For four years I created blog posts the “normal way”. Upload photos to WordPress, add photos in a nice, neat order in a new WordPress Post and hit Publish. Honestly, this was fine for a long time. Until my website started becoming reaaaalllly slowwww. As photographers (or anyone really with photo-heavy blog posts), all these photos uploaded to our website add up over time! Yes, there are ways to limit the size of photos and compress them and all that jazz, but photos are photos. And if you want high-quality, sharp-looking photos, they can’t be like 5kb each, let’s be real.
So, last year (at the time of posting, it’s now March 2020), I went on a mad rampage trying to find a way to A) take my website out of stone-age speed and B) discover a better alternative to the traditional blogging. Enter: Narrative Publish! When I found them, I was amazed. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! Too good to be true… almost (because it was true).
Alright, so enough rambling. Allow me to walk you through 5 reasons why I LOVE Narrative, what it is, why I use it, when I use and why I think you should switch too. ;)
Note: This post contains affiliate links. However, rest assured that I don’t ever post about tools or apps that I don’t truly love and use myself. I wasn’t paid to talk about these apps. These affiliate links simply help me in a small way so I can keep creating this awesome, free content for you! There is no cost to you to use these links. (But I am obligated by law to tell you all this! haha)
If you’d like to watch me talk about all this in video format, I have a video too! :) Check it out below.
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The What, When & Why
What & When
Narrative Publish is the desktop application that I use to create, optimize and post my wedding, engagement and photo session blog posts to my WordPress blog!
Like these ones… (they were all created and build with Narrative!)
I like to use Narrative to create these blog posts versus creating them directly in my WordPress dashboard for a couple of reasons!
1- Quicker Workflow:
It’s just easier. What can I say? The Narrative platform makes it super easier to create beautiful grids with lots of photos! It’s a drag and drop builder, so on one side, you have all your photos and then you just drag them into the post builder. It’s super easy to format the blog post, see the available photos and mix them around to create the perfect grid.
You can even resize photos, stack them, crop them, all the things! All directly within the app.
2- Extra Features:
Within the post builder, they offer extra features that I love. Yes, you could code this into your website, or find plug-ins to create these for you, but #aintnobodygottimeforthat.
I love the Layout Animation feature: this makes your photos appear in a cool way when someone is scrolling through your blog. Check out this blog post and scroll down, you’ll see what I mean! It just adds an extra little something to the blog post-viewing experience for your users.
I also like the Lightbox feature: this allows users to click on a photo in your blog post to make it bigger. Once the photo is in Lightbox mode, it turns all the photos in your blog post into a slideshow, so someone who wants to really look at your photos can see them all in a nice large format!
3- SEO, Social Media & Mobile Responsiveness:
Do I need to explain further? Haha
Narrative has some really great, built-in SEO tools to help you rank in search engine results. You can quickly and easily add your focus keywords, SEO title, meta description and image keywords! And if that wasn’t enough, they even have a cute red, green, yellow ranking system. So the lights will turn from red to yellow, to green when you’re doing the right things with SEO in the blog post! So even if you’re new to SEO, this will help you get it right.
Again, within the post building, you can select to have Pinterest Buttons and/Facebook Comments displayed on your photos as well!
Most of your users checking out your blog on their phones? Narrative has got you covered. The blog posts are all mobile responsive, so your photos will display nicely and correctly whether it’s on a huge desktop screen or on someone’s smartphone (with no extra work to you!).
4- Space Saver!
Okay friends, THIS is my favourite and top reason to use Narrative!
Like I mentioned in the intro to this blog post, my main frustration with blogging directly in WordPress was that my website was just getting slower and slower the more photos I uploaded on it. I’m not a website designer or super knowledgeable on the nerdy tech side of websites, so please bear with me here – but basically, from what I understand, as you upload more and more photos to your website, the heavier your website server becomes. And the heavier (or larger) your server space is, the longer it’ll take to load in your user’s browser, thus making your website slow.
Well, when you build and create your blog posts in Narrative, what you’re doing is uploading the photos on THEIR servers. You build it on their servers and then simply copy over a line of code and paste it in your blog post! So, the photos are not actually living on your website anymore (even though they are all displayed there). In turn, this means that your website can stay much smaller and lighter in size and help it load faster! Hooray!
5- Future Updates:
Say you want to make updates or change up a couple of photos on a blog post you created a few months ago. Easy! You would just open up your Narrative app, make the changes and hit the button that says “update blog”. That’s it! You wouldn’t even need to log into your WordPress (or whichever is your website builder).
Let me know what you think of Narrative if you choose to try it! :) I can’t wait to see what you create with this new tool!
PIN THIS TO REFER BACK TO LATER!