Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.
Have you always been handy with a camera? Or do you have years of experience in fashion photography? No matter what got you curious about how to start a photography blog, you’ve come to the right place!
Starting a photography blog is a worthwhile endeavor. You’re able to share your creativity and knowledge with the world – and make money while you’re at it! So, let’s dig into the details on how to get started.
How to Start a Photography Blog
Should You Start a Photography Blog?
Before you create a blog of photography, a photo blog, or other kind of website, you should ask yourself: is it worth it, and is it right for you?
We think that blogging can be for anybody. However, there are a few questions that you may want to ask yourself first.
- Why do you want to start a photography blog?
- What is your experience in photography?
- How is your content going to be different than every other photography blogger’s?
Take some time to think about the answers, especially to question #1.
Why Do You Want to Start Photography Blogging?
People who start a photography blog should want to do it for multiple reasons. The first is that they think they have genuine knowledge or experience to share with the world. If you work in the industry as a professional photographer or in a similar capacity, then that’s a pretty good reason! Another reason is for the money, but we’ll get to that later in this guide.
However, there are plenty of folks who may not be a professional photographer, but still have interesting experiences to share. If you’re eager to pick up a camera but have nowhere to start, then plenty of other beginners may be interested in watching your story. Keeping a progress blog is a great way to share how much work it takes to go from beginner to expert!
What Is Your Experience?
The answer to this question will likely relate to your previous answer. Do you have significant experience that has provided you with countless shareable anecdotes? You may also still work in the photography industry, which means you can share your life as it moves forward.
Some of the most popular kinds of photography include portrait, still life, landscape, sports, and food photography. No matter what niche you find yourself in, the possibilities for your photography blog are endless!
Your experience doesn’t even have to be directly tied to photography. Maybe you’ve worked as a model, a stylist, or a photographer’s assistant and want to take a look through the other side of the lens.
And lastly, you may just be an experienced blogger! If this is the case, you’re likely interested in learning how photography blogging works, and how it’s different from other blogging niches.
How Will You Stand Out?
There are more than 60 million blogs made on WordPress, and many of them started in the same way that you’re hoping to start YOUR blog. How will you stand out among them?
Thankfully for you, photography is wildly unique. We all have different interests and perspectives that help make each photo different from the last. And with so many kinds of photography, there’s a good chance that you’ve taken photos nobody else has ever dreamed of!
Knowing how you’ll stand out is a question that you should continue asking yourself throughout the entire journey of learning how to start a photography blog. You should also keep it in your mind while you’re out there running your blog for photography.
Example of a Successful Photography Blog
Before you start running a photography blog, you’ll want to see the competitive landscape out there. Particularly, you should look at the ones who have succeeded! This will help you learn what they did right.
One example of a great blog of photography is Joe Mcnally Photography. Joe is a professional photographer who has been in the industry for decades. He has worked all around the world, and has taken more photos than most of us combined!
Joe uses his blog to share his own art, shine a spotlight on other photographers, and promote the exchange of knowledge. He runs workshops and events that are discussed on his blog so that you know everything you need to in order to decide whether photography is right for you.
Let’s also take a look at another popular photography blog that’s a little bit different than Joe’s.
Lightroom Killer Tips is an educational blog about photography. It is run by Scott Kelby. While Scott does share his own work, the bulk of the website focuses on teaching aspiring photographers, helping them do everything from becoming a professional photographer to just adding a few photography tricks to their back pocket.
So, what can we learn about how to start a photography blog from these successful photography blogging websites?
First off, they all heavily feature visual imagery. Photography blogs are more visual than virtually any other type of blog. That means your website needs to be eye-catching, immediately communicating to visitors the kind of blog you have.
Additionally, these professional photographer blogs make their experience well-known. Their credentials, including awards and publications, are prominently displayed. This helps people know that they’ve landed on a blog made by someone who is knowledgable about the subject.
Another addition that these bloggers have made is a discussion on photography gear. Readers love to know what kind of cameras, stands, lighting equipment, and software their favorite photographer uses!
