Tips & Tricks: Growing Your Business Through Blogging
December 28, 2015
Blogging frequently is one thing, but building and developing a blog strategy for your photography business is something entirely different. Done right, your blog can serve as a powerful tool to put your images in front of your target audience, and develop a loyal following that helps to grow your business. Virginia wedding photographer Katelyn James sat down with ShootDotEdit president Jared Bauman and shared her five most valuable pointers for using your blog to build your business. Want to hear the full 1-hour presentation? You can access the entire webinar here: bit.ly/1H5sMm1
1. Change your perspective. For many photographers, there’s a misconception of blogging and what it should achieve for their businesses. I’ve heard the same hesitations like, “I don’t have the time to blog” or “there are other parts of my business to focus on.” Before I developed a successful blogging strategy, I needed to develop a new perspective of what my blog stood for, and what I would promise to my viewers. Once I realized my blog has a purpose and a mission statement, I began to create blog content because there is meaning behind my content. My blog now contributes to my company’s purpose. Blogging has so much to offer your business: you build a loyal online following, create a succinct system for social media sharing and rank higher on Google. Moreover, blogging to share your images is a win for your clients, your vendors and your future couples.
2. Receive return of value. As a business owner, there should always be a return for every single project you take on. The rate of return can vary depending on the type of marketing strategies you use. If you decide to use blogging as your main strategy, you have to know it will bring more business back to you. Sharing my blog is not something I do just because I have to; it’s how I bring the income into my business. I’ve built up an online group of people who love my blog, and are attached to it because of the consistency. Since people connect to who I am through my blog, it has generated a demand for my business I never could have done by placing an ad in a magazine or purchasing a vendor list. If you’re not blogging each of your sessions, you are transitioning your rate of return onto your client. Blogging gets my imagery in front of my clients, their friends and their family, who in turn share it. Blogging is your way to getting the highest return and value for the work you’re producing.
3. Share during the “Golden Window of Impact.” After a long day of shooting, you’re exhausted and ready to relax. Even if you backup your cards when you get home that night, you may push the workflow until a few days later. By the time your images are edited and styled, you’re sending them back to your clients weeks later. If you wait too long after the event to post the images to your blog, your clients will not be as excited to share. As a matter of fact, the longer you wait, the lower their excitement will be. There’s a “Golden Window” when you’ll have the most impact on your couples, their family and friends, and anyone else involved in the wedding day, and it is within the first 72 hours of the shoot. After the first 72 hours, you’ll see the excitement start to wind down. The same can be said for vendors. If you wait weeks to share your images, vendors will move on and focus on their upcoming events. I know [from experience] to blog quickly because there can be so much value for me, as well as my clients and vendors.
4. Utilize SEO techniques. Search engine optimization is a tool that you need to utilize in blogging to reach more clients through search. Google crawls through every new page on a website, and that helps boost your SEO reach. Since your website itself is not updated every day, Google is not paying as much attention to it (and thus not helping you with your SEO). When you publish a new blog post frequently, Google takes notice and starts crawling (and ranking) your content higher. Additionally, adding keywords that are relevant to your target market helps Google better understand who your blog is best suited for. And, Google will reward you for this by ranking you higher for those search terms. These keywords can live inside of your blog, and will appear when a bride types them into Google when looking for a wedding photographer.
5. Create a sharing strategy. I typically blog about a wedding on Tuesdays because it’s the highest day of traffic on the Internet. Blogging has great value because I have a platform to capitalize on fast turnaround. Staying diligent to sharing every Tuesday after the wedding creates anticipation, not only from the couple who’s wedding it just was, but for all of my blog followers. That anticipation can be hard to deal with sometimes! It means I have to post every single Tuesday to my blog, no matter what. But this anticipation is wonderful in the end, and serves my clients and my business well.
Bonus Tip: Try sharing your blog post on social media at an odd time. Posting late at night or early in the morning means you’re not fighting everyone else for space in the News Feed!