Photography, Up for Discussion

Up for Discussion – Pros and Cons of Blogs

I am so sorry, I have to make this quick today, I am attending a seminar this morning that the AIPP is running on portrait photos, The Simple Creative, and I can’t talk for too long here, but today I thought it would be interesting to LeanneCole-pinklakes-6263talk about blogs, maybe get some advice to people starting them up, or on tips how people can make them better.


Recently I received an email from a blogger friend who asked me why don’t people put where in the world they are in their About section or somewhere on their blog.  I wrote back saying, I know, why don’t they.  I often seeing images from people on their blogs and since I am always interested in places I often go to peoples About pages read through it to see where they are.  Most of the time there is nothing.  I don’t think you need to be really specific, like I tell people I live in Australia, I am in the city of Melbourne, but I live in suburb near Heidelberg.  Actually I don’t think I tell people that last part, though I do tell people when they ask.

It is important, because if you are taking photos of a place that catches someone eye then there is the possibility that they want to see that place for themselves oneLeanneCole-pinklakes-6277 day and go there.

Another thing I don’t like, is when you see an amazing photo on someone’s blog, or a photo of an amazing place and there is no clue where it was taken.  I see that on Facebook too, people go away and put up photos of their trip, but they don’t have any explanations about where the photos were taken.  On a blog you could put it in the tags if you really don’t want to put any writing in the post.


I like to know something about the person who is doing the post and I like to feel like I am getting to know that person.  I really relate well to artistic people, and I LeanneCole-pinklakes-6171find so many here. I feel that through my own blog and those of
others I have built up a fantastic friendship group.  Emails are always going back and forward.

I like to read blogs they are easy to follow, have nice breaks in them and wonderful images.  I am a visual person and I love looking at photos. I just love the visual world.

My best advice I could give someone who was starting a blog is, write it the same way as the blogs you love to read.

My turn to stop now.  What do you like to see on other peoples blogs?  What information do you go looking for when you visit a blog?  What do people LeanneCole-pinklakes-6333do that you don’t like?  What advice would you give someone who was just starting a blog?

These posts are a great way to share knowledge, so please contribute.

I will approve them, as long as they are nice and not nasty in any way. Please address your comment and advice to Stacy.

Feel free to respond or reply to other comments.  It would be good to generate some discussion.

If you have a topic that you would like discussed, or a problem you need help with then please send me an email and we will see if we can do a post about it.

A gallery for you to see the images individually now.  The images in this post, one you have seen before, but the others are new, I have worked on them to see about entering them into a competition.


  1. Leanne your images are wonderful. Your use of color and contrast really hit the mark. The way you compose your images is also very sophisticated and shows a good sense of design. I can only hope that whatever competition you are entering isn’t one I’m entering or I may be in over my head. ;)

    • Thank you. That is great to hear. What what a great compliment, I think we always think the work of others is better than our own. The comp I am entering is a landscape competition, not sure how I will go, but in any even, I am really happy with my images.

  2. I feel like I am getting to know you via your work and images and as time passes feel I know you better. I hope it is an exchange and you feel as if you know me too.
    I am almost five years blogging and not sure what direction to go. I know some readers are tired of it and others can’t wait to see what is next. Good thoughts to think about today,

    • Thank you Ruth, I like to think the same. I think that is an interesting point, developing your blog so that it remains interesting. I can imagine how hard it is, and you do seem to have a direction, I think this one has one, I hope, but you never know.

  3. I am totally in love with your pink lakes!! yes, I love to know where people are from in the about and also where the landscapes that inspire them are!!

    • That is fantastic Cybele, wonderful. I do too, and well my pink lakes are from a place in north west Victoria, the state I live in. Thank you.

  4. Honestly – an undeveloped About page usually results in my not returning. Maybe thats a bit harsh but it is what it is. great post.

    • That is fair enough John, and I think people miss that part sometimes, we like to know something about the person we are potentially going to follow. Thanks

  5. Great post! I have only been on WordPress for about 5 weeks now and am continually changing things, trying to make it better for the reader (based on adapting to what I see and like)

    I am also very visual and large blocks of text overwhelm me. I feel everybody seems to be so busy today there is no time to try an figure out how to get through something.

    Your images are awesome, tips are great! I enjoy your posts! :-)

    • It can a very long time to develop your blog Anica, so don’t stress too much. I feel the same about text, and always try to break mine up with images. That is so try, everyone is very busy. Sad, but true. Thank you so much, and good luck with your blog as well.

    • I hope you get some useful tips Tamara, I think that is something that many want to do too. Good luck and thank you.

  6. lensaddiction says

    Interesting. Well I am paranoid and freely admit it. In my blog I say I live in South Island of NZ, not even the city, but if you read many of my posts you would quickly establish that I live in Christchurch, as it features a lot in my posts.

    Its a matter of safey, I don’t announce when I am going on holiday BEFORE I go either, or if I do, I mention it with no specifics as to date. I am not on Facebook either because I have major issues with their security policies, and their claim to the rights for any images you post on there is also a concern as a photographer.

