A blog is a great way for a photographer to get their work out for the world to see. It is an amazing undertaking and I have complete respect for any photographer who takes on the challenge. It will transform your photography. When I first built ShootTokyo I was trying to figure out how to get some exposure and like many photographers I turned to social media. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, 500px, StubleUpon, RSS, Reddit and the list goes on and on... This can be overwhelming, especially at first when you are trying to figure out where to best spend your time.
I want to spend my time on photography but I also want to share my work out with the world so there is a need to invest in social media. It is important to remember that these site are as their name implies 'social'. This means you are there to engage and interact with people. You can't simply go to a social media site and spam out your link and expect to get traffic. You need to have meaningful interaction with people. Nothing is more annoying than someone commenting on your photo like this 'Great shot, check out my blog www.mycoolblog.com'. If this is your approach I do not think you will have a lot of success.
I have tried a lot of different approaches and I'll share what has worked well for me. Different approaches work for different people. I was having lunch with Street Photographer Erik Kim and we were discussing what worked well for us. It was interesting to hear what was working for me wasn't for Erik and vice versa. There are so many social networks that I think you need to limit yourself to a few and I have choosen to focus the majority of my efforts on Google+ and a bit on Facebook and Twitter. I don't spend time on most of the others as I simply don't have the time. There is no correct answer...this is just what works for me.
When you first establish your blog make sure you set up an RSS feed. I use Google's Feedburner. It it a great way to syndicate out your blog and get a base of followers. A lot of people prefer to read blogs via an RSS readers or email and this is a great way to allow them to do that. As a writer of a blog you might end up being surprised on the following you pick up via your feed. I currently have 1,300 subscribers that get my blog delivered to them each day. About half of them view the feed each day and half of that group clicks through to ShootTokyo. I also have another 4,000 subscribing through Google Currents.
The next tool I experimented with was Twitter. It took me a while to figure out Twitter honestly. I initially just used it send out my link when I posted. I found it was much more useful for news and when I wanted a real time view of what was going on. It was easy to leverage to interact with people while on the go as everyone is limited to 140 characters so I often use it while in cabs, trains, or waiting to board a plane. I find I have a group of 'photography friends' that I chat with while I am on the go. I have built up a following of 1,800 people and Twitter helps to drive a fair amount of traffic to ShootTokyo.
I use Facebook but primarily for staying connected with friends and family. I know some photographers who have had wild success on Facebook but I just haven't. After a few years I have ~500 'friends' on Facebook. It is a good group and I get a lot of interaction but it has not grown for me as other social networks have.
As I have mentioned many times here, I truly believe the ultimate platform for photographers is Google+. I have met so many great people on Google+. I have met and learnt from so many other photographers. I can go to any city in the world now and find great photographers to shoot with via Google+. I have been able to host photowalks in Boston, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore through Google+. I have made great business contacts. I have had editors reach out to me to publish my work after finding me on Google+. I have been on Google since it went live last summer and today I passed 1,000,000 followers. The breath of people I get to interact there is just unmatched for me.
Guy Kawasaki and I were exchanging emails the other day and talking on this very topic. We both believe this is the ultimate platform so much so that we are giving away 500 copies of his latest book 'What the Plus!' for FREE to ShootTokyo Readers.
Simply click HERE and get your copy while supplies last. It doesn't cost you anything and I get nothing out of it. I just hope you read it and can get as much out of Google+ as I do. Please let me know what you think of Chapter 7 guest authored by me!
What ever you choose to use, I hope it works well for you and helps you to get your work the visibility it deservers. Thanks for stopping by today!