Portfolio websites for photographers today need to go beyond visual imagery to stand out among their peers. The work you showcase also needs a voice to capture your unique style and narrate your story. This presentation, then helps you to pitch to potential clients and audiences and do justice to the breadth and scope of your work.
Owing to the sheer volume of information available on the internet, search engines use the written words on your platform to determine how visible you will be. So, no matter how beautiful your photo galleries look, you are unlikely to get discovered without great portfolio website content on your website.
Surprisingly, you don’t have to be a gifted writer to create outstanding website content. But there are a few simple rules for crafting articles and blogs that will make your content quality rise above your competition.
In the present article, we tell you everything you need to know to write lucid content that correctly focuses on your target audience and shapes their future actions. This article addresses the creation of content that you place in your web pages - including the home page, landing pages, and blogs. Leveraging social media for promoting your site involves many of the same principles. To learn how to promote your portfolio business via social media, click here.
What Makes you Different?
Ask yourself what it is that you have to offer to your audience that no one else has. It’s not enough that you have the best cameras, lenses, and the gear. It’s also not enough to flaunt degrees and wait for people to come to you for professional work.
Discover the niche that makes you good at what you do. Work on constant improvement. Once you have found this differentiator you should use it consistently as the theme of your brand. This distinction should be reflected in the content that you write, the design of your website, your mobile app, and the layout.
Kelsey Mccarel makes it fun to get to know her in the About Us page. She is thrilled to share her experiences and her world view. She follows it up with glimpses into her life that lend a touch of intimacy to her story.
The easiest way to create eye-catching content is to read up on your perceived niche and seek inspiration from the best authors. Then put them in your own words. Think about the emotions that inspire you. Studies show that customers’ buying decisions are four times more influenced by emotions rather than reason. When you strike a chord with your reader, you sow the seeds of viral content.
Who are you Writing for?
You won’t explain camera aperture to an elderly grandmother the same way you would to a colleague. That is why knowing your audience is vital to getting the message across. For example, a real estate photographer will have a very different audience from a wedding and family photographer.
Source: Miwa Theresa Photography
Portfolio Website built on Pixpa.
Miwa Theresa is a lifestyle photographer based in Plano, Texas. Observe how crisply she incorporates her community in her description. Because she understands what motivates her viewers so well, any visitor feels instantly warm and welcome.
You can gather information about your target audience by conducting surveys yourself. Or, you can use the information that’s already available online to understand what your viewer wants from your website. Learn what your relevant keywords will be from Google search suggestions like ‘real estate photography market’ or ‘family photography market.’
When you write for the web, you would want user details such as age, geographic location, business background, personality type, attitude, and so on. Some of these attributes are deduced by connecting the dots and guesswork. The more experienced you are, the narrower will be your focus.
Tell People Why your work Matters to Them
Finding your voice can mean discovering how you enrich others’ lives. Your viewers need motivation to continue browsing your website. You need to mention why a viewer ought to stay, at the very beginning of your content.
Think of all the reasons why people need and enjoy photographs. Photo Journalists re-create vivid impressions of historical moments. Portrait photographers help capture personalities and may decide whether your model will get hired. Product photographers deliver winning presentations. Family photographers capture memories.
Tell them why your photography will work for them. Ensure that your content answers each question that a potential viewer is likely to ask.
Explain in Clear Terms How you Help Them
Reassure your viewers by explaining exactly how you will go about doing what you’ve promised in the previous step. Think about all the past bad experiences that viewers would have had. Does your work address these concerns?
Be genuine in describing your work, but focus on your strengths. That way, you’ll get noticed for your best skillset. You might even get work accordingly and keep getting better.
Source: Mona Le Wolf
Portfolio website built on Pixpa.
Wedding photographer Mona De Wolf makes it easy for her clients to understand the workflow. She doesn’t give you endless forms to fill. Her description is minimal but doesn’t leave out anything.
You do not have to get into excruciating detail about your camera techniques, composition, and lighting strategies. Merely mention the degree of success you’ve had creating specific effects. Let your online portfolio do the rest of the talking.
Keep Your Content Fresh
If you borrow heavily from others, not only do you stand likely to be accused of plagiarism, you also lose search engine points. To avoid accusations of plagiarism, you should use a plagiarism checker to identify potential duplicate content on your website. Google’s page ranking algorithm penalizes your site for copying content by pushing you hundreds of pages behind. Ninety-five out of every hundred people will find their photographer on Page 1 of search.
Source: Moments by Mariah Photography
Website created on Pixpa.
Moments by Mariah makes even a boring contact form fun and original with her enthusiasm. She backs it up with an impressive profile that leaves you wanting more!
Internet users have seen a lot of misinformation over the years. Any novelty with genuine appeal will make users sit up and take notice.
Illustrate your point with fun facts
Readers simply scan through most pages that they see online. You have to be able to say something interesting, amusing, or witty to hold their attention. According to hostingfacts.com, websites publish about 4 million online blogs every day. As of December 2018, nearly 350 million domain names had already registered themselves. Clearly, the competition among websites for limited attention span is immense.
Source: Lane Paul Cunningham
Portfolio Website built on Pixpa.
Lane Cunningham combines stunning imagery with spanning commentary in his blogs to recreate his travels. His descriptions are factual and fun as the reader is virtually pulled into a destination.
