As you might know, I am leaving for Europe for six weeks. If it piques your interest, read the following article for all of the countries I am visiting! I will try to tweet / post here and there, but know that I undergo great lengths to find a cyber cafe to say “hello!”
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Did you know that Tofurious started a WordPress blog in February 2009?
I am not saying that I am an expert blogger, but I’ve learned a thing or two over the years. And most of my knowledge was acquired by observing successful bloggers (especially those within our own photography industry). So the first step toward becoming an effective blogger is to…
Observe Successful Bloggers
I use the word “successful” loosely, but what I really mean is “effective” [bloggers]. Just like photography, we study images that “work” and with time create our own styles. I will be listing a number of blogs that I have learned from, but it does not limit them to only that trait.
When I think of interviews, I immediately think of Jules Bianchi’s Cafe; interviews by her lovely sister Joy – @joybianchibrown. Using the informality of coffee breaks, Jules interviews various industry leaders at Jules Cafe.
What does this establish?
- It creates a relationship between the interviewer and interviewee
- The interviewee will promote said interview, thus promoting the interviewer
- Creates community
This is a good way for both parties to promote each other. Additionally, the interview will provide good content for readers, which is sort of the point. So…try to get interviewed, or interview someone (like me)! No one has interviewed me yet and it makes me sad.
…helped the photography industry build community. Both virtual and real. Twitter is a key to my marketing plans over the next year but beyond that, it keeps me in touch with so many people that I would normally fall out of touch with due to time or distance. Not to mention how many new friends I have thanks to social networking.
In a nutshell, Twitter allows for a number of things, but not limited to what’s listed below:
- Follow activities of people through an instant feed of 140 characters
- You can connect with others
- Others can connect with you
- Spreading of ideas through #, RT, etc.
Less Is More
Jose Villa is the epitome of “less.” I was given the great pleasure of designing his new blog (not public yet) recently and his ideas truly inspired me. As a search engine specialist, I kept pushing for certain elements for his blog, but Jose dimissed them all. And I admire him for that.
So how does this apply to us photographers? Vu Bui once told me over breakfast that he discourages people to post more than 10 images on their blogs.
Vu preached that everyone has the same images over and over again. So rather than creating the same sink hole of bandwidth-sucking blog posts, post only 10 images that would knock the socks off of viewers. After that, post your 100+ images in a slideshow or something.
Jose uses minimalism in his photography artwork. He is, after all, one of the “Top 10 Wedding Photographers” in the world, so he is doing something right.
I once asked Aaron Dieppa about something in his personal life, which I read on his website. “It’s something private, but it’s cool that you shared it.”
“Yeah, I believe in transparency. I want my clients to know me for me,” responded Aaron.
Does this help / harm them? It’s relative. However, I believe that it helps them more than anything. By posting about one’s personal life, viewers can get to know the blogger on a personal level.
How does this apply to photographers? Brides have booked me [and the aforementioned] to shoot various weddings without even meeting in person. Great, isn’t it? Brides do this because they already have this informal / personal relationship with us. Before they even email or call us, they already have a good feeling how we operate as professionals and as regular individuals.
Take away the occupational titles, we are just humans. And humans like
to connect with other humans. We build bridges through common grounds, so express them!
Have you ever read a blog post by Jasmine Star? She is one of the most eloquent writers I know [of]. (I hope to change “know of” to just “know” because I hear she is a fabulous person). All of Jasmine’s articles are like tiny excerpts of her clients’s lives.
Rather than telling a story only with pictures, Jasmine precedes it with a text-based story. And she consistently delivers every time!
So how does this apply? If you are consistent with a certain style, readers will expect it over time. However, I am not saying that you should not try new things. Just imagine cooking… Always bake your delicious cookies at the same temperature, but try throwing in raisins or chocolate chips to spice things up!
P.S. Transparency: I tried getting a pedicure for the first time on Wednesday. I liked it! I even got my eyebrows waxed. I liked that too! I think I will be visiting this one salon quite often now. By chance, you might bump into me :)
Honey Nail Spa – they ROCK
563 S. Lake Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101