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Photographs Can Equal Repeat Visitors!


… by Teresa Boardman

The humble still image is a powerful social object. People simply love photographs of just about anything. Flickr, the popular image sharing web site, flourishes because it is a social network based on photography. The images range from on-the-spot shots taken with camera phones to professional quality images taken with high end DLSR cameras, and everything in between.

The internet is visual and Google loves images. Yet as I attend WordCamps and bar camps for bloggers there is rarely a session that has anything to do with still photography. There are often sessions for how to use video in blog posts but rarely still photography.

This year at BlogWorld there were a couple of sessions that were related to travel photography and I attended them all and learned from the travel industry. They know that to effectively advertise hotels and travel destinations they need amazing photographs and they know how to leverage photographs to attract customers.

It isn’t just the travel industry that can benefit from photography – it can be used to sell any idea or business! Yet still images are often of poor quality or missing from business blogs and web sites. Businesses can benefit from high quality photography and use it to attract patrons.

It is hard to understand why someone would pay a designer to design a site but will not take the time to find some great photos for it or hire someone to take them. Chances are, anyone visiting the site will notice the photographs before they see the design or read the content, and it is the photos that will grab their attention and keep them on the site.

Photographs are like glue on a blogs, they can keep readers on the site and they are like magnets that keep people coming back.

If you are involved in organizing a bar camp or word camp or conferences for bloggers consider offering sessions on photography, photo blogging, and mobile blogging and how to use Flickr. Photographs can be the foundation of a solid social media marketing plan. It has worked well for me for years. The people who read my blogs may forget what they read but they remember the photographs and they remember me because of them.

Take advantage of the humble low tech and inexpensive still image as a way to attract blog readers. Photographs are social and they are media. Maybe in 2011 there will be more photography related sessions at the BlogWorld and New Media Expo.

Teresa Boardman Realtor/Broker with St. Paul Home Realty.  Serial blogger, writer and photographer and founder of the award winning St. Paul Real Estate Blog in 2005.  Her blog started as an experiment in online marketing and is used today as an example of the best practices in real estate blogging. Boardman also writes a weekly column for Inman News and is the author of the St. Paul Photo Blog.

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