I have a weekly photography blog. One of my main subjects is travel photography.
And my blog is on the up. So much so that I decided to tell you about my new travel photography blog and give you 10 tips for success with your own blog. I have analysed my blog, and tried to work out why the web traffic to my photography blog has increased so much. Better quality content is certainly one of the main reasons, and I will tell you how I have improved the quality of the content on my photography blog.
Some of these tips are things that I have learned and do well, some are things that I have to work on myself to improve the quality of my writing.
At the end of this post I will tell you about my travel photography blogs.
Ok – let’s get to it!
Tip Number 1 – Go to interesting places
I know this sounds obvious but the more interesting the places you go to the more interesting your photos will be.
And don’t forget to point your camera at the most interesting things within the most interesting places.
Wherever you are in the world there are interesting places not that far away that other people have not been to and want to know more about.
I often go back to places that I have been to for other reasons. If I pass through an interesting place or location I write it down and keep that info for future reference. I have a list of places to go back to or allow time to visit next time I am in that area.
And every now and then I actually manage to do this.
I also have a big list of places I want to go to. A really big list.
Tip Number 2 – Don’t rule out your home country
I keep on making this mistake. My travel photography photos are all taken in foreign locations. But guess what?
My home country, England, is a travel location to anyone who does not live here. This is something I really have to work on. People love visiting England, so I need to showcase the places I love to visit on my travel photography blogs.
There are interesting places in England, just like anywhere else in the world.
And I live in the picturesque county of Dorset with lots of great scenery and things to photograph.
Thinking about this a bit further, I have got out of the habit of taking photos at home, this seems to be a time for work and writing and website creation. And all my commercial client work – this is mainly architectural photography work.
When I am abroad though I am much freer to go out and enjoy my travel photography and travel writing.
Tip Number 3 – Take photos that provide an interesting insight into a location
Try to tell the story of a place. Take photos that make people want to be there. If you can achieve that one thing then you have done your job.
And don’t take the same photo as everyone else, don’t just go for the headline shot. Find the interesting less obvious things.
In these things you will hopefully find interesting subjects and wonderful details. This is something that I am going to focus on much more on my next trips away. And of course when I am out and about at home.
Tip Number 4 – Don’t take the obvious photos that everyone else has taken
I hear the tales of people at places like Horseshoe Canyon all stood there at the same time taking the same photo of the same scene. A row of photographers with cameras on tripods all stood shoulder to shoulder waiting for the same sunrise.
That is not for me.
If you check out my travel photography website Photos of Santorini (more on that later) you might notice that the photos that you see are not the same ones that you can see on a thousand other blogs.
More often than not when I am out taking photos there is no one else there – it is normally just me. And I am talking 99% of the time. I can count on one hand the number of times that I have been out photographing the sunrise and there has been someone else there, and on those rare occasions they are not photographers but people just out enjoying what I am photographing.
When I was in Santorini I did not see anyone else taking photos on any of my sunrise shoots. Apart from one coach load of tourists that is. And they missed the best bit anyway, being whisked away as soon as the sun had risen!
This is why I do not research photography locations too much. Well beyond identifying a place that I want to take photos.
I do not want to travel to say Santorini and take a photo that someone else has taken. And I do not want someone else’s work in my head when I get there.
Instead I get to a location and get out and find things to photograph. Sure I might be photographing a popular location but that is pretty rare. And I also know that I am missing out on some great stuff.
But I am happy finding my own things to photograph in my own way all by myself!
I need to counter this though. If I am photographing the sunset on a beach in Barbados I know that this same scene will have been photographed before. But I also try to photograph different and interesting things to try to get something different.
Tip Number 5 – Choose titles for posts that people are searching for
It took me a long time to work this out. This is a great tip. Come up with an interesting title for a blog post. Put this in Google, well the main keywords or phrase. And if Google auto suggest comes up with that title it means that people are searching for this phrase.
Use this as the basis for your blog post – make sure that you are writing about something that people are searching for. Otherwise what is the point?
Tip Number 6 – Write long enough blog posts to make an impact
I aim for 2000 words per post. This one should end up being circa 2000 words. Now 2000 words is quite long for a blog post but is the number of words that the most popular blog posts are around.
There are a million exceptions to this, but if you use 2000 words as a guide for each and very blog post you write this should serve you well in the future.
Like I said there is more to this than just 2000 words, but this is a good starting point if you have no idea how long your posts should be.
And here is a top tip within a tip. Once you have a title choose 10 sub-headings and write about 150 – 200 words about each heading. With the introduction and summary you should have circa 200 words – job done!
This post ended up being 2450 words by the way. I tend to find that posts that are just stuff straight out of my head are longer, as there is so much that I find I have to say on a subject that I live and breathe. I just wrote and when I was done I was done, and that was the word count.
