5 Frustration-Free Ways to Reboot Your Photo Website
The beginning of the year can be a slow time for photo-taking but it’s a great time to work on everything else you do with photography: updating your portfolio, creating or cleaning up your photo website, setting new business goals, or even on writing down a new bucket list of shots to take.
Why is it important? We all change with time, so whether it’s been 2 years or 5 since your website has seen a makeover, you’ll want to present the truest version of yourself to your fans.
Here are a few tips to get your online self ready, without frustration.
Note: Some of these tips are only possible in current SmugMug, so if you’ve been with us since before July 30, 2013 and haven’t upgraded your site, preview the latest version of SmugMug now. You’ll get free access to a slew of incredible new features, because they’re included in your existing subscription.
Starting From Scratch?
Are you looking for a forever home for your photos? Look no further. SmugMug gives you a gorgeous place to showcase your photos, easy ways to share with friends, robust privacy controls, unlimited uploads, and no storage limits. All wrapped up in a completely personalizable, easy-to-use package.
We’ve got tons of free info aimed at getting you get started, as well as 24/7 support any time you need help. Let’s go!
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Breathe New Life Into Your Existing Site
There’s no better way to feel “new” than to make changes to the site you already have. Thankfully, SmugMug makes this easy. Tip: If you’re short on time, pick just one or two, or deep-dive and try tackling all five for maximum results.
1. Kill Your Babies.
It’s said that 24 images is the ideal number of photos for your portfolio. If you’ve been taking photos for a while, you probably have more favorites than this for sentimental reasons. Now’s a great time to trim that back. Creatives call this "killing your babies."
• Be critical. Be sure your short list features only your most powerful work.
• Stay on topic. If you’re looking to book sports events, get rid of the landscapes in your portfolio. Or, create a separate portfolio gallery for each type of work, so you can link your clients directly to the most relevant one.
• Enlist your fellow photo-friends. Removing your own emotion about your photos is extremely difficult, but friends with good taste can help you pick the gems best suited for your portfolio. Ask them to choose the photos they think tell the best story. (Just don’t ask your mom, because she’ll love everything!)
2. Reorganize What You Have.
Think like a fan who stumbles on your site: What interests you?
• Reorganize the photos on your site using the Organizer on SmugMug. Drag old photos from your portfolio gallery to your archives, and drag your new favorites into your portfolio. Or if you’d rather not shuffle photos, use the collect tool to place a virtual copy of the original into your portfolio gallery.
• Want to make big changes? The Organizer will also let you move, collect, and even delete images, galleries and folders all in one go. Or simply change the privacy settings on your pages, galleries, and folders to hide your older content without actually removing it from your site.
3. PAINT THE FRONT DOOR.
Changing your theme, site design, or your homepage gives you the biggest bang for your buck. (Especially since it all comes free with your existing subscription!)
• Your SmugMug membership includes dozens of beautiful designs that instantly change the look and feel of your site. Change a little or a lot, and your original design stays stays the same until you’re ready to share it with the world.
4. ASK, “CAN MY SITE BE FOUND?”
Do an SEO audit. Whether you need your friends to find your site, you want to attract new clients, or simply want to be internet famous, your website and photos need to be found by search engines like Google.
• Update your meta descriptions, meta keywords, NiceNames (readable URLs) and photo keywords. Make sure that they are specific and relevant to your photography, location, business, and more.
Bad example: "wedding photos"
Good example: "Salt Lake City anaolg medium format wedding photography and portraiture by Hass L. Blad."
• Double check your privacy settings in your account settings and on the public galleries and pages on your site, like your portfolio. Remember: Private and Unlisted galleries can’t be seen by search engines.
5. Pro bonus: Look At Your Business Plan.
Is your goal this year to break the bank in sales? You can do it!
• Update your Pricelists. Inflation, cost of living increases, and you just plain getting better at your job are all reasons to keep your prices competitive. If you don’t know how much to charge, we’ve got some basic tips on how to price your work.
• Review (and use) all of the Pro business tools available to you from SmugMug.
• Avoid theft! Keep your images protected from unauthorized use.
We hope these tips find their way into your website and empower you to create a website you’ll always love to share… whether it’s January, June, or any time of the year your confidence could use a boost.
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