    Good point about people posting images but not saying where they are, I confess I am guilty of that, although when I post, I often post on a specific topic or trip, and I will tell a bit of a story but may not say exactly where the image was taken. Will try to keep that in mind as I have often wondered where an image was taken. FYI often people just take pretty photos because they like them, and post them, and thats often the reason why they don’t say, they don’t know cos they didn’t take the image!

    I do have a question tho, I don’t use my real name, I use a nom de plume. Does that make it less personal and approachable for people?

    • I don’t think you are alone in your paranoia, I think many feel the same way. I don’t think you need to tell anyone anymore than that anyway.

      Someone told me off for doing that, telling people when I was going away, but since I am usually going away on my own, I haven’t been that concerned about that. There is always someone still at home. I use facebook, but I watermark everything, and if they want to use it, then I am pretty that will make it harder to use, and the images are so small that they would be limited with what they could do with them.

      I think people like to know where images were taken. I know I do. If you do a post then I think that is different. I know that I can’t change the way people blog, but I can say what I like and don’t like. Like I don’t like people who post multiple posts a day, drives me crazy, but I am not going to tell them to stop, I just have to either put up with it, or not follow them, and I usually only follow them in the reader.

      I think that is entirely up to you. I use my name because I want to have a career in photography, people need to know who I am, so I would say, if that isn’t your intention how would anyone know the difference. Though some people can be very weird about it, I knew a woman who wouldn’t tell anyone her name, so you never knew what to call her, she liked to think we were friends, but it is hard to be friends with someone when you don’t even know what to call them, other than their blog name.

    • It is amazing how often I go to a blog to see and can’t work it out. Tags can be great too, thanks Nia.

  7. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says

    When I see images, I always want to know some of the four Ws that are Who, What, When and Where. All are not necessary but some, I think, are. When I see a bird that is the focus, I want to know what kind of bird (insect, animal, fish and so on) it is. (There are some good websites out there that help identify birds.) Other pictures, I think, need time of day or just season. If a person is in the image then I would like to know who they are, if there is no name, then relationship to the photographer or simply, ‘man on bridge.’

    Location: I would like to know country and city or town but not too specific so that it might endanger the photographer’s safety.

    Have a good day, Leanne. :)

    • I like your Ws Jackie, they are great. I am guilty of posting photos of something like birds or flowers and not knowing what they were. That is interesting, a lot of that stuff I hadn’t considered. If I don’t tell you who someone is in an image, it will be because I don’t know who they were and they shouldn’t have been in my image. :)
      I agree, location of an image is great.
      Thanks Jackie, hope you’ve had a good day too.

      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says

        I have a friend and she posts photos on Facebook all the time. She takes pictures of historical landmarks, buildings, lighthouses and flowers as a hobby. The one thing she nails down is identifying places, lighthouses, houses & buildings and every flower that God ever made! I told her, she is a living catalog for flora and fauna! I think my friend has Asperger’s because she is odd; face-to-face she likes to give directions. If I say, “Last week I went to see my cousin…” she will begin talking about where my cousin lives and is that near such-and-such shopping center and so on.

        You are right about images and people. I’ve read that photographers must have a signed release from people for anyone that appears in an image.
        :) Have a good day!

      • I like your friend already Jackie, I love people who give you that sort of information.
        I think that depends on the country, and I think it depends on where you photograph them. In Australia if you photograph people in public places you don’t need to, but you would if you were going to use the image for commercial purposes.
        Thanks Jackie. :)

      • Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says

        I’m laughing… I went to my Facebook page and my friend posted three pictures so I copied and pasted her comments here for you to see.

        “A couple of daffodils! — at Greenwich Village, New York, New York.”

        “Jet skier on the East River traveling east! — in Brooklyn, NY.”

        “Huxley Envelopes on the East River the — with Kerri Lee Giove Kennedy, Claire Kennedy Lubrano and Kelli Burka in Brooklyn, NY.”

  8. This was really interesting and thought-provoking. I’m trying to blog after a few false starts, and this is full of helpful points for me to think about – cheers!

  9. On all my pages (blog, facebook, linkedin, pinterest, etc), I always let people know what town I live in because it’s so beautiful and amazing here in Durango CO. I write on my blog usually about once a week, but unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that many people read it, so it only serves SEO purposes.

    • I like telling people where I am for exactly the same reasons, I love Melbourne and I love photographing it. It takes time Karen, you have to do a lot of other behind the scenes work, unfortunately. Good luck with it.

  10. i enjoy blogging to learn more along the way…it’s a platform to make connections for my work and to see and learn with/from others…i use the header ‘nearly me’ as way to say i’m never complete…ever evolving…i see blogs that grow and improve while others fade…and as you write Leanne, as an image maker i create my blog the way i ‘read’ my world…with a little hope others also see/look/peak/ and see what i create…just as i follow your posts which i see as educative and beautiful…thanks kindly for your teacihngs…compose a happy day ~ hedy

    • They are such good reasons for blogging. I love that idea of nearly me, not quite complete, great idea. I have my website as my this is what I’ve done and my blog is more about what I am working on. Thank you so much, that is wonderful to hear. You compose a happy day too.

