Making a living from photography in 2019 - this is my plan.Read More
In this post I will be reviewing what has happened with my photography business in 2018. It is important to review what worked and what did not work, what I did and did not like. What went well and what went not so well.Read More
There are many websites which have lots of great photos taken on the wonderful Greek Island of Santorini.
But what is the best website for photos of Santorini? Well my brand new website Photos of Santorini of course! This is certainly the best website called with this name, and cunningly my website has that as it’s URL.
I know – a grand statement but let’s be honest – if I don’t blow my own trumpet who will? And in time the search term “best website for photos of Santorini” will hopefully bring people right here to this post, which will take visitors over to my brand new website. This is all part of a plan!
My first travel photography website
This is my first bespoke travel photography website. I went to Santorini last April on a photography trip. And when I came back I went through my photos and had over 100 images that I would display on my website and feel comfortable selling commercially.
That was quite a remarkable return for a 5 day photography trip, so good was the location. That and the fact that I had five solid days taking photos.
My problem was this - what do I do with the photos?
This has been troubling me for some time now. I have all these photos, but what do I do with them? I seem to have taken lots of photos but never cracked what I do with them.
What about stock photography selling?
I have a few images on Adobe Stock, and had sold quite a few of these images. The problem is that the most I have got for an image is 25p. Yes 25p.
And I have not sold enough images to get to a big enough earning amount to actually get paid by Adobe.
The same happened with Shutterstock, with the same paltry financial return.
I therefore decided some time ago that stock photography is just not for me – there must be a better way.
I am not selling my work for a pittance.
I spent some time thinking about this, processing my chosen images and posting them on social media – I even had a Santorini Photos page on my website.
But none of this did anything – these things were not the answer.
So where did this idea come from?
I am not sure to be honest. I listen to various podcasts on photography, solo businesses, passive income and internet marketing. And cricket and football – I am not that sad thankfully.
And the one idea that kept coming back to me was a standalone website for my Santorini photos.
I had a lightbulb moment, and decided to go for it.
So I need to make my own website – how did I do that?
First thing was to buy a website domain. I settled on photosofsantorini.com, which I bought and registered and bought hosting for all for less that £50.
Buying the website was the kickstart I needed – I had something to work with.
What am I going to put on my website?
The original plan was 50 photos on 50 blog posts with some supporting pages, but this got reduced in the end to 20 blog posts and 1 very long post.
And that very long post is the one that hit the internet this afternoon. This website blog post is titled Santorini photography tips – this is what I have learned.
This is pretty much a summary of my experiences of going on a photography trip to Santorini, my version of events from start to finish. As I said this is a long post, and is designed to be a standalone post that will help anyone who is thinking of going on a photography trip anywhere in a foreign location, but especially of course to Santorini.
And having read this post and found it useful, hopefully people will check out the other pages on my website, and come back here to my main photography website.
What else is on this website?
There are 20 images on 20 blog posts where I tell the story about each image.
The headings I have used are as follows
Why do I like this photo so much? I start off describing why I like the particular photo on that post
How did I decide on this composition? This to me is one of the most important questions. I try to describe what I was thinking when I was coming up with the composition.
Where was the photo taken? Using the Maps Module in Lightroom I am able to show exactly where each photo was taken.
What time of day was the photo taken? Just the time the photo was taken. And some other relevant nonsense.
What photography gear did I use to get the shot? A list of the gear I used.
What camera settings did I use? Having listed the gear, I thought it only fair to share the camera settings used to get each image capture.
One interesting fact about the image. I have tried to come up with something interesting for each image, something that you would not know just by looking a the image.
Is there a behind the scenes video of this shoot? Not for every shot, which is a great shame. But there are some behind the scenes videos and some photos taken on my iPhone.
How did I process the image? This is a quick description of how I processed the image in Lightroom and Photoshop. I also share the settings in Lightroom by adding a screenshot from the Develop Module.
What could I have done to improve the image? Very important to me is to critique all my own work to see if there are things that I need to correct, and learn what I could have done better. It is good to look back on images after the event.
And what are my thoughts on this image? A general summary – does the image convey what I wanted it to convey? Is the photo a representation of that place and that time?
Enough of me - what do you think of this image? This is an interesting one – I have opened up this question to all visitors to my website – I can’t wait to see what people think of my photos of Santorini.
Do I mind sharing this info for free? Of course not – I hope that people find this helpful
Why this structure
I wanted a structure within which to write each web page, trying to cover all the angles that would be of interest to photographers. I wanted a consistency across the pages too.
