I find people are very eager to make connections here. So the best way to get more engagement is to initiate communications. Usually, if you comment or like, they will do the same on your posts. Giving thoughtful comments is the key. It prompts other bloggers to make a meaning connection with your stories.
As per improving the blog, you should check out the photography educational articles on our official blog. We have such a talented pool of writers who are eager to answer any of your questions. Use this as your own online photography classroom! Did you know that you can post photos in the article comments? Use that to engage with writers.
As per writing, I think people generally engage more if you write in a casual tone. This is an area I am trying to improve myself. Photographers are not always writers but we are always storytellers. So try to tell them a story! Either through words or through your photography.
Here are some general tips.
the most important thing is to start. Don't wait until your photography or writing gets better! You may have aspirations to start making money from your blog. However, you can easily test the water by starting a PhotoBlog account, for free! No blogger or photographer is perfect, we constantly evolve and learn. So there is no perfect time. The important thing is to get started. Now.
2. Keep notes of your outings or adventures
It helps if you keep a notebook or write few notes about your outing immediately after your trip. If your destination has an information board or a nameplate, be sure to take photos of those. This way I have a clue what is the name and significance of my destination. If needed, I can use such information to do more research when I get home.
3. Don't aim to write a 100% good blog post. Aim to write a "good enough" post.
Writing anything online can be a daunting task. We add immense pressure to ourselves by being perfectionists. Sometimes to the point that it cripples us from starting anything at all!
I could easily spend a whole afternoon trying to perfect my writing and grammar, but I feel like I have done a good enough job if I can get it to 80% good. Making it 100% would take too much of my time and I am not sure if that incremental improvement is worth all that time. Use the time you save to go out and take some photos or edit them!
4. Don't worry too much about engagement
Remember, you are blogging for your future self! It would be nice to remember this period of your life when you look back ten years from now! So do not let the low engagement (especially when you are just starting) discourage you. In fact, if you get caught up with that, turn off the comments (you can do that on your settings page).
Focus on one or two meaningful connections than 10 likes! Make it your goal to make a real friend that you didn't know before. Try to get to know their country, photography style, and appreciate their stories. Who knows, maybe you will get to meet them in real life like I did with @yokai and @tiffany2. It is always nice when you meet new people who have the same interests as you.
5. Listen to Music when you write
Music can get you in a creative zone! Listen to your favorite playlist or youtube while you write away.
6. Write the way you talk.
Don't try to sound smart. People relate when you talk in a language that they can understand and relate to. I love the way Anthony Bourdain speaks, he writes his books in the same tone, and I love reading his books. However, writing clearly and simply is very hard. It will take a lot of practice.
7. Keep it personal
Your blog is yours, it is telling your photo stories. People wants to hear what you have to say and see the world through your lens. It can be as simple as explaining what prompt you to take a particular shot. In other words, talk about what you are trying to capture and why it is important to you.
Talk about what settings you used and why. Are you trying to draw attention to a certain subject in the frame? Are you trying to use a certain composition method? You can mention all that in your blog post.
8. As with anything in life, it takes time
When you first start out photography, blogging, or anything else in life, you most likely are not good at it. Don't let that discourage you from continuing your interests! Famous photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson once said, "your first 10,000 photos are your worst"!
It takes a long time because it takes our muscle memory and brain to master new things. So don't do a 365 project without trying to improve yourself! It takes a bit more than a 365 project to improve yourself. You need to constantly learn about photography and practice what you learn daily. A good way to do this is to set yourself some goals for your 365 project or outings. For example, pick a composition tool and limit your blog posts to just that. Try to capture shots that abide by the rule, then try to break the rule! I bet by the end of the day you will have gotten so much better at executing this rule.
Whatever you do, make learning a big part of your blogging process. You can do this by frequently visiting the photography educational articles on our Official Blog.
9. Teach others
Teaching is the best way to learn! When you teach others, it initiates questions, comments, and you collect good Karma! For example, after learning about a composition tool or a new technique, try to teach that to someone else. Start a blog post explaining what is "Rule of thirds", or how to adjust the exposure of your camera model! You can also use the forum to do the same. You will learn a lot more by the engagement that follows. And it will make you feel like a pro!
10. Reading is fundamental!
A 365 Project is not taking a photo for 365 days and hoping your photography will improve after a year! It is a way to prompt you to learn, every single day. So make it a big part of your 365 Project to try and learn new things. It can be a composition tool, camera settings, or a new editing process.
Spend as much time reading as you spend behind the camera. Learn about DoF, Rule of thirds, Golden spiral, Workflows, and Exposure triangle. Use them in your photography every day and see if these techniques help you capture the world the way you like.
11. Use captions!
Captions are one of the most important elements in a blog post. People's eyes are naturally drawn to the caption. Use captions to tell them what your subject is, techniques you used, or something interesting. They will be intrigued to read your post in full.
12. Use list format or short writing
Writing in list format helps you to organize your thoughts into manageable chunks. Keep the information useful and to the point. Lists also help readers scan and find information easily.
13. Ask for critique, ideas, and comments
I make it a habit of thanking the readers at the end of every blog post and ask for their feedback. It prompts the readers to engage with you. It can be a simple compliment or a valuable critique. Always ask!
14. Never stop blogging!
No matter what you do, don't stop!
Do you have other tips that have helped in your blogging process? Please share them here.