As far back as 2014, an annual internet trends report, published by Mary Meeker, made the astounding claim that 1.8 million digital images were being uploaded onto the internet on a daily basis. Look around you and you will agree that this is a plausible number. With the proliferation of mobile devices that have cameras, everybody has become a photographer. For anyone building a photography portfolio, the number of images around can be a predicament. How do you ensure that the images you take are seen and become popular?
Here are some suggestions on the most effective ways of ensuring that your photos become popular.
Treat photos as would any other content; create them for a particular audience. Anyone creating content and believing that it would appeal to everybody will fail. Start by determining who you would want to see your photos. Once you are clear about this, determine the kind of photographs these people would want to see and give it to them.
Attempting to create images for a particular audience leads to an important question: how do you know what your audience wants? Research the audience and collect data. With the internet, it has become easy to collect data about the kind of things a particular group of people is interested in.
When many photographers hear about search engine optimization (SEO), they often think that it’s only suitable for written content. This is a misconception because search engines also rank images. Hence, to ensure that your images rank higher on search engines and are seen, you have to use image optimization.
To ensure image optimization, include some relevant text explaining what is happening on the image. If your image is appealing and connected to a topic of interest, it might make sense to the person who looks at it. If it leaves a good impression on someone, they will probably share it. When an image is shared, it is likely to be seen by more people.
To help you understand how to optimize an image, look at the image below.
Photo by Maggie Grace Photography
One of the most important aspects of image optimization is alt text (or alt tag). This is a description you add so that if the image is not available to the visitor for any reason, they would know what is on the images. An example of such reasons would include a person who has turned off images. It is also useful for visually impaired persons using a screen reader.
The following suggestions will help you optimize the image above.
When people search the internet, they are usually looking for solutions to the challenges they are meeting. If your images create value and help people solve challenges, they are likely to appeal to an audience.
Creating value means making a decision regarding what people would use your image for. For instance, do you intend that people would use your photos as wallpapers? Then you may want to look at what people usually look for when they select wallpapers. The same would apply if you are taking photos that you want people to use for educational purposes. It is important to inform your audience what you think the photos would be more suitable for.
One of the most effective and scalable methods of getting anything good to go viral nowadays is social media. However, if you are going to use social media, it is important that you ensure your images are the highest quality and they are relevant for your audience.
The mistake that many photographers make is not to clearly request people to share the images they post. Many people will do nothing if they have not been asked.
When posting your images on social media, start by doing your research to determine the time when most of your images are likely to be seen by those you are targeting. You don’t have to have the resources to collect this information, some analytics specialists have probably got the information somewhere. All you need to do is to search for it.
If you follow the advice above, if you are willing to research, and if you understand that there is no magic in getting your photos popular but hard work, you will soon reap the fruit of your labor.
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