Why You Should Consider Optimising Your Audience On Photo Sharing Sites

About this series of articles

This series is about optimising your audience to help you meet your objectives in using a photo site.

If you're going to use a site, you might as well take advantage of the opportunties it presents - whether that be to improve your photographic or Photoshop skills, make friends or as a means of developing another viewer channel for your blog or website.

The articles will cover the basics of using a sites features. It already assumes you have a basic understanding of your photo site of choice.

Flickr will be the site I use as the basis of the articles as that's the one I use most. Most of the information can be adapted to whatever photosite you use.

I've included a quick YouTube clip at the end of the article for those of you who don't have a photo sharing site but are interesting in finding out more about them.

A day without wine is like a day without sunshine

One of my Flickr Pictures: An closed bar in Newport in Wales.
One of my Flickr Pictures: An closed bar in Newport in Wales.

Why optimise?

Optimising your audience on a photo sharing site is not just about getting the numbers, it's also about converting those casual viewers into your audience.

There any many different reasons for having a presence on a photo sharing site. They range from the purely personal; you may have an interest in photography and want to share your pictures with the wider world, to using a photosite as both a respository for the photographs you use on your blog/websites and to create another chanel to direct people to your primary web presence.

or anything in between.

For whatever reason you post, the tips I'm going to post over the next few weeks will help you increase your views and convert some of those casual viewers into a regular audience for your photos.

I'm a blogger - not a photographer

We all know that blogs with pics are a good thing. Your choice is either to use stock photographs or use your own.

If you're using your own photographs then having somewhere to store them is a must. Soring them on a website and then linking to the photo is an easy way to manage the use of your photographs. It saves you from having to upload them to each website (and the associated storage and bandwidth issues), and usually makes them easier to find than if they were sitting on your hard drive.

Photobucket is commonly used, but you don't have a lot of control of the way the photograph is presented. Sites like Flickr or Picassa provide an easy mechanism to upload then blog or link to your photograph and of course provide another audience channel that you can direct to your primary site.

No photo site will let you blatantly sell your product there but soft selling is tolerated and that's where you can lever to increase your audience.

Since you've got to put your photographs somewhere, it might as well be on a site where you have to opportunity to attract more visitors to your main site.

I just want people to see my pictures

When you chose to load a picture onto a photo sharing site you're saying to the world "hey! come and look at this. I'm really proud of this picture." If you weren't, you'd be emailing them or would have your page set up so only your friends and family can see them.

There's nothing to be ashamed of in showing the world your world and there's nothing nicer than someone leaving a kind comment on a picture.

As your views increase and you start to get feedback, you'll soon find that you're seeing the world with a photographers eye and will start trying to improve your technique. The photo sharing sites are good for this as they have groups dedicated to discussing techniques and also specific genre groups, so people who share your interests can easily find the pictures.

I'm all for people getting hooked on photography. Increasing the number of beautiful pictures in the world is no bad thing.

Upcoming articles in the series

I'm going to start with the basics and post two articles describing where you audience will come from. In later articles I'll discuss the following:

  • Timing your posts to reach the widest audience
  • Consolidating your viewer base
  • The types of photographs to post
  • Choosing your style
  • Using the Flickr tools to monitor your stats
  • What makes a good site

I hope you find these useful tips and if there's anything you would like to see added to the list just say so.

an introduction to photo sharing sites

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