And let me tell you a secret – it is much easier to write stuff if you have a framework within which to write – 10 headings with circa 200 words per heading is a lot easier to write that 2000 words.
I also have some static pages on this website.
About me. A bit about me. Well why not? This is my own website after all.
Blog. This is where the pages I have described above are. Those and some other pages I wrote when I first created this website.
Contact. How to get in touch with me – very important for every web page to have this info.
Do you want to buy one of my photos of Santorini? It took a while for me to realise the place to sell my photos is on my own website. And you can’t buy them anywhere else.
Home page. Every website needs a home page and this my home page. Hmmm that’s clear now!
My images of Santorini here in my big Greek photo gallery. This is all those images that I spoke about earlier. I have spent over a year looking for somewhere to put these photos, and on a single gallery page on my own website was just the place. There are just over 50 photos at the moment. I will add to this when I have finished editing all the photos I want to put on this website. This should be completed this week.
My photography gear. A list of all my photography gear, along with a photo of the gear that I took to Santorini.
What other work do I need to do to this website?
Now all I have left to do is the boring stuff
Check the metadata.
Check the spelling.
Check the image metadata.
Add links where I want them.
Add my photo to each page (at the bottom). Just done that.
And internal links to other pages.
And finally index all the pages on Google.
A bit about Wordpress websites
I should have said that this website has been created using the Wordpress platform. I bought the domain using GoDaddy, and I am using Bluehost for the hosting.
All the photos are of course my own, and all the text has been written by me.
So this is quite literally all my own work, which makes me feel almost proud.
And at the time of writing I have not decided on the theme for the website - I have just gone with a free theme for now from which is called Pixgraphy - I have not got around to customising this yet.
This is all new to me of course.
How did I decide how long each post was going to be?
I aimed for a minimum of 1200 words. 1200 words is probably the shortest I want blog posts to be to get good rankings in Google. This is a bit of an experiment, which hopefully being so niche will produce the results I want.
The summary post is massive, and is based around the keyword that kept popping up when I was doing my research – Santorini photography tips.
I want this page to rank number one on Google for the search term Santorini Photography Tips – lets see what happens – this post went live today (at 3.20pm) so this is an exciting thing for me to monitor.
What is my website all about – who is it for?
This website is all about the photos and the content. Photos of Santorini is a very specific niche subject.
Santorini and my photos taken there.
That is what it is all about and nothing else.
This website is not a Travel Guide to Santorini – and I not pretending that it is at all.
Santorini and photography - this is all this website is all about.
For a very specific reason.
This is what I want to write about – these are my two favourite things to do – travel and photography. And my photos are unique to me – no one else has taken the photos I have taken in exactly the same way I did at exactly the same time.
And my words about my photography are also unique to me.
And that is the point – I have created a website which has to be unique as it is all my own work and I have never done this before.
What next with this website?
Wait. Wait for 4-6 months and see what happens. See if this is the beginning of my passive income, which will change my business model going forward.
If this is successful I will be looking to create more websites following this model.
And there is another website that I am going to work on next. This is my other travel photography website “Paxos Travel Guide”, which should be completed by the end of December 2018.
This website is a bit more involved, and has a different structure and to be honest will take loads longer to create.
There are lots more pages, lots more content, and there is another big difference with this website. I went to Paxos knowing that I would be creating this website, so have taken lots more photos, behind the scenes stuff and also a daily journal.
This website will have probably double the amount of content that photos of Santorini has.
And once this is done I hope to know if this website is a success before I start on my next website which will be about the wonderful Greek Island of Rhodes.
This is part of the reason why I had to get my Photos of Santorini website out of the way – this is a smaller and every more niche website than Paxos Travel Guide. And I couldn’t concentrate on the other website until I had finished my work on my Santorini photos website.
Summary – glad this is done finally.
Now that this website is done I am very very happy.
Let’s hope that this website is a success, and that I can make a different kind of living with my travel photography. That is my plan.
I am looking forward to sitting back now all the hard work is done and seeing how this website performs.
There are over 30,000 words and lots of images spread across the pages of this website – I will write a review in the New Year about progress and Google results.
And what next? I need to get back to Paxos Travel Guide – two months of work with the completion of photos of Santorini done and there to inspire me.
Rick McEvoy ABIPP – photographer, writer, blogger, website creator
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.
