How is your blog going? Are you selling your pictures? Do you have anyone visiting the blog?
There are all questions that I am beginning to get asked more and more frequently. My answers usually vary but are never negative.
“I’m enjoying it despite being challenging to find time to write.”
I think one of the reasons I am never negative is that I had before starting the blog set my goals and had a vision that helps me moving forward.
What is mine you might ask?
Well when I started the blog I wanted to make sure I was personally able to clamber out of my shell and share my pictures with a wider audience. It is a blog about a journey of self-confidence and growth as a landscape and travel photographer.
To personally grow even more, I also want to teach my readers about different photography techniques and about photography blogging. I aim to help other photographers get their work online and sharing with a wider audience; hopefully by blogging themselves.
Lastly, I can’t go broke doing this. Photography is an expensive hobby itself so no need to spend all that money that could go on gear on blogging if there is no return. This is an important element for me as working in software we are always about being lean in our investments and ensuring we have a good product before scaling.
Mission 1: Share More and Boost My Confidence in Photography
So with those three clear ambitions at the forefront of everything, I would say that I am slowly but surely getting the traction I want. The first hurdle was always the sharing. I have hated sharing my photos and so this blog is going. Take a look through any of my previous posts and you will see that I always share at least one picture.
I also take the effort to open up a bit on the photograph or on some of the challenges that I might be facing. For example, I wrote about the challenge of connecting with the subject of the picture a while back. The pictures and the story of that post are great because I managed to find a way to overcome one of my challenges.
Mission 2: Teach More and Keep Learning
I’ve always been told that the best way to learn is to teach. I want to learn how to be a better photographer. I know that there are plenty of people that want to learn about the same thing. There are also plenty of people out there on the internet that are excellent at teaching this.
So why bother to teach this for myself? There isn’t anybody else out there like me. I am my own unique journey and through that journey I have unique perspectives that I can teach.
Don’t get me wrong. There are lots of things to share on technical aspects of photography that you could probably spend a day on YouTube learning.
However, I want to teach about my perspective.
I want to share my journey of discovery in the knowledge that someone else will feel the same way I do and will want to share my perspective. This is the next challenge for me and one that I have started with a few of my posts already. If you’ve not read them then please click on the links below and have a read.
- How to Organize Your Lightroom Photos
- How I Use Collections in Lightroom
- Using Shutter Speed for Artistic Effect
- Connecting With Your Subjects in Photography
Mission 3: Invest Reasonably and Try to Break Even
Now that I am overcoming the initial hurdle of sharing, I’m thinking about how to further monetize parts of the site. My first and primary desire is to sell some of my work. To do that I chose to use Zenfolio. I could have gone with a bunch of other sites but in the end it was between SmugMug and Zenfolio.
Smugmug despite seeming like an awesome platform was simply too expensive for me. For slightly less, Zenfolio was going to give me unlimited storage (i.e. offsite backup solution) and a store front to sell images from. Seems like a win win to me as I have already sold a number of images this way and paid my annual subscription already and I have a fantastic offsite backup.
“Yes, I have sold a few pictures and I’m really happy that people value my photographs enough to hang them on their walls. My blog is going well!”
Other than selling prints what else can I do with a blog to make money?
With blogging there a few ways to monetize the blog. You can take a look at this mind map over on ProBlogger as it explains it all for you. I am just getting started so I am just a beginner on this stage of the journey.
The simplest of all of these is affiliate links which I did pretty much in week one. An affiliate link will allow users to buy an item from someone selling a product and earn me a little money in the process at no extra cost to you.
I personally only want to recommend products that I think are off the chain. So I will only link to things that I own, have used and most importantly love. For example I love all the products from Peak Design. You can see what I own from Peak Design on my camera gear page.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Ok, enough about the money. I actually don’t really care if this ends up costing me a little bit of money. As I mentioned above and in previous posts, the main purpose of the blog is to have a channel of artistic freedom that I own and control. I want to be able to share and tell my story. I want to be able to give back and teach as many people as possible.
Whatever your reason for starting a blog, be clear about it from the start. This way you’ll always be able to follow your “north star” and reason for doing something you’ve committed yourself to.
So yes, if you are asking, my blog is going well; It’s going great! Come along for the ride.1