Best photography blogs of 2018 – well mines not too bad??

I have changed from daily blog posts to weekly blog posts. Last week I concluded that the best time to post was on Mondays at 4pm BST. That is that sorted.

Photos of Santorini in action.JPG

The next important question therefore is this – what should I write about in my photography blog? Photography stuff. Is my photography blog the best photography blog out there? I wish. But it’s not too bad, even if I do say so myself!

In my photography blog I will be writing about not only architectural photography but also general photography stuff, my images and photography business matters.

So what I hear you say??

This is a significant change for me.

This change is to enable me to produce higher quality, more useful, relevant and meaningful blog posts on a weekly basis.

And that does not necessarily mean that I will not produce blog posts at other times – now that I have a structure, plan and intent for my blog I feel freer to produce other stuff as and when I want which is nice, without the pressure of forcing myself to produce daily content just for the sake of it.

What is the purpose of my blog?

To be completely honest the purpose of my blog is to get more people to visit my website.

That is the bottom line

Weekly blog posts are new weekly content which Google loves. And the higher the quality of the content the better.

And the more relevant the content is to my website the better too, which is another reason why I have narrowed down my target markets – the focus has benefitted me in various ways.

And to do this I am going to share information that others find useful. If people find my posts useful then more people will visit my blog and I will rank higher in Google for the things that I wrote about.

And if I rank higher in Google more people will find my blog.

And if more people find my blog more people will become aware of me and hopefully enquire about my photography services, photography knowledge, or just look at my photos!

And you never know people might want to actually buy my work.

That is my understanding of how this should work – there you go – if I am right I have virtually handed you and everyone else the keys to the internet!

In all seriousness that is the general principle – give people helpful information and Google will thank you for it as that is Googles’ number 1 role.

Why does Google exist?

Google exists to give you the best answer to the search query you enter in that box on Google.

If my blog content can contribute to this then great.

All I need to do now is to consistently produce content that people find interesting and helpful and worthy of sharing. If I can do that Google will know. Google knows what is going on on the internet.

Which I’m sure you are aware of.

How did I come up with these four areas of content for my photography blog?

Simple – I want subjects that are relevant to my target audience. I want subjects that are relevant to my photography business.

And most importantly for me I want to write about things that I have a genuine interest in. I am a strong believer that we all do a better job of something if it is something that we enjoy and have an interest in.

After all I am building a business based around what was once just a hobby. It doesn’t feel like work sometimes which is great, even though I work very hard developing the various strands of my photography business.

So I enjoy the subjects I am wrting about. And I enjoy writing. This is not quite a labour of love but it is much less of a chore than it would be if these weren’t things that I enjoyed.

What is my target audience?

My target audience is quite varied, but has been narrowed down from everyone everywhere. That is who I was writing to up until a couple of weeks ago when I stopped and thought about what I was doing.

This is my target audience now

  • Architects, developers and product manufacturers wanting photos of their buildings, developments and products.

  • People interested in the general subject of photography, taking photos, processing in Lightroom.

  • Buyers of my photos.

  • Manufacturers and suppliers of photography equipment.

Whilst this section of my target audience is very important to me, I will not be writing to or for them. That will take my writing from being natural and about the subject in hand and drive it down a business marketing route that I don’t want to go down.

I am not writing so Canon UK contact me and ask me to review their latest and greatest. I am writing about subjects, and if htat is my Canon 6D then so be it, but the subject is my Canon 76D and not hey Canon look at me!!!

This is an important consideration.

Sure there will be lot of references to products, and Amazon affiliate links, but the content will be genuine content.

There are plenty of people out there who do this kind of stuff, but I am going down a different path of my own choosind

Advertising and marketing companies related to all of the above.

I have split my target audience down to the following four headings, which has helped me define the titles and content of each of my weekly blog posts.

Architectural and commercial photography

My core business is photographing buildings, and mainly for architects, developers, property owners and manufacturers of construction products. That being the case I want to make sure that I am writing about how I can help these good folks to get the photos they want. This is by a combination of words and case studies of commercial photographic work that I have already done.