Keep up-to-date with various sources of photography blogging. Seeing how they succeed will encourage and inspire you on your own blog for photography!
Here are a few more examples of successful photography blogs to check out while you’re learning how to start a photography blog:
How to Start a Photography Blog: Step by Step
For those ready to start a photography blog, I have some good news! You’ve already gotten started! By this point, you’ve started to think about why you really want to start a photography blog, and have seen some good examples of existing successful photography blogs.
For a comprehensive look at what it takes to build your own blog, take a look at our full guide on how to start a blog here. But for now, keep on reading to find out about starting a photography blog specifically.
Step 1: Decide on a Sub Niche
As mentioned, there are various different kinds of photography. This means that there are all kinds of different sub niches for learning how to start a photography blog!
The niche that you decide to take on will largely depend on your personal experiences with photography. Here are a few popular niches to get started on choosing yours:
- Educational blogs
- Behind-the-scenes blogs
- Portfolio blogs
- Video blogs
Educational Photo Blogs
Educational blogs are filled with how-to information on some of the following topics:
- How to take better photos
- How to use specific gear
- How to make money from photography
- How to find subjects to photograph
The great thing about educational photography blogs is that there is a lot to teach others. You can create various posts about taking photos for different events, of different subjects, at different times, and so much more. You’ll never run out of things to write about!
People who learn how to start a photography blog and pursue the educational option should have a lot of diverse knowledge. This is especially good for people who have gone to school for photography, those who have more than a decade in the industry, or professionals who keep up-to-date on their workshops and classes for new techniques.
A photography blog that focuses on behind-the-scenes will typically feature posts of different photo shoots or events where the blogger documents the day. This includes securing the shoot, how the shoot went, and unofficial BTS photos.
This kind of blog is especially popular for wedding photography. A lot of work goes into weddings. The photographer has the added task of documenting all of it! Brides-to-be and wedding planners, along with other wedding photographers, may end up flocking to your site to learn more about the process.
People who run a behind-the-scenes blog are often working photographers who have regular photo shoots. In addition to documenting the BTS of your days, you can also post regular content about your previous experiences and education in photography.
Portfolio blogs tend to be for people who are trying to advertise their services. This will often be a photo blog filled with your work, highlighting your experience and publications.
While this is still a blog, it will be much more visual-heavy. If you’re looking to do a lot of writing and content creation, you may consider adding one of the other kinds of blogs as a supplement to your portfolio.
Even if you aren’t directly interested in learning how to start a photography blog, a portfolio blog can still be an important addition to any professional photographer’s online presence.
And finally, we have the video blogs section! Not all photographers are equally good with videography – but it is an increasingly popular market, so it’s worth learning about!
Videos that include photography lessons, photo shoots, and behind-the-scenes action have become very popular with the rise of YouTube. Since many of the people who gravitate towards photography blogging are so fond of visuals, it makes sense that video blogs are so in demand.
A good video blog will post regular content on YouTube while using a website like WordPress as a supplement to dig deeper into the content of their videos.
You can watch a photography video blog of photography below to get a better idea of this kind of niche!
The various sub niches listed above are not the only options out there when figuring out how to start a photography blog. Again, take stock of your personal journey with photography to decide what the best course of action is for you!
We’d love to hear your ideas for photography blogging niches in the comments below!
Step 2: Get a Web Host and a Domain Name
Once you have a better grasp of what your website is going to be, you can get started on setting it up!
Finding a good web hosting platform and registering a domain name are the first steps in building the actual website for your photography blog.
Web hosting is the server that you’ll use to run your website. To better grasp this idea, think of your web host as a room that you’re renting. The internet is the apartment building that you’re renting in, and you’re paying for a place to store all your things!
There are various web hosting platforms out there, but our favorite option is Bluehost. Here are just a few perks of hosting your website through this platform:
- It includes a free domain for the first year
- It easily integrates with WordPress
- It’s easy to install
- It’s budget-friendly
- It’s easy to use for beginners
Next up on the list of how to start a photography blog is deciding on and registering a domain name.
