Travel photographer website – Why and how
I’ve recently upgraded my website in the past week. I apologize for any disruption and confusion. I decided to reinvest some of my earnings back into the business by investing into this website. I believe if you are a traveling videographer it is critical to have an on-line presence and at least a website.
Why did I upgrade
I upgraded because my website was built in 2011 and wasn’t ready until 2012. Since then I’ve been focusing on using what I had to produce content, work on the business, and showcase my work. I’ve found that the technology improved and that in order to serve you better I needed to upgrade my site. The old site was not working as well with certain add-ons and was hindering my ability to showcase my content. This new site is a one-stop shop on the web to allow you to find all my free and paid content in one place. The Internet is littered with various platforms that are great for certain purposes, but a website is a central hub and something that you can own and control. I feel now I can showcase my work, produce content with a more polished feel, and allow you find content easier.
Why you need a website
I’m surprised how many videographers and freelancers I’ve met that don’t yet have a website. I’m even more surprised they are still able to be successfully relying on their relationship building skills or building an audience on one platform.
As I explain in my course “The business of video and photography” it’s important for people that don’t know you to find you. People find me looking for a videographer in Thailand or Taiwan through Internet search. People find me through specific posts that they may be interested in. Once they visit the site I want to offer a great experience to offer more content if they want. I think the essential functions are a website are to showcase your work, build trust, promote your products and services, and leave a way for people to contact you.
On some larger projects where I needed to hire team members if you don’t have a site or online video portfolio it’s going to be hard to trust you. A website should be an extension of your work and brand. It’s important to showcase your videos and photography, but I think it’s also important to let your personality shine through. When I originally started my site I would frame my posts in the 3rd person and it had too much of a corporate feel. This didn’t feel authentic and I hope the site is more aligned with where I’m at in terms of the writing style and content.
As I have followed by personal journey I’ve been able to blend my passions for travel, video, business, and lifestyle off-line. In the past I would focus on the travel lifestyle content on my other site chicvoyagetravel.com. It’s become harder to manage and I’m thinking of just focusing my efforts on this website. Let me know what you think?
What technology did I use?
In 2011 this was a question I faced coming out of my MBA hungry to start my business. I started with the outsourcing route. I hired a team from India using Odesk. I did this while I was still working and it was a painful and expensive lessons. Next, I started by asking local companies in Vancouver like Blast Radius and graphically speaking. They were too expensive for my budget and they ended up referring me to a local team in Kitsilano. I ended up with a site built using wordpress. As I began to manage the website more I became pretty capable with it.
WordPress is the foundational platform I use for my website and that I recommend. It is still the foundation of my site and many other online entrepreneurs, but there are various add-ons you need to get it functional for your business. Here are the tools I use. Promise me you want copy my site. I want you create something original, but I want to save you time and money to focus on your business and doing what you love.
Tools I use for my website
WordPress and website Host – I use Godaddy.com as my domain, website, and email host. I’ve had no problems and everything has worked out great. Go daddy offers a free easy wordpress installation that you can manage on your own domain after the install
WordPress theme – Cardinal (Theme forest) this was a recommendation from my podcast with Los Angeles videographer Josh http://capturethemomentum.com/
Sumo Me – This provides me the social media share buttons and other tools like an email collector, and easy to understand google analytics
Gumroad – I sell my digital products on this platform and they allow me to embed these products on my site
Thrive Content Builder – I use this site for my landing pages. I’ve had some disagreements in the past with them, which led me to purchasing Cardinal as my wordpress theme. Their product bolts onto top of my wordpress theme and it works even though I don’t agree with their customer service. If you are looking to create landing pages, then this tool works and doesn’t break the bank.
Gravity Forms – I use this wordpress plugin to create forms on my website. I remember back in 2000 I would spend hours trying to create a form in Microsoft Front page. Now, you can create a form in minutes with this tool
Disqus Comment system – This allows you to set up comments under all your blog posts easily. WordPress has it’s own comment system, but I didn’t like it and was plagued with spam.
Yoast Seo – This free plugin will check that you’ve done everything possible to maximize the seo of your posts
Icegram – This allows me to set up a header right on top of my site for promotional offers. Works great