Archives for Favorites

7 Secrets To Promote Your Next Blog Post

You’ve written the perfect blog post… now what? You publish it to your blog, cross your fingers and sit back to wait for the traffic to roll in, right?  The problem is- where do you get all the traffic?  I asked some of the best in the business to give me a few of their secrets of publicizing a blog post.  Basically, after they publish a post – what do they do next to promote it?  Here is what I came up with… 1.  FACEBOOK AND TWITTER According to Marian Schembari (Marian’s Blog) she will post to her Facebook profile and tweet to her Twitter followers.  However, she depends a lot on subscribers, “My readers come from their subscription. Building up those subscribers involved a lot of guest posting on other blogs and lots and lots of commenting.” 2.  PING! Ana Hoffman has an incredible blog and did an article on blog promotion a while back (check out Ana’s blog post).  The first technique she mentions is to ping your post.  Pinging is basically notifying different services that you have posted new content.  On many blogs, this is done automatically, but Ana likes to do a manual ping as well. 
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Finding Inspiration for Photography

Photography has always been both a science and an art.  You have to have at least a little bit of both the technical skills and the artistic skills. It is easy to improve your technical skills.  You can research new techniques online, buy a few books on exposure – heck, you could even spend an afternoon reading over that 300 page manual that came with your new DSLR.  If you are willing to put in the time and effort, you can definitely improve your technical skills.  And you should! However, it is the art side that we are all interested in.  It is the part that gets us excited and makes us want to get better. To that extent, I decided to put together a few quotes on creativity to help get your brain in creative mode this week.  Let them sink in and see where it takes you.   “Every artist dips his brush into his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures.”   Henry Ward Beecher   “A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.” Frank Capra   “Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to keep.”  Scott Adams  
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The Weakest Link

In every operation there is a weakest link. It is the part of your business that holds you back. Think of a bunch of people stranded on a desert island. If the island has enough water for 12 people, enough shelter for 15 people and enough food for 8 people – how many can really live there? You could build a high-rise apartment complex on the island – capable of housing 500 people – and the island still couldn’t hold more than 8 people. The weakest link always holds you back. The key is identifying your weakest link. Don’t feel bad – we can’t be good at everything. The key is being able to determine which things you are good at and which things you are not. In a typical studio, for example, you need to have competent skills in photography, marketing, sales, general business, etc. You don’t have to be good at all of them. If you are bad at marketing, hire someone else to do that part of the business. If not, your business growth will always be limited by your marketing skill. You can even get more specific with some of the areas, like photography. You have
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Ten Questions: Gail Nogle

It is time for the second installment of the “Ten Questions” series.  This time, I decided to focus on my friend and mentor, Gail Nogle.  Of the many masterful photographers who have guided me through my career, Gail is at the top of the list. So without further introduction, here are Gail’s Ten Questions: 1.  If someone had never heard of you and you had to show them ONE of your images to illustrate your style, which image would you show them?  A – I would show the image of my Mother/Baby –  because I feel it is my most creative work so far and took me 4 years to perfect. 2.  When you weight the pros and cons, has digital been a good thing or a bad thing overall for photography?   A – Overall it has dimished the legacy of the art of photography. 3.  If you couldn’t be a photographer, what would you be?   A – I would be a sailor and travel the high seas looking for adventure!! 4.  You always say, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”  When did you come up with that philosophy? A – When I realized that
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The Oasis

Over the next few weeks, I wanted to share a few of the images that I entered at this summer’s International Photographic Competition.  I will try and provide a little background on the images, as well as talk about how they were created. First up is an image called The Oasis. I created this shot of Central Park while vacationing in New York.  I’ve always enjoyed infrared (IR) photography and thought this would be an ideal setting for that type of photography.  I also shot this scene in color, but didn’t feel that it had the same impact as the IR image. Rather than using Infrared film (ahh.. those where the days), I photographed the scene with my IR-converted Nikon D70.   The IR look gave the image a very timeless, yet surreal, look.  I loved the contrast of how the giant man-made buildings towered over the idyllic, natural scene below.   I guess that is what makes Central Park so cool in the first place.  It is a quiet oasis in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world. Although I’ve tried using IR filters or even Photoshop filters, actually converting your camera to record infrared is really
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Does Your Website Have a Good Foundation?

