Blogging is not a dirty word
Being visible, in a web that grows at incredible speed and offers everything you can think of and stuff that you can’t even imagine in your wildest dreams, is no walk in the park — and if you don’t put a little thought into it you may find yourself wasting a lot of time for very scanty results.
Take blogging, for instance. Many photographers have a blog. And many of the photographers I speak to complain that they don’t have time for it, that they’re “behind” (behind what, I often wonder), that they don’t know what to write and it takes forever to put one together. Some give up altogether. Some give up every now and then, like those who want to quit smoking and get really good at it (I quit twenty times this month!). And some keep it going but don’t see why they should.
First off, let me say that your blog must be part of your website. The whole point of having a blog is to grow a following, of course, but also to drive traffic to your website — and if it’s not there you’re wasting half of your efforts right there.
The biggest mistake are blogs filled with photoshoots
The second concern is what you’re actually blogging about. The single biggest mistake I see are blogs filled with an endless series of photo shoots.
“Last week we photographed the cutest sweetest baby, Lucy was a dream in the studio and her little brother loves her so much…” you know the drift.
WHO exactly is going to look at that blog? Lucy’s mother, and possibly a couple of close relatives if they live far away (and you didn’t sell the digitals). Who would be interested in sweet little Lucy? Who is going to read how easy it was to put her to sleep and how hungry she was when she woke up?
Having a blog and posting every shoot you do is not what blogging is for. Sure, it’s there to show off your photography (and the fact that you’re working!), but you have social media for that too. All you need is one image to show off what you did yesterday and how good it was. Way simpler, and more effective too.
Other blogs are an endless series of special offers. Offer of the month, discount for a limited time, get your senior photos, your Christmas cards…you name it, it’s there. Would YOU follow a blog like that? Enough said!
Blogging is not to show off WHAT you do
Blogging is not to show off WHAT you do, and not even HOW you do it. It’s supposed to be informative, entertaining and fun, or people are not going to read it. It should be 80% content and 20% sales, and the content should be relevant to what your target audience is interested in.
So instead of showing 20 images of little Lucy with a pink bow, show three or four different babies with different kinds of headbands and how easy it is to make them. Or five different moods for senior sessions: Sporty, dreamy, adventurous — give ideas and inspiration, and show off your photos in the process.
Make it interesting, but keep your text short! Nobody wants to read for 20 minutes. Short and sweet is the secret. Remember when we talked about the copy on your website? Whatever you write, read it again and cut it in half. And there you have it. After a while, you’ll be writing blogs in 15 minutes — and people will actually read them.
Make it consistent, decide how often you will post and stick to that. Whether it’s once a week or twice a month, start slow if you like but keep it going. Make a plan and write all your blogs for the month in one day, so they’re ready to go.
Don’t forget a call to action!
Don’t forget to add a call to action at the end of every blog. Giving a freebie helps, everybody likes free stuff and they’ll give you their precious contact address in return. Collect them and start a newsletter, so you can send them links to your new blogs every week/fortnight. And the clicks grow and the cycle expands.
Keep reading on this next week, there’s much more coming and it’s every Thursday.
Want quick feedback on your blog? Do you have any other questions to get started? Post it in the comments and I’ll be glad to help! (see what i did there?)