General photography

This is a tricky area, the global photography one. I am a writer on Improve Photography, and want to continue sharing my general photography knowledge and experiences on my own website.

I will write about image capture, processing, gear, tips and techniques, photography news, anything really of a general interest to the photography community.

The tricky thing is that this is a pretty competitive area, so I will have to be clever in how I produce this content.

My images

This is the place to showcase my photography work.

At the time of writing I have only one portfolio on my website, which consists of 20 architectural photography images.

I am going to add two more portfolios, one for travel photography, and one for landscape photography.

And I might bring back my product page. The problem is how do I sell images if no-one can see them? And I just got rid of a load of pages having taken very good advice.

My photos are unique, and my USP (unique selling point). No-one else has the photos that I have taken. My images, my vision and my style are me – they are what I an trying to sell to clients.

And they are the products that I have to work with, to trade and to sell.

Clients look at my images and know what they are going to get which is very important.

In posting my images I will be writing lots about the images

  • How I got the shots

  • Behind the scenes photos and videos

  • What I was thinking

  • The technical side of the image capture

  • Processing in Lightroom and Photoshop

  • What I did with the images

That sort of thing

I want people to buy my photos

Photography business matters.

This is an area which I find interesting, and I have experiences which I can share which will help people.

As well as my photography business I am also developing some new websites which fit into the travel industry, and also travel photography. I am combining my loves of travel, photography and writing to produce bespoke niche websties.

And I have learnt a lot along the way.

And there are business and cmemrcial opportunuites that I have not yet explored that I want to look into which I can research and write about on my photography blog.

Or should I say photography business blog – hang on – is that a thing?

Four subjects = 1 subject per week – how convenient

Yes I deliberately came up with four areas, as I wanted four different but ultimately related things per month to write about.

What do I do on a five-week month?

I will worry about that when it happens.

How much will I write about in each post?

Well that is anther question – I think that the posts will vary in length from 1500 – 4000words. These are relatively long posts but I have learned from more than one authoritative source that the most popular blog posts have a length of circa 1900 to 2000 words. So 1500 words will be my minimum.

Another reason why these structured posts will be weekly – they take time after all!

I am not going to think about this too much – the length of the post will be determined by what I want to write, rather than writing to a predetermined number of words.

This is me writing about a subject, not writing 2000 words to gain traffic.

And I will write about new things that I need to know but do not know

This is a new thing to me that I have just started doing on the Improve Photography website. I have picked a topic (we writers have an article title hit list) and then learnt about it enough that I can write about it.

And I have to say I quite enjoyed it, and it has opened up a world of new subjects for me to write about.

Basically, if I don’t know anything about a subject then that is fair game for a blog post. And believe me there is lots that I do not know.

My personality

My blog is my personality in words. I write as I speak. My blog is an online mechanism where people can get to know me by reading about me, and reading about my photography.

This is the thing that will run through every blog post, long or short, serious or not so serious – my personality and sense of humour.

If you don’t like the way I write there is a chance that you will not like me in person. Conversely if you love the way I write when you meet me you will feel like you already know me.

And trust me I am a nice chap honest.

And a quick word on my other websites.

When I say websites they are pretty much wbsites with blog posts.

I am currently working on a new website called Photos of Santorini. And once that is done I need to get on with my other website, Paxos Travel Guide. These need time and once done they are standalone completed pieces of work – and this is the time when I will review not only the content of my blog but also the frequency and timing.

I expect that will be in the New Year – Photos of Santorini will complete October 2018, Paxos Travel Guide by the end of December 2018.

Conclusion

I will be producing a weekly post on my photography blog. I will produce other posts as and when, but these will be the main posts.

I will write in-depth posts about each of these four subjects providing a useful resource and information to clients and general readers, as well as showcasing the best of my photography work.

I will also be writing as though I am speaking, so when you read what I write it is like speaking to me.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Photographer, photoblogger, writer

When should I post to my photography blog? What day and time?

