To Blog or Not to Blog
I know from multiple personal experiences that creating a website is a tedious task. Home, about, contact, photo galleries, archives, and all the other little pages that have to be generated. You’re either doing it yourself or you’re paying someone way too much to do it. If it’s a DIY, then you better know about plugins, widgets, themes, css, html, WordPress, and more. You finally have your perfect site, so you’re done… right?! Nope… you gotta have a blog!
Oh, but why?!?! They’re so time-consuming and creativity-draining. It’s just one more chore to add to your list of too many to-do’s. This photography business is already hard enough, let’s not mix it up with a blog. Sorry, Charlie. You need your own blog for multiple reasons.
But, the good news is that they’re not as terrible as you think. You’ll probably end up liking it. You’ll definitely like the rewards you’re going to reap for the work. How, you ask? How does one blog, out of millions of blogs, help you? What is your own blog going to do for you? Let me explain…
Blog Your Way to SEO
If you’ve worked so hard on your website, don’t you want people to see it? Don’t you want Google to recognize you? You’ll need every ounce of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) you can get. A blog gives you some SEO muscle!
If you created your site and stopped there, it would be a static site. Nothing would change about it. It’d be sitting on the web collecting dust. The Google bots that come and scrub your site for material will get bored with you, and your site will suffer in the search engine. Okay, maybe you’re going to add new pictures – that does make the site dynamic. But not dynamic enough.
You need dynamic, written material. Keyword-rich, written material that’s going to impress those bots and get you noticed. Strategically written posts can immediately put you on the front page of certain searches. True, you’re not going to rank on keywords like “photography” because it is so saturated, but you can rank for a search like “photographer + your hometown.” You can rank for a search on your business name (unless you have a very generic name… then you’re facing an SEO challenge).
Ranking on one of the first two pages of Google will get people to your site. It will get you clicks, views, and business. Potential customers actually get to see your awesome work, and they’ll want to hire you.
With a Blog Comes Subscribers
Your blog posts will make an excellent reason for people to subscribe to your site. If you keep your writing fresh and relevant, others will want to read it. Yes, people do hit that “Subscribe” button and invite you into their Inbox.
Subscribers are a list of potential customers that will just keep growing. Yes, you can create a Facebook page and get others to follow you there, but people are becoming desensitized to those Facebook pages. Certainly, have a FB page! But don’t neglect the power of personal emails. Send your subscribers occasional emails and they will notice you much more.
But what will you email to them? The possibilities are endless, but let me help to get your creative juices flowing:
- A highlight of your latest shoot – Send an email that contains the best picture from your latest shoot and some verbiage about the shoot itself (be sure to size your image right!). Link to your gallery or home page, and invite that subscriber back to your site. Tell them that they need their own photo shoot and offer them a deal.
- Send your latest blog post – No sense in keeping theses posts a secret! Share your best posts that are relevant to your future clients. And, of course, link back to your website and offer a deal.
- Generate a monthly newsletter – Yes, this is more work, but it can create loyalty among your subscribers. People love to look at pictures. Fill your newsletter with your latest work, highlight something interesting about photography, and share your latest promotion. Your subscribers will take notice of your hard work.
- Seasonal deals – When it’s time to start the Christmas Card season, send an email about your Christmas Card Special. Include an image of an amazing Christmas card and invite your subscribers to enjoy the benefits of using your service for their cards. Other seasonal invites to send include Senior pictures in August, graduation notices in the Spring, family portraits in the fall, and wedding packages in the spring.
For help with subscribers, emails, and newsletters, we recommend MailChimp. More to come on this great service. Until then, you can Google tons of information about MailChimp and learn all you need to know.
Establish Your Authority and Online Presence
I drool over the blogs that have existed for years and have oodles of posts for their visitors to read. I think it shows their dedication and passion for their business. That’s what you want! Yes, this will take time. Don’t kill yourself trying to write two dozen posts in one weekend just to make your Archives look meaty. It will come in time, but you need to stay persistent.
Consistently write your blog posts on a schedule. I recommend one post a week. If that’s too much for you, shoot for two posts per month. As your blog post arsenal grows, your website will be all the more impressive. The more you write, the bigger your presence. Instead of a cookie-cutter, photography site, you have a site with real bones. When people visit your site, they’ll have more material to view, keeping them on your site longer and increasing the chances of converting them to a client.
That visitor-to-client conversion rate will also increase when people see that you are an authority in photography. This means you’ll need to write like an authority, with confidence. Touch on topics that people struggle with when it comes to getting their pictures taken. What to wear… how to pose… where to go. If you can write articles on these topics and provide answers that people want, then you’ve become a true expert to them, and they will choose you over the other guy!
Get Started Today
With each passing day, your chance to grow a blog is passing you buy. Start with brainstorming… what posts are you going to write? Make it a goal to come up with 26 post ideas – that’s one every two weeks for the next year! I’ll even help you get started:
- What to Wear to a Family Photo Shoot
- Why Posing is So Awkward
- 10 Great Locations for Photos
- The Best Family-Friendly Camera on the Market
- Basic Photography Tips for Your New Camera
- Where to Print Your Pictures
- A Summary of My Services
- How to Make Senior Pictures Great
- What to Tell Your Photographer before the Wedding
- Wedding Shots You Should Always Get
- Why Engagement Photos are a Must-Have
- Children’s Photography – It Doesn’t Have to be Hard!
You’re welcome! I just gave you ideas for six-months-worth of blogging! And, I’m hoping your creative, idea-generating juices are flowing. What are you going to write about? What do you think your future clients want to read? Let’s get the conversation going and share some ideas! Leave a comment with your post idea.