  11. I too love getting to know others and what is going on in their corner of the globe and if I can learn something from them that is a bonus. I like blogs that are easy to navigate; without a lot of distractions in side bars and with simple ways of leaving comments. If I have to jump through hoops to leave a comment or find the most recent post I often leave.

    • I hope you don’t find my sidebar distracting, I like the gap between the writing and the sidebar for that reason. I have to admit I like them to be easy to navigate and it can be too hard finding your way around some blogs. Thanks for that.

  12. All good points, Leanne. I think people are often afraid to reveal too much personal detail for fear of hackers and spam etc. But it seems to me the purpose of a blog is that people are interested in your unique perspective, and if you don’t give some detail, your unique perspective becomes lost in generalities. I try not to give much detail about friends, or family so I don’t invade their privacy, but remain open with my own life. It has been amazing to get to know some of my blog friends, but that is only possible because we both have a degree of openness. Good discussion.

    • I agree, the only thing I don’t give out is my home address, but the rest is fine, well most of it, as long as it has something to do with photography. I like that about the unique personal detail Ardy, so true. I do the same with friends and family. I have got to know some really amazing people through blogging it has been a fantastic experience for me. So glad you like the discussion, thank you.

  13. I like to write short post as I am busy ! I like to read short posts as well for the same reason! I like if there are pictures. I try to include at least one photo in my posts . I also think it is nice to know where photos where taken. I wanted to blog to have my friends/ family to read about my fun activities and to keep in touch that way , so I do not have to re-write everything to all.
    thanks for this discussion.

    • That is a great reason for blogging, and I think many do it for that reason too. I try to write short posts, I often don’t succeed, but I know many people like to just look at the photos. Thanks.

  14. Gosh Leanne, simple, clean, easy to read blogs work for me, without too much text.

    If I see a post with anything over 1,000 words I’m not reading it. I follow some blogs that are by writers and they manage to keep their stories short, publishing serialized posts if need be. They seem to understand this best.

    I’m not for static front pages either. I want to see the post, that’s why I’m there.

    Now, to find a theme that allows “like” under the post, so I don’t have to open it to “like” it. I have to make that change to mine. :)

    I put “where” in my tags. That is easy to do and I don’t care if you have a fully developed “about” page unless your posts demand we know something more about you.

    First names are usually common, so I don’t see that as a big problem. I actually prefer first names.

    One last thing, I would like to be able to read the post from the reader and not HAVE TO click through to read. I dislike getting only the first few words or only one photo of many. That’s just a setting.

    Done complaining, lots of different styles work if the content is good enough.

    • Haha, so you wouldn’t like some of mine, though I try to keep to a limit of 500 words, sometimes I do go over, but generally I like to keep them to around that, that is my goal.
      I agree about the static front page, I know many won’t look for the post if you don’t let them go straight to it. Reduce the clicks that people have to make.
      I don’t mind no like under the post, it would affect your stats, if you are into those.
      Tags are so important.
      I think first names are good, even if they are fake, people like to know what to call you.
      Thanks Robert, so many points there.

      • If the content is worth reading, like yours, Leanne, the writer can hide their posts and we’d look for them. Since we are mostly photography blogs, I think the photos ought to be easy to see, no matter the text. Good discussion.

  15. Great post leeanne…..I must confess I don’t have an about page. Maybe this will spur me on. It is helpful to know where images taken.. I often put that in my tags….I soooo love these images!!!!

  16. HI Leanne. Very interesting post. Your photos are always amazing. Love them~ I have leart one thing so far, I am guilty of putting up a photo and not saying where it was taken. I will work on that. Great tips. Renee :)

  17. Thanks, Leanne, for encouraging this forum.
    Random thoughts…
    – I like a “clean site” – lots of white space and clear, easy navigation.
    – Though I say “white space,” I mean that in whatever background color is used there be a lot of space around short bits of text.
    – As elements are added to a site, over time especially, beware of creating clutter!
    – In my blog post writing, I make extremely short paragraphs – way shorter than I do in my fiction writing. I think the short paragraph keeps the post visually friendly and easier to follow.
    – And, for text content, I like a white background with charcoal text for ease on the eyes.
    – For photography, I prefer a charcoal background as the photos showcase better. (White pulls the eye away from the image.)
    – I like posts that run 250 – 500 words. Longer and I’m likely to stop reading.
    – I am most comfortable on a site that has quality writing and content.
    – To keep my web presence uncluttered, I have several sites – my author site, my photography site, my business site. They interlink – I like to think that I have a mini-web within the web!
    – My social media (Twitter, fb, Tumbler and soon Google+) is linked to each site, and I post from my blogs (selectively) to each.
    – As a writer and a photographer, my brand is my name – so I use it.
    – For personal safety, I am not specific about where I am located. But I do give a general location.
    – I rarely mention anyone in my personal life. If I do, it’s usually by association – such as “my brother.” This may result in a less personal “relationship” with my readers, but the privacy of those around me is important to me. I may choose to be public on the internet, but I don’t drag them into the www with me. It’s up to them to chooses to go there or to not go there.
    – If I mention my children, I ask them ahead of time if what I’ve said is okay with them.
    – I have a strong aversion to negative energy. So, when I visit a site, I like to see things stated positively, never with a negative tone. So, if you are a florist, for instance, I’d want to see statements like “Contact us today and order a fresh, bright bouquet of spring flowers!” rather than, “Tired of wilted, browning flowers from your florist, call us!”
    – Kindness should rule our physical world as well as our pixelated world!