This is a question that I really should know the answer to. I have been producing a daily photography blog for over 2 ½ years now. Up to last week that is.

When should I post to my photography blog? According to my research the best time to post to my photography blog is Monday 11am EST. In this not as scientific as I would have liked article I will explain how I have come to this conclusion.

 Rick McEvoy Photography Blog

Rick McEvoy Photography Blog

Why am I asking this question?

I have been producing daily posts on my photography blog for 2 ½ years since the start of 2016. I decided that a daily blog was the best way of getting noticed, the best way of attracting the traffic to me website that I was after.

Has producing daily blog posts worked?

No

How do I know this has not worked?

Simple – there are two measures.

Google Analytics

This is the evidence of people visiting my website. This is the bare numbers. This is matter of fact. And there has not been the progression since January 2016 that I was hoping for.

Real enquiries

This is the more relevant measure. Well not true if I get my web traffic to such levels that advertising is an option.

My daily photography blog has not contributed to my website such that the number of real business enquiries has increased enough. And that was the reason I started doing a daily blog – to increase the traffic to my website.

So, what now?

Posting daily posts takes time. I am happy to spend time on my photography blog, but not without a bit more analysis and science as to when is the best time of the week to produce a weekly post. Another way of putting this is that I am no longer prepared to carry on producing daily posts when this has not worked.

Hence this post.

Before I go on a quick word on who I am trying to attract to me website.

What traffic was I trying to attract?

Anyone who wants me to take photos for them, which was part of the problem. I was trying to attract anyone and everyone. I had no focus, no target reader in mind. I was literally trying to attract anyone who wanted photos taken in any sector.

Who are my target readers now?

  • People interested in general photography

  • Potential clients who want buildings photographing

  • Potential clients looking for commercial partners

And that is it. Still pretty broad of course.

Content of my daily blog is another story, another article for another time - this post is about when I should post to my photography blog.

So back to the question in mind.

When should I post to my photography blog?

Where do I begin answering this question? By putting it in Google of course. And hopefully if I do a good enough job I will rank number 1 for this question.

So, what does Google tell me.

This is the first result, from photographyconcentrate.com

Now there is lots of good stuff in this article, which suggests once or twice a week. And as to when, it just says that you can pick the day/ days yourself.

No answer there, which is a shame.

But a good thing as I should be able to produce a post that answers the specific question and rank at number 1. That is the plan

Number 2 on the Google results is titled “How to write a good blog post about your photography”.

In fact, nothing of page 1 for the search query “When should I post to my photography blog” actually answers the question

I will broaden out my search to “When should I post to my blog”

And see what I get

OK – number 1 result is an article titled “When Is The Best Time To Publish Blog Posts?”.

That’s more like it – just what I was looking for.

I guess blog or photography blog is not the issue – this about when to post a blog post, so should be pretty much a universal answer.

OK – lots of info here.

And the answer from this excellent post appears to be Mondays between 9 and 10am EST.

But there are variables – various best outcomes

  • Blog views by hour – Monday 11am

  • Comments by day – Saturday

  • Comments by hour – 9am

  • Links by day – Monday and Thursday

  • Links by hour – 7am

But then I found this - the best general time to post to get the most traffic is Monday 11am Eastern time. Bingo. That is what I have been looking for.

Now there is a problem – the time zone.

I am in GMT – Greenwich Mean Time – well actually BST at the moment. I am in England, but photography is a global subject. Part of my target market is the general photography community world-wide, but also UK based clients. I am not trying to attract clients in the USA to photograph their buildings.

Although having said that….

Let’s sort out the time zones

Is 9-10am UK time the time I should post?

9am BST equates to 4am EST.

I think 9-10am Monday morning BST time might be the right time for me.

What else did I find in Google

9.30 – 11am Eastern time gets a few mentions, but there is nothing UK based.

One point that is mentioned which I think is excellent advice is to trial different times and see what happens.

