Hoping you are having a great day! As you already know from yesterday's blog my entire photography database disappeared with the death of my external hard drive. Something that I have always heard about but was always fortunate enough to escape it until yesterday morning. As a result earlier today I picked up a new Lacie D2 4TB external drive. What I appreciate about this drive is that it is Thunderbolt 2 compatible and data transfer is super quick.
As you can see from the above pic my new hard drive has been unpacked and is busy retrieving data from the CrashPlan's servers. I have to admit CrashPlan has done an amazing job at making the interface easy to use and intuitive. I would strong recommend CrashPlan as a great and affordable solution for anyone who has not yet developed a backup system. It allows me an unlimited capacity without having to worry about being charged more fees as my photography database grows. The only drawback to the process is that downloading 1.5TB of data will take a considerable amount of time. According to the program's interface they estimate 28 days before I will have all of database restored. However, I will gladly wait with an open heart knowing that all of my photographs are safe and will return. home soon.
Given the limitation that I will only have access to a very small part of photography database for the next couple of weeks. This blog will be focusing on work that I have already completed as well as topics of general photography. Thank you for visiting my blog at Garvin Hunter Photography. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me or use the comment form.
Hope everyone is having a great night. I have been crazy busy for the past week and as a result I have been unusually quiet on my photography blog. However, I am pleased to report that I am now on vacation for the next 10 days! Yippee!!
In addition to being on vacation I have some exciting news to share with you. Over the course of the next couple of days we will be completing a major overhaul to the website. These changes come as a direct result of comments and questions we have received from our customers over the past month. We will be adding at least two new fine art galleries to our website (i.e., black and white photography art prints and nature art prints). We will also be grouping all of our art galleries together under the heading of "wall art décor ideas". These changes will make it easier for visitors to browse our galleries and ultimately enhance their experience on our website.
The second major update involves our "gift ides" webpage. We have received a number of comments that it is not easy to look for a particular type of gift (e.g. iPhone phone cases). As a result we are expanding this section to include the following webpages: (a) wall art prints, (b) buy phone cases, (c) home décor, (d) fashion, and (d) stationary. I expect other webpages to be added later as the need arises.
With all these changes coming online over the next couple of days I do expect certain technical issues to occur. When browsing our website you may see webpages which are in various stages of construction and I do apologize for any inconveniences. I will work tirelessly to minimize the impact to our visitors/customers. I am hoping to have all the changes completed by early next week.
Thank you for visiting Garvin Hunter Photography. We look forward to being better able to service you with the new website.
Garvin Hunter Photography.
I hope everyone had a fun weekend. I am going to state the obvious! I am not a computer guru, nor am I a website designer and definitely not a SEO expert. I am an artist! I am an artist armed with a computer, a domain and the desire to get noticed by others. When I started this adventure of creating a website to house my artwork I naively thought that if I build it, they will come. Now a year later I know this is simply not true.
With this important and painful realization out of the way. It meant that in December 2015 I had to choose among two separate paths. The first path was easy going and painless. It simply involved walking away from the experience. Shutting down the domain and going back to marketing myself through my main art gallery at Fine Art America. The second path was far scarier and would require a huge time commitment. I would keep the domain open and fight to get noticed by search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Being Irish and stubborn I chose the later and decided to work on building a great website that would effectively market my beautiful artwork. With the decision made... now what... HELP!! I was confronted with the challenge of correcting my past errors, however, how do you correct something when you can't see your errors.
Garvin Hunter Photography Goes To School
Thus begun the era of self discovery and trial and error. Starting in December 2015 I made some dramatic changes to my website. Old pages were deleted and new ones erected in their place, many of my pages were given new names, and most of the text had to be reworked to include better keywords. In addition to tweaking the website I was reading articles online to help guide me through the maze of website design.. Overall my experience was and continues to be a mixed bag of emotions. Some days I find it fascinating to new learn new things and then implement what I have learnt on my own website. Then there are the dark days where I get frustrated by how long it takes to see the fruits of my labour. I often have to wait days or weeks before I get to see the results of my work on Google Analytics and/or Webmaster Tools. However, on those dark days I keep chanting to myself "inch by inch life is cinch" over and over again.
In early January 2016 I came to a new and frightening conclusion. According to my reading I needed to start a blog and the sooner the better. Everything I read pointed to the fact that blogging had the potential to dramatically increase my website traffic. So with a lump in my throat and a rapid pulse rate I started the "Garvin Hunter Photo Blog" in the middle of January.
