What goes into a great blog ? What does a great blog look like ? How to build a cool blog ?That’s the questions I quite often see on the internet and frequently get asked myself. Well, the answers to such questions are a little complicated. You know why ? Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution to make a great blog . Depending on the purpose of your blog, its niche audience, covered topics, goals and intentions the solutions may vary and involve a lot of testing to see what works for it and what’s not.
As covering all the blog types in one post would not be realistic, I want to focus on photography blogs. So, how can one build a cool photography blog and get the most out of it? To answer the question, let’s first figure out, what makes a modern photography blog stand out from the crowd.
1. Blog’s layout/design
4. Usability/User experience
Of course, I have narrowed down the list to the most important credentials, but there can also be other factors affecting your blog’s overall presence. Now that we identified the key features of successful photography blogs, let’s have a closer look at each point separately.
Layout is probably the factor that matters the most for photography blogs. It defines the overall look and feel of your blog and It’s the first thing visitors see when they get to your blog. And if you know how important the first impression is, you’d better give it a careful thought. There are various great themes available for photography websites, but I want to introduce to you Portfolio Gallery theme, designed keeping in mind all the elements that a modern photography website is bound to have.
Built with lightweight and clean coding, this WordPress portfolio theme combines various layouts, color schemes, elegant font styles, 10 page templates, powerful lightbox ,and makes it a perfect platform to best showcase your image and media collections. It enables you to display your blog posts with large image thumbs , which can be played as a slideshow in the lightbox with 15 transition effects. The theme includes links to redirect visitors to your social media profiles and provides great search engine visibility with its SEO-friendly features. To learn about all its features of you can check Portfolio Gallery Pro and Demo.
In photography blogs, where the content is primarily focused on photos, images and other visual media, its organization is the way to a better user engagement, content consumption, page views, etc. So keep in mind, other than filling your blog with content you’ll have to also take care about its organization.
Make sure to clearly define post categories and tags, distribute your content in the right pages and sections and use the sidebars wisely.
Another great solution to keep your blog organized and easy to get around is the Organize Series plugin. It helps you to organize and present the posts which are part of a serie by adding a new ”serie” taxonomy in the WordPress dashboard.
It also helps your visitors to easily discover posts belonging to the same serie. So, if you provide collections of photos or blog posts that are updated on an ongoing basis and belong to a particular serie, this will be a great addition for your blog.
A photography blog would need to have an advanced functionality to be able to better serve its community. You’ll have to equip it with features and functions that will help you to best showcase your photo collections and provide visual appeal. A must-have feature on every photography blog or website is a photo gallery plugin, which defines the way you present your visual content.
Photo Gallery plugin is,no doubt, the best choice to make , when it comes to choosing a gallery plugin. This WordPress gallery plugin loaded with a number of advanced features to help you to organize your collections in galleries and albums and display them in beautiful views. All the 9 views are highly customizable and are sure to fit screens of any size.The galleries support unlimited number of images and can be added to any of your posts and pages with the available shortcodes or with the call PHP function of your theme files.
The plugin has all the features that you’ll need for the smooth and hassle-free presentation of your image collections, such as, support for image tags and captions, thumbnail editing tools, right-click protection, image watermarking, searching possibility by gallery/album title, front-end image sorting option and many other advanced features.You can check out the plugin and its beautiful view options by Demo and Photo Gallery Pro.
The way your blog is structured is highly correlated with the user experience on it. The content you provide should be visible and available to your visitors and they should be able to get around on your blog easily and without spending much time. So, make the things simple,clear and digestible from the outset and have your visitors get the most out of your blog.
If you want to provide better user experience to your blog visitors, you’ll probably have to start by improving the searching functionality of your blog,as it will help to provide better access to the content they’re searching for.
Search Everything WordPress plugin actually does what it says. It improves the searching functionality of your blog by searching all parts of your blog for relevant results. You can configure which parts you want to exclude/include from the search and select the highlighting style of the matching terms. As the plugin searches every post, page, tags, categories on your blog, your visitors will easily find images or collections matching their queries. The plugin also comes with a writing helper functionality called Search Everything, which helps you link to your existing posts while writing without actually being distracted. It helps you search for your older posts and instantly add the links to your new posts.
Doesn’t matter what your blog is about, the scope of its reach is another key to its success. The more people get to know about your blog, the more traffic it will get. For photography blogs (and not only for them) social media is a major way to enhance the reach and exposure of their content and drive the desired traffic.
AddToAny social sharing plugin can take a full credit for extending your outreach. What it basically does, is enabling your people to share your blog posts and pages across various social networks.Sharing and following buttons come with counters, custom icons, individual share links, custom placement, analytics integration and many other features to effectively display and track the sharings. AddToAny is optimized for mobile devices to make the sharing icons fit any display.
Of course the strategies for building a successful and appealing photography blog may vary from blogger to blogger. These are just my recommendation based on research and personal experience. I also included some useful WordPress plugins to help you to implement the strategies and get maximum results right away. If you have other strategies in mind, I’ll be glad to hear from you.