How To Make Photoblogging a Habit
Originally seen on The Daily Post on WordPress.com.
A habit is a behavior that is performed automatically, because it has been repeated the same way many times. Positive behaviors can become routine, just as detrimental behaviors can. In today’s article, I’ll talk about strategies for forming a photoblogging habit.
There are three steps to habit formation: the cue, the behavior, and the reward. The cue is the trigger that initiates the behavior, and the reward is the benefit or pleasure that one gains from performing the behavior.
If you consider your daily routine through this lens, you will likely be able to identify many habits that you may not have ever realized you had formed. When you first wake up in the morning, what do you do? What does your evening routine look like? Where in your day might you be able to cultivate a photoblogging habit?
This first strategy might seem like an obvious one, but you need to actually blog your photos. Do you find yourself usually posting images to social media sites, instead of your blog? See the header image above? It’s a rather shocking visual — a small snapshot of my Instagram page, representing 104 posts I could have made to my blog.
Post to your blog instead of social media, and use Publicize to automatically broadcast the link and excerpt of the post to your linked social media accounts. I’m not suggesting you abandon social media — I’m suggesting that you make your social media work to drive traffic to your blog.
Be brief. Or not.
Don’t agonize over not having an extensive story to go along with your photos. Share a single photo, stick a caption on it, and be done. Or, share an entire gallery, with beautiful, longform prose to complement it. Your blog, your choice. Just remember, though — not having much to say isn’t a reason to not blog with photos.
Always be shooting.
Since photoblogging requires photos, there’s a bit of extra preparation that needs to be done. Even if you don’t do any extensive editing, your photos still need to be uploaded to your Media Library, and if you don’t have any new photos to share, you’re not photoblogging. The remedy to this is to always be shooting. Even waiting for coffee in a drive-through line may provide a photo opportunity.
Use the WordPress Mobile App to upload images on the go, creating a stockpile of photos in your library for future use. Have an idea for a blog post, but no image to go with it yet? Write your post title, jot down some notes in the body of the post editor, and save it as a draft. If you have a lot of photos to share, write up several posts at once, and schedule them to publish at future dates.
I’m going to make a confession. I haven’t regularly blogged in a very long time, and this tip is my greatest hangup. As a photoperfectionist, I have a very hard time sharing photos on my blog unless their composition and editing are impeccable. But when I look back at images that I’ve shared to social media, the imperfect ones become some of my favorites. Imperfection is authentic, and it’s worth sharing. It’s also much easier to blog regularly if you don’t insist on polishing each photo to perfection.
Mundane is beautiful.
There are some folks who blog for an audience, and there are some who blog for themselves. Who are you blogging for? When you look back at your blog a year from now, or five years from now, what will you want to see? Photograph your life as it happens, and find beauty in the ordinary.
Go forth and photoblog!
Don’t get discouraged if you’re slow to start. Research has shown that it can take anywhere from two months to most of a year to “program” a positive habit. Start by identifying your cue, the catalyst that will tell your brain that it’s time to go into blogging mode. Maybe it’s with your pre-dawn cup of tea, or with an evening glass of wine. Maybe it’s post-run, dog walk, or after the kids are in bed. Once you know your cue, post, share, and network with other photobloggers. Then, reap the rewards of an active online presence with a lovely, thriving photoblog.