Hey everyone! Hope you all got home safely from Photoshop World. It was a hectic week but I know we all had a blast. For those of you that stayed home, thanks once again for tuning into our coverage here on the The Photo Canvas Blog. We really appreciate it and hope it's been helpful!
After my sessions with Joe Mcnally Thursday morning I headed to hear a series of talks on social media and blogging. The first was a session called "Tweeting With Authority" by Rod Harlan, wherein he discussed various aspects of how Twitter functions – as well as third party resources. The first key discussion point was understanding that Twitter is all about dialogue. It's not a one-way street; the beauty of the network comes from the interaction between vast ranges of individuals. You have to engage with your audience, and the more you do so the more connected you and your audience will feel. If you work to create a truly personal and beneficial relationship between you and your followers, then you will see the benefits that Twitter has to offer at their greatest potential.
One of Rod's personal tips was to only use 115-120 of the 140 available characters on Twitter to allow space for people to retweet your post or add their own small thought. He also suggested that if you're lacking substantive or interesting material to tweet about, search through sites like Delicious or StuffToTweet to find neat links to share with your followers. Rod also mentioned several useful third party applications like CoTweet, which allows you to give several people access to the account, SocialOomph that will allow you to schedule tweets, and Untweeps which helps you manage who is following you so you can block spam.
Directly following this session was a panel discussion hosted by Scott Kelby, Matt Kloskowski, and Richard Harrington entitled "Blogging for Photographers." Here Scott and the gang provided some very useful, concise pointers on blogging that I'd like to share. Firstly, its important to understand the power you stand to gain from blogging. Traditionally, sharing information with wide audiences was restricted to a small group of privileged individuals who had access to large publishing companies. However, with a blog, you now become your own publisher! You are free to share what you want, when you want, with whoever you want for virtually no cost. This is a tremendous opportunity for yourself or your business that the world has literally never experienced before. Take advantage of it!
Once you get your blog up and running there are a couple important things to keep in mind. First is consistency. Make a plan. Decide on a reasonable schedule for how many times a week (three is a good starting place) you can absolutely commit yourself to posting, and stick to it. Readers like to have consistency because it gives them something to anticipate, and hence a reason to keep coming back to your site. Also make sure to try and add a photo to every post you make to keep things interesting. Even if you don't have photos laying around to post, you can easily find royalty/license free images online, or even spend a couple bucks to grab some from iStockPhoto.
Most importantly, remember to be yourself. Find your own unique tone, style, or voice, be consistent, and in due time you can have a successful blog.
Christopher Stampar is an 18 year old photographer currently attending the University of Miami. He has an extraordinary passion for photography, travel, and social media, and loves to share and learn with fellow photographers. To read Chris’ personal blog about photography, pop culture and ideas, visit www.cstampar.com.