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NYIP offers three distance education multi-media courses for photographers looking to improve their skills while working from home at their own pace.

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Friday
May202011

Photo Marketing 101: Make Your Website Great!

The third time’s the charm. And hopefully for me, this entire series of photo marketing blog posts have been charming enough to get you thinking about all the things you can do to stand out from the competition.

In the last edition of Photo Marketing 101, we covered an introduction to creating a website, why it’s important, and how easy it can be to get started. To follow up on that topic, I wanted to use this post to discuss how you can make your website stand out from the millions of photography websites on the web.

Lesson 3: Optimizing your website

Having a website is one thing, and a very important first step as it already puts you ahead of the curve.  But nowadays, there are tried and true methods of improving your website so that it gets the attention of potential clients and customers.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the science of making your website more visible in search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Since a large majority of new visitors will find you via search, it is important to rise to the top of the rankings when someone is looking for a photographer with your skills.

Know the terms that people will use when searching for you. Broad terms like ‘photographer’ will be tough to gain ground in because there is a lot of competition, so be specific. ‘Portrait photography in Philadelphia’ or ‘New York wedding photographer’ are terms that give you a chance to really move the needle. The more specific you get, the fewer people will be searching on that term, but the more likely you’ll be to jump up to page 1 in the rankings.  And page 1 is an important goal in SEO, because it puts you front and center when someone is looking for you.

Once you have a set of 10-20 keywords you’d like to target, the next step is to work them into your website.  Use them in text, in photo captions, in links to other pages on your site, as page titles, etc. The more they show up, the better.  This is basically a simple way of telling search engines, “Here is what my site is about”.

Other things to keep in mind, that will also help you improve your search engine rankings, are site speed and inbound links.  Make sure your photos are loading quickly; otherwise the entire website will get a slow page loading time.  Upload files that are large enough to display clearly, but small enough to load quickly and easily.

Inbound links, meaning links coming to your website from other places, are another important factor in SEO.  The more links coming to you, the more it tells search engines that your site is important.  In part 4 of my Photo Marketing series, we will discuss how you can use Social Media to help increase your inbound links.  See you then…

Homework: Your assignment, whether or not you choose to accept it, is to put some thought into your keywords.  Choose up to 5 keywords for which you think your website can rank on page #1 in Google, and share them with us in the comments below!

Wednesday
Apr272011

Photo Marketing 101: The Photographer's Website

I’m back again, and glad to be here.  In the last edition of Photo Marketing 101, we discussed the concept of branding, and how it relates to any photographer.

I was excited to see that not only did the post get a lot of traffic, but you were all quick to share your thoughts in the comments.  That really helps create a dialogue around marketing for photographers, which I think is extremely important.

As artists, it can sometimes be difficult to think about your work from the “business” side of things.  But from the comments on the last post, I can tell that you’re all sufficiently interested in learning more and trying new things.

Lesson 2: Create a website

Creating a website can be as simple as you need it to be.  Today, there are hundreds of services out there to help you create a website on the cheap (and sometimes free).  A simple Google search for "photography website" shows 258,000,000 results.  Most of the results on the first page are options that you have for creating a website.

Of course, if you or someone you know is a strong programmer, creating your own website from scratch can offer more options.  But a simple template that requires little to no “coding” knowledge is a good thing for most people, and will certainly do the trick.

It may take some time and money to get started, but every effort in online branding and marketing is worthwhile. A website will allow you to build on the brand that you defined in the last post, and will create a virtual outlet for your growing business.  Even if you don’t know what to put on your website, start creating one.

There are a thousand reasons to hesitate, and put things off.  But I can tell you now that the sooner you put “increasing my online presence” at the top of your priority list, the sooner you will start seeing real results ($$$$).

In part 3 of our Photography Marketing blog series, we will focus on specifics of your website. Catch you all next time around…

Homework: Your assignment, while simple for some, may take some time.  Create a simple website and share the URL with us in the comments below.  If you already have a website, simply share it!