Protect Your Images in Blogger and WordPress – No Right Click

no-stealing-logoProtecting your images in Blogger – No Right Click. One of the main concerns with online photo galleries or portfolios, especially for professional photographers, is users stealing images or unauthorized use of your art. I just stumbled across a great article (with code included) , written by Timi at Cinnamon Girl Studio, that you may find quite useful. While you cannot completely stop people determined to steal your photos, you can make the task a bit more difficult for them.

Here’s the direct link to Protect Your Images in Blogger – No Right Click article.

For WordPress users, try WP-CopyRightPro. Wp-CopyrightPro is a plug-in developed in order to minimize the copying of your website content. This is not a complete solution, but it will avoid 90% of attempts to copy its contents. You can download from this site, or search for it from your Admin>Plugins search tool.

Trick Photography
I highly recommend Hacking Photography to anyone who has been procrastinating learning photography.  If you want to get good fast, this is your book.

Google Photos Blog

google-photos-blog

Google is everywhere today, so it comes as no surprise that they have a photo blog…The Official Google Photos Blognews, tips and tricks from the Picasa team at Google.

For those not familiar with Picasa, it’s a great tool to organize and edit your photos, which enables you to upload and share them using Picasa Web Albums. Just like other Google applications, the interface is clean, intuitive, responsive and easy to use.

So, if you love photography and are new to Picasa, Google Photos Blog is a great way to learn how use Picasa to get the most out of your photo archives!

Make the Most of Your Existing Traffic

opportunityBefore talking about your photoblog and changes I recommend, let me start by saying that if you don’t currently use a traffic counting plug-in or traffic tracking website, you’re making a big mistake. Unless you enjoy blindly posting on the web with no interest in who or how many viewers read your site, this is something to address today! I am personally addicted to Wassup (awesome SPY feature) and also use Google Analytics. The focus of this article is how to make the most of your existing traffic…however, you will need to be able to benchmark your current results to understand if the suggested changes actually work for you.

Readers of this blog notice I like to change my theme on a regular basis and there is a good reason behind this. Working on the web requires constant experimentation. If you are already happy with your results, then I guess no change is needed. But if you desire to improve your web results, change is in order. This photoblog has been live for about 14 months now, and along the way, the theme has changed 8 times. I would like to say that each time a change has been made, my results have improved..but that’s just not the case…However, I have learned a few things over time which do work on a consistent basis.

With this latest design, almost a week old now, my page views have increased 40% and bounce rate has improved (lowered) by 10%! These site traffic improvements were not a result of a new writing style or intriguing new topics, just a few simple changes that you, too, can do in one evening:

  • Choose your theme careful - There are thousands of WordPress and Blogger themes to choose from, however, they must be appropriate to your topic. Simply selecting the slickest theme design with no regard to its relevance to your site will not yield the results you hope to achieve. Turn your computer off for a few moments and with paper and pencil, rough sketch what you think your site (again, relevant to your niche market) should look like. If you’ve got mad PHP and CSS skills, I guess you could create a theme, but for everyone else, you now have a starting point when looking at possible designs which could work for you. Once you have your theme, be sure you have the correct color scheme and header. All themes are hackable. Even with limited web dev skills, a quick Google search should point you in the right direction to make the adjustments you need.
  • Above the fold jargon. You hear a lot about the importance of placing important content above the fold…but are you really doing it? Enter your URL into a browser and click submit. View your site as if it were the first time landing there. What is your eye drawn to? Do you have so many ads in the header that the content requires scrolling? Place the information most important to the mission of your site above the fold. For me, it meant changing my layout to include a menu bar at the top of the page, as opposed to the sidebar and footer. I have also included a site summary (along with a hand drawn pic of myself to add a little personal touch) at the top of the page as well. It is important to me that viewers understand what we’re about as soon as possible. Depending on how you promote your site, i.e., StumbleUpon, Propeller, Digg, Fark, and a host of bookmarking sites, you literally have about 1-2 seconds to grab the attention of your viewer before they leave.
  • Internal linking. No doubt you have numerous posts already published on your site, but does anyone know about them?…how would they find them? Make it a goal to link to one previous posting within each new post. Sometimes we get too worked up about driving traffic to our site that we neglect what they do once there. Your goal should be to lower your bounce rate, meaning readers view other content besides just viewing the one page you promoted heavily and leave. Another solution on this topic, use and prominently display categories. Categories allow you to group/link together similar topics, making it easy for viewers to find the content they are seeking. In using categories, make sure to title them appropriately..and be as specific as needed. For instance, if you review cameras it may be better to break out a category for each model (Nikon, Canon, etc) , instead of just using Camera Reviews as a title.
  • Site search. Many blog themes have, by default, a site search feature displayed…others, you have to elect to display it. This goes hand and hand with internal linking…Make it easy..REAL EASY for readers to find your content…it’s too easy for viewers to leave so do the legwork for them. In addition to having a site search feature, I also prominently display a site map, which lists every post I’ve ever written here. There is a great WP plugin to assist you with this…Google XML Sitemaps