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 that is my Canon 6D then so be it, but the subject is my Canon 6D 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 choosing.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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?
How do I know this has not worked?
Simple – there are two measures.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
I can try this and see what happens – if nothing happens I can have a rethink.
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
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.
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?
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
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
In this post I will be providing an update on my photography business targets for 2018. We all need to plan our businesses, and also review progress and modify plans when needed, without going all over the place that is!
Anyway, this is all about me and my photography business.
On the 3rd February 2018 I published the targets for my photography business in 2018.
I was going to review progress and provide an update halfway though the year, but forgot. So here we are with my update after 8 months of 2018.
And quite a bit has changed!
Original text in italics.
1 - Stock photography
The average UK salary is £27,600, which equates to £2,300 per month. I want my stock photography to achieve 50% of this monthly level of income by the end of 2018, and 100% by the end of 2019.
Is this achievable?
I’m not sure, but there is one thing I can guarantee – I will not achieve this if I don’t try.
I made about £2 through Adobe Stock in 2017! And cannot tell you how great it was to get an email saying I had sold an image, even if it was for 53p!!
That is very ambitious aim number one.
I have had a complete change of mind and plans on this one. I have created a new website, photos of Santorini. This change of direction was inspired by some information from Jim Harmer, owner of Improve Photography, and also from earning 53p selling an imge on Adobe Stock.
And it goes on. I have joined Income School, and am learning all about niche websites. This is all Jim's fault. This is what I am working on right now. And I mean right now.
It turns out photos of Santorini might be a bit too niche, so I am exploring something a little broader. I hope to have this new website completed by the end of September. I might do the Santorini website later, but for now have a better idea thanks to feedback from the income school community.
So the big change is that I am not targetting stock in any way shape or form, other than selling stuff myself. I have actually removed myself from all the stock sgencies I am registered with.
Funnily enough I am getting more enquiries via my website from people wanting to buy prints from me, that and take photos to order which is good. This is really good news, and I look forward to more growth in this area. I thought that this was a dead sector in the market - I will add this into my targets for 2019, which I have just started working on.
I do not want to sell images for a pittance. In fact I will go further than that - I will not sell images for a pittance.
“2 - Commercial sponsorship
I want to have one commercial sponsor by the end of 2018. One company, a manufacturer of a product I use and value, whom I can work with promoting their products and at the same time my use of their products.
Another challenging target!”
Unfortunately no further solid news. I have made a few more industry contacts, and am awaiting responses from a number of big companies.
I still need to grow the traffic to my website to make myself more appealling comemrcially.
See 4 below for the news on people visiting my website.
3 – Freelance writing
"I already have one freelance writing contract, on the excellent Improve Photography website. I really enjoy this work, as well of course as the massive exposure. Writing for Improve Photography has made me change how I write, and what I write about.
Both in a positive way.
I want one more freelance writing commitment in 2018. Just one."
No progress - I have not looked at this yet with other things going on. I have changed the structure of my blog though, adding one very long post per month, a couple of medium length posts and then shorter daily posts. This has incresaed my workload on the writing front but should help with my website findability.
And with the other things I am looking at I will not be actively pursuing this so this will not be a target for 2019.
“4 – Website
I have spent a lot of time and effort on my website in 2016 and 2017. In 2018 I am going to do very little to my website other than the following.
Image refresh – 2 pages per month.
Home page – an update on the text and images.
Travel photographer page – this needs to be produced in February 2018. You will find one image on there at the moment – a photo of Santorini.
And there is the outcome of all this work. By the end of 2018 I want to achieve 1000 visitors per month to my website. I was averaging just over 300 visitors per month before I started my writing on the Improve Photography website in late October 2018.”
Ok - progress update.
And a lot has changed.
My new URL is this.
As a reminder, it was http://www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk
Much more global, secure and shorter.
This is the Google Analytics data for August 2018. Well for the first 30 days of August
And this was the Google Analytics data for July 2017 for rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk
And this is July 2018 data for rickmcevoyphotography.com
hat does this tell me? The number of visitors, ie sessions, has more than doubled which is of course good. I made the switch from .co.uk to .com just as my web traffic was on the up, not the best time I know, but things look to be back to where they were before I made the change.
I have to give this more time, and will certainly not be unpicking this change of URL.
I will schedule monthly updates on my analytics and see what the long term trends are.
But I have to say that the growth of the traffic to my website is a big disappointment - lets hope that the changes I am working on will bear fruit in the next six months.
