This is a special week between holidays where, there's time to think about what happened last year and how you are going to try to do it better next year.
I am continually amazed at how much I enjoy doing this blog. I enjoy it more every year and 2011 is no exception. I enjoy all the great people I meet in this process and most of all I enjoy helping people start out and get established in real estate photography. This is a time when it's vitally important to be in charge of creating your own success and as the success stories we've documented this last year demonstrate real estate photography can be a business where you can do exactly that. The google analytics for the blog show that during 2011 there were an average of 15,000 unique visitors a month that each visited the blog at least three times a month. These numbers are up 25% in 2011 as compared to 2010.
I've especially enjoyed the one on one coaching that I've done this year with 16 different blog readers. So far I've done it on a ad-hoc basis just doing it over Skype for those that seem to need and want coaching the most. I'm going to do this coaching in a more structured way in the future but I haven't decided exactly how yet. I'm thinking about including some amount of one-on-one coaching with the purchase of my two beginning real estate photography eBooks.
In looking at the posts that were the most popular in 2011 it is very clear that the most popular subjects were those where I talked about the basics of real estate photography and marketing yourself to agents. Subjects like:
- Wide-Angle Lenses For Real Estate Photography: How Wide is Wide?- 2007
- Interior Lighting With Multiple Strobes: By Scott Hargis- 2007
- My Formula For Pricing Real Estate Photography- 2008
- Stunning Interior Images Without Lighting Equipment- 2008
- Summary of Using HDR for Real Estate Photography- 2008
- If You Charge Less Than $150 Per Real Estate Shoot You Have A Problem- 2011
- Alternatives For Controlling Window Brightness- 2009
- Unbelievably Bad Real Estate Photos Hall of Fame- 2009
- What Should I Charge For A Shoot?- 2010
- Beginners Guide to Lighting Choices For Real Estate Photographers- 2008
The dates after the links indicate what year the post was written in. I know, I only did one great post this year but apparently was hotter in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Most of the traffic to these posts come from Google search strings matching something in the title line. This illustrates the importance of choosing words for title lines. The list of links titled "Popular Posts" at the top of the right side-bar undoubtedly helps direct traffic to these posts too but they were all popular before I created this the "Popular Posts" list.
I have a number of things in the plan for 2012. Some of them are:
- I'm very close to releasing the 3rd edition of the Photography For Real Estate ebook. My son Ian is doing the final proof reading and I expect to release it some time in the first few weeks in January. As usual everyone that has purchased the book will automatically get a download link sent to the email they used to purchase the book.
- Scott said he is working on an update to Lighting Interiors but his schedule is busy so I can't promise when that will happen.
- I have other eBooks in the planning stages and in progress but none are close enough to completion to talk about details. I think you will like these... stay tuned.
- For my eBooks, I'm going to add and increasing amount of video content. There will be six video tutorials that I've designed to augment the post processing chapter in the 3rd edition of Photography For Real Estate. There are some subjects that can be communicated better with a video tutorial than with text and I believe that an eBook is a medium that will work well as a mixture of text and video. I've been inspired by Salaman Kahn and his Khan Academy. I just wish I could do tutorials like Sal does! I'm practicing.
- I am very close to changing the template on the blog. I'm moving to a magazine style template so I am able to better expose and make visible the huge depth of content that is here (1200 posts). It will highlight up to 6 of the most important categories and show the two most recent posts in that category on the front page.
I'd like to thank all the readers who've contributed their success stories and real estate photography problems and have been willing to let me talk about them in public. Keep them coming, success storys encourage everyone and if you are having a problem chances are that someone else has already solved it.