Too many of you have a blog simply because somebody told you needed one. You haven't spent any time thinking through what you want to do with it. First, let's talk about what your blog is.
Your blog is about your heart, while your website is about the products and services you sell. Your blog helps extend your reach and by building readership, you're also building followers. But, you need to be careful. A well-done blog can help build your business and your brand, but take too many shortcuts or simply be irrelevant, and a bad blog can seriously damage the growth you're working so hard to build.
- Content is King! Pay attention to the demographics of your target audience. Everything you write about and share needs to be of interest to them. That means you need to provide content that's helpful, supportive of your reader's interests and always relevant. Under the umbrella of "content" is the amount you share. While this post today is normally longer than usual, it's bulleted and easy to find the key points. Work to keep your posts between 100-400 words, and always remember: a picture really is worth a thousand words.
- Consistency! However often you're going to blog; you've got to be consistent. Personally I believe photographers should be blogging at least twice a week on the same days each week. If you're only posting to your blog once a month or so, think about a potential client visiting your blog and wondering if you're still in business, because it's been so long since your last post.
- Build a stash. Not every blog post needs to be about something you recently did. If you've been inconsistent in posting, then back off for a week or two and build up a stash of posts. Set a goal of twenty blog posts 200-400 words long on a variety of topics to have in inventory. Each week, if you're stuck for something to blog about, pull one from your stash.
- "But Skip, there's nothing going on for me to write about!" BULLSHIT! (Sorry, it's the only word that's appropriate.) Here are ten topics right now:
Photo tips for kids
Great places to photograph
How to hire a photographer
Your favorite charity
Important camera gear
Technology update – be a resource
- Stay relevant. There's a great line I've quoted before by motivational speaker, Ed Foreman.
"If I can see the world through my client's eyes, then I can sell my client, what my client buys."
This is much more than just putting yourself in their shoes. This is about understanding what their interests are; how they need help, and what do they need to know to make them more active in the imaging world. You need to understand everything about them.
- Show your work. Use your work to show examples of things you're talking about in your posts. For example, sharing a photo tip on composition is the perfect time to share an image of a family sitting or a wedding party.
- Stay away from rip-tide marketing. Here's what many of you have done. You've been using your blog as a vehicle for sharing images from every wedding and engagement shoot. Now, you're caught in a rip-tide and can't stop using images from every shoot because you're afraid of hurt feelings with your clients. First, you don't need to post every image you capture. Second, follow my previous suggestion and start using images that make a point about a particular tip you're sharing with your readers.
Always remember your readership. For most of you that means "Mom". Women make 98% of the purchase decisions to hire a professional photographer in the portrait/social categories. With every blog post you have a chance to share a little more about yourself and show your passion for photography.