How To Showcase Your Portfolio
Let's talk about your portfolio. When people go, and they click through to your portfolio, what does it look like? This is what mine currently looks like, right now. There's a couple things I want you to think about. This is using the NextGEN theme, the NextGen plugin. Before I even knew what my website wanted to look like, I bought this NextGEN plugin, early days. Because, I knew I wanted my images, when you clicked on them, to go big, to be bright. I wanted the navigation through the images to be really simple. I wanted the opportunity for people to go ahead and select what images they wanted, and pause a slideshow. The amount of times I've gone on a website, and looked at a gallery, I'm like, "I can't stop this." It drives me crazy. Or, it auto-pops up music. And, I'm like, "aaah." I wanted all of that gone. I didn't want to be one of those tricks. I want it simply to be as if you walked into a room, and you're at a gallery show, and there's the image. And, I can stand there as long...
as I want, or I can go to the next one. That's what I want when you go to my portfolio. And, I also want to think about how it looks across the board. So, when you go to hit gallery, and you look at Tamara's, because you also see my associate photographers on there. But, when you click on Tamara's Gallery, this is what you see. And I am looking at what the presentation of this looks like, to you, as well. Because, if I have my favorite image ever, from our Beautiful Together, non-profit work there, and I have my favorite editorial image ever, and my favorite pet image ever, all these sort of things. But, when you pop in, all the color casts are different. The styles are different. The feel of them is different. This is going to look like I don't have a consistent style. Even though these are all different things, and I'm mostly promoting this. I'm mostly promoting my children and family work. That's where you see much of my marketing. It directs you back to that gallery. When you go and see the overall work that I love, and I do, and I like to share, just not emphasize. You're gonna want to make sure that this whole style is represented as one. Not as all these disparate things that don't tell you who I am, and what I do. You get that? So think about how all those images are going together, the toning, the layouts, etc. And then, based on what you're clicking through, have it showing, like right there, you can show what you're clicking through, and what you're interested in, and then just navigate right in. When you go to my blog, you're going to see several things. These buttons all remain. They live, and they live, and they live. Everywhere I'm doing a call of action. These are the things I want you to do when you get to my website. And I consistently want that to be there when you get in. I have, again, those options right at the top left, where the content is shown. Or, the social media buttons are shown, so you can kind of see where to go in. I still have the option to subscribe to our feed, via RSS. I think that's dropped off dramatically for people. It used to be, you'd have people subscribe, and always get your blog. Generally speaking, a lot of that's kind of broken down, and not done anymore. One really good option to consider, when you're doing that, is take your blog posts... I mean, talk about all the ways you can re-use content. You make a blog post, you share on Facebook. You can do a great Facebook post, you put it on your blog. You do a great blog, you put it in your newsletter. This is the same content, I am dancing. But, that's kind of what it is. So, you make sure you create great content. It takes awhile, put in good effort, show your best images, and then share, share, share, share, share, share, share. You can even do that when you're sharing. Just jump around a little bit. It'll be fun. So, you go to my thing, and there's a few things you see. Obviously, the colors are in keeping with my theme, and my brand. That's consistently through. You see the title. Like I said, I just posted this morning. My new book, I'm so excited. We're going to talk about that in a second. I have a search option, right away. There's also a lot of blogs that have no search option. If I heard something about, oh my god, you gotta go to Elaine's website, and you have to see the post she did about her trip at the fair. Great. I get to your website, scroll, scroll. I don't see it. Whatever Elaine, I'm not gonna come back. Right up there. Fair. I want to find it really quickly. For me, personally, for me personally to re-share, and re-use my content, I use this on my blog, all the time. I don't know. I can't remember when I did that post about the Nikon production release. I put it right up here. I find it, I click, and I share it. If I have to scroll through my content, I won't do that. So, having a really good search button makes a big difference. I say some of the things right away I want you to know about me, talk about some up-coming events. Look, we are here right now. This is happening. We're at Creative Live. I go down here, and I have that subscribe button. I told you, right away, I want that subscribe button. And, as you go farther down, the things you want to pop out for people are represented there in a way that's bold, and striking. So, if you keep going, you'll see my other posing playbooks, my workshop that's coming up, a new special I'm doing, a Beautiful Together new project we just launched. And that's living, and updating, and rotating, but it's very much presented along with the actual main body of my content. I want you to look at all of it. That's not just an afterthought, over there on the right hand side. Any questions on this?
