How To Finally Start (Or Restart) Your Photography Blog – A Simple Guide

One of the biggest pleasures of having a blog is meeting other people with similar interests, to share our photographs, experiments and experiences.

So when you leave a comment on a post, I check out where your name links to. A few have their own established photography blogs. Some don’t link to anything at all, just a name.

But the majority seem to link to a blog that’s either not been updated in months, even years, or the outline of a blog and one of those template posts reminding us “this is what a blog post will look like”.

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35hunter is around 28 months old but in the first year I wrote far less consistently than I do now. The increase in views, visits, and most importantly conversations, has increased hugely the more consistent I’ve been with posting.

For the last four months, I’ve published a new post every three days or sooner.

Whilst I wouldn’t ever claim to be some kind of blogging ninja, I think I have enough experience from 35hunter and previous ventures to be able to offer some helpful tips.

So here’s how to get your blog started (or indeed restarted, if it’s been in hiatus).

1. Accept that your first post won’t be your best ever.

It might not be much good at all. It’s more important to get started than try to endlessly craft and hone that initial attempt into a literary and/or photography masterwork.

It doesn’t have to be long either, and if your blog is about photography, you needn’t write much at all – just a picture and a few words can be ideal. Just begin.

2. Don’t publish anything until you’ve written a dozen posts.

This might sound like making the task of writing one post 12 times harder, but in fact it reduces the pressure. If you publish once, then the pressure is on to write the next one, also know as “follow up fear”. The number of blogs I come across that have less than five posts published before they were abandoned is testament to this.

So if you wait until you have 12 posts written, then schedule them to publish once a week, you have three months of new posts for your readers to enjoy. And three months to write some new stuff. Which brings us to…

3. Ideas breed ideas, writing breeds writing.

What you’ll also find by writing 12 posts before publishing is that every time you’re writing about one thing, a host of other tangents will be going off in your head. Rather than try to crowbar every last one of these new directions into the one post, just note each of them down somewhere (or start a new draft post in your blog) and get back to the main post you were working on.

You’ll soon find that you have ideas for 12 posts, and of course each of those posts will give you further offshoot ideas. (As I write this I have 52 posts in draft!)

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I could go on and write five or 10 or 20 tips but I want to keep things simple. You know me!

I believe by following this plan you can get your blog off to a flying start and have enough momentum and new ideas to keep it going for as long as you wish.

Please try this out for yourself and let me know in the comments below how you get on.

(Remember to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for reading. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what my photography life looks like right now.

18 thoughts on “How To Finally Start (Or Restart) Your Photography Blog – A Simple Guide”

    1. Doug, great that you’ve started! I think that finding a regular writing rhythm is the key. this doesn’t have to be a post a day, it can be one session a week, every other day, whatever you find works best. Just having a few stacked up in advance for me helps take the pressure off writing.

      Off to read your posts…

  1. Same as Doug, but my blog is to showcase my images more than anything else.
    I’m not expecting huge numbers to view my work really because work pressures, so flow will be on the slow side. Thank you for the advice and tips, they will be handy to refer back to time to time.

    1. Martin, thanks for your comments. I think posting images is generally quicker once we figure out a smooth workflow for doing so. Then we can line up a number of posts in a batch ahead of time.

      I don’t know what level WordPress account you have but be aware the storage on the free one is pretty limited if you upload your photos directly into WP. I have always used Flickr to store the photos, then use the URL of the standard (1024px) version of the image in WP. You don’t need to even make the photo public in Flickr, it can stay private, if you don’t want a public presence there.

      Apologies if you already know/do all this or have another way that works!

      1. I did not know that about Flickr! Fantastic tip, as I’ve decided to start using Instagram again, but didn’t want to upload everything twice, and was worried about how I’d keep blogging my photos with that miniscule WordPress limit! Thanks 😀

  2. Great advice, Dan — all of it! I’ve found in my own blogging that the longer the silence between posts, the more “momentous” each new post feels. At least that’s how it seemed last year when several life events conspired to keep me from blogging for weeks on end. Thanks for the inspiration and practical tips to keep that from happening again.

    1. Yes Heide, momentous is an excellent word, I wish I’d used that in the article! The greater the gap between posts, the more momentous the next has to be – in our minds…

  3. Good tips there Dan, although much too organised for ‘winging it’ me! I just have posting spurts normally, health and energy levels related. I do have a queue of processed images ahead to choose from though.
    I have had a Flikr account before and I can see an advantage in going that route for storage so I’m glad I read the comments, didn’t realise it could be private but still be linked to.

    1. Thanks for your input Bear. I have writing spurts too, so getting a few posts ahead with scheduling means I have a buffer for these fluctuations. Sometimes I’m down to just one post queued, then I think the record is six or seven.

      I think getting this buffer built up before you make anything public gives new (or returning) bloggers more confidence and momentum to build on.

      What I’m still finding my feet with is whether to regulate my writing fluctuations by always publishing at a consistent pace (it’s been a new post every two or three days for three or four months now) or to just publish more during the times I’m writing more, rather than stacking up those six or seven posts plus another dozen half finished in draft.

      I think as a reader I prefer a steady publishing schedule from blogs I follow rather than say five posts one week then nothing for a fortnight. Having the scheduling option with blogging gives us this flexibility to experiment.