Everyone knows that a good website is built on good content – but is there something more important than content?  In my opinion, I think the first priority to address is finding a good hosting service.  You can have the best articles on the web, but if you site is down all the time or you can’t access it to post… then you’ve got nothing! I’m often asked who I use to host my website, but I’ve been hesitant to recommend anyone.  I’ve had a website since the mid-nineties and I know that all hosting is not the same.  The prices can vary greatly and the service can be all over the place.  I was with my last host for several years.  They started out great, but the service dropped off from year to year.  Pretty soon, they weren’t even answering the phones when you called tech support.  Unfortunately, moving hosts can be traumatic, so I held on as long as I could.  Finally about a year or so ago, I decided it was time to switch.   I scoured the web for recommendations and found a few possibilities – but no clear-cut winner.  I finally went with Hostgator.  I’ve been
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Talking To Robots

Technology can be a great thing.  For example, having HDTV is certainly better than watching a TV with rabbit-ear antennas.  High speed internet is definitely better than 14.4 dial-up internet.  For the most part, it makes our life easier and more enjoyable.   Unfortunately, not all technology is positive- especially when it comes to the telephone. If there is one thing in life that drives me absolutely crazy, it is talking with robots on the telephone.  It is impossible to avoid it.  It was bad enough in the days when people called you at dinner time with some stupid offer, but at least you got the satisfaction of hanging up on them.  With these robots calling, you aren’t even sure if they know you hung up.  They just keep going on and on with their recording.    However, the human telemarketers were equally as annoying – so I’m not going to count this one against technology.  Technology didn’t make telemarketers worse, it just made them different. The part I can’t stand is when I am trying to call a company and have to talk to a robot- or an “interactive voice prompt system” or whatever they call it.  In the early days
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Print Competition: Know Your Audience

I had the honor of judging a print competition in Austin last weekend and it reminded me of a big factor in entering print competition:  know your audience. Print competition is a little like advertising – you are competing for impact, which means you need your work to stand out from a large field of images.  To increase your odds of this, you need to know your audience.  What do I mean by that?  It’s simple:  think about who will be judging your images and keep that in mind throughout the image selection process. One of the biggest mistakes first-time entrants make is entering their biggest-selling images.  At first glance, this seems to be a good plan.  If it was the favorite image by Mom and Dad, then it stands to reason that it will be the favorite image of anyone… including a panel of judges.  The problem with this strategy is that the judges don’t have the same emotional involvement as Mom and Dad.  They won’t appreciate that you made a tomboy little girl look sweet or that you got a shy little boy to do a big smile.  They will be focused on the other factors of the
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Just Say No to “P”

Would you buy a Ferrari and just leave it on cruise control the whole time?  Would you get cable and just watch the local network channels?  Doesn’t make sense, does it?  If you own a DSLR and leave it on Program all the time- that is essentially what you are doing.  You are stripping it of most of its power.  I’d like to make a quick argument for you to “turn the dial.” Now there is nothing inherently wrong with Program – basically you are letting the camera make all the exposure decisions.  Luckily, today’s DSLRs are very, very good at this.  The downside is that you are giving up a great deal of creative control.  For starters, you need to understand how exposure works.  I actually put together a video tutorial last year on the basics of exposure.  If you are still a little unclear on F-stop and shutter speed, then watch this first. Don’t worry- we aren’t going anywhere.  Just watch it and come back. OK, now that we are all on the same page, lets talk about the settings.  Obviously Manual gives you the most control – but at the cost of having to make a lot
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Ten Questions: Dave Malby

I’m starting a new series on the blog called Ten Questions.  The plan is to spotlight interesting people who I have discovered on Twitter, Facebook, or even blogs.  I’ll send them 10 questions and post the answers.   It should be interesting! To lead things off, I sent my questions to Dave Malby.  I came across Dave when I first got into Twitter.  I was amazed that he had such a large following, but still managed to interact with everyone.  Read on and see what you think… Ten Questions:  Dave Malby 1.  Your Google profile lists your occupation as:  Inventor/Musician/Photographer .  Are those in any particular order? No, I am also a Real Estate investor and entreprenuer but they allow only so much space on the bio 2.   You invented the Pet Rock Training Leash – do you still have any of them around? That was 1975 .. No. 3.   I discovered you by way of Twitter.  Seems you have quite a following?  What’s the secret? Being unique, engage with people and follow back who follow you. 4.  I miss your old Twitter profile pic – with you pointing at the camera.  Any plans to revive that one at some point?
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