Starting a new photo blog

Of everything you put into social networks, photos are one of the easiest and most rewarding parts to reclaim for your own site. Because we shipped Sunlit 2.2 this week, I want to share a guide for starting a new photo blog that you will actually consistently post to.

The first step isn’t technical. It’s a commitment to posting regularly on your own blog instead of first reaching for Instagram or Snapchat. A commitment to posting to a place you control, to a place you can look back to years from now as an archive of your best photos at your own domain name, regardless of what social networks come and go over the years.

If you already have a hosted blog on Micro.blog or WordPress, you can use that. If you want to start with a new space just for photos, use Micro.blog and click Plans → New Microblog. In the Micro.blog settings, you can map a custom domain to your new photo blog such as photos.yourdomain.com.

Instagram will let you download an archive of all your Instagram photos. If you use macOS, install Micro.blog for Mac. Choose File → “Import from Instagram”. Select the media.json file in the archive you received from Instagram, and Micro.blog will let you select some or all of your photos to import, preserving the dates and captions on your new photo blog. See this help page for more details on importing from Instagram.

Instagram import

To post a new photo, use the official Micro.blog iOS app or our new companion app Sunlit. There are also great third-party apps such as Icro for iPhone and MarsEdit for macOS.

When you post a photo with some text but no title, that photo will show up directly in the Micro.blog timeline.

Micro.blog screenshots

Another option is to connect OwnYourGram with Micro.blog. OwnYourGram can watch your Instagram account for new photos, then copy them automatically to Micro.blog. Before setting up OwnYouGram, make sure to add your Instagram username in Micro.blog under Account → “Edit Apps”.

For an overview video of the new version of Sunlit, see my post from yesterday. Happy photo blogging!

Manton Reece @manton
🕸💍