rock Center. As you can see, the Williamsburg Bridge is very colorful and even with the fenced in sides, there is a lot to photograph.

I spent some time going through my photographs and can’t wait to share the results. I have some ideas on processing styles I rarely use.

Thanks for reading and happy shooting,
Scott

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