Present facts and statistics from reliable sources to make valid points in your argument. Relate anecdotes that make your story more human.
Don’t make the mistake of stating your conclusions without building justification. Question your assumptions, take counter views, and perform thought exercises to see if your reasoning makes sense. If you can reflect this ‘intelligent debate’ in your own words, you will win many hearts.
Make it Easy to Read
Do not assume that everybody will be able to follow your train of thought. Use online readability tools such as Grammarly to check the quality of your content.
Avoid using big complicated words. Keep your sentences short and straightforward. Your tone is best kept conversational without sounding unprofessional. Repeatedly ask yourself if there is a more natural way to say the same thing?
If you’re writing a long piece - a blog or article - use alternative phrases for the blog content's main digital marketing keyword. Website copy or photo descriptions should be creative yet straight-to-the-point.
You may also want to have your writing read back by a third person. It helps to have an extra set of eyes check your content for impact.
Make your content Useful to the Reader
Would you, if you were in your reader’s shoes, read the blog you’re writing? People read blogs to learn something new or to reinforce existing knowledge/expertise. If people are to read your content, you have to give them something of value.
Great content is one that is relevant, readable and captures the keywords that your audience is searching for. People typically search online with specific phrases such as ‘best portrait photographer in Delaware’, or ‘cheapest wedding photographer in West River, Maryland’, and so on. These are the kind of keywords that you should mention in your blogs and contact pages.
Source: Curtis Chandler Photography
Website built on Pixpa.
Curtis Chandler builds an atmospheric tension around this description of his travels in quiet Taylorsville. In concert with his attempts at capturing camera angles, his narrative style leaves the reader with an unforgettable imprint of the subject.
This value may be derived from a unique experience you’ve had, some helpful information, or instructional advice. Continuous self-improvement and expansion of your knowledge will help you deliver valuable information to the website user.
You can write blogs to help a visitor with essential photography elements. You thus achieve two things:
- It establishes you as an authority on photography.
- It helps your website rank higher on search engine result pages.
Organize your Content
Having a structure to your writing helps your reader understand difficult concepts and come back for reference. The more visits users make, the higher will be your page visibility.
The most important part of any article goes at the top followed by the rest in an inverted pyramid. Be brief and conversational.
Readers have little time to spend on any particular website. Great content will make them want to stay. Content that people can scrutinize at a glance will keep them coming back for more.
Source: ASP Photography
Website created on Pixpa.
ASP photography’s lean and categorized portfolio makes for a refreshing visual ‘declutter.’ Her enchanting backdrops are able to attain focus through her explicit content.
A lengthy list of photo galleries is not easily scannable. You should organize and categorize your website to prevent visitors from turning away. Accompany each category with the most straightforward description possible. The idea is not to make the user think. So, stick to direct words no matter how plain your photography website may look.
Incite the Reader to Action
A well organized online portfolio will look just as neat on a mobile phone as on a notebook. Pixpa lets you optimize your photography blogs for mobile by default. No extra coding adjustment is required.
Your content should ideally be so consumable that the reader will be left wanting more. You can induce your readers to do more by leading them to an ‘action’ link.
‘Subscribe now’, ‘View Full Size’, ‘Buy and Download’, etc. are typical examples of action words and phrases. Enjoin a hyperlink to these phrases when building your own ‘action buttons’.
Source: Wildflowers by Lovelle
Website created on Pixpa.
Sasha Lovelle’s website follows up a beautiful headline with a ‘Call-to-action’ phrase that says, ‘Discover more about me’. Even if the visitor is not interested in flowers at the moment, she will be tempted to look at more of Sasha’s lovely bouquets.
Tell your readers where they can find more information
Because the goal of your portfolio content is to enrich the lives of your viewers, you can lead them to other sources of information using links to other webpages. This practice serves to build trust between you and your audience.
If those other pages are on the same domain as your portfolio, then you will have increased the time people spend on your website. More time spent here means bonus points for your site’s online reputation.
You can also link your content to other authoritative sources of information. That shows your reader that you genuinely were trying to help her. Like in any social transaction, sincere actions help create goodwill.
Tell your readers where they can connect with you
Create and maintain social media accounts on popular platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. There are many informal ‘updates’ you can quickly post as Instagram content and have your followers know about instantly.
Source: Daniel Pullen
Website created on Pixpa.
Daniel Pullen leverages the full might of Instagram as a complementary channel to his website. He regularly uploads photos and engages with his audience. He speaks both through his pictures and his posts.
People can engage with you one-on-one dispensing with the gravity of an email. You can post instant replies, and people will feel connected with you on a personal level. This state of belonging can make all the difference to a professional relationship.
Writing great portfolio content is not about creating eclectic prose. It is about writing useful content that ‘speaks’ to your intended audience. Content is not restricted to your Home and About pages. To keep your portfolio website continuously relevant, you need to use Search Engine Optimization techniques by publishing regular blog posts. You can describe photography experiences and educate your clients. Such resources will greatly enhance your reputation and channel more visitors to your site.
You may also want to take a look at some great photography portfolio blogs for inspiration.
Now that you know what it takes to produce ‘wow’ content for a smashing portfolio website you should start writing today.
Pixpa helps you create stunning portfolio websites complete with customizable content on any page you desire. Start with a 15-Day Free trial now.
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