As a photographer, I am always looking for new ways to improve my website. These improvements are typically design, function or speed changes. I am also looking for ways to improve my photography. I usually turn to the photographers I follow on social media to seek inspiration. There are a few places that I highly recommend joining in discussions. In this article, I will share the suggestions. Each of these are not photography specific (i.e., not 500px or Flickr) which in a way can make them very valuable.
Google Plus Communities
The new kid on the block, but already a booming place. Peter Adams quickly formed the WordPress for Photographers community on Google Plus and Damien Franco the Digital Marketing for Photographers community.
In these communities you have the ability to ask, answer and engage in conversations around so many topics that can improve your website. So whether you are looking for new photography website templates, plugins or strategy, these communities are there to help.
Quora has been around for a while now, but definitely not the first of its kind. Quora is literally a Q&A website. There you will find thousands upon thousands of questions with and without answers. To find an answer to your question, start with a search. If it turns up with no results, ask your question. To start, visit the photography websites topic to see if your question already exists.
LinkedIn followed Quora with their Q&A section, however that isn’t the best place to get your answers. On LinkedIn, the best place for an answer is within a niche group. For example, Nigel Merrick started the Photography Business & Marketing group on LinkedIn. There you will find many photographer sharing ideas and answering each others questions. Like the Google Plus communities, LinkedIn groups are a great place to hang out.
I mentioned before that Quora wasn’t the first of its kind. StackExchange has been around longer (if I’m not mistaken) and is divided into categories using subdomains instead of topics. So if you were looking for photography specific answers, there is a site specific for the topic. The same can be said for WordPress.
I was confused at first with Reddit. I wasn’t sure of its purpose or reason, until I started to join in discussions. Reddit can do a many things for a photographer. First, the community on the site can help answer questions. Second, it can generate a lot (and I mean a lot) of traffic. On Reddit, they use categories to separate niche content, like photography and WordPress.
WordCamps are like mini-conferences where people give presentations. There you will often hear people discussing design, business, marketing and more. Many times before and after the presentations come discussions, Q&A and simply good times. Visit the official WordCamp page to see if there is one in your area.
Using social media sites doesn’t have to be a burden and they don’t have to be time consuming. Use them when you can, where you want and discuss what is most important to you.
Find those that inspire you to grow, achieve and do. Don’t get stuck at websites dedicated to your one niche. Use social channels that have a wide range of people to inspire you.
Thanks for reading,
Scott Wyden Kivowitz is the Community & Blog Wrangler at Photocrati, developer of the WordPress theme for photographers, NextGEN Gallery and the Photographers SEO Community, teaching other photographers on how to increase business with their website.