We recommend using WordPress with Hostinger to start your photography blog due to its wide range of customization options for photographers. Join Hostinger for $2.59 per month and install WordPress with just one click.
Ready to turn your passion for photography into a business venture? Starting a photography blog is a smart choice as there are multiple ways to monetize. And it’s not just a side hustle—a quarter of WordPress bloggers make a full-time living.
But there’s more to setting up a photography blog than blogs in other niches. You must give greater consideration to aspects such as layout, aesthetics, and backend features to ensure you have a site that looks good, is easy to navigate, and runs smoothly.The 3 Best Blogging Platforms for Starting a Photography Blog
If you’re not sure which blogging platform is right for you, take a look at our in-depth review of the top providers. Here’s a quick look at our top picks for starting a photography blog:
- WordPress with Hostinger — Best overall
- Wix — Best for beginners building a professional blog
- Squarespace — Best for artists and designers
Follow these essential steps to start a photography blog that’s set up for success:
- Sign Up for WordPress with Hostinger
- Pick a Photography Niche
- Choose a Domain Name
- Create a Defined Brand
- Select a WordPress Theme
- Install the Right Plugins
- Generate Blog Ideas
- Establish a Monetization Strategy
- Promote Your Blog Content
With readymade themes and plugins to showcase your work, create galleries, and even edit images, WordPress is an excellent choice for photographers.
Set up a Hostinger web hosting account by taking advantage of our $2.59 offer. You’ll get a free domain, free email, SSL certificate, and more. Simply choose the length of your plan and enter your email address to set up a Hostinger account.
Next, add WordPress as your content management system (CMS). Go to the Hostinger control panel and click on Auto Installer. Search for WordPress and hit Select.Install WordPress on the Hostinger dashboard with just one click.
Next, enter your account and website details for WordPress. These include your URL, language, username, password, email, website title, and tagline. All that’s left to do then is hit Install.Step 2: Pick a Photography Niche
Narrow down your niche to establish a specialism. The goal is to become the go-to blogger with the best resource on the web for a given subject matter. It’ll help you build a loyal audience for your photography blog.
For example, The Phoblographer blogs on photography equipment and technology:The most successful blogs specialize in one area of photography.
Whereas the Two Loves Studio blog is all about food photography:Some of the most popular photography blog niches are food, nature, and travel.
Don’t be an all-rounder. Consider your experience, passions, and existing portfolio of work to find your niche.
At this point, it’s also a good idea to think about how you’ll monetize later. For example, you may create educational resources for amateur photographers. Then, it’d pay to figure out which area of photography has a large market of learners.
Go to Google Trends and compare different photography niches. Discover the popularity of a particular area by looking at interest over time:Use Google Trends to validate your blog idea.
In this example, nature photography seems to have a steady level of interest and would therefore be a safe bet.Step 3: Choose a Domain Name
Your domain name, or web address, is important as it’s where people will find your blog. 99% of the time your domain name will be the name of the blog. It’s good for branding and must be memorable.
Many photographers wonder at this stage whether to simply make their own name their brand and domain name. This makes sense if you have an established career. If you’re already renowned, using your name, e.g., annieleibovitz.com, makes your domain easily recognizable and memorable.
However, if you’re just starting out, come up with a brand name. On his podcast with Eric Siu, marketing legend Neil Patel once said he wished he hadn’t used his name to create a personal brand as made-up brand names stand out more in people’s minds.
To come up with a blog/domain name of your own, write down a list of words that relate to photography and another list of words that represent your brand. Then pair two of them together, e.g. creative + boom. Just make sure your domain name is unique, easy to remember, and simple to pronounce/spell.Step 4: Create a Defined Brand
Consistent branding increases visibility and recognition, also improving the overall user experience. Nowadays, you must create a distinctive brand that your audience can understand and relate to in some way. Artsy folk will appreciate a modern, minimalist aesthetic, for example. While those looking for photography training want to see a trustworthy, professional brand.
First, consider how you can represent your audience, mission, personality, and vision through design. As a creative, you should be good at this kind of thing.
Design a logo and come up with a style guide containing design elements such as icons, colors, and fonts. Also, consider your aesthetic when choosing and customizing a theme in the next step.
Blogger David DuChemin, for instance, opts for a neutral palette, muted overlays, and a simple blog layout:Your blog design creates a certain atmosphere for visitors.
There are no bells and whistles, indicating a serious blogger/photography teacher you can trust.
Branding also extends to your values, tone of voice, and messaging. You need to be able to express the purpose of your blog and what you’re about to help readers relate to you.Step 5: Select a WordPress Theme
A WordPress theme combines design, layout, and handy features from which you can easily build a photography blog. Bloggers with minimal tech skills can easily create a website at a professional standard using a readymade theme.
Find a theme in the WordPress library that aligns well with your niche and branding. This theme, for example, is aimed specifically at “fashion, styling, and photography content makers”:There are readymade WordPress themes geared towards different niches.
