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Posts tagged ‘Blogging’

Up for Discussion: Why We Blog

I’ve told you that it is a crazy week for me, and not a good one, so I am trying not to be too lazy, but I can’t do a massive Up for Discussion post today, so I thought I might do one on Why We Blog.  I will start.  I will tell you why I blog.  Then you can leave me a comment with why you blog, or maybe you might do your own blog post on why you blog with a pingback to this post.  Why do you think?

Why I Blog

I wrote my first blog post on WordPress, in September 2010, however it wasn’t my first blog.  I originally started in January 2010 on Blogspot, First One.sm20101031-3488

I started a blog for a couple of reasons, one was because I was photographing cycling and trying to sell the photos. A guy who worked with my husband suggested that I start a blog, that people liked blogs.  Well it never helped with the cycling, but then it had a second effect. Suddenly I wanted to post, I wanted to share my photos, and over time I realised that the photos I was taking for the posts was changing.

I changed to WordPress in September because I liked the stats better. WP had much better stats, still do, you could really get an idea of what people were looking at, it was good.  Then I started meeting people, I started making friends.  I have met some amazing people church0788-1scvirtually, I love seeing what they do. It has been such an incredible experience.

I really came to WP and blogging with the intention of using it to help me produce work.  In September 2010 I was trying to do lots of things, art wise that is, painting, printmaking, drawing and taking photos.  I thought having the blog would make me do work for it, but it really didn’t work out that way. Within a year of starting this blog I made the decision to give everything else up and concentrate on photography, I have never regretted that decision.

Then in November 2011 I decided to challenge myself to see if I could do a post every day, and post a photo each for the month of November, and since that time I have done a post nearly every day since.  With the exception of the odd here I still post everyday.  It works for me.

20110802-0010Posting each day makes me to go and take photos. Being a relatively lazy person, going out to take photos can be hard, so with the threat of a blog and the need for photos, I have taken far more photos than I would have otherwise.  I have found the blog a fantastic incentive to take photos.


The blog has meant I have met people who I would never have met otherwise.  It drives me to get out and take photos to show people.  It has been an incredibly positive experience for me.

So why do you blog?

I’m just going to approve all the comments for now, and I will try to respond to them all, but I hope you will forgive me if I can’t.

The photos today are from various posts during my first year on WordPress.

Up for Discussion: Up for Discussion

This week I thought we could talk about these posts, what is good about them, what you like, and maybe what we can do with them next year. It is the time of year to be winding down, so I didn’t want to do anything heavy today, I know many are very busy getting ready for Christmas next year, so I thought we could have a post here on Up for Discussion.

Guest Posting

I have loved having people guest post.  It has been interesting and gives you all more diversity having others come in and discuss things that I don’t know anything about.  IMG_20140921_231953

It is also a great opportunity for me to learn something new as well. They are something I would like to continue next year, though finding people to guest post isn’t always easy.

It has been wonderful when people have come to me with an idea of what they would like to guest post about and then we can talk about it.  Many of the guest posts I’ve had have been from people approaching me.  I will continue to allow people to do guest posts next year, so if you have an idea of something you think would be good, send me an email.


IMG_20140924_112930I would also like to hear from you what topics you would like covered.

I am at a loss sometimes, and don’t know what to write about.  I do these posts for you, so I wouldn’t mind at all if you told me what you want me to post about.  Doesn’t mean I will be able to do it, but then again, I might be able to find someone else who could do a post on that.

Do you want more photography posts, or would you like to see some more posts about blogging?  I think both those topics are fine for a photography blog.  I know some of the previous posts on blogging have been very popular, but I don’t quite know what to post about, so your input and ideas would be valuable.

Travel PostsIMG_20140903_154442

One thing I thought we might start are some travel posts.  Maybe once a month we could do a city from around the world, where we can talk about places that people can go and take photos.  Where you are and aren’t allowed to go, if tripods are practical, that sort of thing.  I want them to be interactive, so people can add to the post.  That probably doesn’t make sense, but it is something I want to try.IMG_20140828_180756

Your Say

I’m going to leave it there for this week.  Lots of things to think about, but I would really like to hear from you and see what you would like from these posts.  Maybe you have an idea that I haven’t thought of, or you think some of my ideas are great and want me to go ahead with them.  All things would be welcomed.

Photos Today

For this post I have got many of my Instagram photos and thought I would share them with your here.  I don’t do Instagram much, but try to do it when I go somewhere to take photos.  The idea being if you follow me on Instagram you get an idea of what posts will be coming up.  The photos here are from the last six months.


Up for Discussions – SEO for Photographers, Part 1

labeToday’s Up for Discussion post has been written by Mary McAvoy, she also has a WordPress blog, Sublime Days.  Mary wrote commented on my post last week about post production and started telling me about what I should be doing to get better at SEO. I’m sure many or most of you have heard of this. I keep getting emails from people telling me if I pay them they can get my SEO rating a lot higher, and my husbnad keeps saying Google hate them and if you do it, it will make it worse.  So Mary was telling me things I didn’t know, so thought it would be great for us all to hear.  It is tough area, but really, it is so very important and you all should read it, think about it, and see you can make some changes to your blog/website, next week she will talk about images.