    • You have made some great points Mary, and it is interesting hearing what people say what they like to read.
      I have the white background now, but I always put in a gallery, and I like that when you view the gallery you are looking at the photos on a black background, best of both worlds. I suppose you must get frustrated with my blog, I write a lot sometimes.
      I am the same about location, the general area is enough.
      That is interesting about the negative tone, I will have to remember that.
      so much to think about Mary, thank you.

  18. You bring up some interesting topics, Leanne!

    I have several blogs and contribute to several more, some showcase photos or “cafe art”, others are more chatty. It has been some time since I payed attention to my about pages – I will check and update each one in the coming days. So should all my about pages be alike?

    Some of the comments here are very helpful, I think of my sites as being clean and easily navigated. As a retired engineer I still have a great deal of curiosity and thus try out new things, many to see how others react. For example I have a page with an inviting name just one click from any page on that site and just two or three clicks from this comment. Yet that page gets maybe a handful of visit a year – yes, I could hide anything there! Sadly, I also learned that some of the responders here will never add me to their follow-list. They still seem like unmet friends to me.

    I love reading easy flowing writing, posts that take me along on the author’s journeys, be they earth-spanning or just a walk in the backyard. Unfortunately I cannot write in that style, I’m just not good at it. I like to express myself in pictures. I have found that posts with an accompanying story get much better response than pictures alone.

    • Glad I gave you a reminder about your About page Ludwig.
      I don’t think you are alone is wanting easy flowing posts. I don’t know if I achieve that all the time, but I do try, I’m not really a writer. Thank you so much Ludwig, you have also made some great points.

  19. Well, I’d use my real name if my photographs looked as good as yours Leanne. :-) Originally, I hadn’t planned on blogging but was bored and wanted to check WP out. Then it evolved as a good place to utilize my photos and into what it is. Generally I make a post for myself just as I take photographs for myself, but it’s always nice if someone else likes it as well. If your blog is tied to a commercial interest then name, location, and full disclosure would be proper. If it’s someone’s personal blog then I have to respect what they’re comfortable with sharing. Most of the time I can figure out locations when following a blog so that’s not a bother. My only pet peeve is with some of the gallery themes without dates. Since I like to look at as many blogs as I can cover in an evening, dates are helpful in knowing if there’s a new posting. For someone starting out, looking at other blogs would be the most help in finding what you like and don’t like and it won’t be the same for everyone. Leanne’s blog here is always a worthwhile daily visit.

    • Thank you Maverick. WP is a great place for that, I’ve found that as well. It is great when others like your work too, I can understand that. I can understand that about dates as well. That is great advice for new bloggers too Maverick, I totally agree. Thank you for that last part too. :)

  20. I prefer to follow photo that do not always show the same type of photos, I like when I get new ideas for my photos from blog. I like when the author put some technical details on the photo but not too many, although I should do the same but I do not.

    • That is an interesting idea Nelson, how do you find mine? I am not good with the technical details, I think I don’t see the point, but that is me, I don’t take any notice of it when I see it on other peoples photos. Maybe that would be a good up for discussion post, maybe you should write something.

      • On your blog what I like are your angles of the camera and the way you approach a subject. Also sometime in the comments done by your followers, I find some interesting

      • Thanks Nelson, it is always interesting to hear why people like what you do. I love that people are so generous with their knowledge and I love it when they share in the comments, you can learn a lot on some of these.

  21. Eghads…I don’t think I say where I’m from in my about page. I’ll have to add that. It’s a very good point. I also like to know something about the person…what their philosophy is or whatever…something. Some people don’t even have anything in their about page. I also don’t like wordy blogs. I’m like you in that I like lots of breaks or at least paragraph breaks.

    • Well I hope you have changed that now, especially now that you have seen how much people like to know where people are from. Haha. I have seen that too, nothing on the about page. Mine is a bit weird, in point form, but i have had so many people ask me if they can copy that form, I do like. Oh yes breaks, I love love love paragraphs, Thanks Laura.

  22. Two suggestions for all bloggers, not just newbies – 1) If someone does not want to write text with their photos, they should consider adding a caption to the image that identifies where the image was taken. 2) If someone comments on your blog, return the courtesy by visiting their blog and commenting on one of their posts. Far too many WP bloggers just respond to a comment by hitting the reply button on their own blog and do not go the extra step to reciprocate the visit. Even if it is not a blog you would particularly enjoy or follow, something nice can always be said. When you reciprocate in this way, your following will grow.

    • That is a great point, the first one. I would like to do the second, but it is so hard, I get so many comments, I wouldn’t have any time for taking photos. I do try and visit as many as possible. Thanks for your thoughts there.

