Nowadays, many photographers apart from sharing their photos on their websites, social media and online portfolios, at some point decide to start and publish their own blogs. The reason is that although a picture is worth a thousand words, there is nothing more useful for SEO (search engine optimization) than a well written and compelling text.
The search engines as Google, Bing and Yahoo, are constantly crawling and indexing the web for new and fresh content. The more popular the new content is, the higher is ranked in the search results compared to the already existing and indexed content. It’s a constant and never ending competition to stay relevant and rank higher.
And here where a wedding or portrait photography blog can help. So how one starts about setting and maintaining their own photography blog?
As everyone else, I also have started and maintaining my own blog in addition to my Wedding Photography Website and Portfolio. Here are top 8 tips that can help you start your own photography blog.
1. Have a Purpose:
Giving your potential readers a purpose to spend time reading your blog is a must. Without any appealing content or anything that can benefit your readers, your blog will wilt quickly. You would also have to decide on how you are going to engage and grow your users. Are you going to share your images and invite feedback? Or you are going to describe and share your photography techniques and skills? Or share information on particular photography equipment (camera body, lenses, flashes, etc)?
Whatever the purpose of your blog is going to be, be consistent.
2. Target Your Audience:
This is the most important decision you need to make and it is the one that I see many bloggers fail to establish. Decide who is your reader: potential clients, fellow photographers, everyone else, your family and friends?
If you are writing to acquire new clients, then you might want to display your work, post promotions and events they can take advantage of. Posting complicated information about photography jargon (link) or techniques would not appeal to your clients. Neither, discussions about your pricing strategy or articles about how to increase your profit as a photographer.
Writing for fellow photographers would require you to get specific into the technical information, post information that they cannot easily find somewhere else (why otherwise they will come and read your blog, anyway?). And for family and friends, anything they can relate to would be a good start.
3. Pick Blogging Platform:
Blogging is not necessarily a new way to reach a vast audience. And as such there are so many blogging platforms to pick from: WordPress, Blogger, Thumbr, etc . Each blogging software would have their templates, look and feel which you might or might not like, so take your time. Take them for a test drive before you commit to adding content. Once you start blogging, it is usually very hard to move to another platform.
Although all blogging platforms serve the same purpose: to enable you to communicate your ideas and content to everyone, not all are created equal. Look for blogging platform which is SEO optimized or can be SEO optimized. You need to make it easy for Google, Bing and Yahoo to index and display a link to your blog in their search engines. After all, if no one finds and reads your blog, what is the whole purpose of it. Plenty of templates (both free and paid) is also good to have. And lastly, look for modern features as social networking integration, Google Analytics integration, video (YouTube, Vimeo) support, etc.
4. Focus Your Energy:
Many successful blogs that have loyal and sizable user base, are indeed addressing a very specific topic or area of interest. For example, it would be hard for you to come up with unique and interesting content for the entire photography field, but what about destination wedding photography tips for Bora Bora? How many other destination wedding photographers would be blogging about Bora Bora compared to wedding photography in general.
Being unique and focusing your energy would not only draw a loyal and dedicated readers, but would also enable you to write “deeper” and more insightful content. Your readers would come back if they find the content they like and need. Trying to be the “jack of all trades” would not get you far.
5. Be Productive:
After you selected your blogging platform, don’t just stop there. There are many useful and free tools to help you be more productive in publishing your blogs. The most important thing to do after you write your blog article is to proofread it for grammar and spelling errors. There are few great online tools to help you:
If you prefer to have a real person do the proof reading, one option is to head to Fiverr. For $10 or less, there is an army of freelancers who do great job on polishing and getting your article ready for publishing.
And if you care about higher search ranking for your blog, consider writing at least 650 characters blogs. To help you measure this, here is a free online tool for you: Word Counter
6. Make It Engaging:
One way to keep your readers engaged on your site is to add images to your blogs. This makes your blog easier to read as the reader’s eyes are”resting” on the images instead of getting tired of scrolling through the lines of text. The images also add context to your content and are more likely to invoke reaction by your readers, and therefore make them remember your blog or topic.
You can take and share your own images (why not show the World what amazing photographer you are) for your blog. This is not only adding context to your blog, but would also keep you motivated to go out and capture the images for your next blog article. Lastly you will have the platform to display and share your images with your readers.
If you don’t have the time to capture and process your own images, there is a plethora of royalty free images online. Here is one library in case you need it: Free Digital Photos
7. Be Consistent:
Many photographers start their own blogs only to give up on the idea within 5-6 months. Actually, stale blog can do more harm than benefit. Visitors and past readers would wonder if you no longer dedicate time and energy to photography. Have you not be keeping with your craft and don’t have anything new to share?
So, if you are serious about starting a blog, then create a blogging schedule and stick with it. Posting regularly not only would keep your readers engaged, but would also help your SEO. Google and the rest of the search engines love fresh content worth adding to their indexes. It is better to post short articles (350 words) frequently (once or twice per week) rather than once a month or week with 600 words or more (guilty on this one).
8. Make It Interesting and Unique:
When it comes to blogs, less is more. Quality wins over quality.
Instead of churning mediocre blog articles four or five times per week, opt for once or twice per week, quality and informative content. You can lose readers if you keep spamming them with low quality, “me too” rehashed content. No body has the time to read the same ideas in different words.
So keep it interesting and original. Come up with topics that others care about and are looking to learn more about it.
9. Let Others Know:
Lastly, once you have a blog and started to blog regularly, the last step is to let others know about it.
Get the word out. Share it with your friends, post links to your blog online on Twitter, Facebook, forums. What good is a blog if no one knows about it and reads it. And if you know your readers are not online at 10pm, don’t post at that time. You can always save your finished blog and post it when your readers are online and can see it.
Blogging is a great way for every photographer to share its vision, images and knowledge with others. It is a way to let others know more about you and your passion, something that your images cannot always do. Having a blog would not only make you more visible online, but could also benefit your photography business.
Brides and grooms are looking for wedding photographers online, so giving them a reason to find you and read your useful content, is yet another way to grow your business. I hope these tips would help you to start your own blog. Would love to hear your feedback and comments in the section below.
About the Author:
Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photographer in Mountain View, CA. Many clients in the entire San Francisco Bay Area have entrusted us with capturing their wedding days.
To learn more about the wedding photography services we offer and book a wedding or portrait appointment, visit our Wedding and Portrait Photography Site