In March I shared a post, "Eight Great Post Ideas for Your Blog." Well, I'm back this morning with eight more, but before looking over the list, you need to understand why your blog is so important!
Your website is about what you sell, but your blog is about what's in your heart. Consistent blogging gives you a chance to share your personality and passion for the craft.
I get that "passion" is one of those totally abused words by photographers, but it's the only one that fits. So, before you roll your eyes, think about what the consumer is looking for when hunting for a photographer!
First, more than likely the consumer is female. That's because women make 98% of the purchase decisions to hire a professional photographer in the portrait/social categories. That means most of the time "Mom" is your target. The exception is with wedding photography when the hunt is by the bride as well.
Second, your target audience is looking for somebody they can trust. They don't care what gear you use or the awards you might have won - they want to know why you're a photographer. A great blog gives you a chance to share those feelings in a way that's so soft-sell, it's hard-sell, but nobody is offended.
Third, a blog is an excellent way to show your very best images and talk a little about them, but in a way that's helpful to your readership. It lets you demonstrate certain aspects of your skill set that would be lost in a bunch of images in an online gallery.
Finally, a great blog gives your website credibility, much like the way publicity reinforces advertising. A blog gives you the ability to show you can "walk the talk." Everything with your target audience is about building trust and making yourself habit-forming.
Okay, let's give you eight more ideas for content for your blog:
Profile Your Favorite Charity: Like the old skit on Saturday Night Live, it gives you a chance to be a character like Subliminal Man. Talking about a charity, you believe in gives you the opportunity to show community involvement, while at the same time sharing a few images helps to demonstrate your skills as a photographer. And, if you're concerned about alienating other charities in the community, then launch the feature as a series, with a new charity being profiled each week.
Photo Tips for Kids: If we've learned nothing else from companies like Toys R Us, the best way to get to "Mom" is through her children. Start with some easy to understand tips just for kids. In fact, if you've got children of your own, talk them into doing a few guest posts. Now your blog becomes a family event and helps build even more trust with your target audience.
Contests: Once you've built a little readership, have some fun with a couple of seasonal contests. Whether for kids or adults, tie it back to photographs they have to submit and make the prizes your services. Spice it up a little by getting another vendor involved. For example, a wedding photographer with a blog, might bring in a prize from a local florist and then also include a post on flowers, etc.
Guest Posts: Your greatest marketing tool is relationship building. Look to get the opinion leaders in your community involved in your blog and include various vendors who have appeal to your readership.
Community Interest Posts: A good buddy, Jared Burns, was interested in getting more established with the community from India in the area he lives outside Seattle. So, he did a series of posts that tied in relevant topics. For example, he did a post about henna tattoos, an important part of the culture.
My Biggest Challenges: This is a series of techniques which allow you to demonstrate your expertise. They can cover everything from posing groups, lighting, kids that won't sit still, even sharing why as a pro you choose certain focal lengths in different situations.
Be Personal: Your target is "Mom", and most of the time she's pretty stressed, especially when it comes to time management. Don't be afraid to share some of the things that come up in your life that she can relate to. Great topics would be finding the balance between business and your family; fun things you've done with your spouse; the importance of "date night," etc.
Yes, you can survive without a blog, but I'm convinced a blog together with a good website will help you expand your reach and build brand awareness even faster. What good is working to build your skill set and capture stunning images if people don't know who you are? A blog, if done right, can be a key ingredient to building trust with your target audience.