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Author Topic: 50 Ways To Increase Your Photography Website Traffic  (Read 5293 times)
wolfnowl
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« on: November 24, 2013, 01:12:28 AM »
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Might be of use to some: http://shuttermuse.com/50-ways-increase-photography-website-traffic/

Mike.
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steveclv
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2013, 01:37:45 AM »
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I agree with a lot of the ideas EXCEPT for "Facebook advertising is one of the most powerful ways to target new business leads. "

That is simply not true and I have done a lot of work with clients who believed the hype and wasted significant amounts of money. There are very few success stories from FB advertising because almost every FB user HATES advertising and I conducted a set of surveys recently among followers and discovered that 85% of the respondents had never knowingly clicked on a sponsored post or ad and none had purchased from anything on FB.

If you have a funny photo or even an alarming one, FB can/will generate traffic but spending money on a FB ad is a sure way to lose that money for no return.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2013, 11:37:49 AM »
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1.   Be as good a photographer as Michael Reichman.
2.   Have several photographer friends who are key insiders of the photo industry.
3.   Have a forum that is friendly to rank beginners and top professionals alike, and where people are willing to help answer questions on any topic from pixels to punctuation.
4.   ...  etc.
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Justinr
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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2013, 01:07:28 PM »
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I agree with a lot of the ideas EXCEPT for "Facebook advertising is one of the most powerful ways to target new business leads. "

That is simply not true and I have done a lot of work with clients who believed the hype and wasted significant amounts of money. There are very few success stories from FB advertising because almost every FB user HATES advertising and I conducted a set of surveys recently among followers and discovered that 85% of the respondents had never knowingly clicked on a sponsored post or ad and none had purchased from anything on FB.

If you have a funny photo or even an alarming one, FB can/will generate traffic but spending money on a FB ad is a sure way to lose that money for no return.

Oh jeez Steve, would you ever take those words and paint them on the stoopid face of every goddam two bit business advisor that ever had the brass neck to think that reading 'Business Start Up For Dummies' entitled them to god like status in the eyes of the poor suckers that come through their door looking for some worthy words of wisdom!

FB is the most magnificent waste of time and resources that has yet been created as far as small businesses are concerned. By the time you have faffed about keeping it up to date as well as your website, Skills Pages, Linkedin, Twitter etc etc you might as well not bother actually trying to run the shop as there simply won't be any time left in your life.
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steveclv
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2013, 02:23:35 AM »
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Hallelujah!!

I hope you don't mind if I use your quote - it hit the nail on the head!


 Grin
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keith_cooper
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2013, 04:13:58 PM »
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There are some good points there, but as a purely commercial photographer, I agree totally with the comments about FB ;-)

The point about worthwhile and detailed articles is well made. As someone running a moderately sized site, I get weekly offers of 'content'  - the kind of trite banal blog dross I'm sure many have accidentally come across when searching for something useful ;-) Suffice to say, there's not been one that I'd ever publish...
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Justinr
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2013, 06:16:25 PM »
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There are some good points there, but as a purely commercial photographer, I agree totally with the comments about FB ;-)

The point about worthwhile and detailed articles is well made. As someone running a moderately sized site, I get weekly offers of 'content'  - the kind of trite banal blog dross I'm sure many have accidentally come across when searching for something useful ;-) Suffice to say, there's not been one that I'd ever publish...

Rates for writing this sort of stuff are often around the $5 for 500 words and I've even seen one poor soul offer to do it for €1.50. Most of these guys are from Pakistan, India, the Philippines etc and I suppose are just trying to earn a few dollars but you pay for what you get.
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ian_t
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2013, 12:56:27 AM »
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I have got decent amount of biz from FB, but it took a bit of time. You need to have critical mass of 'fans' or followers, so that their interaction with your FB page shows up in lots of places. On a busy week I've had my content in almost 200,000 news-feeds. That enough to dig up some leads.
I also think that FB is a nice to way reinforce business. When clients see their images on my page with lots of 'likes'. Obviously not going to work for everyone, but does for me.
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Justinr
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2013, 03:49:11 AM »
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I have got decent amount of biz from FB, but it took a bit of time. You need to have critical mass of 'fans' or followers, so that their interaction with your FB page shows up in lots of places. On a busy week I've had my content in almost 200,000 news-feeds. That enough to dig up some leads.
I also think that FB is a nice to way reinforce business. When clients see their images on my page with lots of 'likes'. Obviously not going to work for everyone, but does for me.


Therein lies the major problem with FB, you have to spend a lot of time at it and for this you need to be a FB sort of person to keep motivated. Location is also a factor as from my experience it is taken a lot more seriously by users in the states than it is here in Ireland. The trouble is that it's assumed to be some sort of marketing panacea by its proponents, a one size fits all magic cloak that will bring success just the moment you envelope your self in its folds. It simply doesn't work like that and when I hear this from 'business advisers' and other 'marketing experts' I simply think of them as fools too idle to actually examine what they are spouting as gospel.  But if it works for you then I genuinely wish you good luck with it.
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keith_cooper
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2013, 04:07:55 AM »
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Quote
Rates for writing this sort of stuff are often around the $5 for 500 words and I've even seen one poor soul offer to do it for €1.50. Most of these guys are from Pakistan, India, the Philippines etc and I suppose are just trying to earn a few dollars but you pay for what you get.

