In this day and age of the Internet, it has become all the more important for Photographers (whether budding or professionals) to market themselves online, in order to not only gain business through web, but also to showcase their talent to their perspective customers.
One of the most basic and important way to do this is by starting your own Photography Blog or Portfolio Website and the first step to establish your brand presence online is to buy a Domain Name.
Domain Name: Domain Name is the address a user types in the address bar to access a website eg. yogeshsarkar.com. Irrespective of whether you decide to go with paid hosting or a free blog/portfolio host, it is crucial to buy your own Domain Name. I register all of my domain names from Godaddy, who happens to be the largest domain name registrar in the world.
Hosting: Once you have a domain name, you also need a place to store and display all your images, webpages and blog to your visitors. This is where webhosts come in. Some webhosts like Godaddy also provide you with easy website builder to create your own website and blog easily, which is a boon for those who aren’t used to coding. Apart from Godaddy, MDDHosting and Hostgator also offer good quality and fast webhosting (I have used all three in past).
Designing website/blog: If your host does not provide a Free website builder or you would like to design your own, then easiest way to do that is to check out websites which offer Free Photography Website Template eg. like this website and download the template you like and customize it as per your need. Alternatively you can download and install WordPress which is an easy to use blogging platform and majority of webhosts offer easy installers for WordPress. WordPress can be easily customized by using thousands of free and paid themes available on the net and the plethora of plugins available at WordPress Codex.
Portfolio hosts: If you wouldn’t like to host the website yourself, then you can use a free or paid photography portfolio hosts like 500px and Smugmug, these websites also allow you to sell your photographs online through them and also allow you to use your own Domain Name, instead of their address, which can become quite long and wouldn’t be as easily rememberable. You can also use Blogger and WordPress.com to host your photography blog, though it will severely limit your ability to customize it.
Additional Tips: While creating a blog/portfolio it is essential to not only create a about and contact page which allows people to know who you are and contact you if they want, but also enables your admirers to follow you on various social networking sites (don’t forget to include link to your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin profiles on about page). You can further customize and personalize your website by creating a custom logo for it or getting it designed from a professional to give it the extra touch of professionalism.
Of course these are just the basic steps to get things started/rolling and the most important thing is to ensure which ever option you decide to go with, you always keep shooting and uploading your best photographs and market not only yourself, but also your website to get the maximum eyeballs and through it, customers/admirers.
In case you need any tips advise on how to start your own photography blog and portfolio, then please feel free to leave a comment below and I will reply ASAP.