In summary, growing unique visitor traffic does not happen overnight. However, the steps I’ve provided can maximize the total number of pages viewed by each visitor that does come your way. Hope you find this helpful and feel free to comment!

Tips and Hacks to Grow Your Blog Traffic

lightbulb ideaGrowing photo blog traffic is a main concern for many of our visitors. We’ve all read plenty of tips and hacks about how to increase reader engagement, key strategies to increase subscriptions, and of course, ways to monetize your blog. However, without traffic all these helpful hints are meaningless.

How many bloggers average less than 20 visitors average per day?….the answer…MOST. I recently read a very interesting article, 50 Rapid Fire Tips For Power Blogging,  written by David Risley – Confessions of a Six Figure Blogger – in which he speaks candidly about improving your blog performance.

While I won’t recap each of the tips listed in his post (since you can read this for yourself), I would like to discuss several points  I found to be very effective..along with some do’s and don’ts. (I’ll be referencing the tip #’s from David’s article, so don’t get frustrated with missing numbers.)

  • #1 – Use WordPress – I couldn’t agree more. I’ve used TypePad in the past, but wasn’t particularly fond of the user interface and really didn’t like paying a monthly/annual fee. Blogger has it’s uses and I currently use it for a few limited focus sites. However, WordPress is the industry standard. Yes, it does have a bit of a learning curve, but it’s well worth the initial pains. You can get a free WordPress blog that WordPress hosts, but you are limited to a subdomain url, i.e., ilovephotoblogs.wordpress.com (kind of messy!)….. My suggestion, select a quality hosting company (  I use GoDaddy, but there are other fine ones out there such as Blue Host and Host Gator), find a domain name that works for you (check out my favorite domain name search tool), download WordPress to your new account and you’re ready to take on the world. WordPress offers thousands of themes (free) and even more plug-ins (again, free) which add tremendous functionality to your site.
  • #3 – Use catchy blog post titles – I agree with this statement, however, don’t go overboard with a perfect SEO researched title each time. Always having the perfect link bait title will turn off a portion of your viewership. A good mix of great SEO terms, Top 10 lists, and conversational speak style titles has worked best for me.
  • #5 – Comment on other blogs – often – Not only does commenting on other blogs give you additional links and exposure, you’ll discover many interesting sites and people that you’d probably never encounter if you were waiting for them to stumble across your site. Get out there, network, and socialize. Remember, easy on the spammy comments. Sincere and topic appropriate comments always work best.
  • #11 – Use header tags to separate sections in your blogs. I won’t get into the details about header tags and SEO performance, other than to tell you it’s worth the research.
  • #23 – When writing your About Page, pay attention to what you write. Never publish your blog before completing your About Page!  The About Page is your brand and tells people who you are, what you’re about, and is the one of most important aspects to building a community aside for great content. I often equate an About Page with the automaker badge on your car. Can you imagine purchasing an auto without knowing the identity of the manufacturer? Probably not. And while you’re creating this section, be sure to get it your fullest attention. The About Page should not be an afterthought. My About Page is the 5th most popular page on my site!
  • #24 – Do lots of videos. I have come to the realization that video does matter..and in a big way. Consider your viewing habits. Unless you’re still on dial-up, chances are you watch videos for news, sports, YouTube, tutorials, etc. If you’re serious about taking your site to the next level, video is a must. Yes, I am currently guilty of being video deficient on this site, but (BREAKING NEWS) video is on the way. FLIP Video camcorders are available for well below $100US, and connect directly to your PC via USB.
  • #26 – Link to other, related blog posts regularly in your own posts. Linking to related blog posts increases your relevance in the eyes of your readers as well as search engines. In addition, you should also monitor who is talking about/linking to you as well. This is easily performed by signing up for Google Alerts, a must-have tool for any serious blogger. When setting up your Alerts, be sure to monitor your name, your link, as well as any competitors you have identified. Google Alerts gives you an easy way to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening relevant to you.
  • #36 - Spend some time creating some killer posts for your blog. As bloggers,we understand that all blog posts are not created equally. Some days/weeks, we’re pressed for time or if we do have a spare moment,we may not have the energy to compile in-depth, qualitative writing. Have no fear, most blogs are one-person operations, run by people with full-time job responsibilities, readers get it. However, if you are looking to take your blog to the next level, be prepared to dedicate at least a couple of hours on research and writing per day.
  • #42 – When starting a blog, decide on it’s mission. Focus is key to your blog’s success. Stay on topic as much as possible. This is key for building an audience, but more importantly, getting the needed Google love to boost your overall search engine ranking.
  • #46 Be yourself, #47 Don’t write like you’re writing for Britannica. I think you can get idea of these points by the titles, but I’d like to emphasize the importance of actually including written text in your posts. I’ve reviewed numerous photo blogs which contain little to no text..only images. Understand, if your blog post only contains a photo with no text, the only data search engines have to evaluate is the ALT text associated with each photo, assuming you have even entered this information. In summary, use your words liberally, in a style that is user friendly, warm and not overly scholarly. I am not saying to dumb-down your writing style, but realize that many of your viewers will be reading your English post as a second language.