      • You have a very valid point about the comments, but most bloggers do not have the following you do. I, too, struggle with getting around to comment – life gets in the way. I’m just saying to the blogging community – respond on another’s blog occasionally when they have commented on yours. :)

      • LIfe does get in the way, I agree, and I think that is a great way for people to pick up followers, it certainly can’t hurt. Thanks again. :)

  23. I try to do these things but sometimes I’m too excited about an image or involved in my own world. I do love your images but I have to admit that I don’t read every post. I don’t get much engagement from readers on my blog. It’s something that I would like to work on in the future though. Some things to think about, right?

    • I am laughing here, sorry, but that is so wonderful, that you get so excited, I really like that and it is great to be that excited about your image. I completely understand that, and I know that people, many people come to just see the photos, and you know what, I’m fine with that, really fine, so don’t feel bad about it, as long as the images are good enough, then I’m happy. Yes, some things to think about, thank you Ginger.

  24. My photo-blog doubles as my website, so I like to keep my words to a minimum and let the images talk for themselves……but occasionally I do post with a few words of explanation 😉

    • That is fair enough too Mark, I completely understand that. I have a separate website and that is what I do with that one, here is for my experimentation and explorations in photography. Thanks Mark.

  25. Very nice, and helpful geschriefen. And wonderful pictures! Greetings from Germany! :-)

  26. What a useful post! I’ve recently started a blog to share my photos and agree with many of your sentiments, especially regarding place. It’s a nice opportunity to write, attempting to capture something of the experience of taking the photos. Your photos are stunning, really inspirational!

    • That is wonderful, congratulations on starting your blog. I like why you blog, sounds like me. Thank you.

  27. That’s interesting, I didn’t wrote anything about where I live in my about section either. Usually I do write in my posts where the photos were taken, especially in cases of landscapes.
    What I do like to see on other people’s blogs are of course photographs and the story behind it, or any kind of story. I like it when people personalize their work, share how they got the image or what they felt.

    • That is great too, I think people like to have some idea of where in the world you are, I know I do.
      It is nice when people do that, then it becomes more than just an image, I agree. Thanks Klaudia.

  28. I think you bring up some great points and model what you’d like to see in other blogs. My objection is to the word ‘blog’. Sometimes it feels as though it marginalizes everyone’s work as if we all write the same thing. I’d like something like, “a Collection of fine art doodled on napkins” or perhaps, “A Meditation on Cafes based on their Tea Selection”…rather than simply ‘BLOG’. The very word sounds like something a bog monster might say. Just sayin.

    • Oh yes, that is for another post, this word blog, I had someone say to me once that I was just a blogger. Thanks Mary, great points.

  29. Great post. Great comments. Really great images… I’m off to review my ‘About’ page. From ‘Maxine’ ;-)

  30. The main frustration that I experienced as a blogging newbie was finding appropriate images to illustrate my written posts (at the time Zemanta was the default option for stock photos on WordPress). I ended up buying a little point and snap camera to take control of the visual side of things. This turned out to be something of a watershed moment. I now really enjoying taking photos (my camera is always in my bag) and messing about with editing effects (Picmonkey is my go-to freebie website). Blogging has opened up a whole new creative side that I didn’t even know I had.

    • I think that is the best way, take your own, which is why I really got into blogging, to show my work. That is great that blogging got you into taking photos. wonderful. Thanks

  31. A solid topic Leanne!

    I tend to find it good practice to incorporate elements to your blog that you like seeing in other people’s blogs, which I think you eluded to. The things I really like to ser are:

    Clear header titles
    A well thought out about page
    Clean and simple theme designs
    Short paragraphs which make it easier to read across multiple devices
    A proper avatar
    Thoughtful.comments and replies

    • I agree Shane, I write and do my blog the way I like to read others.
      Some great points there Shane, what is a proper avatar?
      Thank you.

  32. A very interesting read. I like to feel welcomed when I’m visiting someone’s blog, especially like to feel honesty from the blogger and a “down-to-earth” feel around the blog. I actually get turned off if a blog has a clunky design or the colours clash garishly with one another. I do like it a lot when a blog puts up images of some kind – drawings, photos, sketches – as they help tell a story. Which is why this year I’ve decided to try put up better photos on my blog.

    Hope your week has been good so far :)

    • I think images really make a blog look better too and I’ve always tried to make the design/theme of my blog to make my images stand out. I agree with that totally. You have pointed out some things that others haven’t said, great points.

      It has been very very busy so far, looking forward to relaxing tomorrow. Hope yours has been good. Thank you Mabel. :)

      • Thanks, Leanne. I like your new theme a lot. Very clean and uncluttered, bright. But above all, I really like how you come up with interesting photography topics, and say it all in lay man’s terms.

        Good, relaxing is great. I just want this week to be over, not going my way at all but I have a feeling I might be buying something big very, very soon ;)

      • Thank Mabel, I’m getting lots of compliments for it, and that has been great. It is a bit of a worry when you change themes. Thanks for that too, it is good to know I don’t confuse people.

        I know what those weeks are like. I wonder what that big purchase will be. ;)

  33. Being someone who responds to images better than lots of text, I do like to see well chosen images on blogs. Blogs with lots of small text will immediately put me off, and even if the message or advice is pertinent or interesting I’m very unlikely to read further than the first paragraph.

    Thinking about the blogs that I regularly visit (and your’s is one of those), I feel I’ve come to ‘know’ the person better because the text is engaging and relevant and the images grab my attention. A good mix of content is also important. I particularly like the way your blog encourages comment and debate among your readers.

