When someone mentions the word “photography blog” what do you think of?

Blogging has morphed over the past few years into an easy way to get content out to your prospects, and to have an easy way to connect up with people from anywhere in the world. But the one underlying problem I’m seeing with blogs is the lack of understanding. And usually it starts with the purpose. If you don’t understand its ultimate effect, it’s hard to use it properly.

1. Start with a purpose
Why are you online? Why are you even considering a photography blog? Hopefully you’ve said, “To market my business and bring in more clients”. If your goal is to reach out to new prospects and clients, you have to post in a way that attracts them. I was recently out on a site in which the owner blogged about many different things – but nothing directly related to attracting new business. If you’re a commercial photographer, you have to write about things of interest to your commercial clients. Same with weddings. Or portraits. You have to know why you are doing it, and carry it out every single day.

2. It’s not about you
Traditional marketing methods concentrate on selling what you do. Online marketing methods focus on giving a potential customer more information on what they are searching for, and put you as the expert to rely on based on that information. Marketing doesn’t work the same way it did even just a year ago. Times are changing, and so are the tools. A person doesn’t want to be sold to. Yet they love buying something they’ve fallen in love with. Customers are in control. They are educated, and they want the best value they can find. Value doesn’t equal cost – it equals getting what they desire. The key is using your blog to showcase the value, and making them fall in love with you over and over again until they take that step to use you as their photographer.

3. Share what you do with everyone
I worked with a photographer a while back who had a simple 4 page website, with very little on the site. It had a few words describing their services, but no visual representation of what they did and the type of photography they offered. The more we talked about it, the more I realized how scared they were about copyright issues. They didn’t want people “stealing” their images and printing them off. And they didn’t want their images to end up on other sites that they couldn’t control what existed on the page with their images – sites like Facebook and Flickr where an ad they didn’t approve of may be next to their images.

In the online world, you have to think about the positives more than the negatives. People using these sites know how they work. They understand what you have control over and what you don’t. The key is findability. If you want people to find you in the tools they love best, its important to be where they are looking.

4. Think of how they are searching, not how you want to be found
I’ve never known anyone to head over to Google, type in “testimonial” and expect to find a photographer using that keyword search. Yet I see that all the time on photography blogs. When you are creating a blog post, think backwards. What will your potential client type into Google to find you? They may type in “wedding photographer for Scottsdale wedding”, in which case your blog post entitled, “A Wedding Celebration In Scottsdale With Susan and Justin” will feed into the rankings. If you shoot 20 weddings a year in Scottsdale, and use this model over and over again, you’ll quickly zoom to the top. Google wants quality information, and this is how you can provide it.

5. Add a little personality

A blog is all about building a relationship. Think about your average face to face meeting.

  • 10 minutes of chitchat about personal items
  • 30 minutes of talking about the client’s wishes
  • 20 minutes of talking about your services
  • 10 minutes of tips from the industry

And so on.

This is a perfect way to set up your blog.

Write the occasional post about what you are doing: attending a conference, meeting friends for dinner, your vacation plans, happenings with your kids, etc

Write about things of interest to your clients and prospects and what they are searching for. Answer questions. Build up your expertise.

Write about your services. Don’t sell – create posts that teach how they should look at you versus a competitor, and explain what you do in more depth. Blogging isn’t about 100 percent selling – it’s about showcasing what you do.

Write tips directly for your visitors. It’s all about proving your expertise within the industry.

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