So, what to do?

It will be difficult to measure the success of a certain time compared to the 11am that I have been working to as the content of my blog will be changing significantly at the same time.

I could just go with 9-10am BST and see what happens. If it works then great, if it doesn’t it can hardly be less successful that what I have been doing for the last 2 ½ years?

This might be a case of just getting on with it seeing what happens.

But the there is the Improve Photography schedule?

My articles on Improve Photography are published at 6am Boise time. Now there must be a very good reason for this.

6am Boise equate to 1pm BST.

Back to Google

Mondays seems to be widely reported as the best time to publish blog posts from lots of sources, so I think I will go with that.

The day will be Monday.

That is half the job done!

So what time?

Overthinking is a frequent problem. There is so much info out there giving lots of times.

Let’s give my Google Analytics data a try

The problem is that there are lots of pages on my website as well as my blog, so I am not sure if this will give me the info I need.

And there is a further problem.

I changed from rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk to rickmcevoyphotography.com in the summer. That means that I do not have the data before July 2018 for rickmcevoyphotography.com, and before then have the data for my .co.uk.

I think I am going to have to forget Google Analytics and dig a bit deeper

Back to Google

The first answer says it doesn’t really matter what time of day you post.

And the next.

And then there is conflicting and less authoritative answers and general vagueness

I need to think about this logically.

I need to publish my blog posts when the people I want to see my posts are online. When is that though? I can see how 9.30 on a Monday morning works in UK timing for the UK market but what about everywhere else in the world? My second target market is the USA I guess – the largest English-speaking country.

But 9am EST = 2pm BST.

Bu if we bear in mind that the Improve Photography articles are scheduled at 6am Boise time for a reason, which is Mountain Daylight Time (which I had never heard of!) then this is the summary as I see it.

And I am rubbish with time zones.

BST 9.00 am = 2.00am MDT = 4.00am EST

If I went with the recommended time in the article with the study, then I would publish posts at 11am EST.

11am EST = 4pm BST = 9am MDT

I think that I will go with that. My logic is as follows.

  1. If you are going to do research then you need to act on the best information – otherwise why bother doing the research in the first place?

  2. I don’t have a problem with using 11am EST – I have been using 11am BST for 2 ½ years now without getting the results I want. It feels good to be doing something different.

  3. 4pm BST is not a bad time to post anyway, as one of my target markets is the architectural professions, who will surely be in work on a Monday afternoon?

  4. I don’t believe that there is a time which will target everyone I am trying to attract ever – people are online all the time these says of course so this is pretty much an impossible thing to nail down.

  5. I can try this and see what happens – if nothing happens I can have a rethink.

Conclusion

I believe I have an answer to the question posed - When should I post to my photography blog? What day and time?

Monday 11am EST, which is 4pm BST.

I will try this for 1-2 months and see if there is any significant change.

Any advice appreciated of course - please get in touch by phone, email or the contact form on my website.

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Photographer, writer, blogger

When should I post to my blog?

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That is the question I am starting work on right now. When should I post to my photography blog? What time of day, which day of the week?

I need to know to make the best use of my weekly blog post.  When you think about it this is rather important. There is little sense posting at the worst time when I can spend time and post at the best time for me and my photography business.

Yesterday was the first day in a long time that I have not produced a blog post - and guess what - nothing bad happened!

Rick McEvoy - Photography Blogger

Should I post to my photography blog every day? Erm well....

Website 03102018.PNG

Turns out I am anyway! I was thinking about this as I was working on my new website Photos of Santorini this morning.

Rather than schedule posts I am going to write about stuff as I am doing it and not worry about formatting and all that dull stuff. This is actual me right now.

Back to my website - Photos of Santorini.

I have the 20 images I want, and having added the metadata in Lightroom I have uploaded them all to draft posts. And I have just completed the exercise of adding titles to the posts.

That means I am good to go with the writing of the 20 posts. And the one big post has been started and now has a working title. Titles frame what I write in each post - and I have to remember that I have Santorini in the URL!

