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How to Start a Photography Blog: From Zero to Launch

Wondering how to start a photography blog?

A photography blog can be a great way to share your love of photography, build a community with other photographers, and promote your photography business.

In this guide to starting a photography blog, we’ll take you from zero to launch in the time that it takes your shutter to close during a long exposure shot.

So get your tripod ready, set your aperture, and let’s get started.

how to start a photography blog

We’re going to explore eight key steps to building a photography blog:

Be sure to save this page so you can return to it as you complete each step!

How to start a photography blog

1. Choose a niche 🙍

Your niche is the main topic (or topics) that your blog will cover.

You could say that your niche is photography as a whole, but in most cases, it’s wise to choose a sub-niche. Photography is a broad topic and it’s not really plausible for one person to produce consistent, high-quality content about every aspect of it. Moreover, there are already several established websites that cover photography as a whole, and competing with them will be nearly impossible for a one-person blog.

Choosing a sub-niche allows you to provide more comprehensive coverage of your chosen topic. A sub-niche also lets you to focus your branding, content, and marketing efforts on a smaller target audience. This might sound like a bad thing, but having a small, dedicated audience is more profitable than having many thousands of people visit your site once and never return.

There are many different photography sub-niches, including:

  • Camera and photography gear reviews
  • How-to guides for hobby photographers
  • Trade tips for professional photographers
  • Photo editing tutorials

To choose the best niche for your blog, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What are you most interested in? You want to choose a niche that you’ll be happy to write about for years to come.
  • What experience do you have? If you’re a hobby photographer, you might not be able to provide the kind of technical guidance professional photographers expect.
  • Is there an audience for it? To figure this out, you’ll need to do some Googling. Search for “[your niche] blogs” to see the top blogs, then run them through a tool like SimilarWeb to see if they’re getting substantial traffic. If the top blogs are getting lots of traffic every month, that’s a good sign that the niche has money-making potential.

Once you’ve chosen a niche, you can move on to the next step in how to start a photography blog:

2. Choose a domain name 💻

The next thing you’ll need to figure out is what you’re going to call your photography blog. Choosing the right name is important, as this will be the first way many people interact with your brand.

There are a few essential qualities of a good blog name:

  • Relevance. Your blog name should use words related to what you’re blogging about. This will help both readers and search engines understand what your website is about. For example, if you plan to focus on photo editing tutorials and software reviews, you might choose a name like “Photo Editing Wizard.” For the best effect, use words that aren’t just relevant but are also high-traffic keywords that can help improve your search engine rankings. If you don’t know where to start with keywords, check out our guide on the best free SEO tools for when you’re just starting out.
  • Memorability. A good photography blog name is one that’s easy to remember, pronounce, and spell. This makes it easier for readers to return to your blog and recommend it to others.
  • Uniqueness. If your blog name is too similar to another photography blog, readers might end up on that other site when looking for yours. This can also damage your reputation if the other blog isn’t as high-quality. Therefore, it’s essential to look at the competition and make sure your name isn’t too similar to popular blogs in your niche.

You can find a good name for your blog in a few minutes by running keywords related to photography through a photography name generator. A name generator has the added bonus of automatically checking if the domains are available for their name suggestions, so you don’t have to worry about falling in love with a name only to discover that you can’t access the domain.

3. Choose a blogging platform and web host 🖱️

The next step in how to start a photography blog is to decide how you’ll make your content visible to readers. You’ll need two things to make this happen: a blogging platform and a web host.

A blogging platform is a software program you use to draft, publish, and organize blog posts and related content. There are many different blogging platforms, with some companies like Squarespace offering built-in blogging with their web hosting package. However, many of these programs are expensive and/or limited in their features.

For maximum affordability and flexibility, we recommend WordPress. The software itself is free and compatible with most web hosts, so you can choose a cheap web hosting plan and build a site on a tight budget. There are also thousands of free plugins (we’ll talk about those later) that allow you to do virtually anything you can imagine with your site.

WordPress homepage

A web host is a company that stores your website data and makes your website accessible to users around the world.

