Why your next website should be a blog
- Blogging creates a relationship between you and your reader. It lets them get to know something about you before they meet you. Statistics show that up to 80% of customers will search you out online before contacting you by phone.
- Blogs can look as cool, as warm, or as simple as you want. You’re blog isn’t about text – it is about images. Check out this great photographer’s blog design for an example.
- Blogs are easy to update. You log into your blog, update articles, add images, and publish. It only takes a few minutes, and you don’t need to call a web designer.
- Blogs separate the text and images from the design of your site, so it is easy to update the look of your blog while not losing any of your information.
To get started, you’ll need a blogger program. My personal favorite is WordPress (what you’re reading right now).
Next, you’ll need a “theme”, or the template that controls the look of your blog. One place to start is at tofurious.com. They not only have a free WordPress theme and some album layouts, but their entire website is filled with ideas of how a blog can draw in a potential reader (i.e. customer). Other popular themes include f8, ProPhoto, or Studiopress. Just Google the term “wordpress theme pro photography” and you’ll find literally hundreds to chose from.
While free WordPress themes are a great way to get started, I suggest you purchase a professionally designed one. They have better artwork, are better thought out, more SEO friendly, and typically cost $50-75 dollars. Of course, you can always find a designer who will create a one-of-a-kind theme for you. I suggest you start by finding another photographer who’s blog you like, then hire that designer.
Although it is easy to drop an image into a WordPress blog page, for slide shows of images you have a couple of options. You can provide links inside your blog to your images hosted on Flickr, SmugMug, Picasa etc. or you can use a WordPress slideshow plugin and host your own images online. Here’s a WP slideshow plugin that is very cool.
Of course, your blog should have menu options for all the standard features like Customer Login (proofing), contact information, portfolio, services, etc. Each of these is a “page” in the blog that you can update as often as you like.
If you are already using a blog for your website, send me a link and I’ll feature it here in an upcoming article.
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