The question from Rachel Reffer is, "When I first started, the big thing was to have separate domains for the website and the blog."
And she says, "That was back when flash websites were all the rage."
So, now she still has those two domains, and all of the SEO is setup for the blog, and not the website. Both are on WordPress. So, now she's transitioning from weddings to families, and wondering if she should start blogging on her website domain now. So, thoughts on that, two sites versus one?
Yeah, it's a fabulous question, and one I asked not long ago. About two years ago or so, I was like, how much sense does it make that I had TamaraLackeyBlog.com, and TamaraLackey.com. And, one would kind of click out to the other, but there were very much, just like she said, two different domains. And, I got some great advice. Again, I'm not the expert. I got some great advice from the perspective of how to set up a website to maximize SEO, and search-ability, and bring everybody back to one space. And I was told, no, no. You want it to be TamaraLackey.com/Blog. And, that's what happened. Now, what happens there, to all those existing links that go out that may be broken now, because they used to go to TamaraLackeyBlog.com something, and now they're going to TamaraLackey. You need to hire someone, I did not do this myself, to go through, and make sure all those links are transitioned, so they still work. They re-direct. I did not do that. I cannot tell you how to do that. But, I knew who to ask, and asked them to do that. Thank you Scott. Scott did it. So, in that regard, you want to make sure, I think it makes a lot of sense, to put that in, to have that one central location where everything exists. And, if you are clicking out to other sites, be really sure to set it up, so that they are linking out to a new site, but the one they're linking from is still open. So, if I have a thing on here, and I want to share this book, and I'm linking to somewhere else for you to do that, it's going to pop up as a new window, but this one's going to stay. You're not gonna leave my site. I don't want you leaving my site. There's other things I wanna share, and show, and do with you. It's gonna link out as a new site, in addition to the one that's currently open. Now, before we keep moving, because I think we're gonna go into website reviews next, I want to make one more major disclaimer, when it comes to my website. I, like you, I'm just doing the best I can, to keep up, trying to update content. I'm trying to make sure my links stay un-broken. I'm trying to make sure that when you scroll to this thing, the thing that was there yesterday is still there today, because things happen on the internet. And, I cannot always catch things all the time. So, if you're thinking, I feel like I want to do it all, it all makes sense, but I don't know if something broke over here. Or, if I'm not sure that's the wrong thing, it sounds like Tamara's got it all figured out. I do not. I am finding things all the time on my website, like, hmm, that is not where I put it last time. What happened? That image just disappeared. Why? Maybe somebody linked to a Facebook post, and we thought that was an image, but it actually wasn't an image on somebody else's browser. That kind of stuff happens all the time. So, just know, take heart, that I am still finding things. As much as I try to manage my website, and keep it all running, I'm still finding things that are broken, and not working, and not showing like I want it to show. And that will probably happen to everybody who's running an active website with a lot of viewers. That will probably happen to you, and that is fine. That is normal. If you have an existing website that is perfect, in every way, and it's constantly updated, and nothing ever breaks, you're amazing. I've never met you before. You're a unicorn. It's a complicated thing, to run multiple things, and multiple galleries, and try to showcase things here and there. You're going to have issues. And, that's okay.
I just had a quick follow-up question about the external links that you were mentioning, for your blog. So, my website right now is a domain.com/blog, and it takes me to an external, other external link, where my blog is. Does that still fit what you were saying, in terms of adopting the /blog platform?
Okay. Good question. So, if you go here, and you scroll up here, you see my menu, right? Let me go back this way, I think you can see it here. So, yep. This menu, when you click to blog, you're gonna be now on that blog, that I just showed you, but up here everything else is going to be available for you to click back to. So, it made most sense for me, for you to just stay in my website, go to my blog. You're not leaving my website, it's all under the same domain. So, it made sense to me. And, this was a decision point. It made sense for me. Okay. Now you're on my blog, but everything here, you can click back to. It's all going to be in there. You're not leaving my site. You want to go back to the gallery, or you wanna go back home. You wanna read my biography. You wanna see some of the products and services I sell, and workshop information, all that sort of stuff. It's all here. You can do it all. You're not leaving me. So, I'm not going to click out into a new window when you go to my blog.