“It’s 4am, I’m finally done with editing.
Now, all I need to do is update my Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, and BLOG.. and then.. then I can finally get some sleep!”
Sounds painfully familiar?
It sure does to us, and many of our Flothemes clients. No wonder we keep getting questions like:
“What is the best, easiest & fastest way to create beautiful photography blog posts?”
As business owners, who have to handle everything from sales, marketing, accounting, contracts, to insurance, customer satisfaction and providing the actual service that you do (photo/video) – it’s natural and crucial to be constantly searching for new, better ways to improve your workflow, and make it more efficient.
In this article, we’ll be answering the question of “How to easily create a blog post with image collages and unique layouts?” After testing a few alternatives, we fell in love with the solution offered by Narrative Publish. Why?
1. It’s intuitive and easy to use.
2. It’s fast. It literally takes you only a few minutes to create a blog post.
3. You can make blog posts look unique and trendy without much effort.
4. It allows you to work offline on your blog layouts, which is crucial when traveling.
5. It comes with many additional perks, such as Lightbox previews for images, lazy loading and image SEO settings, various fade and slide in animations, buttons for clients to download images, and more.
[NEW] They’re about to release their Select tool, which is based on AI technology and will significantly cut down the time photographers spend on image selection from photoshoots. How? By helping you filter out photos in which your main subject’s face is blurry, blinking, etc. Curious to find out more? Check out this video for details and sign up for Beta here.
But let’s talk about each of these separately, so you get a better understanding of how Narrative Publish works and why we think it’s one of the best tools to build photography blog posts.
BONUS: We’ve included a discount code which will offer you 3 FREE months with Narrative Publish. Scroll to the bottom for the code.
NOTE: At the moment Narrative is only available for Mac users. If you have Windows, you can sign up here to get notified once the app is available for you.
Narrative Publish is easy to use
The dashboard is very intuitive and clean. It takes only a few seconds to get used to it and understand how everything works. Once you start, you choose a source folder and all those images get instantly uploaded into your dashboard. If you add or remove any images from the original folder, those changes happen inside Narrative Publish as well.
All you need to do now is click on the magic wand tool, choose the number of images you want to add (we prefer the “All” option) and done! All your images are beautifully laid out in a blog post.
It takes only seconds to crop an image or adjust its aspect ratio, so it fits nicely into the collage, creates a certain mood, or emphasizes an important detail.
Things that usually took you minutes, or hours in Photoshop, can now be done in seconds.
Takes only minutes to build a blog post
The main reason why a photographer would consider using a tool like Narrative Publish, is to save time and optimize their blogging process. It does exactly what it promises.
If you prefer to have everything under your own hosting, you can export the layout you created, row-by-row, as jpg files, then upload them to your site manually. This second option is also great for those who can’t connect their site directly to their Narrative app. Yet, truth be told, you probably need a better, more modern website platform in that case. *wink*
Note, if you choose to host your blog posts on Narrative Publish’s servers, you can always go back to that post at a later time, make edits inside the Narrative app, hit Update, and those changes will automatically appear on your site.
Unique & impactful blog post design
Ditch the standard blog post look, where images are stacked one under another. There are tons of options inside Narrative Publish that allow you to create custom layouts and present client galleries in an exciting and unique way.
For example, you can use negative space, for a more minimal, avant-garde type of look, like this one by Benedict Sutton. Something that breaths and is airy, such as this one by James & Cam from Chasewild. Or stick with the classical 2-3 side by side images, with various types of margins, like we did while testing the app.
As a photographer, you’re probably on the road a lot. Trains, airplanes, cars, coffee shops, you name it. Internet connection isn’t always available, hence the ability to work on your blog posts offline, fast, quick and smooth can be a huge BONUS. Save your projects inside the Narrative Publish app, then, once you’re online, get them easily published to your site by adding the html link. It will only take minutes, especially if you’ve already filled out all your SEO keywords… which takes us to #5.
Additional exciting features
SEO is important. For most photographers at least. We love how the team at Narrative understands it, and have included a bunch of SEO options right inside their dashboard, along with an SEO Inspector, to help you understand what’s good, and what needs improvement SEO wise.
After you add your titles, meta description, focus keywords and image keywords, you can have a look at the SEO tab in the top right corner, to identify the weak spots. The SEO inspector, will highlight the items that need improvement, with a red or orange dot. If it’s all green – you’re doing fabulous!
Additionally, the team rolled out lazy loading options for all blog posts, which help your blog posts load faster and provide a great experience to your site users.
To offer a more engaging experience to your blog post viewers, you can enable the Lightbox option. It will allow them to view each image individually in a full-screen format, on desktop or mobile.
Image download button for your clients
Since blog posts are created first of all for your clients, secondly for your potential customers, Narrative Publish allows you to enable a “Download Images” button. This offers your clients a quick and easy way to get access to that curated gallery and wonderful collages.
If you’re one of those people who love their process streamlined inside one tool, Narrative Publish allows you to also add all your text paragraphs, right through the app.
If you want to add a bit more zest and unique browsing feel to your blog posts, you can enable the Layout Animation option. It includes Fade In and Slide In effects, with some control over the speed (duration) of these.
Migration between website platforms
If you migrate your site from Squarespace to WordPress or vice versa, you don’t have to rebuild your blog posts, as they will all be inside Narrative, and it only takes a few minutes to transfer them.
Narrative Publish free trial
Well this is self explanatory. We all love the chance to play with a toy before buying it.
Narrative Publish allows you that. Find more details on narrative.so
Select by Narrative
The team recently announced a brand new product, Select by Narrative, and we’re super excited to give it a try! It’s an image selection tool, powered by AI technology which can help you save a lot of time and optimize your photo filtering process. Here’s their co-founder, James Broadbent, offering a sneak peek overview on how the tool works. Select is currently in Beta, and available only by request. If you want to be the first to get your hands on this exciting new tool, sign up here!
Narrative for Flothemes clients
Excited to try Narrative Publish with your Flothemes website? Brilliant, we have an exclusive offer for you! Use code FLOTHEMES3 at checkout and enjoy 3 free months of subscription.
There you go. Now you know about this great tool, called Narrative Publish, that can help you create unique blog post layouts, fast and easy. Go ahead, sign up for the free trial, and we guarantee you that after 5-10 minutes, you won’t be able to look back and do blog posts the old way.