Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Stock Photo Odyssey and Building Website Traffic

Photo of a long empty highway crossing through the desert of the South West.
Building website traffic happens by building a great website.

Building Website Traffic
I have stopped trying to build traffic to my website. OK, that statement might be a tad misleading. I still want to have more traffic to my site, but I am shifting my focus to building the best site that I can. I want my web site to be as good as I can make it with the resources I have. Of course, the most important thing on any website is the content…so under my objective I need to be creating content that is unique and useful to my intended audience…people who need stock photography, (and to a lesser extent fine art prints, greeting cards and photo imprinted gifts and products like coffee mugs, mouse pads, calendars and so forth).

The Best Website
For me the “best website” doesn’t mean the coolest looking one . The best website is one that helps potential users of my images find those images and license them. If I can achieve my objective, develop a site that has quality content, is easy to find, easy to search, and easy to buy and license from, then the traffic will come. And with the traffic will come the monetary rewards that, lets face it, are part of my objective as well.

Photo Blogs And Name Changes
My shift in focus from trying to build traffic to trying to create the best website I can came about when I changed the name of one of my photo blogs. The blog was named “Daily Funny Animal Pix”. That name was killing me. I just couldn’t deal with putting a funny animal picture up everyday. The majority of days I did not put one up…and then I felt guilty. I felt guilty I was letting the readers of the blog down and not living up to a promise. Then I would beat myself up over it. Crazy!

Stock Photo Odyssey: A Photography Blog
I renamed the blog “Stock Photo Odyssey”. Now I can put whatever I want up whenever I want to. What a relief…I kid you not! With this new blog name I will still upload funny animal pictures as I come up with them, but I don’t feel the pressure to do it everyday. Also, I will be showcasing my stock work in general…sharing stock imagery that I find interesting for one reason or another.

Responsibility And A Better, More Active Blog
Now I don’t think the name of the blog is particularly important to anyone but me. If people like what they see they will comeback regardless of the name. But I feel so much better about the implied responsibility that I actually believe I will post to that blog more frequently. So the name change was really for me and I believe it will result in a better, more active blog, which in turn will serve the readers of the blog better and, ultimately, result in more traffic!

More And Better Content
I was mulling this all over when I realized that my attitude about my whole web undertaking was also wrong. Forget building more traffic…focus on building a better website (again, the primary element of which is more and better content). Guess I better wrap this blog post up and get back to making great and relevant stock photos!

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