I will hand it over to Mary now.

I’m grateful to Leanne for giving me this opportunity to share with her readers what I know about search engine optimization (SEO) and how it pertains to photographers who blog and who have a website on WordPress.

This article will come to you in two parts. Part 2 will post next week.

First, about SEO generally.

I’m surmising that pretty much everyone who reads this post has, at one time or another, “searched” or “googled” a topic. You typed in words that you hoped would bring you to web pages that specifically addressed the particular topic about which you had interest. The words you typed in are “search terms.”

Search “engines” or “spiders” or “robots” or “bots” read those terms and in milliseconds they scoured the world wide web and then presented to you pages of results, listed about ten to a page. If you were accurate in your choice of search terms, your hoped for results came right up on that first page, perhaps even in the first three sites presented on the first page.

To understand SEO, you need to know that the bots’ search behavior is governed by an algorithm – a set of instructions that tells them how to prioritize what they find on the millions of sites they are scanning for you. This algorithm is changed and refined all the time by search services (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) in an effort to make search results more accurate for the person who is searching the internet, and also to weed out spam from being listed in the search results. Also, different search services have their own algorithms, though there is much overlap. What I’ll discuss in this post is pretty standard in any search service.

Now, let’s look at that same topic but from your point of view as a blogging photographer or a photographer with a website. For the purpose of this post (and for Leanne’s benefit), I’m going to assume that your photography is a business enterprise. And I’m going to assume that your two goals in having a website are to sell your images and to offer lessons in photography. I’m also going to give instructions based on using WordPress (WP).

Here we go.

When you write a post or create pages of your website, you should have a few things on our mind:

1) good content (i.e. quality writing or text)

2) an exceptional and deliberate heading (h1) or title for your post while keeping SEO in mind

3) well labeled photos

and last but hardly least, here’s what’s most important in terms of SEO as you prepare a post:

– in your content and when labeling photos, use the terms a person would type into a search box to find the post you are writing. Think as they would think and use the terms you imagine them using to find the topic of your post. Those terms should be throughout the post and also added as category and tag words

Below I’ll elaborate on each of the above.

1) About good content – believe it or not, the bots do care that the quality of your writing is good. This is one way they can sift out spam sites. If your writing is done well and stays on the topic of the keywords you add as “categories” and “tags” (and also on the topic of your overall site) then you’ll be better viewed by the bots. As you write, know that the first paragraph is the most important in terms of what the bots “read” so put your keywords in that paragraph. Make this opening paragraph concise and directly related to your topic.

2 About your heading (h1) – the heading(h1) of your post is the “title” you put into the title bar at the top of the page where you write your post on WordPress. (It is also the page titles of the pages on a site. But I won’t digress to that in this post.) In the image below “Leanne Cole Offers Lesson for Street Photographers” is the title. It’s of utmost importance that the most defining words (the search words) of your post appear in this title line. This is the top hierarchy for the bots. This title bar creates an “h1″ level heading. In the search algorithm, the number one thing the searching bot looks for is h1 content. H1 content is brief – generally the title. (So, you can’t change your whole content to h1! To do that would probably be looked upon as spamming!)

SEO post title sample


Often as you write a post, if you are thinking about SEO (and you should be if your site’s purpose is to promote your business), you’ll change to more targeted and succinct titles (h1 content). To help you understand refining your h1 content, let’s say you decided to change the title above to something even more focused on searchability. So, you might changed it to: Street Photography Lessons by Leanne Cole.

A WP tip: If you change the heading at any point while you are preparing a post, be sure you edit it in the line just below the title bar. To do so, click on the Edit button. The text that now shows (in the image below) in yellow will turn to blue. Copy the text in your title bar and paste it into the edit bar, replacing what was there.

So, before (as you change the title/h1):

SEO post h1 edit in WordPress

And after:

SEO post h1 title change

Then press OK. WP automatically puts the whole title in lowercase and adds the dashes between the words so that you don’t have to. But read it to be sure it’s correct. You should make a habit of checking this bar before you Publish your post to be sure it’s accurate. It is the most important SEO content in your post.

NOTE: While I’m on the topic of headings, do you see that Paragraph bar in the first image above – it’s in the lower row all the way to the left in the tool bar? If you click on the down arrow next to Paragraph, you’ll see all your heading choices.

It will look like this:

Wordpress dropdown menu for headings

These options are not just about the font look. Anything you change to heading 1 (h1), heading 2 (h2), heading 3 (h3), etc. will set a hierarchy of search importance. So, you might make a short subheading (one or two brief sentences) in h2, placed as your first paragraph in the post body area. It would be made up of content that includes the next most important keywords that are not in your title (h1), though it might also repeat the content of your title. Unlike the writing we were taught in school, in blog writing you should repeat your key words and phrases in the most natural way you can. For this post example Leanne might add an h2 that reads: I’m offering a Street Photography lesson in Melbourne this Saturday, September 21, 2013, at noon.”

