The following three sites are high quality, often strictly moderated communities, which allow you to share links directly to specific images on your photoblog. You can participate in challenges, and also benefit from features found in other communities, such as receiving comments, favourites and more. But most importantly, your photoblog will receive exposure amongst your peers. However, some of these communities require a thick skin since your photoblog has to be approved before being listed.
Photo Friday is a great photo community with a twist. Rather than have you upload your photos to their site, each Friday they give their users a new challenge. They use various words or phrases as a point of inspiration for your next photograph and you have one week to submit your image.
The best thing about Photo Friday is that you don’t even have to sign up to use the site. Simply submit your link and your name, and the link to your photograph will be added to the home page.
Don’t be fooled by the use of the word challenge – there are no prizes. Photo Friday aims to push users to take photographs on a weekly basis. Users can benefit from recognition and it’s a great way to get exposure for their sites.
There are two ways to get noticed on Photo Friday. The first way involves user votes, where the top 6 photos to get the most “Noteworthy” votes will be linked to on the home page.
The second is a recently implemented feature using a Twitter account, PFSpotligt, where the moderators post their personal favourites that don’t necessarily make it into the Noteworthy Picks. A few of these are also featured under ‘The Spotlight’ on the home page.
Unlike the other two sites listed here, Photo Friday relies purely on peer voting, which means that it’s your fellow photographers that will decide if you are featured in the noteworthy section.
For the serious photographer, Cool Photoblogs can be a great means of exposure – but it’s not as easy as just registering for an account. You’re photo blog has to be approved by a moderator to be added to the site.
Cool Photoblogs has their own weekly challenge with an inspiration point, where registered users can submit external URLs to their photographs, instantly driving traffic to their photoblog. Thumbnails of noteworthy photos submitted to the challenge are featured on the home page.
Newcomers and Top Contributors are listed under separate tabs, or you can browse random listings of contributors’ blogs, or browse by location. They are also currently voting for the 2010 Photoblog Awards so it’s definitely a good time to sign up.
Registering for an account means that your blog will be under the Newcomers tab, under pending approval. Don’t be surprised if it takes them a while to get back to you – they have about 55 pages worth of blogs pending approval.
If you manage to get past their vetting process, your profile page will feature a link to your blog, the date it was added, your location, and a short bio.
The hardest part of registering for an account on VXFY Photoblogs is finding the register link. It’s cunningly hidden out of sight at the bottom of the page, but once you’ve registered and activated your account, there are countless ways to interact with other users.
The first step is to add your Photoblog, using it’s RSS feed.
But the listing does come at a price. VXFY requires that you add a button or link to VXFY to your blog.
The final step is to add some additional information about your photoblog including Photoblog name, URL, and where on your blog you will feature the VXFY button.
In addition, all posted blogs have to go through a vetting process that can take up to a few weeks.
VXFY, like Photo Friday and Cool Photo Blogs, has a weekly challenge, which allows you to submit an external URL to a photo that fits that week’s challenge. All postings submitted will be featured on the page, provided that they adhere to the theme. Weekly challenges are updated every Friday, and they have a voting system in the works.
Other features include administrator selected Weekly Picks, a daily mosaic of the latest images submitted to member photoblogs, and a page that features the images that have received the most favourites.
With any given image, you can view the rest of that Photoblog’s posts, email the image to a friend, view the text that accompanies the image or add it to your favourites, or ‘collection.’
The website can feel a little confusing at times, but once you have the hang of it, there is a great community behind it, and of course, is yet another means for exposure.
If you’re interested in other unique photography communities, be sure to take a look at 4 Photo Websites to Share One Photo a Day
How do you drive traffic to your photoblog? Let us know in the comments.
Image credit: Erin MC Hammer