“5 - Website
I want one source of income achieved solely from my website. This will of course be directly related to the number of visitors to my website, to the value my website has on the World Wide Web.”
See 4 above!
“6 - YouTube
I want to have achieved 10,000 views by the end of 2018. 10,000 views triggers more possibilities in YouTube, which I want to get to. And hopefully the quality of my videos will improve over the course of the year to the point where I am able to produce videos for commercial clients that they want to buy.
And I want a drone too! Just thought I would throw that one into the mix here.”
At the time of writing this post I have managed to get 2430 views. Not good enough progress, but progress all the same. 743 views have come in the last 90 days, 2157 views in the last 12 months.
So the growth is there.
And I have discovered on the app You Tube Studio that you can pull up this information instantly. I had been counting the number of views on each video, adding them to the calculator app on my phone. A very long winded process that was!
And as for the drone, not something I have progressed.
This target stays and will be slowly worked on in the background.
“7 - Portfolio
I want a high quality printed portfolio of 30 prints for
- Architectural photography
- Landscape photography
- Travel photography
Interchangeable in a lovely high quality folio holder.
Actual high quality prints that I can present at meetings.”
Done. Sort of. I have a set of 40 architectural photography prints in a very expensive box. I did not get the landscape and travel folois done, and will not be getting them done.
This target will drop off now.
“8 – Qualifications
I want to achieve my ABIPP in 2018. I never submitted my portfolio in 2016 as I was not happy with it, even though my BIPP mentor was happy with it. There is a lesson there in just going for things that I have definitely learnt.”
"Issued: June 2018
For Immediate Release
Local Photographer Gains International Qualification with BIPP
Rick McEvoy ABIPP is a specialist architectural, construction and industrial photographer based in Dorset, who has recently achieved his Associateship (ABIPP) in Commercial Photography.
Rick joined the BIPP in 2013, gaining his Licentiateship in Commercial Photography in 2014. As well as commercial work, Rick is an independent writer on the Improve Photography website, has a daily photography blog, and has been published in a variety of publications in the UK and further afield. He also produces fine art prints that are for sale on his website.
Rick is a keen travel photographer, with examples of his work featuring on his website, with lots of new plans being worked on for 2018.
His portfolio submission consisted of 40 architectural photography images, 20 interior images and 20 exterior images. All bar one of the images were from commercial commissions carried out for architects and property owners.
You can view Rick’s complete portfolio at www.rickmcevoyphotography.co.uk/portfolio
When we asked Rick how he felt about achieving his Associateship, he said: “I feel honored, proud and I don't mind saying relieved that I was successful in achieving my Associateship. It has taken me a couple of years to get together a portfolio that I was happy with. I am pretty much self-taught.”
To see more of Rick’s work please visit – rickmcevoyphotography.com"
"Notes to Editors:
Contact: Jack Goward, 01296 642020, email@example.com
The British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) is an internationally recognised qualifying organisation with over 100 years of experience in qualifying and supporting photographers. The core aims of BIPP are to qualify and support professional photographers, through a network of meetings, awards, training and benefits.
The BIPP is a not for profit body, run by photographers for photographers.
The BIPP has been fighting for and protecting photographers’ rights since 1901.
The BIPP has over 2,800 members worldwide covering all disciplines of photography.
Rick McEvoy ABIPP, firstname.lastname@example.org , rickmcevoyphotography.com"
Enough said! All done. And I am still smiling about this all this time later!
Target achieved. And no plans for any more qualifications in 2019.
Rick McEvoy ABIPP
“9 - Travel photography work
I want to achieve one commercial photography booking overseas in 2018.”
This was a bit of a dream job for me - now it is looking like the travel I have done recently is going to form the basis of niche websites in the future, so I will leave this target in and see where other things I have already talked about fit in.
It might be that I produce travel photography websites based on trips abroad - one to think about over the winter.
“10 – One shop to sell my photos
Last one. I want my work in an actual shop being sold to actual people. I will get my portfolios done and get out there and see who wants to sell my work.”
Not done. I guess I need my portfolios first! OK. I have done my portfolio but have gone down different roads and am focussing on the online market for the reasons highlighted above.
A lot has changed. My plans for stock have been completey overturned, as has my entire business strategy.
This is my end of August update - I am going to start working on my targets for 2018.
I will provide a further update at the end of September 2018 - the next update will include my new targets for 2019 - no point looking at things now if I am not going to be working on them in the future.