Ready to setup a WordPress photo blog?
Here’s the 10 steps in summary:
- Choose Your Domain Name
- Find A Home For Your Site
- Upload WordPress (free)
- Choose A Photo Theme (free or paid)
- Write Your Site Goals and About Me Page
- Write Your First Blog Post
- Get A Logo / Banner Designed
- Set Up The Social Stuff
- Link To Your Photo Portfolio
- Comment & Show Off Your New Website
Now for the details:
1. Choose Your Domain Name
I grabbed my MartinHurley.com domain name almost 13 years ago (according to domain age tools) because I wanted “my” name for my photo business.
I recommend you get your own domain name too. Businesses may come and go, but you will always be the face of your brand and identity.
Alternatively, you could use a photo business name, ie. StuckInCustoms. If your name happens to be already taken by another person who funnily enough has the same name as you (how dare them!) then you can be a little creative with it by adding words like “photography” to your name, KristenDukePhotography.com for example.
If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. – Albert Einstein
So whether you go with a business name or your own name, you probably need to play with word ideas. Go to the nearest coffee shop and scribble them name ideas down.
Your domain should cost about $10 a year or thereabouts. You shouldn’t be paying much more than $100.00/year.
I always go with the .com because it’s universally known – and you want to be known universally, right? But be open to ideas. Whatever fits.
Some people use .biz and .com.au and .orgs. You’ll get those options when you go searching for your domain.
The most important thing is to get your domain name sorted. Getting your domain is like a baptism, confirming your photo business is here to stay. Even if you don’t build your website immediately, at least you’ll own your domain. In the wild world of web, there is a place for you.
You don’t have to use your own name although I think it’s a wise future move. You can shorten your name to make it easier to recall, like my man ChrisG.com does. If you’ve got a really long surname you can be creative about it.
2. Find A Home For Your Site
Your website needs somewhere to live. Yep, just like you and I, your site needs a home.
This is just called hosting. Hosting your photo website (or any website) will cost you anywhere from $10 to $100 a month (more if you want to spend it).
You can host your website here for around that price. Make sure your host has a good history (long time online) and heaps of happy customers.
Plus a 24/7 help desk with live chat. Ain’t nothing like a happy help desk.
That’s the 2 most important parts done. The domain and your hosting.
Have you done that yet? Go do it and then come back here. I’ll wait.
3. Upload WordPress
WordPress is a very cool piece of equipment.
Like all new gadgets, we need to do a bit of internal, ‘under-the-bonnet’ wiring here. No electricians required. All we have to do is upload WordPress (free) and maybe even setup your account email too.
So what is WordPress anyway?
Since 2003 WordPress has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day. WordPress is an Open Source project, created for the community, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it. You are free to use it…without paying a license fee and a number of other important freedoms.
I was going to explain exactly about what you can do with your hosting account, how you can manage your photo website and do all that groovy stuff, but this guy beat me to it:
How To Install WordPress On Your Host Account
4. Choose A Photo Theme
Here’s that guy again:
Changing Themes And Appearances in WordPress
Now if you want to go with a more photo orientated WordPress theme then I’ve listed some options below.
Free themes are good. Paid themes are considerably better.
As you’re about to find out… there’s a LOT of good WordPress photo themes out there.
Some of them are more special than others…
It seems like every photo theme is modern, clean, responsive and comes with the perfect typography. :o) Just make sure the theme you choose works well on mobile phones, iPad, iPhone and all devices in-between.
I’ve probably tried about 10,000 themes until I found the one I use now.
All I can say about choosing themes is don’t spend as long as I did on finding a theme!
When you find a good theme, stick with it.
Being average isn’t good enough. You need to be the best! And to be the best, you need an awesome design…not a mediocre one. You need one that drives traffic to your money pages, that boosts your conversion rate and, most importantly, that makes the content easy to read. The size of your font, typography and even spacing are all little things that are part of your design. Those elements can have a big impact on whether your content is going to be read by someone. – Neil Patel
5. Write Your Site Goals and About Me Page
Your About Me Page
haven’t done it have spent a few hours focused on creating a rockin’ About Me page. Because – I know this sounds strange – but the ‘about me’ page is one of the most important pages on your website.
I’m guilty of taking sneak peeks at peoples ‘about me’ page. Do you do that too? You kind of want to know – what’s this person all about? What do they spend their time doing? What makes them tick? Why are they wearing those funny suits?
Questions to ask:
What’s the main goal of your about me page?
Go back to your coffee shop, order the latte and get scribbling.
A few paragraphs about your life, why you picked up that camera, those early photographers that inspired you, where your travels have taken you (and where they are planning to take you), the best, most inspiring books you’ve ever read, what sort of camera gear you use, and so on.
Here’s Bernadette Jiwa’s simple inspiration to writing a compelling about me page.
Your Site Goals
Questions to mull over:
- What’s your ultimate vision for yourself and your website?
- What do you want? Where do you envision yourself in six months? Five years? Ten years?
- What have you always dreamed of creating for yourself?
- What product are you committed to make?
- Who are you committed to serve with your product or service?
- What is your goal for how much money you want to make with this website / service in the first 12 months?
- How many products do you need to sell to achieve this?
6. Write Your First Blog Post
You know how to do this!
Heaps of reference materials available out there on the internets!
Just start. Give it a shot. Take the plunge.
We’ll talk about the details in another post.
For now, just write and hit that beautiful publish button.
I’ll be watching. ☺
7. Get A Logo / Banner Designed
A logo or banner design is not essential to move your blog forward. (You may already have one designed you can use). But a good banner or logo can get you feeling good about your online business.
It’s a bit like walking into a beautiful home. It’s uplifting. And I’m very visual – I like to see what I’m working on.
A good logo will ‘be seen’ around the internet promoting you and your brand. It can get you noticed, grab attention and, well, don’t all the great photography sites have one?
8. Set Up The Social Stuff
You’ve got to engage with customers.
Woo them using social media.
Get them to come visit your website.
Get them to join your email list (a subject for another day).
I use plugins to do this…
Just like those (above).
9. Link To Your Photo Portfolio
I show how you want to create your HQ and link to an external photo portfolio here.
10. Comment & Show Off Your New Website
Wow. What a post. Number 10 is all about leaving a comment so I (and everyone) can see the website you created. Make sure to link to your website so we can see it. Now I’m off to bed.
Thanks for the good read.
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. – James Baldwin