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December 2010 Reboot

Welcome to Phillong.me.uk – my new blog.  I set this site up a few months back as a small portfolio site but recently I’ve decided I want to shift my blogging to a focussed topic of photography and promotion of my blog.  To this end, I’ve put my personal blog – Teletranone.co.uk – on hiatus.

If anybody has read my other blog you’ll see some familiar posts; I’ve copied a few posts here that are specifically around the subject of photography; including posts related to the ‘Art of Photography’ course I am doing.

My objective over the coming months is to ensure I am both updating this blog, growing it’s readership and working consistently on my ‘Art of Photography’ course; sharing my learnings in the form of my ‘learning log’ within this site.  Posts will look at the subjects of website promotion through various means, photography advice and tips and the occasional ‘photo story’ surrounding any shoots I go on or single image posts.

At present this site is essentially starting from scratch.  Prior to my work, which began yesterday, it averaged closer to zero visits a day.  Unfortunately I didn’t check where it appeared on Google before making any changes – but as of today on a search for “phil long, photography” it appears on page two of Google.  This is versus my Facebook page – which appears 2nd on page 1, and Teletranone – which appears 3rd on page 1.  For completeness, my Twitter account – PhotoPhLong – is at 9th on page 1.

Site Changes

The first major change is in the appearance of the site – from the grey photography portfolio theme I’ve switched to a blue “traditional” blog theme, to reflect he varied content the site will host.

I’ve also installed a number of plugins to help improve manageability and allow for promotion on social media and through search engines.  Plugins I’m using are as follows:

  • Efficient Related Posts – This plug-in automatically places posts ‘related’ to the current post at the bottom.  This serves the purpose of allowing readers to easily reference other articles.  It’s also good for Search Engine Optimisation to have internal links to content.
  • Feedburner Feedsmith – I’ve used Google’s Feedburner for the RSS subscription.  It collects statistics and also affords other benefits.  This plug-in redirects all RSS subscriptions to Feedburner.  You must set up the Google Feedburner account before using this plugin.
  • Ultimate SEO – This is a suite of SEO-based tools.  It allows advanced configuration of page titles, keywords and descriptions – along with some reporting related to SEO.  I’ve yet to play with this much, though I have got it re-writing titles to ensure the full site name ‘Phil Long – a photographer’s journey’ appears on every page.
  • Twitter for WordPress – This allows me to include recent ‘tweets’ in the sidebar of WordPress.
  • Twitter Tools – Last, but not least, this plugin will post to my Twitter account when I make a new post.  There’s a suite of other features too, but for now I’m just using the “post to Twitter” facility.
  • Simple Social – this puts the social media icons at the bottom.
  • Simple Tags – This retrieves tags automatically based on post content, simplifying the post tagging process.

I’ve updated my Facebook account too, so when Twitter posts are imported they also post to my Facebook Page – Photography, by Phil Long.  This means both my friends and ‘fans’ of the page will see updates.

Finally, I’ve also started populating the ‘Links’ in the side bar with useful resources or interesting sites.

I will update in the coming weeks on how the blog is growing, and on any things I’ve done to increase readership.

If you’ve got any feedback feel free to leave it in the ‘Comments’ section.  Oh, and please tweet or ‘Like’ this post to spread the word.

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