So my new website is now progressing to a plan which is good. Finally!

Rick McEvoy Photography - Santorini Photography Tips

Should I post to my photography blog every day?

Having produced daily content since January 2016, over 2 ½ years, I have been thinking about what I have been doing.

Which prompted the question – should I post to my photography blog every day? The answer is yes and no. Yes if I could maintain the quality of blog posts I would like to produce. And no if I can’t.

When I say quality I mean longer posts answering questions that help people. And No if I can’t, and if posts on some days are just posts for the sake of producing something - as in anything to maintain my daily blog output regardless of the quality.

So it is no from me then.

I have been producing higher quality blog posts, not quite on a weekly basis, with shorter posts added in to make up the daily content.

I guess the result of this has been a compromise of quality to allow me to maintain daily output. This is clearly the wrong way round and needs to stop.

What is going to happen to my photography blog in the future then?

Things are going to change with my photography blog output. As of today my photography blog is going to a weekly schedule. Yes I am making the change right now.

And when I say a weekly schedule I mean exactly that. One post per week of a quality and hopefully of interest to attract new readers and get me noticed more in Google.

One longer post one a single subject that has value to readers.

Why?

Well a more pertinent question is why have I been posting every day?

Because I decided that I needed to do this. It became a thing to me. A thing I wanted to do, thinking that I was doing something meaningful.

And has this brought me the success that my work has put in? Success in my head more visitors to my website. And I guess an increase in the number of real enquiries for photography work.

Has this worked?

No.

This was something I decided to do, and have been doing for over 2 ½ years now.

So from today I am going to work smarter. Not harder. Smarter.

And I am not going to continue doing something that has proved not to work.

There is a saying that goes something like “The definition of madness is to continue to do the same thing and expect different results”.

Something like that. Ok – lets get this right.

According to Google, Albert Einstein is broadly credited with exclaiming, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.

And that is what I have been doing.

Things have changed since January 2016

A lot has happened since I started my daily output.

I now have other things that I need to do, other priorities. When I started my daily output I was looking at my own website only.

Things have changes significantly since then - in ways I was not expecting!

My other websites

I am currently working on my new niche website “Paxos Travel Guide”, and also in the background I have another website called “Photos of Santorini” which I am quite desperate to complete.

I have had an idea for my Santorini website which I am going to quickly work through, and then get back to Paxos Travel Guide.

I hope to complete the Santorini website in the next couple of weeks, and the Paxos website about a month after.

And once they are done I will have a break and see what these two websites produce in terms of web traffic and income.

But I have endless ideas for photography websites. 

That is my new plan.

My other writing commitments

I also have my fortnightly writing on Improve Photography, as well as other ad how commitments.

And my photography business

I knew there was something else I had to do!

I have a day job which I have to do to earn money. For now anyway.

It is a matter of priorities

It’s not a matter of time really – it is a matter of priority.

Something somewhere had to give and it is my daily blog output. And now that I have decided I am going to make this change I have to say I feel good about it.

This is not about time availability as much as it is about quality over quantity. I have been putting off this thing that I knew I needed to do for too long now, so the decision has been made.

Quality of content

I have just heard yet one more informed person saying quality of content is king.

So decision done. As of now I have a weekly photography blog.

Now that I have made the change I need to think about things a bit more.

When should I publish a weekly blog post?

Well that is the next thing that I will write about. This will be the first post which will hopefully be helpful to people wanting to know the answer to that question just as I do.

I can be sure that this question has been asked many times of Google – I just have to make sure that I come up with the best answer I can so I hopefully get ranked 1 in Google for this post.

That is the point of this, and what I should have been doing but to be fair to me I have just worked out.

And also this means that I will be posting at the most effective time for my photography blog – a good thing all round.

Will I make other posts on my blog?

As I ask the question the answer comes to me – yes of course – whenever I want to.

  • If I want to.

If I have something to say.

If I have time.

Most of all if I have something to say.

