It used to be that showing your work on the Internet meant creating a website with lots of complicated programming. Enter the blog. Once a tool for sharing thoughts and opinions, blogs are quickly becoming the primary method for displaying portfolios and content with the World. Today I will share a few resources that you can use to jump into the world of photo-blogging using what is possibly the most popular blogging platform in the Internet, WordPress. I’m not going to teach you how to create a WordPress blog, just point you to some good resources to get you started.
Handbook for Photographers -
This first one isn’t about WordPress but blogging in general. The folks over at PhotoShelter are offering up a free 36 page book called The Photography Blog Handbook. It is full of helpful hints like: What should I write about?, Compelling Content, Blogs & Social MediaStrategy, and more. There are even case studies using actual photography blog sites. This handbook will be a great primer for you to start thinking about how you want to actually use your new blog. You can get your copy of the handbook at PHOTOSHELTER.
Online Training -
If you are completely new to the world of blogging and aren’t even sure how to get started I highly recommend that you get some top notch training first. And I can think of no one better than my buddy RC Concepcion. RC has two fantastic classes on Kelby Training called WordPress basics for Photographers Part I & II. Int he classes RC will guide you through the complete process of setting up a WordPress blog, from finding a host provider to changing themes, to using Lightbox (that cool plug-in that makes your images show up on top of the blog when clicked on). I am a pretty experienced WordPress blogger but when I get stuck, RC is the guy that I turn to. You can find his classes over at Kelby Training.
A Change of Theme -
One of the great things about WordPress is the ability to use themes to change the look and feel of your site. Many of them are very customizable so that you can tailor them exactly to your needs. There are also a lot of themes that are made to showcase photography. Some of these are pay-for and some are free. Here’s a pretty cool list of some themes you can purchase that were developed for photographers. If you aren’t keen on buying a theme, there are plenty of free ones to choose from as well such as this nice offering from Graph Paper Press.
Plug It In -
If Themes are the best part of WordPress, plug-ins run a close second. There are all sorts of plug-ins out there to help add capabilities to your blog, including some that are specifically for photo galleries on your blog pages. Here’s a list of 10 cool plug-ins along with links to see them in action.
Don’t forget your Flickr Photos -
If you already have a large collection of images over on Flickr you can incorporate those into your blog. There are a bunch of different ways of doing this using plug-ins. Here’s a link to a tutorial showing just how to make it happen.
I have just scratched the surface when it comes to resources for creating your photo blog but this list should certainly get you started.