Today’s interview is with Jolie O’Dell!
With a book on Blogging for Photographers and a career as a reporter for Venturebeat, how did you come about to be so well versed in all things technology-based?
I started blogging about technology from a marketing perspective in 2008 while I was working at an ad agency and later doing online consulting. I got to know a lot of the companies and start-ups involved and became way more interested in the technology itself than ads or marketing.
Your book focuses on blogging. Can you tell us a little more about what the book is about and what audience it is best for?
Honestly, it’s a great book for a wide range of people, from professional photographers who are using websites to build their business to amateur or personal bloggers who really love having a more visual medium at their disposal.
Ultimately, it’s a book about creativity – words and pictures, people and stories, connections and emotions – and how to use your own creativity to build an engaging and fulfilling online experience.
So many photographers believe in letting their photos tell the story with minimal words, while we are told that Google and other web searches want text. How can photographers decide what truly is a good blogging practice?
It really depends on personal preference. If you truly believe your pictures speak louder than words, then go ahead with minimal text! Link love from other bloggers can provide more than enough traffic and “Google juice” to sustain you.
Do you believe a photographer can survive and thrive without a blog and rely solely on word of mouth?
It’s possible, I suppose. But in the age of Yelp and Google and online portfolios, do you really want to gamble like that? I would highly recommend having an online presence that really showcases your current, best work as well as your style and personality, and blogs are so great for that.
Bloggers often add in posts that are personal or review products. Do you believe this is advantageous to the online presence or should a photographer only blog their photographs?
Again, it depends on the person’s individual goals and what they find enjoyable. I talk a lot about this in the book! I love reading personal stories, and I find reviews really useful – I know a lot of readers online would say the same!
Any advice on how a photographer can be successful as a hobbyist but having such strong blogging savvy, get their name out into the Internet world?
Connect as much as possible with other bloggers/photographers who are similar to you. Chat them up online, meet up with them at conferences, and build out a network of like-minded folks. More importantly, always have something unique, interesting, and valuable to add to the Internet.
On the Single Housewife, you mention a book about Android photography. Considering your tech posts on VentureBeat, why did you choose Android over Apple and how did the idea of the book come about?
I’ve always been more interested in the Android platform because it appeals to such a broad swath of humanity, from people in developing areas to highly tech-savvy reviewers like me. My publisher had already done a book on “iPhoneography,” and Android photography seemed like a natural next step.
So much has changed in the photography and blogging worlds over the last few years. What do you think is the next big thing on the horizon?
I think short-form mobile video and social video are really becoming interesting. And just as photographers have had to adapt to new devices and mediums before, they’ll have to do it again if mobile video creation really takes off with consumers!
Your personal blog seems to give us insight to a different part of your life. Where do you find inspiration to blog about food and the photos which make us wanting to eat more?
I’m a home cook, so all the stuff on the Single Housewife comes from my own experiences in my kitchen and life. Food is one of my favorite ways to express love to my friends and family!