If you read a lot of blogs like I do (ahem...150+) then most likely you're reading them in an RSS reader. This digest format is super convenient and makes keeping up with dozens of blogs a snap. But the format also has its drawbacks. One issue is how easy it is to lose track of who’s post you’re reading.
Has this ever happened to you? You’re reading a blog post someone has written about their latest knitting project and then they refer to their baby and you think, “Wait a minute? When did she have a baby?” and you have to scroll up and double check whose post this is anyway. Oh! It was someone else entirely! Whoops.
Invite Us To Connect
From time to time we do actually click over from our RSS reader to a blog itself, whether it’s to leave a comment on a post, or to check something out, and when we do we are rewarded with a more personalized experience. A color scheme, a banner, and page layouts pop out at us and we see a bit more of who the author really is.
When a blog reader is actually on your blog you should treat them to some photos of you. Whether the blog reader is a fellow crafter, or the editorial director at a publishing house, or an illustration agent, or your neighbor, they all want to see your face, your hands, and your studio no matter how messy it may be. These are real people who are there looking at what you’ve done and they want to connect with you. Make it easy!
You can increase your blog’s power to connect with readers 10-fold, 100-fold even, by posting a good head shot and at a studio shot of you in action doing your craft. Put it in a prominent spot on your blog that's easy and intuitive to find. We will be much less likely to forget about you if we have seen what you look like. It's true!
But I Hate Having My Picture Taken!
Yeah, me too. But you need to get over it. Chances are you know someone who takes great pictures. Maybe they’re a professional photographer with fancy lenses and equipment or maybe they’re your mom with a point-and-shoot and a good eye for composition. Either way, schedule a time for them to visit you in your studio for a photo shoot.
Clean up a little, but not too much. Wear something you love. Smile and be confident and look busy. Get out the needle and thread and look like you’re stitching something, dip that paintbrush in some paint and add a finishing touch to your latest canvas. If you blog about your children, make something with them and have them in the shot. Get lots of shots so you’ll have a lot to choose from.
As people it is only natural for us to want to see your face in order to connect with you. It may seem self-promotional because it is. And that’s totally fine. We want to know who is talking to us.
People Who Do It Right
Here are some examples of artists and crafters with especially engaging “in the studio” shots on their About page. Maybe you've heard of them, and maybe you haven't. Spend a few minutes looking at their photos and I think you'll see what I mean about ease of connection:
Jean Van’t Hul (scroll down a bit)
Click on your own blog now. Do you have an About page? If you don’t, you need to make one. And if you do, is there a photo there? Can we see your eyes? Is it clear that you’re a maker? I’ll bet you could get some new, better photos taken. It's quick and, relatively speaking, pretty easy to do and it makes a huge difference.
When you visit a blog with a great shot of the author how is your experience different than visiting a site with no image at all?
And do you know of artists or crafters with particularly good head shots or studio shots on their sites? If you do, please add a link below so that we can get some more ideas.