Simple Methods To Drive More Traffic
Whether you publish your photo blog just for fun or rely on it as a source of income, everyone wants more traffic. The good news is that there are several ways in which you can drive more traffic to your blog!
#1. Optimize SEO
The great thing about writing a blog, as opposed to having a static website, is that each individual blog post has it's own URL and it's own potential to boost the SEO for your site. Each blog post presents it's own doorway to invite visitors to visit your site. Every (decent) blogging platform offers options for optimizing SEO usually both the site in general and for each specific blog post. Be sure to take the time to find and utilize these options on your blog. It takes a few extra minutes but the effects are long lasting and will make each blog post a productive property on your website.
When writing the SEO descriptions for your site and blog posts, be sure to be concise and use descriptive words that will appear many times on your site and in each post. For instance, if you routinely photograph ghost towns in New Mexico, or relics of Route 66 be sure to sure those words in your SEO descriptions.
Optimizing SEO is the single most important thing you can do to drive more traffic to your blog. That way, people will start finding your site when they search for relevant topics on the internet without you having to do anything extra.
#2. Label Your Photos
You may not realize this, but each photo on your blog has the potential to become it's own doorway to bring visitors to your blog. To this end, it is critically important that you label your photos. Photos that are properly labeled with descriptive names will be indexed by Google and will start to appear in image searches.
There are two main ways to label your photos. The first, and most important method, is to fill out the File Info tab while editing your images in Adobe Photoshop. The File Info tab will allow you to give the image a title, name yourself as the author, provide a description and key words, include your copyright (important if you have to defend your work against unauthorized use) and include a link to your website. All of this information becomes embedded in the image file. It is easy enough for someone else to change a file name but this embedded information is not so easily changed. Plus embedding the title and description of the image helps Google to identify the image in search results.
The second way to label your photos is to label them in your blog posts. Your blogging platform should provide an option for naming an image. If you don't do this, then the platform will name the image something generic like "Image" or "Picture". These non-descriptive terms will not help search engines to determine the subject matter of the post or what the photos are of.
Labeling your photos in both of these ways will help search engines to determine what your blog post is about so it can be found in a search and will help your individual photos to be found in image searches thus creating multiple pathways for readers to find their way to your blog.
#3. Write More Words
This is something I have personally struggled with. I spend so much time on the photos that, by the time I'm finished, I hardly feel like writing a story to go with them. You've got to do it though. It's not enough to just say, "I went to a place and here's the photos." and your SEO will suffer because of it.
While there seems to be some disagreement over what the ideal word count is, I think we can all agree that it should be more than "here's the pictures". Three words isn't going to cut it. Experts argue that the ideal word count is anywhere from 300 to 2000 words. My advice is to prioritize quality over quantity.
Write several thoughtful paragraphs, use titles and be sure to incorporate the key words for the post in as natural a way as possible.
One easy way to facilitate a higher word count is to create posts that feature lists. For instance, "Five Unique Places To Visit In [your home town]" would not only provide five different things to talk about but would ideally allow you to create more internal links as well. Other good topics include reviews and tutorials.
#4. Use Social Media
Social media serves several different purposes when it comes to promoting a blog. First and foremost, every post you make that links to your blog creates another pathway for visitors. Secondly, assuming they're labeled correctly, posted photos will appear in image searches and thirdly social media profiles are themselves cataloged and appear in search engine results. Remember, the idea is to create as many pathways that lead to your site as possible.
With regard to which social media platforms are best, they are all effective so long as you understand the differences in how they work. Personally, I have had the best results from Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Those three platforms each allow for live links to be included in individual posts. I use Instagram too but haven't seen much, if any traffic, coming from it largely due to the only live link being in the bio.
#5. Interact With Other Bloggers
Driving traffic the an ongoing challenge for all bloggers so why not work together? A good way to do this is to invite bloggers from your niche to write a guest post for your blog and offer to write guest posts for other bloggers. Guest blogging is a great way gain quality backlinks. Likewise, publishing guest posts on your own blog is a great way to leverage the guest blogger's audience. By engaging is a collaborative effort, everyone gets more traffic!
I am DeAnna Vincent, fine art and portrait photographer in Los Lunas, New Mexico. These are the photos from my everyday adventures.