The domain name for your website is what your blog is called. This is an important decision, as it brands your website for the rest of its lifetime. Sure, you can change it down the road, but it’s good to pick something that you will actually stick with.
To come up with a good domain name, you should work to combine your niche with your own personality. You want it to be short and sweet, but not so basic that nobody knows what kind of blog you’re runinng.
For example, consider the blog name My Photography Blog. This wouldn’t work because a) nobody knows who you are without a name, and b) there are millions of photography blogs, so this name gives readers no reason to click on it.
Instead, consider something like Sunset Snaps. You’d instantly know that this is a photography blog that documents landscape photos of things like sunsets. It’s concise, the sound of it flows, and you know exactly what to expect.
Try to come up with a few possible names for your site while learning how to start a photography blog so that you don’t end up falling in love with one that’s already taken.
Have you come up with a name? Perfect! It’s time to register it as a domain.
GoDaddy is a fast and easy way to register a domain. All you need to do is type in the name that you’re thinking of, and GoDaddy will show you what’s available. Once you’ve made your purchase, it will easily sync with your blogging platform of choice.
Step 3: Install WordPress
WordPress is the go-to blogging platform for starting a photography blog. In fact, it’s the go-to platform for starting any kind of blog!
Here are some of the most appealing reasons to consider making WordPress your platform of choice while learning how to start a photography blog:
- It’s easy for beginners
- It offers various plugins
- There are plenty of themes that you can go with
- Its free to use
- It’s secure
Getting started by installing WordPress is simple with most hosts, or you can find the website’s full guide here. This webpage will provide you with the files that you need to download to get it working right away! From there you can follow your web host’s instructions on integrating the two.
Watch the video below to get a better understanding on the steps for installing the blogging platform WordPress.
If you would rather go with another option besides WordPress, then there are plenty of other blogging platforms to pick, including:
Step 4: Find the Right Theme
Choosing the right theme for your blog on photography is an important part of personal branding. It’s the first impression that visitors get when they visit your photo blog, and can make or break their desire to stay on your site!
A WordPress theme is a preset collection of files that determine the overall look and functionality of your website. There are various colors that you can choose to customize the theme, but it will typically have style elements that stay the same.
As listed above, WordPress makes installing your chosen theme easy. So, the hardest part is simply deciding which one you want!
When starting a photography blog, you should consider a theme that relies on visuals. A good starting point would be to pick one that allows viewers to scroll through various images.
Here are our recommendations for photography blog themes!
There are plenty of free WordPress themes. However, it’s worth looking at some premium paid options with more functionality – these will cost you a one-time fee or ongoing subscription, depending on what you choose.
Step 5: Write Useful Content
It’s finally time to let your content-creating side shine! Once you have the design and technical elements of your website all ready to go, you can finally start writing.
This is another chance to start thinking about how your experience and education in photography sets you apart from the rest of the crowd. The keyword here is useful, because you want the content to be useful to your readers!
One of the best ways to discover what kind of content is useful for your website is to look at trending keywords and questions on the internet. You can do this with Google Trends.
For example, take a look at our search for wedding photography. From the information given, you can see that the topic remains pretty stable over time, so it’s always a popular niche. But based on the related queries, you can also assume that people are interested in finding creative wedding photography ideas and destination wedding photos. So, it’s clear that these would be good topics to cover.
You should also stay up-to-date on any local events or photography-related experiences that are happening around you. Guides on places to take great photos, most photogenic scenery, and related information will be useful for your local readers!
How Do Photography Bloggers Get Paid?
Learning how to start a photography blog will also inspire you to learn about how it can make you money. There are a few ways that any blog can make money, which we’ll explore here. However, there are also a few other ways that photography bloggers can make money by going beyond the regular world of monetizing blogs.
In terms of income for blogging in general, you can utilize two main routes for your photography blog.
- Affiliate Marketing
Advertisements are one of the most well-known sources of income for bloggers – you’ve surely noticed ads online before ever learning how to start a photography blog! It’s when you give a third-party platform permission to post dynamic display ads on your blog. Each time somebody clicks on one of those ads, you’ll earn some cash! (Or instead of pay per click, you can get paid by CPM, or every 1000 times visitors see the ad.)