When choosing a theme, make sure it offers the right features for you. As a rule of thumb, a theme for a photography blog should be easy to navigate, highly customizable, and have multiple options for displaying images or galleries.Step 6: Install the Right Plugins
Plugins are apps that allow you to customize and get the most out of your website. WordPress has a library with thousands of plugins to suit different needs. Every website should have a basic set of plugins for aspects such as SEO, security, site speed, social sharing, and similar.
Here are some of the best plugins for photography bloggers specifically:
- Envira Gallery – A premium plugin with templates and a drag-and-drop builder for creating photo and video galleries. Other features include albums and tagging to organize your photos, watermarking to protect your work, and a WooCommerce integration to sell your pics.
- Smush – Fast-loading pages are rewarded by Google and alleviate user frustrations. Blogs with lots of image files are particularly at risk of loading slowly. To get around this you can automatically compress image files to make them smaller using a plugin like Smush.
- WP Paint – This is a PhotShop-style plugin that enables you to edit images directly within the WordPress platform, so you don’t have to keep switching back and forth between your blog and image editors. There are free and premium versions of WP Paint.
With the more tech-driven steps out of the way, you’re ready to do what you came to do, create blog posts. It’s important you give every blog post its due—quality trumps quantity. Bloggers rate content quality as the number one factor that contributes to success.
Carry out keyword research to come up with blog post ideas that’ll perform well with both your audience and Google. Keywords are the terms and phrases users search for. Enter your overarching niche topic into an SEO tool such as Semrush:Use an SEO tool to generate data-driven blog post ideas.
Sort by volume to find the most searched-for keywords. This search for “landscape photography” immediately produces some great blog post ideas, “best camera for landscape photography” and “best lens for landscape photography”, for instance.
Come up with a content strategy to keep you on track and improve content performance. One of the best content strategies is the topic cluster model.Organize your blog posts into topic clusters.
Come up with three to four overarching themes and create in-depth content for each to act as your pillar pages. Then cover related sub-topics for each theme and link out from your pillar pages to this cluster content. It’s a great way to organize content and helps search engines recognize and reward you for the depth with which you cover each key topic.Step 8: Establish a Monetization Strategy
Many bloggers fail to become more than just hobby bloggers. You must develop an effective way to earn an income from your blog. It’s even better to have multiple monetization strategies, not only so you have higher profits overall, but also to have a safety net if one income stream starts to decline.
Here are the best income-generation strategies for photography bloggers:
- Sell your services as a freelance photographer – Gain a reputation through your blog that allows you to charge higher rates.
- Sell prints of your work – Set up an online store linked to your blog with WooCommerce (WordPress’s core ecommerce platform).
- Run in-person photography workshops – One of the most prolific photography bloggers, Eric Kim, earns most of his $200k+ a year income through in-person workshops, promoted via his blog.
- Earn affiliate commission – Promote products from which you earn a percentage every time a member of your audience clicks and makes a purchase. Head to an affiliate marketplace or sign up to Amazon affiliates to find the right products e.g. high-end cameras and equipment.
- Sell digital products – Sell stock photography. Or create and sell digital resources such as ebooks or online courses as in the following example from The Wandering Lens. It’s a self-study program so likely to generate a passive income:
Spend as much time on blog promotion as you do content creation. The web is so saturated with content these days, you have to go the extra mile to ensure people see your posts.
When you’re starting out, networking with other bloggers and photographers is an excellent strategy. Form a genuine relationship, and you get to tap into their existing audience through collaborations, guest blog posts, and the mutual promotion of each other’s work.
To find the right bloggers, search “top [your niche] photography bloggers” on Google. Or use a content marketing tool such as BuzzSumo to research influential content creators. For instance, the tool shows you what kind of content a particular influencer likes to share to determine the best, most relevant influencers to reach out to:Research the influencer you’d like to network with before reaching out to them.
This can be a time-consuming process but it’s certainly worthwhile when you establish a name for yourself within the existing community of photography bloggers.
Other channels through which to promote your blog posts are image-driven social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. With Instagram, you’ll need to share links to your content within your bio. Use a tool such as Linktree to share multiple links. Pinterest differs in that you can link directly to your blog posts from each pin.
With both of these social media channels, remember that authenticity reigns. Share non-promotional content and engage with users in the comments, for example, to establish your brand as valuable and trustworthy.Final Thoughts About Starting a Photography Blog
With the potential for multiple income streams, starting a photography blog is a promising venture. To increase your chances of success, choose a photography specialism and develop a distinct brand. Setting up a blog is simple with the many customizations, and more specifically photography plugins, afforded by WordPress.
When it comes to content creation, be strategic about it to ensure your blog posts perform well. Spend as much time promoting your work and blog as you do writing to make sure all of your awesome content gets seen.
* This article was originally published here