1$ per 100 words - it shows :-(

Unfortunately I know of a few working photographers, who've been taken in by the 'You -must- have a blog - We can write it for you' routine.

One in the UK was mentioned in an offer I received, so I thought I'd give it a look (I'd seen his work and like it). The written quality was awful (not a version of English I'm familiar with), so I phoned him up and asked if he'd ever read what was being published in his name?  He'd read the first two posts and they were fine - banal, but reasonably written. No.3 onwards were obviously passed to the 50c writers...

When I asked why this stuff was in his name, he said that his web developer (subsequently fired ;-) had said that a blog was 'vital' and would arrange it. Like many photographers, article writing and all that 'marketing stuff' was just not something he was happy with...

I'm inclined to wonder how many would pay for someone else to go round taking photos (at 10c a pop) to pad out their site?

I'm involved with several business groups in the UK, and have seen interminable 'social media marketing' presentations, but also a healthy degree of scepticism from audiences, none better put than one guy in manufacturing, who simply asked why he should let his staff mess around on FB all day when they had real profitable work to be getting on with ;-)

It can indeed work for some, but for far more businesses it's a time and resource sink
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mjrichardson
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2013, 04:16:25 AM »
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Interesting, I find it very telling that in the article he mentions how his gear page is very popular yet when you look at it, there has been 1 facebook share, 1 tweet and 21 Google + links, I think that shows how big a part social media is playing!

I think if I had time I'd get involved with lots of different methods for marketing but I simply don't. I have friends who sometimes link to my blog on facebook and then I notice a spike in people visiting but not in purchasing or orders.

It obviously pays to go with what you are comfortable with and if that brings in the clients then it's all good.

Mat
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KirbyKrieger
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2013, 06:22:33 AM »
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I find it equally telling that the article is titled — correctly — "Ways to Increase Website Traffic".  The first paragraph is carefully written.  The first sentence is meaningful:

Quote
You want to increase your photography or other creative business’ website traffic right?  Of course you do! {Emphasis in original.}

I do, but that's not my goal.  The "50 Ways" may — or may not — increase Web traffic.  All in all it seems a reasonable round-up of current strategies for free-lancers to bring more eyes to their sites.  My goal — the reason for any marketing efforts I undertake — is to increase sales.  _In my case_, I have no evidence that increased Web traffic increases sales.  I have lots of evidence that increasing Web traffic (creating & maintaining a Web site, doing any or all 50 Ways) is extraordinarily expensive in terms of the only resources I have: cash and time.

I should note that I'm more artist than photographer, and so my experience, my sales (modest), and my needs may not jibe with the reader's or the intended audience of the article.  I have _never_ sold a picture to someone who has neither seen it hanging on a wall, nor was already familiar with what my work looks like when hanging on a wall.  An on-line portfolio (which I do maintain) present no more than a diminished simulacrum of my pictures.  Increased Web traffic is, I think it safe to conclude, only valuable to me in so far as it leads to people seeing my pictures in person.

The author's goal in publishing the article was to bring traffic to his Website.  A much more valuable series of articles would be "50 Ways to increase sales of prints", "50 Ways to increase sales of stock photos", "50 Ways to increase sales of {the product of your labor}".  Laboring to keep the Web spinning is fun; I see little evidence that it is remunerative in or by itself.

The best way to increase Website traffic, for an artist, is to increase sales.  I think we are swimming in evidence that the converse is not true.
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keith_cooper
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2013, 07:26:09 AM »
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As has been mentioned, traffic is one thing, paying jobs quite another ;-)

Our own web site is effectively split in two parts. One earns an income from its content (it pays my wife's wages), the other is what people find when looking for the particular sorts of work I do. The content side does spill over, with SEO benefits to the 'work' side, but the content side has to earn its keep, whether by direct (ad) revenue or by assisting our marketing in direct and indirect ways.

The vast majority of our visitors come to read the content - I'd be a fool if I though that many were looking to hire us for photo work (I'm in the UK and half our visitors are from the US).

I've had other local photographers ask me how our marketing works - I'm always happy to discuss it, but one or two have been disappointed when I say that you have to find out what works for your business and personality. I happen to like writing and reviewing new kit, it helps me learn new stuff ... YMMV ;-)
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JayWPage
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2013, 10:53:50 AM »
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I think FB probably makes sense if your target market uses FB regularly and this is one way to get your name out in front of them. For example, if you are a wedding photographer and also do schools, maybe being on FB is a way to market your photographic services to the young brides. Of course you still have to advertise/post in the right places to be seen.

Otherwise, I see little use for FB, other than you should tie up your name so some one else doesn't use it, and you can post something on your FB site that directs traffic to your main website.