    When I did a 365 project in 2008 I just posted the image with a caption. I got some response and likes but I don’t think readers were really able to engage with the images or me. This year I’m doing a different kind of project – 52 postcards. The images I post on the blog now have a backstory accompanying them. I’m really enjoying this approach, even though I don’t seem to get that many visitors or comments! But that’s not the point, the act of writing is another creative outlet.

    • I don’t think you are alone there Liz. Thank you Liz, I do like that as well. It is nice that people engage with the blog and I do like the community aspect that is happening on my blog more and more.
      I think if you do what you said in the first part then it is bound to happen Liz. Good luck with it. Thanks.

  34. Beautiful pictures Leanne!

    OK, here is my answers to some of the questions you asked –
    What do you like to see on other peoples blogs?
    – images that originally taken by the blogger her/himself and if not, please mentioned the source is – like the path etc..
    – positive writing; funny or informative or opinion about something or just personal updates

    What information do you go looking for when you visit a blog?
    – I am not looking for the personal details/life of the blogger as I understand that some bloggers may wanted some privacy, so I respect that choice. But indeed, information on where the location of the photos were taken would be great to know..just some basics information on the images especially if it is about travel or photography post.

    What advice would you give someone who was just starting a blog?
    – Be patient, look other blogs and learn from them
    – Keep posting and never give up..
    – Be organised and make your blog easy to be viewed
    – and try to respond your followers comments whenever it is possible :)

    • Thank you Indah. That is great to hear all of those and I know that people will enjoy your take on many of these, thank you for sharing them with us. :)

  35. I love your blog, your photography, and this post -I am a fan and if my photography/travel blog was half as good I’d be a happy bunny! I agree with so much that you say, but what I like on photography blogs is actually what I dislike on baking blogs. On baking blogs I am really not interested in three paragraphs of what little Lucy’s ballet class was like ( I understand that mumsnet members will be after me). On photography blogs, the more information the better. My bucket list has grown substantially since I started reading wordpress blogs. Keep those amazing images coming!

    • My bucket list has grown too, I have learned so much more about the world because of blogging. Thanks for sharing what you like and don’t like, brilliant. Thank you for what you said about my blog as well.

  36. After a “like” from a blogger, I do go to their home page then I click the about section – just to see. I agree that part of the interest in blogging is to get a connection with another person to discuss their work. I too find it maddening when image locations are not included – it is like saying that you are sharing, but not really sharing. This is particularly true of Urbex folks – I can see being coy about a pristine location, but when the site is tagged all over – keeping the location a secret is idiotic.

    Suggestions: blogs must be easy to navigate around – simple is better: simple to view, simple to like, simple to follow. Convoluted blogs are a real turn-off for me.

    Enjoy your day Leanne :-)

    • I don’t do that, not really, it is too hard these days, but I do like to visit other blogs. I do like to know where in the world they are. I like what you said about pristine locations, I just share, if people want more details they ask and I tell them.
      I don’t like difficult blogs either, you don’t want to waste your time trying to work out where everything is. I have learned, people don’t like clicking, so if you put links to this to get to this, then they need to click something else, you will lose them.
      Thanks Robert.

  37. As you know I’m pro-blogging, while I am not even close to your skills in photography I’m inspired by your blog as well as others and I also enjoy reading the wordy blogs too. Blogs inspire creativity and help improve ourselves to do better..:-))))

    • They certainly do all that Ed, and that is probably one of the best things about blogs. Thanks.

    • That is a good way of looking at it, I find it makes me take photos. I keep needing to get out to take more photos. Thanks.

  38. First I’d like to thank you for stopping by my blog. I believe you’ve visited before, rude of me for not vocalizing appreciation. I fear I am out with my camera or taking care of chores more than I am on the internet. I mainly put together the site to inspire others that love photography and visual arts as much as I do. Second, you have a talent for writing and creating very thought provoking articles in a very positive manner. I hope to stop by every now and then. By the way, I am an army brat and was born in Landstul, Germany (sp?). Germany is a very beautiful place. I will never ever forget the wonderful places I visited while living there. May you have a wonderful day!

    • That doesn’t matter, but thank you for stopping by. Oh yes, I spend a lot of time on the computer, but a lot of that is also because I love photoshop. Thank you for what you said about my blog too, it is always reassuring to know that people like what I write. sounds fantastic, thanks.

  39. Hi again Leanne,
    I realize that THE key topic of this whole discussion is missing! That being SEO.
    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is elementary and essential to all photographers who blog. The most important thing every photographer should do is to label every photo before uploading it. So, if you take a photo of an Eastern bluebird, label the photo Eastern-bluebird.jpg before you upload it from your computer.
    The search bots (the technology that crawls through websites looking for whatever it is that someone has put in as a search) LOVE photos. I believe photos rank second in the hierarchy of search (second only to h1 headings). That’s huge pull-power for photographers.
    You all probably read in WordPress’ 2014 statistics that photo sites were the most popular for the year. That’s good because we live in a time when photography is of great interest. It’s bad because we have tons of competition. If you want an edge over others in terms of getting your photos seen, label them before you upload them.
    PS NEVER use photo labeling in any way that can be perceived by the bot as spamming. Your site can be removed from being searchable if you spam, on purpose or accidentally. Be sure to label each image with its actual subject and also be sure that subject (the actual term) is in your text content, too. So, for instance in my example above, I would be sure to write about the Eastern bluebird in my post.
    Thanks again, Leanne!

