Yes, you’ve read it right – I’m planning to give away my time to build your photography blog. If you are just starting in photography (perhaps starting your own photography business) and do not have an existing blog to showcase your pictures, you would be a perfect candidate for this giveaway. Why am I doing this? First, I want to help one of our readers to get a web presence and start publishing their work. Second, I want to help ALL of our readers to get a web presence and publish their work. Wait a second, how am I going to do that? Well, here is the plan and how it will work:
- I need the lucky winner to be an example or a showcase, so to speak.
- I will build a blog for the winner using a hosted service through a hosting company like GoDaddy or 1and1 (or whoever the winner chooses).
- The blog will be built using WordPress – the engine that runs most of the blogs on the Internet today.
- I will install a theme selected by the winner and will do all of the necessary configuration for the blog to work properly.
- I will build a very basic structure of the website to get started.
- I will also install most of the plugins I personally use and recommend.
- I will configure the blog to be SEO-friendly and will submit the blog URL to the three major search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing).
- While setting it up, I will take screenshots and write down each step of what I did (obviously, all private information will be hidden).
- I will then create a very long do-it-yourself, step-by-step article and publish it on this blog, along with a link to the created blog.
- I will provide a 1-2 hour training session to the winner for him/her to be able to independently post text and images.
So, by doing this and creating a step-by-step article, I will also help everyone else who want to have their own blog to post their work.
Some of you might be wondering why one might need a self-hosted blog like this, when you can use ready websites such as WordPress.com or Blogger.com to host your blog without having to pay monthly hosting fees and deal with other headaches. First of all, there is a big difference between a free hosted blog and your own self-hosted blog. The big part is customization – you can choose your own look/theme or pay someone to create one for you. Hosted blogs will typically force you to use their own themes and won’t let you customize your installation. On the subject of themes, none of the free hosting services I know of offer good blog themes for photographers (please correct me if I’m wrong). Next, is ability to use your own plugins – there are literally thousands of great free plugins that are currently available for WordPress that you can use on your own website. Free hosted blogs do not allow you to install your own plugins. I could go on and on about the benefits of a hosted solution…if you want to find out more, just search for some info on Google.
Anyway, before you read the rules, here are some disclaimers:
- The winner must agree to pay for the domain and hosting. I will obviously help to choose a very reasonable hosting package (as low as $5/month).
- If the winner already has a domain and a hosting account, he/she will need to provide the required logins/passwords (passwords can be temporarily changed for me).
- The winner must be able to provide basic information (such as name of the blog, initial usernames/passwords, etc) that is required to build the blog.
- The winner will either have to find a free WordPress theme or pay for a commercial one. I will NOT work on any theme customizations. I will make recommendations for photography-ready themes.
- I will NOT work on code changes and other customization that requires any kind of programming. Not that I can’t, but it just takes a lot of time that I simply don’t have.
- I will NOT work on or create any logos, artwork or any other type of images.
- The rules and disclaimers of the giveaway are subject to change any time.
Now giveaway rules:
- Leave a comment below with some short info about you and your photography business/hobby (you can hide your name). If you can, write why you need a blog.
- If you have any questions, post them in the comments section along with the above info without creating a new comment (only one comment per participant).
- Make sure to leave your valid email address in the “Email” field for me to be able to get back to you (not required if you are authenticating through Facebook).
- The giveaway deadline is November 30, 2010. Winner will be selected randomly.
I know this giveaway is unusual, but I think it will be very beneficial for those who are getting started in the photography world!