It's also a generational thing, if you're over 50 you probably think people who spend hours on FB are crazy, but then you turn around and spend hours sending individual emails every week.
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steveclv
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2013, 02:58:37 PM »
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I think we got diverted a little along the way

I said that advertizing on FB was a complete waste of time and money - having a FB page and blogging your work has some value - not a lot but some - and if you can delegate it to a partner, offspring etc then it can be beneficial in a very small way.
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ian_t
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« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2013, 09:14:22 PM »
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I said that advertizing on FB was a complete waste of time and money - having a FB page and blogging your work has some value - not a lot but some - and if you can delegate it to a partner, offspring etc then it can be beneficial in a very small way.

Couldn't disagree more. Maybe this is the case for you, but I know lots of photographers who have leveraged FB or other social media in a huge way for their businesses. We just sold out a large international workshop in 3 days using only FB. 
And delegating responsibility is the wrong angle. It's an incredible opportunity to speak directly to your market and get feedback in real time. When I see a page that is obviously being managed by someone other than the photographer, I just turn it off.

It's marketing, there is no right and wrong, it's just what works for each particular set of circumstances. For me, as a full time people photographer, it was the best thing for my business in years.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2013, 09:33:45 PM »
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FB is simply an extension of the old 'it's not what you know, it's WHO you know'.  It works VERY well for me with minimal effort, simply because of the networking I do in rea life (as every good business needs to).  FB simply allows that to continue and be leveraged.  Of course that doesn't apply to every local, type of photog, type of client etc.  But you can't make blanket statements for or against it.  If you are not a social person, have a great REAL life network of friends, clients, colleges, etc. - it probably seems like a big confusing frustrating waste of time. 
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Scott Hargis
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« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2013, 09:55:56 AM »
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I agree with a lot of the ideas EXCEPT for "Facebook advertising is one of the most powerful ways to target new business leads. "

That is simply not true and I have done a lot of work with clients who believed the hype and wasted significant amounts of money. There are very few success stories from FB advertising because almost every FB user HATES advertising and I conducted a set of surveys recently among followers and discovered that 85% of the respondents had never knowingly clicked on a sponsored post or ad and none had purchased from anything on FB.

If you have a funny photo or even an alarming one, FB can/will generate traffic but spending money on a FB ad is a sure way to lose that money for no return.

Blanket statements like that just aren't useful. The world is always a more complex and varied place than you believe it to be. That statement may well be true for the person who wrote it, but to try to apply it to everyone?

Many photographers work one-on-one with individuals (as an architectural photographer, my client may be a FIRM, but ultimately my repeat business is still driven by my direct relationships with individual architects within that firm. I'm Facebook "friends" with many of them. When I blog about a project, or update my portfolio album on Facebook, they all get the update, they all get reminded about me.
Not all marketing is designed to sell a widget, right away. The most effective marketing I've ever done was nothing more than building name recognition, over the very long term. Facebook is just another arm of that effort.

There are very few success stories from FB advertising because almost every FB user HATES advertising
Faulty logic. Almost every TV viewer HATES commercials, but that doesn't stop TV Commercials from being very effective advertising.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2013, 11:04:52 AM »
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... Faulty logic. Almost every TV viewer HATES commercials, but that doesn't stop TV Commercials from being very effective advertising.

Agree. And not just FB, take Google for example. While I mostly use it for search, I have rarely, if ever, noticed its ads, let alone clicked on one of them. If it were up to my habits, Google would go bankrupt. Instead it is making gazillions.

As an aside, TV ads function a bit differently: they stop the content and you have to see them, even if for a second or two, before you get up to make a sandwich. Internet ads are a visual nuisance (if you notice them), but they do not prevent you from reading the content.

Some news web sites are trying to force you to watch commercials before you can see their video. If that is the case, I shut down the video immediately and go for the source that has text instead. Some other news web sites, knowing that, have reduced the text-only content significantly, forcing you to watch video news and thus ads. CNN app for iPhone/iPad being one of them. I deleted the whole app instead.
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« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2013, 01:25:52 PM »
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Agree. And not just FB, take Google for example. While I mostly use it for search, I have rarely, if ever, noticed its ads, let alone clicked on one of them. If it were up to my habits, Google would go bankrupt. Instead it is making gazillions.

As an aside, TV ads function a bit differently: they stop the content and you have to see them, even if for a second or two, before you get up to make a sandwich. Internet ads are a visual nuisance (if you notice them), but they do not prevent you from reading the content.

Some news web sites are trying to force you to watch commercials before you can see their video. If that is the case, I shut down the video immediately and go for the source that has text instead. Some other news web sites, knowing that, have reduced the text-only content significantly, forcing you to watch video news and thus ads. CNN app for iPhone/iPad being one of them. I deleted the whole app instead.

The other annoyance I have noticed of late is that just by pausing the cursor on an ad on some sites it immediately follows the link whether you left clicked or not. This is then recorded as a click through and we are regaled with the news about how wonderful internet advertising is because everybody is clicking on adverts!

It's a complete scam. 
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