    • I haven’t gone into that Mary, but great idea to bring it up. That is a great pull for photographers. I didn’t read that about photo sites, but yes good and bad because of the competition, I agree.
      My husband also said never use one of the SEO optimising companies, Google hate them and it can actually make your rating far worse. I am told doing things like the MMC is good because it gets your links out there too. I don’t know. I’m not really sure I understand, but I believe when you google me, I come up pretty quickly in the search, so I think I’m doing okay.
      Thanks Mary, some great points.

      • Hi Leanne,
        You are so good about replying to each comment…please don’t feel as if you have to reply to this! I just wanted to follow-up to clarify some things and to expand on the idea of SEO for anyone who might want to understand my meaning (in a comment above) better.
        Although I’ll say “you” and “your” and use examples from the LeanneColePhotography site, really this comment is for the benefit of all who read it.
        It makes sense that people find you when they google your name – especially if your url (your website address) includes your name. So it’s a given that you are easy to find on the internet via your name. Anyone who knows your name can find your site.
        What I meant in my comment above is more specific. For instance, when you do a wonderful series as you did on the sunrise over “the flats” – if you were to label each photo with the the word “sunrise” and also the name of that piece of water or the town, etc. then people looking for (i.e. googling) either sunrise images or images of that particular locale might come across the images on your site. The benefit of this is that your marketing and sales reach can increase.
        The key is to think of what a person would “google” to find the particular photo you are labeling. Labels need to be short — just two or three words. So, looking at your banyuleflats series, you might have labeled some of those images as “stars-sky-banyuleflats” or “kangaroo-herd-banyuleflats.” That way anyone googling “banyuleflats” or “image of stars in the sky” or “kangaroo images” or “image of kangaroo herd” might come upon your photos.
        You should always include “Melbourne” in your labeling of every image of your scenes in Melbourne. The rest of each photo label should be specific to the one photo.
        I can’t tell you how many times I’ve google searched for an image of something and one of my own photos shows up in google images – an image that I might have included (and labeled well) in a post several years ago. And I’m emailed quite often for the use (read “purchase” or “lease purchase”) of one of my images that someone has found through a google search.
        Also, while images have tremendous pull-power on the internet currently, the #1 pull always is the h1 (header 1). The h1 is the “title” you give your blog post or the title you give a web page. So, a perfect example of a powerful h1 is your “Weekend Wanderings – Maldon Train Station.” That couldn’t be more specific – it’s perfect (well, maybe true perfection would be “Weekend Wanderings – Maldon Australia Train Station”).
        And every time you post images of Melbourne, “Melbourne” should be in your h1 title rather than, for instance, “the city.”
        Note: If you change your h1 title at any point while you are preparing your post, you should use the Edit feature below the title and copy and paste the new revision of the title into the edit place. Also note that the edit feature will automatically add the hyphens for you.
        And finally, I agree with your husband about not using SEO optimizing companies. Google is quite particular. In fact if you stay within “the Google family” and use Google+, your visibility is likely to improve.

        Here on WordPress, we all think that a bunch of followers of our site is terrific. And it is. But if you are only drawing WordPress followers who are interested in photography (for the sake of this discussion) you might be missing out on a host of other people (who don’t blog and don’t have a website on WordPress or anywhere else for that matter) but who use the internet all the time to find photos (or photography classes/lessons) for their personal or professional use. For best online visibility for a photographer, it’s important to use good h1 and photo labeling practices to reach those internet users as well.

      • I hadn’t thought of much of this, I must admit I tend to label my images so I can find them on my computer. I will have to rethink all this now. thank you Mary.
        Oh, I started using G+ for that reason.

  40. When it comes to photoblogs i want to see an honest photos, I don’t mean no photoshopping but sharing their own images and their own experiences. I will unfollow blogs where they spam post a load of images which are either reblogs or shared. I like to know roughly in the world ( continent) they are but I don’t feel it is really important. I do like image centered blogs but I also like to read about how images where created and opinions on photography.

    • I agree Ben, I like the same thing. I also don’t like it when people post 30 or 40 posts a day, if you want to follow them, that is a lot of posts, just clogs up your email. I tend to only follow people in the reader who do more than one post a day, otherwise it is too much email. Thanks Ben.

  41. I’m a word person, but I usually will not persevere to the end if there is not enough air around the words. Solid blocks of text is heavy heavy heavy!

