1. Consistently Posting Interesting Content
The easiest way to market your photography blog/website is to simply produce consistently interesting content. Just do what you are already planning to do, and do it regularly. By continuously providing valuable content to your readers, you are ensuring their return, but you are also creating excellent material for search engines to index your site, and send even more traffic to your site
2. Submit Your Site to the Search Engines & Directories
This is where the Google Sitemap Generator plugin and Google Webmaster’s Tools account really come in handy. Build your sitemap using the Generator plugin within WordPress, and then make sure to validate your website within the Webmaster’s Tools site by submitting the sitemap. This will ensure that your blog is fully indexed quickly, and Google will be notified automatically when changes have been made to your site.
Most likely you’ll get the most traffic from Google, however don’t think Google is all that matters. There are a number of other search engines, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com, as well as hundereds if not thousands of directories, and blogging rings that generally produce very targeted traffic.
With a little extra effort you can be picking up traffic from all over the place. The big directories to look out for are Technorati, DMOZ, Blogcatalog, Blogged, and Photoblogs, For more information on submitting your site check out these resources:
- My site in the Google index
- How do I add my site to Google’s search results?
- Bing URL Submission
- Major Search Engines and Directories
- Search Engine Ranking Factors
3. Join Social Bookmarking Services and Promote Your Posts
Word of mouth advertising is arguably one of the best forms of marketing. Social Networking aims to replicate this word of mouth advertising online. If you don’t already have an account for Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr create one now, these will become invaluable down the line.
If you are going to embrace social networking, make it easy for your readers who enjoy your content to share it within their network. This is where the Add This Social Bookmarking plugin comes in. Use it, or something like it, to make it easy for visitors to share your blog posts on their favorite social network, and spread your content organically.
4. Offer Feeds and Email Subscriptions
WordPress will automatically generate RSS feeds for your posts and comments, however FeedBurner allows people to subscribe via email as well. On top of that there is even some additional analytics and tracking information to keep track of your growing subscriber list. Check out their own Quick Start Guide for WordPress users.
5. Post Comments on Other Sites
If submitting your site to search engines and directories is akin to placing advertisements in the newspaper, and social networking is like word of mouth advertising, then posting comments on other peoples blogs is like going door to door.
Find blogs that share your interests and contribute to the conversation by posting meaningful comments, make sure to include your URL Each comment you make is a link back to your site which helps your search engine ranking, but more importantly, if you have something worthwhile to contribute, quite often people will want to visit your site and check it out.
6. Monitor your Site
The more you learn about Google Analytics the more it becomes an invaluable tool. Use it to track your referrals, traffic that is sent your way from another website, make note of these sites, and check them out, look around post a comment or forum post and boost your traffic even more.
You should also use a 3rd party website grading tool to track how effectively you’re promoting your site every now and then. UrlTrends and Blog Grader lets you monitor several different ranking and link popularity trends at a glance, giving you tips on how to squeeze out even more traffic to your site. You even check in to see how much your blog is worth!
7. Make Money While Blogging
Speaking of checking out how much your blog is worth, it won’t be worth much unless you can monetize that traffic, and that is the goal of the next post in the Quickstart series. There are a number of ways to provide added value to your visitors, while making money at the same time, and we will cover a number of these methods in the next post.