It has been over a month since I posted my first blog entry and guess what? I am really enjoying the blog. In addition to helping my website it has given me a wonderful opportunity to improve my writing skills through practice. The truth is, I have not written much since my days at the University of British Columbia where I did my post graduate training. I also find it very empowering to think that I am sharing my passion for photography and the visual arts with the whole world through this portal. How powerful is that? Ok maybe not the entire world, but you know what I mean.
It is now almost the end of February 2016 and it appears that my hard work is starting to pay off. For the first time ever, I am now seeing the Garvin Hunter Photography website appear at the top of some basic internet keyword searches using Bing, Yahoo and Google. This is awesome news. When I dig deeper I am also finding that my traffic onto my website is generally increasing with each blog posting. While these triumphs are small in magnitude they are important first steps for a new website such as mine and for a webmaster who is learning on the job. There is plenty of work to do over the course of the next couple of months and years to improve our page ranking on a number of keywords but I look forward to the challenge! Google you never knew us before, and you barely know us now, but you will know us tomorrow because we are on our way. Albeit slowly!!
Thank you for reading!!
Over the past couple of years I have incorporated new ways to connect with my existing and future customers. At first it was as simple as using Facebook to share my fine art prints and tell people about my new promotions. This was quickly expanded to using G+, Twitter Pinterest to expand my social presence. During the early days I remember being befuddled and confused by tweeting and using hashtags. However, with time and patience I steadily increased my user base and began connecting with new customers. Finally, my online life had started to become easier.
Than in 2014 I started to notice holes or problems on how I was using social media to connect with my customers. I was finding that I was being bogged down sharing the same information on various social platforms. I was getting socially burnt out!! I was tweeting, pinning, sharing, posting, tweeting, sharing posting over and over again. By the end of the day I was completely stymied as to what I had shared and to whom I shared it with. The ugly truth was that my social media strategy was not working.
After some soul searching I came up with the idea of creating my own website. The website would serve as the centre of my wheelhouse and it would be from here that I would share, post and tweet. So I took the plunge in 20015 and created garvinhunter.com for my artwork. What could go wrong! Well in short everything! Prior to opening garvinhunter.com I had never designed a website nor contemplated the importance of "search engine optimization" (SEO). I naively thought if I built it they will come. Not true!
It was't until the summer of 2015 that I had come to conclusion that I and my poorly developed concept of a website needed help. I also came to conclusion that I needed to have.a better understanding how search engines like Google work. So began the period of hard lessons. Specifically, I would read a little, make some changes and pray for a better ranking. In fact my website changes so frequently that some days I swear it is cyber based laboratory where I test out theories and learn from trial and error. Ok mostly errors and sometime very big errors at that.
The importance of good website design and SEO cannot be understated. As an artist I face global competition with artist from all over the world. We are all working to have our artwork, galleries and social streams shown on the first page of the search engine results. Combined with more and more customers flocking to the Internet in search for that perfect fine art print rather than visiting local art galleries. Artist like myself need to understand how to market ourselves, and our artwork trough social media outlets and website design. I personally enjoying the challenge of learning SEO and seeing the fruits of my labour pay off with new customers coming onto my site. It is awe inspiring to think that my artwork is gracing the homes in Japan, Australia and United States to name a few.
Thank you for visiting my photography blog at garvinhunter.com. I hope you have a great night and I will talk you again soon.
Garvin Hunter Photography
How does one start a blog? What fascinating conclusions can I make here that would be interesting to others. The only conclusion I have made is that starting a blog is scary stuff. You would think by my reaction to this task that I have been charged with the duty to draft the constitution of a new nation. My heart is racing and my mind is blank so here we go.
My name is Garvin Hunter and I am photographer based in Southwestern Ontario. I love making beautiful fine art prints. I love photographing beautiful flowers and landscapes and sharing these images with others. To this end, I have created a number of different portals to share my artwork. This blog will be focused on my photography and what I have learned and hope to learn about capturing rare and beautiful moments. After all it is these moments that tell a story, trigger an emotional response and ultimately decides if we like a photo or not. This blog will tell my story along this road of self exploration and growth as a photographer,
I will also use this blog to discuss what I have learned about online marketing which is a much harder subject than photography. Subjects will including topics such as how to best use social media to promote artwork, building a website, SEO, e-commerce and what online galleries best support new artists trying market their crafts.
Wow!! I have just finished my first blog post!! Thank you for reading and hope to see you soon!
Garvin Hunter Photography