Google AdSense is the easiest way to install advertisements on your website. The platform is used by over 2 million people, so you can trust that their method of delivery works!
The next monetization option is affiliate marketing. This is when a blogger will post a link to a product online. If a viewer clicks on the link and buys the product, then the blogger will make money from it!
The key to utilizing affiliate marketing is to post products that your viewers would expect to find on your blog and that are useful and relevant to them. For a photography blog, you may want to consider promoting products such as:
- Lighting equipment
- Photo editing software
- Camera accessories and storage
The easiest route here is to take advantage of the excellent Amazon Associates program. The Amazon affiliate program makes it so that you can promote almost any product on Amazon, which makes it very flexible. Earnings are tracked in one place, and you can also analyze which products your viewers are actually buying to improve your monetization.
Sources of Income Specific to Photography Blogging
As you can see, any blog can profit from using advertisements or affiliate links. There are also a few ways that photography blogs can make money based solely on the niche market.
- Promoting workshops (online and in-person)
- Selling prints
It’s common for photographers, especially those with a lot of industry experience, to hold workshops. This is when they gather less experienced photographers and teach them a class or lesson about how to take better pictures, how to use Photoshop, or related skills.
You can use your blog to promote in-person workshops. If you do this, it requires you to book expensive studio space or travel to different locations. Another common route is to post pre-recorded workshops that are only available to paying viewers. You can make a specific section of your website password-protected, and give out the password for a fee. Alternatively, you can make use of websites like Skillshare to upload videos and earn an income through them.
Another method for monetization is selling prints. If you have a lot of personal photos that you have taken or edited, then you can advertise them to your viewers. Many photography lovers are in search of new imagery to add to their home, or to use as a background on their computer – or fellow bloggers may want to use your photos for their projects. Selling digital and non-digital prints is a fantastic way to promote your art and make money from it!
You may also consider uploading your artwork to Redbubble. This seller allows artists to upload their designs before taking it in their hands! They’ll print your art on shirts, posters, pillows, anything you want. Whenever someone buys the product through Redbubble, you’ll earn a percentage.
Grow Your Photography Blog With Content
Congratulations! You’ve learned how to start a photography blog. But now you’ll need to learn how to grow your photography blog by creating content.
The key to doing this is with search engine optimization (SEO). This is the way that bloggers ensure that their posts come up at the top of search results, attracting organic traffic that they can turn into exposure and profits!
We already discussed finding trending keywords, which will be a great help when learning SEO. In addition to finding out what terms are being searched, you’ll want to learn how to turn them into long-tail keywords.
The long-tail keyword is the key to mastering SEO, especially for up-and-coming blogs. These three, four, or five word (or longer) terms are phrases that you can expect potential viewers to search for. You want to use long-tail keywords in your posts that have less competition, but also plenty of searches.
You don’t have to figure all of this out yourself. There are plenty of keyword searches that will tell you how many people are searching for terms and what your competition is. For example, let’s bring our search term of wedding photography over to Wordstream.
The keywords you use throughout a post aren’t the only thing that will help determine your SEO and bring your page to the top of Google – though it does get pretty complicated when you start thinking beyond the keywords. Download a WordPress plugin like Yoast to see all the important facets of SEO in your posts. Yoast will give your content a score or rating to help you determine if you’re doing a good enough job with SEO.
Watch the video below to learn everything about Yoast, and how to use it to boost your SEO.
The Key is to Keep Writing!
Learning how to start a photography blog is hard work, and so is keeping up with your photography blog as you go. Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two about photography blogging with our guide. Let’s wrap things up with a quick summary:
- Research what successful photography blogs look like
- Decide on a sub niche to help focus your website
- Choose a web hosting plan and register your domain
- Install WordPress or another blogging platform of choice
- Customize your website with an attractive theme
- Write useful content for your readers
With enough hard work and commitment, we have faith that you’ll master the art of starting a photography blog in no time!