We get comments all of the time about how frequent we blog. In our eyes, it is something that we should just do because every photographer we follow nationally, blogs almost daily. We learned pretty quickly to get our inspiration from NATIONALLY known photographers rather than LOCALLY know. Why? Well, because the photographers that are known nationally have done something to market themselves and get their name and work out there. We want to get our inspiration and even be mentored by THEM because they have done something BIG! We have some great local mentors that we are very thankful for but when it comes to overall marketing we try to think of things we can do that locals here are not doing as much. The first thing we found in almost ALL of the nationally known photographers was their blogging!
Why blog? Why not? Here are all of the reasons why we think it is so important to blog.
Search engines love content. What they love even more is updated content, and content that changes frequently. Does that not describe a blog? With all of the key wording options on blogs and the tags, you can really make your images and blogs pop up well on search engines. Do you want to show up on google more? Do you want more business? BLOG!
We love that our clients can look forward to seeing their blog post with their images with in a week or so. What is even better is most people from the wedding, or family can come see it too. What people love even more is when you tell the story of the day or share about the couple. Once they read our blog and the story from our perspective they feel connected to us. It is GREAT marketing and it almost immediately gains followers to all of our social networks.
Are you wanting to start something new? Or thinking of reaching a more ideal client? Start blogging to them! Say you want to start mentoring, well start a weekly mentoring blog post. Are you wanting to focus more on weddings? Start blogging all about weddings! Is there something that you need to communicate to clients and future clients, blog it!
For me, one of my favorite things about blogging is a potential client can look back over all of our blog posts like a look-book. What is even greater is they get to read about the sessions and weddings and hear our personal approach in our blogs. This is better than a gallery! This shows more of the experience when they book us as well as the images we provide.
5. BRANDING MADE EASY
We are big on this! Andrew and I’s approach to this photography thing is obviously much more personal. Our brand is built around this; “HONEST, BOLD, FEARLESS, DREAMERS.” We want our clients to know we are honest. Honest in our work- less editing and more natural posing, and honest people. BOLD and FEARLESS in our work and in our personalities. Lastly, dreamers! We want our couples to know we aren’t afraid to dream and they shouldn’t be either. We try to encompass this in our brand and our blogging is a great way to represent our words. Our posts should be HONEST, BOLD, FEARLESS, and full of DREAMS! This is an amazing tool to attract ideal clients.
6. IT IS CHEAP IN COMPARISON
Every other kind of marketing out there is EXPENSIVE. This may be time consuming but it is way cheap and it works! I can tell you from experience that Google Ad Words, Facebook ads, and other marketing sites have not come close to the amount of exposure and even bookings that our blog has brought in!
So BEFORE you start your blog be sure to go through these three things:
1. THREE WORDS
Describe your photography style in three words. Use words like nostalgic, elegant, classic, modern, urban, bold, timeless, colorful, vibrant, enchanted, fairytale, emotional, raw, real, romantic, light-hearted, etc.
2. KNOW THE REASON
Know why you are blogging! It makes it so much easier to hone in on what to blog about when you have a clear purpose or mission for your blog! Pick the three most important topics you want to blog about and start there!
3. PICK YOUR AUDIENCE
Once you nail down your reason you should be able to identify who your audience is. Our main focus is potential wedding clients, new photographers, and our #accouples. Our fourth category is seniors but our main focus is weddings.
So you are convinced that you need a blog? GOOD! Why not? Here is some of the best advice we can give you to start!
1. LESS IS MORE
Do not just post pictures on your blog to show what you are doing. Do not overwhelm your audience with millions of images. Less is more. The exact number is completely up to you. We typically stick between 30-60. We know some photographers who share 100+. You can pick that number.
2. SHOW ONLY YOUR BEST
Much like your portfolio site, only show your best and not your all. Also, if you do not want a bride who is crazy about detail shots..DON’T POST THEM.. or if you do not want a wedding in a church.. DON’T POST THEM! If newborn pictures are not your thing, take the cute babies off your portfolio and your blog!
3. — USE WORDS
There is much more value in your words than you realize. Give your readers an experience as they read you blog. Provide useful content to them as well as beautiful images! Do not get us wrong, portfolio viewing is a great purpose for blogs but be sure to give them some valuable content as well.
4. BE PERSONAL
Every blogger has a different boundary for this but be personal but not too personal. Share what you feel is appropriate. We have found that when we share something personal it brings us off of the pedestal people tend to naturally create. It lets them know we are real. Don’t share too much though and make your readers feel uncomfortable. And definitely don’t use it to have someone pity you. Before I blog, I really try to clear my head and my heart on my motivation behind and be sure I am doing it for the benefit of the reader and not myself. That is a great filter to know if it is something I should share or not.
5. STAY POSITIVE
In this particular community positivity can sometimes be hard to come by. Andrew and I quickly realized that just be extending a hand and throwing away the competitive spirit our business started growing. Positivity is a quick way to make your light shine. People want to be surrounded by people who will encourage and inspire them. Blogs should not be used to trash talk but rather to encourage and motivate. Again, this is a platform and it can be used for good or for bad.
Lastly, here are some of our favorite blogging tips and tools that have made blogging so much more enjoyable for us!
LIFESAVER! This made blogging so much faster for us. If you do not know what it is then go download the trial and try it out. This is how we get our logo on the bottom of every image and we get the lovely PIN IT option. It syncs with our metadata and it is so easy. http://blogstomponline.com
Mondays are the days Emlyn goes to daycare. So I sit down and of my blogs for the week up until Monday of the following week. I schedule my posts on word-press and then I also schedule the posts with the short link in Facebook. This is great. My blogging and social media is all taken care of for the whole week. Sometimes if I have more time I do two weeks.
3. GUEST BLOGGERS
This is not something I do yet but we will once wedding season starts getting a little crazier. If you have a hard time keeping up with blogging than reach it out to fellow people who inspire you and ask them if they would like to guest blog. This allows you a little break and it is also great content for your readers.
So, I hope we have you convinced you that blogging is important! More than that, I hope you can see how much fun it is rather than another job to do!
Sharing, serving, and celebrating,
Andrew + Chrissy