I now have the freedom to post whenever I want in addition to my scheduled weekly commitment. Now that I have got rid of the structure of 11am every day post and the pressures and constraints that go with it I am now free to publish ad hoc blog posts whenever I want to. I will maintain a weekly post, once I have worked out when is best to post it, which will be a properly written post. These weekly posts will be much longer as well.

But I can post to my blog whenever I want. And what ever I want. It’s my blog after all!!!

And thinking about it I might end up posting more, which will be an irony. I will be going back to posting things whenever a thought comes into my head rather than the formulaic process I have ended up with. 

This could be a good thing! 

What about Schema Mark Up

This is something I was advised to do to put me ahead of the competition. Has this worked?

No – I don’t think so. I don’t think it is particularly relevant to me producing a regular photography blog.

Schema will have to go. It is not appropriate, and takes up time that could be better spent on the most important thing on my website and indeed my photography blog.

Update - since I started writing this post Schema has gone. 

What is the single most important thing for my website, my blog, for SEO?

  • Proving my authority.

  • High quality content.

  • Answering questions on Google better than anyone else.

That is it – these are the three things that I will be focussing on.

What will I be writing about?

I have an endless list of ideas, many of which are things I don’t know, as well as things that I now very well indeed.

What will I be writing about on my blog?

  • Is it time to get replace my Canon 6D?

  • Mirrorless cameras explained.

  • Micro four-thirds cameras explained

The titles need some work but you get the idea. 

I will also write about my own photography work - “How I got the shot” – I love writing these.

I am going to think of the things that I do not know that I feel I should know and I will write about them.

Will my posts be longer?

Yes – longer and hopefully of more interest not only to readers but also to Google. At the end of the day I want my photography blog to work for me, and to earn me money and drive more traffic to my website.

Will my blog posts be photography related only?

Yes – photography as in my world of photography yes. So that’s a no then. Things that I have written about on my photography blog and Improve Photography include

  • Snacks for travel photography

  • The right shoes for photography

  • The wrong shoes for photography

  • Red hats

  • Painters’ poles

  • And all sorts of other stuff.

What else do I need to do with my blog?

Get rid of draft posts. Just done that. Another job out of the way.

I had a long list of draft posts that I have just gone through. I have kept a few as they are good subjects but got rid of the rest.

I now add ideas to a notebook in Evernote – that is where I dump all the ideas, which are best kept in an App rather than in my head!

But I still need to go through those and make sense of them. 

Re-do my schedule

I used to record my blog posts and assign daily things to do in a schedule in Excel. I have archived all those pages and I am going to restructure the spreadsheet to make it work better for me.

Things that I want to record now are the following

  • Title and length of blog post

  • What else I did to my website that day.

And I will flesh this out over the course of the first month with my new photography blog.

Phew – I feel better for that.

Next week I will write about the timing of my posts, and after that a fundamental question about my Canon 6D.

And in-between times? WHo knows?? 

I am looking forward to this significant change to the content of my photography blog, which will be given a new lease of life.

And I will have more time to work on other things.

The weekly posts will be of a much higher quality.

And any other posts will be more off the cuff, ad-libbing and hopefully entertaining.

Should I post to my photography blog every day? No and I’m not going to anymore!! I’m not going to because I don’t need to!

Until next week readers…..

Rick McEvoy ABIPP

What is my favourite tool in Photoshop? The Patch Tool - completely awesome

Yes my favourite tool in Photoshop has to be the Patch Tool - this is the spot healing brush on steroids! I have just used it to sort out an extension to a sky caused by having to get the buildings straight meaning I had gaps around the edges!

You can’t use the Patch Tool to add sky where there is none - in the first photo the white bits are blank - there is nothing there.

So first I had to clone stamp bits of sky to fill in the gaps - once this was done then I could use the Patch Tool to improve the quality of sky infill.

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Magic. I am working on my Photos of Santorini website - more on this later in the week hopefully!

Rick McEvoy ABIPP - Santorini Photographer