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Five Ways to Make Photoblogging a Habit

Tips to help turn your WordPress into a thriving, active photoblog.

A habit is a behavior that is performed automatically, because it has been repeated the same way many times. Positive behaviors can become routine, just as detrimental behaviors can. In today’s post, I’ll talk about strategies for forming a photoblogging habit.

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There are three steps to habit formation: the cue, the behavior, and the reward. The cue is the trigger that initiates the behavior, and the reward is the benefit or pleasure that one gains from performing the behavior.

If you consider your daily routine through this lens, you will likely be able to identify many habits that you may not have ever realized you had formed. When you first wake up in the morning, what do you do? What does your evening routine look like? Where in your day might you be able to cultivate a photoblogging habit?

Blog it.

This first strategy might seem like an obvious one, but you need to actually blog your photos. Do you find yourself usually posting images to social media sites, instead of your blog? Post to your blog instead, and use Publicize to automatically broadcast the link and excerpt of the post to your linked social media accounts. I’m not suggesting you abandon social media — I’m suggesting that you make your social media work to drive traffic to your blog.

A shocking visual -- a small snapshot of my Instagram page, representing 104 posts I could have made to my blog. Photo by <a href="http://threebirds.blog">Jen Hooks</a>.

A shocking visual — a small snapshot of my Instagram page, representing 104 posts I could have made to my blog. Photo by Jen Hooks.

Be brief. Or not.

“Beware of expanding what is clear…” — Joseph Joubert

Don’t agonize over not having an extensive story to go along with your photos. Share a single photo, stick a caption on it, and be done. Or, share an entire gallery, with beautiful, longform prose to complement it. Your blog, your choice. Just remember, though — not having much to say isn’t a reason to not blog with photos.

A photo like this tells a story of its own -- no need for a wordy post to go with it. Photo by <a href="http://threebirds.blog">Jen Hooks</a>.

A photo like this tells a story of its own — no need for a wordy post to go with it. Photo by Jen Hooks.

Always be shooting.

Since photoblogging requires photos, there’s a bit of extra preparation that needs to be done. Even if you don’t do any extensive editing, your photos still need to be uploaded to your Media Library, and if you don’t have any new photos to share, you’re not photoblogging. The remedy to this is to always be shooting. Even waiting for coffee in a drive-through line may provide a photo opportunity.

“I take same picture twice, First with my heart then camera.” — Biju Karakkonam

Use the WordPress Mobile App to upload images on the go, creating a stockpile of photos in your library for future use. Have an idea for a blog post, but no image to go with it yet? Write your post title, jot down some notes in the body of the post editor, and save it as a draft. If you have a lot of photos to share, write up several posts at once, and schedule them to publish at future dates.

Don't have time to blog about your entire vacation or event at once? Get all of your images posted in a draft, then go back and add narrative to go with each. Or, post a few images at a time, and spread things out over several posts. Photo by <a href="http://threebirds.blog">Jen Hooks</a>.

Don’t have time to blog about your entire vacation or event at once? Get all of your images posted in a draft, then go back and add narrative to go with each. Or, post a few images at a time, and spread things out over several posts. Photo by Jen Hooks.

Ditch perfection.

Need some motivation to get blogging again? Check out Five Ways to Break Out of a Photography Rut.

I’m going to make a confession. I haven’t regularly blogged in a very long time, and this tip is my greatest hangup. As a photoperfectionist, I have a very hard time sharing photos on my blog unless their composition and editing are impeccable. But when I look back at images that I’ve shared to social media, the imperfect ones become some of my favorites. Imperfection is authentic, and it’s worth sharing. It’s also much easier to blog regularly if you don’t insist on polishing each photo to perfection.

Imperfect is perfect. Photo by <a href="http://threebirds.blog">Jen Hooks</a>.

Imperfect is perfect. Photo by Jen Hooks.

Mundane is beautiful.

“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” — Bill Moyers

There are some folks who blog for an audience, and there are some who blog for themselves. Who are you blogging for? When you look back at your blog a year from now, or five years from now, what will you want to see? Photograph your life as it happens, and find beauty in the ordinary.

Late night candy raiders. Reality is beautiful. Photo by Jen Hooks.

Late night candy raiders. Reality is beautiful. Photo by Jen Hooks.

Go forth and photoblog!

Don’t get discouraged if you’re slow to start. Research has shown that it can take anywhere from two months to most of a year to “program” a positive habit. Start by identifying your cue, the catalyst that will tell your brain that it’s time to go into blogging mode. Maybe it’s with your pre-dawn cup of tea, or with an evening glass of wine. Maybe it’s post-run, dog walk, or after the kids are in bed. Once you know your cue, post, share, and network with other photobloggers. Then, reap the rewards of an active online presence with a lovely, thriving photoblog. I’ll be taking my own advice — will you join me?

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  1. Thanks so much. I enjoy both writing and posting photos – but get bogged down because I don’t always have time to do both. I get great response for my photos so maybe I need to think about doing more of them with just brief thoughts about life or the photo. Your thoughts are helpful.

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  2. This is such a helpful article with the references to just getting the images out there in one’s spare moments, letting perfection go. It is very much an art for arts sake approach! This makes photoblogging so accessible . . . Thank you for writing this article!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Some great tips here . . one I would add is follow other photo bloggers who do regular challenges as they are always a great inspiration and a perfect way of using up photo archives!

    Liked by 8 people

  4. I love this. Thanks for sharing these great tips. Gotta say, I should photoblog more than just Instagramming (new word!) my photos. Perfection gets me, but my worst has to be the long blog, or anything more than a caption being attached. Obviously it IS okay (it’s my durn blog) but I always feel lacking when I do that. Gotta get over that hangup. My favorite tip is just uploading the images to the media folder. Seriously. One of those, “why didn’t I think of that?” moments.

    Liked by 7 people

  5. You mean, there are people who DON’T blog their photographs? If I’m writing and don’t have the right pictures for it, I take pictures. I’m surprised there are people — absolutely everyone takes pictures these days, even if they aren’t great — doesn’t post them on their blog (assuming they have a blog). What else can we do with them? Hide them in files?

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I’ve actually just started using the WP app to upload pics from my phone. This is an awesome timesaver. I do some editing of the pics right on my phone, but I must admit it took me some time to get over the unease of not seeing the photo ‘on the big screen’ before I sent it live. Great post, and I love your pics.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This is great! I think I’ll be doing some photoblogging myself. It will come in handy in case I get writer’s block. After all a picture is worth 1000 words 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for sharing your tips. Being a new fashion blogger I tend to want my pictures to be perfect and for my stories to be interesting, but I need to realize that I can’t blog about fashion if I never upload anything. Maybe I can start an outfit of the day routine to make sure I’m posting something so I actually get viewers. 🙂

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  9. I’ve just spent an hour faffing around with one photo. It’s the photo part of blogging that makes me post about once every couple of months. I just don’t have the patience for the photo editing part of it. I’ve just spent ages on a photo putting a frame on it, putting some text on it, only to have to guess at the size of the photo which is a header photo only to find in preview that its chopped off the sides so there is no frame and chopped off half the writing. pah, life is just too short – I give up.

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  10. Great post! When I first started blogging I felt that all my photos had to be amazing quality and taken with my DSLR. Lately I’ve been using iPhone photos and editing them with VSCO. Now I realize I was limiting myself, because you can’t always have a fancy camera with you.

    Liked by 4 people