  42. So many wonderful comments already on this post, Leanne. Here are the things I like in a blog:

    1. A clean, uncluttered site that’s easy to navigate.
    2. Sites where the newest post is easy to find.
    3. Complete gravatars. I agree with Shane about the importance of proper gravatars. What that means is if I click on someone’s gravatar, I would like to have more than just their blog name appear. A gravatar with complete information, including a link to the blog, is like a mini about me page and helps me identify and easily find the blog of those who have “liked” a post.
    4. Correctly sized and compressed images. Sites where large original-sized photos have been uploaded are slow to load. I’ve come across a handful where the loading time is so long, that I have clicked away in frustration. One even routinely froze my system.
    5. Quiet blogs. What do I mean by that? No automatic audio playing when I click on a post. Slows down loading time and can be more annoying than nice, especially if I can’t find a way to stop it.
    6. Meaningful replies to comments left on a blog.
    7. Blogrolls – I do like to see who a blogger is following or what their favorite posts are on other blogs. I have followed a number of blogs discovered this way.

    As far as information about myself, as time passes, I find myself divulging more. I do use my name, and my location is given in my gravatar (which is in my sidebar). I have alluded to my age and a few other personal facts as the situations have come up. It certainly helps to forge a more personal connection.

    Thanks, as always, for yet another meaningful “Up for Discussion”! It’s always educational to hear what others have to say.

    • I can relate to a few of these. I hate the incorrectly sized images as well. We are on limited download here, so blogs with big images means it costs me more. I hope my gravatar is okay, you should check it out Stacy, you should, tell me if it is okay. I hate things playing too. I know someone who has music on her blog all the time, and sometimes it scares the hell out of me when I go to here blog. My computer is also in the lounge room so it really disturbs others. I was doing the blogroll, but I follow 100’s of blogs Stacy, it would be a very long list.
      Thanks for those, I’m sure they will help lots of people.

      • Leanne, I laughed out loud at your comment “sometimes it scares the hell out of me”! Absolutely. I forgot all about that as a reason for no music. That’s definitely happened to me too :) As for the blogroll, I chose to do a widget that posts pictures of the 10 posts I most recently liked. So it’s constantly changing, but it gives a glimpse of the things that inspire me. I checked out your gravatar and you’ve got great information there. A bit about yourself, your email address, and a link to your website (though perhaps you should call the link “blog” since it links back here?) I don’t know how the link to your photo gallery is supposed to work – if I click on the logo, it takes me to the photo right next to it on the gravatar. Is it supposed to link back to your new website? If so, that needs to be fixed. Hope this helps.

      • It does Stacy, especially if I don’t really know how loud my speakers have been turned up. It has scared other people here too. I have seen those widgets, maybe I should consider it. Thanks for checking out my gravatar, I will have to look into those things and fix them. It does help, it helps a lot, thank you.

  43. Another great, useful and helpful discussion Leanne! It is something that I have been wondering myself too. I have had my blog for 2-3 years roughly now. But I take time off halfway because I was so busy with my PhD and now I am slowly going back into it. I have been wondering on how to get more viewers. This is definitely helpful – all those discussions in your comments are gonna be useful :) Thanks so much!

    • That is great to hear, there are so many wonderful comments too with lots of advice as well.

  44. Tri Wahyu says

    I don’t think I should put much info in “About” section. It should serve only as brief of my blog, work and activities. People who want to know more should read my newest post or see photo gallery. They should slowly recognize how I am through my posts.

    Tags is good feature for anyone who want to identify their post or image without put detail description.

    • But you don’t say the same thing all the time, so unless people have got to know you over a period of time, then they won’t know you. I think a good about page should tell someone why you do what you do, roughly where you are and maybe a couple of others things. The About page is for you and to describe your blog.
      Yes, tags can be very useful and they should be used.

      • Tri Wahyu says

        Ups…I never think about it before. As you can see, it isn’t easy to write a good brief about myself in few lines.
        I tried in past but I had to update my page frequently due my scope and review often change as I wrote my post.
        In beginning, I just tried to introduce my blog skill to potential employer, then it slowly expand to cafe review and photography that result today.

      • I think it is a great idea to be always updating your about page, I do it every now and then, add things, or change stuff.

  45. I agree, it’s frustrating when you don’t know where a picture was taken or where the photographer is based! I always find that your blog manages to combine both excellent images and interesting, informative and educational discussions.

    I never really know what to say on my blog, so I mostly stick to simple descriptions. Though occasionally I like to throw in some history, because that interests me and I enjoy doing a little research on historic places.

    • Thanks Stevie, glad you like what I do. Maybe you need to think about what you like on other blogs and mimic them, I think the Daily Post have been doing a heap of posts about what to blog. Good luck.

  46. Yes, I agree it is good to know where people are from & where pics are taken — on the flip side…. so many people DON”T READ!! I get questions from people, who, if they took the trouble to read, would not need to ask!! Oh well, the classic double edged sword!!

  47. elmediat says

    Must agree, some indication of source/context would be most helpful. The line between photography mindset and snapshot mindset still exists. It is an example of different levels of not just skill set, but Media Literacy.
    It is also a reflection of how individuals prioritize information and communicate it. As an English teacher, I would ask for 200 – 300 word journal on an open topic. Some students struggled to get down 100 words, while others wanted to give me 800 plus. They all had a vast array of experiences & ideas, but some saw their experiences in limited pieces or that could not be important,……. like where do I live, this happen at uncle Waldo’s 98th birthday party.

    • That is so true. Also true about communicating and experiences, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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