Hope you enjoyed our post and as always, feel free to comment!

Tips for Designing Photo blogs

Photo blogs a full of great photos, so why is it hard to design an awesome photoblog? As you know, great photos alone do not make a killer photo blog.

These 10 tips discuss theme and design for photo blog/gallery, and I’ll discuss later on how to organize and display the images well.

  • Fast loading images is critical. When selecting the images you want to present in your photo blog, ensure that you only use the minimum size required for display. Large image sizes discourage viewers. If your photograph takes more than a couple seconds to load, viewers will likely leave your site no matter how interesting the subject matter.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes. While photographs should tell a story, providing background information about where the photograph was taken, or the work required to create the image are helpful for the viewer to gain a better understanding about the importance of your image.
  • Cut the clutter. When creating your photo blog, do not upload duplicates of the same image. Photo blog viewers are interested in photography. However, do not blindly upload every image captured from your photo excursion.
  • Provide a RSS feed or email subscription. Many photo blogs utilize cookie-cutter templates that do not have integrated feeds. If you are looking to build your audience, give your photoblog viewers the ability to subscribe to your blog. It’s a simple process, and a great way to grow your presence on the web. Here is a link to subscribe to my photo blog.
  • Photo archives are important. When constructing your photo blog, be sure to incorporate an archiving system so viewers have an alternative method to select images. Many photo blogs only use the “previous” link for viewing photography. Let viewers choose which method they prefer by giving them options. Most blogging platforms have built-in archiving options for weekly or monthly. Depending on how active you post, selecting the monthly option is recommended for most photobloggers.
  • Packaging is essential in marketing your product. You may be new to photoblogging or blogging in general. Using a default template in Blogger, Typepad, or WordPress is easy, but ordinary. There are many resources at your disposal, which can teach you on how to spice up your blog. Become a photo blog viewer. Bookmark sites that look interesting to you. Learn how to manipulate your blogging platform to create an unique design. Here is one of my favorite examples of great web design to display photos.
  • Display camera information, optional. While a portion of your viewing audience are photographers who want to know technical data about each photograph displayed, the majority of photo blog viewers are people just interested in seeing great photography.
  • Photo blog themes are key. Develop a niche in the world of photography. Have focus in the body of work you display. Including funny birthday pictures along with landscape photography tells the viewers you are talented, but not a serious photographer. If you specialize in landscape photography, only show landscape photography on your blog. If you also want to show off funny family pictures, start another blog for this collection.
  • Be original. Pretty pictures are a dime a dozen. Sorry to be so blunt, but facts are facts. Digital photography allows for free experimentation. Look for new ways to capture traditional themes, i.e, landmarks, sunsets, etc. Be critically honest in reviewing your portfolio. What makes your work stand out from the crowd? Digital photography allows millions of people to create technically excellent photographs, but there will always be a market for photographers with an unique perspective. Don’t be in a hurry to post your images. Review, reshoot, and more review.

View our collection of hundreds of amazing photoblogs. Have a favorite you’d like to share?