PHOTOGRAPHERS

Sharing is Caring

01.29.2010

It’s hard moving to a new city. In a new state. Away from all family and friends. With no personal network. No aunts or uncles to invite us for Sunday brunch. No close friends to gab with in the afternoon. Basically a clean slate. And imagine taking a fledgling business along for the ride? Scary!

But I have to say that since moving to Dallas, I’ve been embraced by the wedding photographer community as well as some awesome wedding vendors. Of the folks I’ve been blessed to meet, they’ve taken me in, without saying, “Who the heck is this girl from California?” or “Oh great, more competition!” I’m happy to say, we’ve evolved acquaintances into friendships.

And trust me, it’s not super easy. For one, I’m a shy person, by nature. I know, I know, for someone who puts her life online, how can I be a shy person? Well, I wasn’t always this outgoing, putting my life out there. I was the quiet kid who stood on the sidelines, listening. But when I started my journey into wedding photography back in California, I knew that I had to find people who shared a passion for the craft, were fun to hang out with, and that maybe I could help with carrying bags. So I would go to photographer get togethers. Alone. I know, I didn’t even bring a wingman! But I was intent on pushing myself to get out there and meet people. Because I knew that eventually, I’d be moving to Texas, without anyone I knew.

It was great practice. And although it could be nerve-wracking, I learned that it wasn’t all that scary. Like the other person wasn’t going to eat me alive (and if they were, I could always run!) and for the most part, I knew that people coming to these get togethers shared the same interests and it was all about sharing our stories.

So I put the same principles into practice when I moved to Dallas. I also have to include that Facebook and Twitter were great resources for “meeting” Dallas/Fort Worth wedding photographers and wedding vendors before moving here. I met the awesome Kelly Simants of Sweet Pea Events through her business partner Michelle Loretta of mmm…paper and Sage Wedding Pros through Twitter. I “met” Cesar and Tanya Perez of Perez Photography through a combination of Twitter and Facebook. And when I met them in person at an industry event, it was kind of like we had already met, except not quite. And through interactions like that, I’ve been able to meet and connect with so many more wonderful people than had I done nothing at all.

If you know you’re moving to a new city or state, start connecting with people now. With social media, the barriers for meeting and connecting with others are really low. You just have to make the effort to do so.

And because sharing is caring, here are 5 tips for tracking readership of your blog:

  1. Burn your RSS feed to Feedburner. If you are asking, “What’s Feedburner?” then please read on. Feedburner was bought by Google, so if you already have a Gmail account (or other Google-related account), you have a Feedburner account. Log in, type the URL of your blog in the box, and voila! It’s been burned. Take the URL that Feedburner gives you, and create a link on your menu or sidebar. Readers can click to subscribe to your blog! Easy.
  2. Give your readers the option to subscribe by email. Some people don’t use Google Reader or know what it is. But they do know what email is (hopefully!) This service for email subscription is also available from Feedburner. Log into your account and select the feed you burned in Tip #1. Go to the “Publicize” tab and click “Email subscriptions.” You can pick up the code to paste into your blog post or website. You can choose your preferences for emails and to view who has subscribed. Pretty nifty!
  3. Set up Google Analytics. Google is pretty awesome for offering these services for free. Go to Google Analytics. Log in with your account. Add the URL of your site or blog. It will give you a piece of code which you must insert. There are tutorials from Google on how to do this. Basically, you want Google to be able to “see” it on your website. You’ll want to insert it after the <head> tag and before the </body> tag. From there, you’ll be able to track hits, keywords, referral sources, etc. You’ll be able to know if traffic is coming from Facebook, Twitter, organically, Stumble Upon, etc.
  4. Set up Google’s Webmasters Tools. Again, if you’ve never heard of that, keep reading. Since this is also a Google product, you have an account. Go to Google Webmasters Tools, and log in. From there, you can add your website. You will get a line of code which you need to insert on your website. Fear not! There are various tutorials from Google on how to do this. After a couple of months, you will start to see results, as to who is linking to you, the keywords where your site appears on a Google search, and other relevant information.
  5. Do you use Twitter? Are you annoyed by super long URLs that don’t fit in 140 characters? Well, start using a URL shortener. There are several out there, but I like bit.ly and su.pr. Both are free services. Basically, you create an account and you can track how many times your short URLs have been clicked. Bit.ly is a basic URL shortener that keeps track of how many times your link was clicked. 0 times, 23 times, or 173 times. Su.pr is owned by Stumble Upon so for every link you submit, you are also submitting to the Stumble Upon network, which can be viewed by a greater audience. It also has some analytics to times of day that your link is clicked.

There you go. Five tips for tracking your readership, and make it a little easier.

And because photos make posts more exciting, can I just say I’m totally craving beignets from Cafe du Monde?!

Happy Friday!

what next?

  1. Share this post on Facebook and Twitter!
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  3. Subscribe to the new monthly e-newsletter Slice of Photo Cake containing exclusive tips and resources for photographers, from hobbyists to full-timers.  Click here to sign up or leave a comment below.

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7 Comments

  • Reply maggie 01.29.2010 at 2:53 pm

    Maybe at our next coffee meet-up you can help this fellow newbie out with some of the above. :)

  • Reply maggie 01.29.2010 at 2:53 pm

    p.s. VERY informative post. thanks!

  • Reply michele bowman 01.29.2010 at 3:14 pm

    thanks Catie! i’m so glad that things are going well for you in Dallas!

  • Reply Brandy Frank 01.29.2010 at 5:51 pm

    Catie, we so happy to have met you and welcome to TX! ahhh Cafe Du Monde… if only I drank coffee. I feel so left out in coffee land. ha ha ha!!

  • Reply Rosaura 01.30.2010 at 11:46 am

    thanks so much for this post! you are so awesome! :)

  • Reply Regina Lynn 01.30.2010 at 7:27 pm

    Oh, Catie, I feel your “moving pains!” So, so, much. I’m still trying to figure out the whole starting-a-business thing in the small southwestern North Dakota town that my hubby and moved to 7 months ago. Unfortunately, there is NO photography community to connect with here- it’s a very small town in a very sparsely populated area of the country. But, someday, I’ll figure it out…
    And thanks for those tracking tips! I’ll definitely be trying them out!

  • Reply Treva Tribit 02.02.2010 at 3:06 pm

    Hey Catie!
    Great meeting you at Spread The Love! I had no idea you were new to the area, but WELCOME! I would love to get together! I’ve never tried Cafe Du Monde, but it looks delicious!
    Treva

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