This is a guest post by - Jason Greiner
As a photographer, prospective photographer, or even just a website owner, you know when it comes to trying to keep your visitor’s ADD minds focused on your stuff having a beautiful website is extremely important. However, no matter how amazing your website might look, it won’t matter in the least if nobody ever sees it. So I’m going to go over some basic networking strategies to hopefully motivate you to start connecting with your peers and ultimately get your photography business flowing with traffic similar to the LA traffic seen in the photo below!
Image Licensed Under Creative Commons – Trey Ratcliff of StuckinCustoms
What is Networking and Why is it Important?
- Networking - No matter what you say, or who you are, you need a network of friends, fans, contacts, and yes even competition to be successful. These people will help promote further growth, inspire ideas, help you in times of need and keep you motivated to push further. There are two main types of networking and both are important to grasp and put to use.
Two Basic Networking Strategies that Will Explode Your Traffic Numbers!
When dealing in offline networking, you may want to attend art shows featuring some photographers, seek out any local clubs or organizations for photography enthusiasts (you can actually use a site like Meetup.com for this) and jump into conversations and group shoots within the community.
In the offline world, be sure to carry business cards. Pass them out at any relevant events you attend or whenever what seems like an appropriate opportunity pops up. Even walking down the street you might notice someone who seems interested in the fact that you’re carrying a DSLR – strike up a conversation and hand them your card – who knows they might become a client!
While the offline world has its benefits like personal interaction, face to face conversations, and the ability to really know the person for who they are, there’s that whole online world out there too, which brings me to the second part of networking.
Networking takes on an entirely new level in the online world – think global – think 24 hours a day 7 days a week!
No – you don’t have to physically be there the entire time, but once you drop a link to your site it will always be there waiting for a curious person to click upon it.
Many forums allow you to use signatures in your posts, and while it’s not the best form of back linking, it still does raise awareness of your site and help generate traffic. If you’re a well known member of a forum it might even be appropriate to mention that you have a website in a separate thread, but I’d only attempt this if you’re a well known member with a lot of friends, otherwise you’d probably be breaking some rules, or worse be marked as a spammer for life.
Leaving comments on other blogs is another way to network online, many blog owners love thoughtful comments on their posts, and photographs. While “Hey that’s an awesome photo” still makes me smile when someone says “Hey I love the lighting, how’d you get the shadows to do that, and what time of day where you shooting?” Just takes it that one step further and that person really begins to stick out in my mind after a couple comments like that.
It’s important to note that there’s a fine line between spam and leaving comments or posting in forums – be careful not to becoming a spammer.
The third and final form of online networking is (what I’m doing right now). By writing this post here for John’s site I’ve been able to grab your attention, let you know some useful information, and provide links at the bottom of the post for places where you can find me. These links are the best links to get, as they typically carry more weight (when referring to SEO) then comments and forum posts, they also are usually going to generate more traffic as people have read something useful, something thoughtful, and might want to see more about you.
While guest posting is one of the best ways to generate awareness about your blog, it’s definitely not the easiest. You truly need to put your best foot forward to be published on larger blogs, and even some smaller ones. You’re providing quality content for a web owner looking to fill a slot and their providing you with the eyes of their audience.
However, there are sites like myblogguest.com which offer you the ability to guest for thousands of websites, or if you’re like John you can accept guest posts from thousands of guest poster like myself. Of course, you can go about it the old fashion way and use the contact form on your favorite website and simply ask to submit a post. Remember – the more unique, the more useful, and the more relevant your post idea is to your target blogger’s niche the better!
How do you raise awareness for your website? Feel free to comment below!
Jason Greiner works as photographer in Pittsburgh, PA and is also among the various writers for hire from the region. You can also find him on jasongreiner.com and follow him on Twitter via @3riverscreative.
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