When I first entered the world of photography blogging in 2015, I relied on driving traffic to my website through my personal social media profiles, general search engine optimization and word of mouth. While that was great at first, I could see over time that my social network grew fatigued by the constant upload spam and promotion, and traffic fell off over time. My next approach was to grow my blog through the use of forums and Q&A sites like Quora.
While this worked great, I felt like the traffic increases were more gradual and not instantaneous. As a photographer I wanted to generate a more instantaneous buzz across the internet, especially when some photos were time sensitive due to an event. As a photographer, I knew I had other opportunities to drive potential traffic to my website through the use of image sharing sites such as Imgur, DeviantArt, and Flikr, to name a few.
I opened up accounts across many of those popular image sharing sites, and I started getting active.
The first site I signed up for was an old favorite of mine, DeviantArt. I had been active on that site many years before my deepened interest in photography, and I decided to get reacquainted, since I was most familiar with it.
As of January 2016 DeviantArt had an Alexa rank of 220, and is considered the largest online gallery of images and art. With over 35 million registered members, and over 65 million unique visitors for month, DeviantArt is a content sharing and community platform not to be overlooked.
Photographers, filmmakers, painters and artists in general, band together in this large community to share their artwork, critique and support one another. Communities are built in the form of groups where members participate in community discussions, voting in polls, submitting artwork for ongoing contents and featured galleries.
I found DeviantArt to be the hardest platform to drive traffic to my site due to the commitment it takes to become super active in the community and well known, but once mastered, can become an invaluable tool in your arsenal.
5 Steps in driving traffic to your blog with DeviantArt:
- Include links in your picture description: Give users an easy opportunity to click on a link to the revenant article, and write a few compelling words why they should visit your website.
- Favourite artwork: Artists love the appreciation of a favourite, and will thank you for it. You never know they might return the favour.
- Comment, comment, comment!: Artists love positive feedback. Engage in conversation with influential “deviants”, and you if you’re work is really good, they just might promote it!
- Be active in groups: Submit your art, pictures, etc to groups to be showcased in their galleries, and enter as many contests as you can. The featured photos are directly linked to your profile, so users will see your blog links in the description.
- The “last” resort: Deviants love to view, share, and promote three particular types of work. Art of women (the less clothes, the better), anime and poetry. If you get really good at any of those three, you will likely find success.
The first site I started seeing really good traffic results, was from Imgur. While commonly known as that “meme site,” I used it to share my photography. As of January 2016, Imgur had an Alex rank of 45 and a user base of over 130 million members. This behemoth of a website should also not be overlooked at its potential of driving valuable traffic to your website.
Success on Imgur is a little more straightforward than on DeviantArt. While I’m not going to get into too much detail about how to become viral on Imgur, there are plenty of resources out on the web for that, I will however share 5 tips which helped me.
5 Steps in driving traffic to your blog with Reddit:
- Give them a link: Include a link and a good reason to why they should check out your blog. Imgur users tend to not like shameless self-promotion.
- Give the people what they want: Sometimes you might have to give the people what they want, and that’s memes, funny GIFs, or really in-depth gallery posts about something in “popular culture.” Share these to build the rating of your account.
- Be creative: Study what’s successful on Imgur, and replicate its success in a new and creative manner.
- It’s easy to share: Imgur posts are simple to share across your social media. The more views you can get the better.
- It’s all about the likes: Likes will determine the success of your photo, and ultimately the potential traffic which you will get to your website. I found sharing my Imgur posts on Reddit in the right subreddit, not only drove more traffic, but more votes.
Dubbed at the front page of the Internet, with an Alexa rank of 32, Reddit is the holy grail of website traffic, and my most successful method of driving traffic to my blog. There are over 36 million user accounts, with 169 million monthly unique visitors, 853,824 subreddits, of which 9,601 are active and bolsters about 7.55 BILLION monthly pageviews!
5 Steps in driving traffic to your blog with Reddit:
- Find the right subreddits: The magic behind reddit is by participating in the right subreddit. This takes a little bit of experimentation, but if done right it can yield great results.
- Get your link and comment karma up: There’s no mystery behind the importance of karma on reddit, and its proposed value that those posters have a higher likelihood in having their content becoming more viral. Participate in discussions, and not only share your own work, but share the work of others.
- Syndicate traffic to your other platforms: In some subreddits you cannot submit a link to a website, and usually in this case I will post a picture from Imgur. This drives more views and votes to my Imgur account, boosting traffic potentials from there.
- Create your own subreddit: Feel passionate about something that no one is really talking about? Try creating your own subreddit, and be the master in your own domain.
- Don’t be a marketer, be a redditor: Best advice that I can give, is to be one of them. Don’t use reddit with the sole intention of advertising, and promoting your work. Provide value to the users.
From using these sites alone I have averaged around 300 visitors a day from just these three websites. That’s a total of 9,000 visitors a month! Content on these websites does not stick, so it is important that you contribute a 3-4 times a week minimum, to keep up an average of 300 daily visitors!
Author Bio: Tudor Stanescu is a digital marketing professional from Toronto, Canada. He is the in-house digital specialist at 80 Proof Digital and Climax Media. On his spare time he enjoys urban photography and blogging on his personal website legion X studios. Follow Tudor on his social media: Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.