A couple of days ago I provided a few examples of lessons I have learned through my experience posting photographs on Flickr. After buying my first digital SLR I was looking for a venue to share my photos and to learn about photography. Flickr has provided exactly that. But you don’t draw attention to your photos without learning a few things. Like finding others who find the same things interesting. Here are a few more things I have learned, all of which translate to blogging!
- I began photographing sunrises for one simple reason. I can take some nice photos right out the window of my 15th floor condo as the photo at right demonstrates. I found that there are other Flickr members who enjoy these photos (and don’t bore of them too quickly) by joining Flickr groups particularly focused on sunrises and sunsets. I also learned from participating in those groups exactly what other people respond to most strongly. I can recognize other photographers whose photos are clearly superior to mine and ask them to critique my work. Ditto for blogs.
- I’m focusing on quality photos rather than quantity. There’s a satisfying feeling when I post a photo every morning, but some days I honestly can’t find any of sufficiently high quality, As I learn to critique photographs, my standard is raised . So missing a few days and building a higher-quality portfolio is a good thing.
- Much blogging advice on the internet is preoccupied with explosive growth in traffic. But I am learning to be patient with quantitative progress in Flickr views, growth in my Twitter account and blogging traffic. Blogging gurus offer approaches to add hundreds of contacts (followers) with strategies that have nothing to do with getting to know people and having a common interest. Those seem to be shallow achievements. It is more satisfying to build steadily. With Flickr I’ve learned that once you build a stock of photographs that people find interesting, new contacts will be added without you having to aggressively pursue them. People will find you and if they like your work they will add you as a contact. Some may just add you hoping that you will reciprocate. Until your numbers become unwieldy (meaning that you just don’t have the time to look at their photographs as they’re posted or check their blogs), what’s the harm? I keep plugging away, posting the best pictures I can, and as a result you will find the quantitative progress steadily coming together.
In case it’s not obvious, I don’t offer this advice as a blogging expert. I won’t be offering a 2 page PDF for $29.95 any time soon with 5 secrets of blogging success. But blogging can be stressful and initial results can be very disappointing. Most of us don’t persist and that’s a shame. You have something to say that others want to hear or need to hear. And you need to say it. If my encouragement helps you to stick it out, this post has done its job. So start and don’t stop and keep learning. That’s all!
- Social media cross-training: let Flickr teach you blogging! (danarmishaw.com)