If I have to research a post from scratch it will probably be shorter!!
Tip Number 7 – Make your blog posts better then the competition
Every blog post you publish should be the best that you can do.
Having said that, do not spend forever trying to create the most perfect blog post. If you do that you will never publish anything. Do the best that you can in the time that you have available but always get your post out there. You can always come back to a post to improve or correct it.
A travel photography blog post is not a book – it is meant to be entertaining, conversational and interesting. It is not a technical exercise, nor an exercise in producing 2000 words packed with keywords.
Talking of keywords, I add a keyword to the title and then forget about it – I just write naturally.
Use photos within the content to help explain and illustrate what you are talking about. If you are using your own photos this adds more interest as it proves that you have actually been to these places rather than writing your posts using Google as your reference tool.
Tip Number 8 – Be informative
There are so many travel blogs out there – why should people read yours? Great photos are not enough on their own – you need to inform and provide helpful advice that your visitors will enjoy reading and want to come back to. And also of course to share with other people.
If you can write good enough content that people want to share you are onto a good thing for sure.
Tip Number 9 – Write with passion and enthusiasm
I love travel and travel photography, and I try to convey this in every post I write. I think that this is something that I need to work on even more though – I need to inject more of my personality and enthusiasm – as I said before my unique selling point is me – there is only one me.
No one will read a blog more than once which is dull and factual – you have to enthuse and engage.
And whilst you are doing this write naturally and from the heart.
If you love travel and are writing about places you have been to, or indeed want to go to, this should be easy to do.
If you enjoy travel and photography then writing a travel blog is not work – it is something to enjoy doing.
I work hard on my travel photography blogs of course, but I genuinely enjoy this work, and if this was the only work that I had to do I would be vey happy!
Tip Number 10 – Share your blog posts strategically
I share my weekly blog posts which are published on my Squarespace website to Pinterest, Linked In, Tumblr and Twitter. Why these sites? Well these are the ones that my blog automatically shares to. There is no effort involved.
I have a bit of a negative view on social media and am not prepared to spend too much time on it. Time spent on social media is time that I am not spending writing new content.
But I do accept that there is an expectation of sharing stuff to be seen on social media. I will do this in a strategic time efficient way.
I do need to be much more strategic. At the moment there is no consistency to my social media output other than these weekly posts.
I am only really interested in posting to Pinterest and Instagram, which are both great platforms for travel photography.
This is something I need to work on as I said, which I will write a separate post about in the future.
Ok – that was my 10 tips – to finish off this post a bit about me and my blogs.
My travel photography blogs
I have three blogs. They are all quite different in their structure, but also have similarities.
Rick McEvoy Photography – https://rickmcevoyphotography.com
This is my main website. The main features of this website are
My photography blog
I write a blog post every week. I publish my blog posts on a Tuesday afternoon. Why then? Well according to Google Analytics this is when I receive the most visitors to my website.
Travel photography is one of the subjects on this blog. I used to write about all things photography, but now focus on the following areas
Micro four thirds photography
Processing using Lightroom, Photoshop, Luminar and Aurora HDR.
As well as my blog there are all the usual informative pages that you find on a business website.
This website has been created using Squarespace.
Photos of Santorini – https://photosofsantorini.com
This is a website which I have finished the first phase of, which is about my photos of Santorini.
There are some things that I am going to go back and add to this website once I have finished the website I am going to talk about next, but the basic structure and content is in place.
In addition to the blog posts there are a few static pages and a gallery page containing 99 photos of Santorini.
This is an experimental website – I need to wait a while longer to see if this website has a commercial value or if I need to do more work on it. And if it has a commercial value this is my ideal model for other travel photography blogs going forwards.
This website has static pages and 20 blog posts that describe how I created the photo featured in each post.
This is something that I would like to do in the future
This is my first website built on the WordPress platform.
Paxos Travel Guide – https://paxostravelguide.com
This is the website that I am working on right now. This is not just about photography, it is more of a general travel blog with my photos being featured to help illustrate the places I am writing about.
This website should be complete by the end of April 2019, hopefully!
This website is also built on the WordPress platform.
What are the similarities?
One of the main similarities of these websites is that all contain my own work and nothing else.
All my own words, written by me, and all my own photos.
What makes me unique?
What makes me unique is me. There is only one me, which can’t be a bad thing now can it? I combine my passions of photography and travel with my writing and photography skills to create travel photography websites which I hope are different, and informative and helpful
A word on photography gear.
I have not mentioned photography gear. That is deliberate. Getting out and taking photos and writing great content is more important than photography gear. It took me a long time to learn this, but it is so true and liberating once that particular penny drops.
No one has ever asked me which camera I used to take a photo!!
Thank you for reading this post – if you have any questions please get in touch via my contact page or by email.