Part 2 of this topic will be published by Leanne next week.

It will cover 3) labeling your photos.

Please let me know if you have questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Mary McAvoy-Syntax and Style

Mary McAvoy is an author and photographer. She owns Syntax and Style, a business that specializes in the web presence of writers and photographers. Mary’s been blogging since 2007.

Her sites are:

sublime days – where Mary writes about all sorts of things and shares about her writing and her books

The Ripest Pics – Mary’s photography site

MaryMcAvoy-Photography – Mary’s photography-for-sale site (hosted by Fine Art America)

SilverLining-MaryMcAvoy – Mary’s photo-blog about a pond in New England


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.

Up for Discussion – Why We Blog

Yesterday, in a comment, someone said something about why people blog.  I thought it was a great idea to discuss this.  It is different for everyone and, if you are anything like me, those reasons have changed over time.  So I will start, this is why I blog.

I started blogging just over 4 years ago, but I started on another platform, but I did come to WordPress in September 2010.  Originally it started as a way to help me make art.  I was an artist but I was/am a lazy person and I need a push.  My good friend from Uni had started blogging to get her to create art, it seemed like a good idea, so I did the same.

SAMSUNGNot photographed very well, but a lino print I did from I photo I had taken at a cycling race.  I was back into photography then, but not totally committed.  I was trying to find some way to do both.

SAMSUNGI kept drawing.

bitsandpiecesI wanted to keep painting.

It was all getting too much, so in June 2011 I made the decision to stop doing art, as in anything like drawing or painting.  I had to concentrate on one thing, and get as good as I could at that, I chose photography.  It is a decision I have never regretted. I’m totally committed to it now.

20110103-1066I was still photographing cycling, but it wasn’t going to last for much longer.  Once I realised that I could still take photos of anything, I knew that I had to get back to some other things.

sctulips-hpm5613-7I really liked where my work was going and I really liked what was happening on this blog.  In the last twelve months my blog has grown a lot and I have wanted to share it with more people, I like doing the Introductions/Influencing Me posts, it is a great way to showcase other peoples work.  I like that it is becoming more a community sort of thing, and now with the Monochromatic Madness Challenge, it great to share the work of so many others.  It also helps to push me.

I think my blog is still about art, but my life as a photographic artist, and that is great with me. One of the most rewarding things about blogging has been the huge number of friends that I have made.  A virtual world wide group.  That has been so amazing, and now I chat with some on facebook and Google+, virtual friendships.

So why do you blog?  How long have you been blogging for?  Has your reasons for blogging changed since you started?

You can comment and tell us how, but if you have blogged about this already, or want to, then just leave a link in the comments section.

I thought I would share some random photos from the last few years.

14 Days and Some Things Take a Break

Normally on Wednesday’s I do a post for, and while I have done one today, it was really just a short post to let people know that we are taking a break for a short time.  You can take a look at the post if you like, Christmas is Here Again.  

Flags Flying outside the Town Hall, image taken for City of Melbourne.

Flags Flying outside the Town Hall, image taken for City of Melbourne.

I have to admit, I really enjoy writing for that blog, there is something quite challenging about it, I have to find different things to talk about.  I am hoping they will want me to continue next year.  Writing is something I enjoy doing, not as much as photography, but I suspect it is why I love blogging so much, because I get to write as well.  

Can I just take this small moment to say thank you to all of you who have been following and reading the blog on,  I have really appreciated the support.  Thank you.

Happy Anniversary to Me

This morning I received a WordPress notiification to let me know that I have been anniversary-1xwith WordPress for three years.  I have to say, I knew it was coming up, but then I forgot all about it.  So I wondered what I could do today to mark this anniversary.

I have loved being a WordPress blogger, and I encourage lots and lots of people I know to be one as well.  When people ask me about blogging I tell them it is a wonderful experience and that out of all the blogging platforms, WordPress is the best.  There are so many things that are wonderful with them.

Blogging did start earlier for me.  My first blog was with Blogger, or blogspot, and I did it there for about 9 months before switching to here.  The main reason for the switch was because of the stats, WP have much, much better stats.  It is easier to work out how your blog is being seen and by who, well almost who.

Then I discovered the WP community and I haven’t looked back since.  I have made so many new friends, and have met a few.  I look forward to meeting many more.  My friendship circle has grown quite a bit which has only been possible because of WP.  I now try to catch up and keep in contact with many of them on facebook.  It has been good getting to know them that way.

I really want to thank everyone who has followed me and supported me.  It has made the blogging experience that much more special.

So today, to celebrate my three years, I have gone back through my blog and picked one image from every month that I have been blogging.  The gallery will start from 3 years ago and work forward.  It is interesting to see where I came from and how I have changed.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.


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