Disclaimer: Listen, west coasters, the east coast does not have waves. Actually, we don’t even have an ocean. That body of water they call the “Atlantic” is actually a giant front-lawn kiddie pool. I photoshopped each of these photos, so DO NOT come to New Jersey looking to surf.
Having said that, last week that kiddie pool delivered some front yard fun. I do wish I had a better lens (Canon please feel free to send me one, and in return I will take photos with it/continue to tell everyone how much I love your products). Photography is a hobby of my mine, which is very beneficial to my friends. They get awesome pictures of themselves, and I get to do something I thoroughly enjoy. However, there are some extra benefits for me.
Here is where you get to enjoy the photos, and you have no obligation to read on. If you do that, however, you will miss out on some great guidance on what to do with your surf photos (the extra benefits). Do you take photos at parties, on vacation, of your daily life (yes, this includes instagram)? Well, don’t cheat yourself, and apply my surf photography tactics to whatever you do.
Create your own blog/website. This way you consistently have your own place for all of your photos. I looked up some keywords like “New Jersey surfing” and “surf photography” using Google’s Keyword Tool, which both have great search numbers and low competition. The competition is dominated by pretty big sources, but nothing with news or authorship is showing, so I have a chance for Google search results. Insert these keywords in natural fashion, and we having begun optimization.
Let’s Share Our NJ Surf Photographs
Not all the people I shot surfing are on Facebook, but I know one is and he will like/share the photo (you better, Will, or no more photos of you). Our friends and family members will probably comment on the great wave, which will help my status update gain edgerank resulting in more exposure.
Surfing is a niche, which means you have a readily defined audience. I can hashtag words like “surfing,” “New Jersey,” “photography,” “beach,” “waves,” and much more on Twitter and Instagram, which will give me exposure to people who enjoy these niches. This will result in more likes, followers, and sharing. The key here is to think of every element of surfing from the wetsuit the surfer is wearing to the board he is riding to the spot they are at (word to the wise: keep it general. If you name a secret spot, you are dead meat).
Did you tweet just once? Bad move. Schedule a week’s worth of Tweets with each hashtag once a day. Also, find users to @ reply to. Both Instagram and Twitter are filled with people who have more followers than you. In the case of Twitter, schedule @ replies to these super users each day until they do respond or ReTweet. Once you see they did, then remove the extra Tweets, so you don’t annoy them!
Google+ is overlooked completely, but is crucial to search engine optimization. Each +1 you get helps your ranking, so spread your content out. There are a variety of Communities to post photography to, and there are Communities focused on surfing. USE THESE COMMUNITIES! When you insert your link choose a different photo for your profile than on each Community, so it doesn’t look like you are posting the same thing over and over again. Use the same hashtag rules with Twitter. You can also use Do Share to schedule your profile posts for each day ahead of time. This will give you more time take new photos or write a new blog post!
Here is where I leave you to do your own research. Look for forums! Stay active in them, and you will gain regular commenters and followers. Local Swell, NY NJ Surf…yup, they are out there and you need to get on them.
Golden Rule: You better share, tweet, like, +1, and comment on other people’s photos if you want them to do the same. Reply and thank those who do the same for you.