      PS/ Look out for my next post about how I use Flickr to post images on 35hunter.

  4. Thanks for the flickr tip, I was getting a bit worried about suddenly hitting my media limit on my blog. You learn something new every day 😀.

  5. I don’t know how you guys do it; all of you, any of you.

    Assuming you have narrowed-in on a subject for a post, and have hold of some organized thoughts, and have tacked together some more thoughts or a rough plan or an outline-ish vision of how you will structure them, introduce them, flesh ’em out and blow ’em up, and cogently, gracefully flourish-them off finale-wise, then, M’Lords, then you gotta do the work.
    And boy, writing is hard work. I’ve dug easier ditches in hardpan clay.
    And writing takes a lot of, needs plenty of plain focused monk-time.

    And a blog has the full squeeze of husbandry, and even a lowly, casual, sporadic production carries some vague schedule, lest it poison its creator with the Guilt of Great Ideas Not Done, and sits there on the ‘net like an odd crank graffito, like a dried sunflower seed dropped on an office carpet. It ain’t gonna sprout. There will be no waving field along the Information Superhighway. So it wants continuity, if not regularity.
    And that means you commit to do it again. And again.

    Then there is the, ah, political dimension. People, potential readers are … partisan. No matter the topic to hand. And often no less ossified and doctrinaire and humorless in it then say, oh, the Khmer Rouge. So that wants … Editorial Balance, which may be contrary to the motives and reasons that inform one’s blog and the whole point for starting the thing to begin with. It may be, now and then, self-defeating to speak one’s mind. QED: Dan opined – and quite correctly, too – that the current dilution and fuzziness of the state of photographic art is owing in part to the indiscriminate full-auto high-capacity-mpeg smart phone. An i-Something, an Android, a coupla sexy editing apps, and folks are soon wearing berets and talking the Golden Mean through their French hats. But you can’t just say that, even if it’s the foundational point of your blog.

    So long may ye live and prosper, to be imperfectly Spockian, and may your blogs, your essay-collection sites also each be a warm hut with a fire, where even dissent is collegial. That’s quite a thing to build. I find that my own tastes and beliefs on using cameras are widely thought irrelevant, antique, passe’, Luddite. But not here, in this collection and company.

    1. William, I took the liberty of pasting your reply into a word editor to get a word count – nearly 400 words. That’s a decent blog post. And in recent weeks you’ve post half a dozen comments here of similar length and more. So you write at least enough to feed a blog of your own, should you wish to.

      To be honest I’m not a great planner, or indeed editor when it comes to blog posts. I’m too lazy. I just start with an idea or title, then write until I’ve said all I think I need to, then proof and maybe switch a few words around, cut the odd sentence out, make one or two more colourful and memorable, add the photos and publish. I don’t slave and hone for days.

      Occasionally I’ll struggle with a post (usually because I’ve written too much and am going round in circles) so either abandon the post and leave it in draft for another time, or ruthlessly carve it apart and discard everything but the essence, the bones.

      I think I’m become more, maybe “direct” is the word, with my writing. As in direct with my views on something (like the previously discussed dilution of great photographs online – ironically the subject of a more extensive post I have in draft and am struggling to get to the point with!). What’s the point of sitting on the fence all the time if you have a specific opinion on something? People will either agree or disagree, on an infinitely varying scale.

      It’s like photography itself – the biggest crime is being boring. Better to produce something people love or hate than is so bland it can’t summon any reaction or opinion from anyone at all. I like to hear people’s thoughts on photography and what it means to them.

      Long may we converse here!

      1. “So you write at least enough to feed a blog of your own, should you wish to.”

        Lord forbid.
        and nah, I just talk too much.
        and make no edits.
        and abandon run-on sentences where they lay.

        Your directness is welcome and refreshing, and all the more reason that we all eagerly await the completed and posted essay on the dilution of great photography. Now that’ll be direct, ok; I’m hoping for impassioned addresses by torchlight, street barricades, frightened Instas cowering in their beds.

        Your method details sounds less casual than you make the process out to be, but I’d bet it’s fun – the results are substantive and meaty; the style is clean and smooth, and above all effective – they give rise to plenty of interested participation and reply, and that’s quite a complement.

        1. Thank you William.

          And thanks for the reminder in your last paragraph. I like to think my ego is less fragile and in need of massage than maybe it really is, as I far too often check my stats for views and visits.

          But a far better measure of how well I am achieving what I want to with 35hunter is how much conversation there is here, and the quality of that conversation.

          I see a number of blogs that have a lot of comments, but they’re all like “Love it!”, and “Great work!”. Very vague and not really saying anything, one of the reasons I gave up on Instagram, it all seemed so fleeting and rushed.

          So yes thanks for reminding me of what’s important in doing any of these blog (ad)ventures – meaningful and stimulating conversation and connection.

  6. I guess even if ones tastes and beliefs on using cameras are widely thought irrelevant, it does help to shout it out at the top of ones lungs, just to be seen and heard.

    More power to all those sharing with each other in this quiet little corner of the InterWebs
    And long may it prosper 🙂

    1. Absolutely. Despite all the amazing technology we have available to us with the internet, we’re using it for primitive purposes as old as humanity – communicating, sharing, building communities…

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