There are a few things to consider when choosing a web host:

  • Storage. Even optimized image files can be quite large, so you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of storage space.
  • Bandwidth. This is the number of people who can visit your website. This is important to be aware of, as your site can go down or you can be forced to move to a higher-cost plan if you exceed your visitor limit. You don’t necessarily need to go for a high-bandwidth plan right away, but you should be aware of your limits so you can upgrade your plan before your site runs into issues. To avoid having to upgrade your hosting plan for as long as possible, choose a plan with “unmetered” bandwidth.
  • Security. Your web host should have dedicated firewalls to protect your data and SSL certification to protect your users’ data. Some web hosts also offer security monitoring, backups, and other security features.
  • Bundled services. Many web hosts offer things like free domains, domain privacy, and SSL certification bundled into their hosting packages. Some also offer things like email hosting.

Two web hosts we recommend, both recommended by WordPress as well, are SiteGround and Bluehost.

4. Set up WordPress ⚙️

The next step in how to start a photography blog is to set up WordPress. Many hosts offer preinstalled WordPress, while others offer one-click install so you can start working on your site in a few minutes.

Once you’ve installed WordPress, you’ll want to head to the Settings area to customize viewing and commenting permissions, modify your site title and tagline, and take the date out of your permalinks to lengthen the lifespan of your content.

5. Select a theme 🎨

Your theme is what dictates the overall appearance of your website. There are thousands of free WordPress themes, including many specialized themes for photographers:

A screenshot of some WordPress photography themes.

If you want more guidance in building your site, you can choose a theme like Neve, which comes with a variety of pre-built starter sites:

An example of some pre-built sites from the Neve theme that are ideal for photography blogs.

Once you’ve selected a theme, you can head to Appearance > Customize to control exactly how it displays on your site. Note that the options in the customizer will vary based on the theme you’re using. Also, if you’re using a Gutenberg block theme (e.g. Raft) with the latest version of WordPress then you won’t even see the customizer. Instead you’ll have access to the Full Site Editor (FSE), which you can get to similarly via Appearance > Editor.

How to start a photography blog: WordPress customizer

6. Install your plugins 🔌

Plugins make it possible to do more with your WordPress site. There are several plugins you’ll need to effectively run your photography blog:

  • Akismet Spam Protection for access to content moderation tools and automated spam filtering
  • Yoast SEO to improve overall site optimization and get real-time insights on how to improve individual pieces of content
  • Otter Blocks for access to advanced gallery and slider blocks
  • Optimole for optimizing images to improve site loading times
  • Wordfence to improve your site security

You may also want to install a plugin like WooCommerce Photography so you can sell your photos on your site.

7. Set up your core pages 🚧

The next step in how to start a photography blog is to set up the core content of your site.

Every photography blog needs the following pages:

  • Homepage to welcome your readers and direct them to your best content.
  • About page to share your story: how you got into photography, what type of photography you do, and what you plan to write about on your blog.
  • Contact page so people can get in touch with you.

Depending on your goals, you may also want to create a review policy, affiliate disclosure policy, and/or store.

8. Create a content plan ✍️

If you want to be successful as a photography blogger, you’ll need to publish posts on a consistent schedule. You’ll need to do it for a long time, too: the average time it takes for a blog to start making money is 24 months [1].

This means you’ll need a content plan to ensure that you have something to post every week.

Your content plan should include the following:

  • The days of the week you plan to post
  • What type(s) of content you’ll post
  • A list of blog post ideas you can draw on whenever you need inspiration

You can then use your content plan to build a content calendar, scheduling specific posts two to four weeks in advance. This ensures that you always have posts to publish, even if there’s a crisis.

9. Launch your site 📢

Now you’re ready for the final step in how to start a photography blog: launching your site. There are a few things you’ll want to set up to ensure a good launch:

  • A high-quality first blog post to draw readers in
  • Social media accounts to share your blog posts on
  • An email marketing service account with multiple signup forms so you can turn one-time visitors into long-term readers

You may also want to reach out to colleagues and/or influencers in your niche to help you promote your launch.

Final advice on how to start a photography blog 🤳

Starting a photography blog is a big task, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. You can follow the steps listed in this article to get your blog set up in just a few days.

That said, launching your blog is the easy part. If you want your blog to become successful, you’ll need a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, a consistent stream of high-quality content, and the persistence to keep at it for years to come.

What stage of launching a photography blog are you at? Let us know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to join our crash course on speeding up your WordPress site. Learn more below:

 
Dianna Gunn

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