To begin this blog post, I just want to take the opportunity to thank you, my readers who have been part of what started out as part of an exercise for my Marketing class that I teach. I started this blog just less than a year ago, and have had over 37,000 views with a daily average of 170 visitors a day. I have as many visitors on a daily basis as some of the websites I've managed, maintained and marketed.
Although it was never meant to be a permanent effort in my mind, it has grown to be popular site with my insights and reviews on things related mostly to photography. I appreciate all those that have come to visit my site, ask questions, and comment on my posts or directly to me by email.
From a marketing point of view, building a blog that generates a nice modest amount of daily traffic did require real work. Ironically I've heard SEO/Social Media and other so called 'Gurus' of the internet tell acquaintances and clients of mine that it takes little effort to create a successful online campaign.
When I started this back in January, I launched a new portfolio page, Facebook page, personal website and twitter feed mostly at the same time, but a couple of them throughout this calendar year. All of these efforts took time to build, but also time to maintain. As a result, I gained several clients and paid jobs from my efforts, but again, my objective wasn't so much to make money off of this, but as an exercise to my students on how to build and maintain an online strategy.
What successes I'm more proud of, isn't related to this blog or my other online presences, but what my students did early this year to get themselves marketing online. Being picked up and republished by several major online publications was some of the bigger rewards of their viral marketing efforts, but also some of them getting awarded for their efforts and coming out with accolades related to their work.
As I move into teaching the next year's class, I can't say for certain if they will repeat the same kind of success as the previous. Their last semester was a very successful class for them in terms of presentation and understanding how marketing relates to design, so I look forward to seeing how this group will handle their online marketing strategies.
A good social media strategy begins with being interesting. I'm not saying I'm the most interesting person on the internet, but by having information that people are engaged by, creates traffic and viral interest in what I've written or published. Creating this kind of content takes anywhere from an hour to several hours to do. Frequency of this is also important. Those that follow my twitter feed will certainly see that I populate it with a lot of micro-blog tidbits related to photography. Although I don't have a massive follower amount, my metrics are very good (as per Klout.com, my score of 48 puts me at a specialist category that has strong network presence). In February of this year, I had one of my tweet posts hit one million+ impressions (something I've not been able to repeat however interesting to note).
Next year poses to be an interesting year I'm certain. I have personal objectives that I'd like to meet by mid year, and will be working hard at doing that. Whether or not I'll be spending as much time on this blog as I did this year is going to be a play it by ear kind of thing, but with even 60 published articles on here, that's a lot of writing I've done in the past year.
I will be focusing more on my new portfolio page in the coming months, and as I prepare for a gallery show next year, I'll be also looking at other shows as options to market myself. Those efforts will certainly be bolstered by my efforts on here.
In the meantime I'm finishing off this last post of the year with a few street images, and I just want to wish all my readers and visitors a Happy New Year.
This series of images were taken on 6X6 Medium format black and white film: