They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
But that doesn’t mean that photography businesses get off the hook when it comes to content marketing. 😉
Today, everyone that has a business presence needs to blog.
Blogging is essential in the current digital landscape, and photographers have a unique opportunity to harness the power of blogging for their benefit and online reach will fall behind.
Fortunately, you can take proactive steps to learn how to blog for a photography business successfully and enjoy a more lucrative business, as a result. Here’s how.
How to Blog for a Photography Business: Why Should I Blog?
If you’re thinking, “Come on. I run a photography business! Why does blogging matter to me?” you’re not alone.
Today, lots of companies are confused about how and why blogging has become so critical to a good online presence.
The answer, however, is simple: blogging is the most efficient way to communicate with customers online, right now. What’s more, it’s seriously lucrative. Here are a few quick stats about how blogging impacts your ROI and bottom line, from Impact Branding and Design:
- Websites that blog have an average of 434% more indexed pages than websites that don’t blog.
- 47% of customers view 3-5 pieces of content before ever talking to a salesperson.
- Companies that prioritize blogging are 13x as likely as their competitors to enjoy a positive ROI.
- Compared to outbound leads, which have a close rate of 1.7%, inbound and blogging-focused leads have a close rate of 14.6%.
- Businesses that blog earn 97% more inbound links to their site.
- As many as 80% of customers ignore the paid ads at the top of Google’s results (this is a BIG deal for photo businesses!) and only focus on organic results.
- Blogs are currently the web’s 5th most trusted source of online information.
We ourselves at Express Writers rely on consistent content creation to generate our inbound leads. (Here’s a case study on that.)
As you can see, effective blogging has a massive impact not only on your company’s visibility on the web but also on the way people perceive your brand.
If you’re bypassing blogging for paid advertising or (worse) no digital strategy at all, you’re missing out!
How to Blog for a Photography Business: An Example of Success
Jasmine Star is a great example of a Google success as a photography blogger.
She writes a lot of posts and even offers tips that appeal to a typical photography buyer, but aren’t necessarily photography related. Her target clientele is marketers and those who need beautiful professional photography, and she blogs in a wide sphere of topics that will get the attention of her target clientele. How to Get Your Social Media Posts Seen By More People is one of her blog topics, for example.
Are you sitting down for this?
Her blog ranks in the top 3-4 organic results of Google for the highly competitive keyword photography blog.
Jasmine’s consistent, awesome blogging has won her a top spot in Google’s organic results. And for a HUGE keyword.
To find out just how huge, I took that keyword to my favorite SEO tool, KWFinder, and found that this keyword brings in 22,200 monthly visitors.
Jasmine’s blog gets an estimated large chunk of that volume.
Keep in mind this is traffic fueled by Jasmine’s blog, fully organic, without a paid advertisement.
She gained this incredible keyword spot solely through her blogging chops!
Take inspiration: your one time investment per blog, as long as it’s quality and matches what your readers would expect to read (and will love and share), can last for years!
5 Reasons Blogging Matters for Photographers, Specifically
There are more reasons than the tremendous value in SEO traffic, although that’s pretty huge alone.
While it’s true that blogging is critical for all brands, everywhere, it has some unique benefits for photographers. Let’s break it down:
1. Blogging Lets You Show Your Customers Who You Are
For people outside the photography business, it might seem like all photographers are the same. Of course, you know this isn’t true! While all photographers take pictures, each has their own individual style, focus, and strengths.
Luckily, blogging helps you showcase these.
By using a blog, you can show your customers what’s important to you and what you value as a professional. This, in turn, helps you connect with the most valuable, relevant clients and build a sense of recognition on the web.
2. Blogging Allows You To Showcase Your Work
Today, it can be tough for working photographers to find a way to display their recent photographs. After all, few photographers have physical galleries, and, even the ones who do don’t get tons of foot traffic to them.
Fortunately, blogging solves this problem by giving you a centralized location to display your newest work and update your customers. This helps you keep your portfolio fresh and ensures that your clients always see your latest and best images.
3. Blogging Boosts Your SEO in a Way Portfolio Sites Never Could
Some photographers address the issue listed in the point above by creating an online portfolio.
And while this is a smart idea, it’s not a super effective approach when it comes to SEO. The reason being that portfolio sites don’t do much in the way of including keywords, offering indexable pages, or providing valuable, customer-focused content.
They just exist.
They seldom get lots of traffic, and they certainly don’t do much to appear in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Blogs, on the other hand, are much more symbiotic – as we saw in Jasmine’s example.
Designed to allow you to communicate directly with customers, blogs make it easy to target relevant keywords, keep your content fresh, and answer the biggest questions your customers have about your services, different photographic methods, and the industry as a whole.
4. Blogging Makes Your Content Shareable
Imagine this: you shoot a wedding or maternity shoot. You post the photos on your blog and share them on social media (with your customers’ permission, of course). The customer sees them, loves them, and shares the link to the blog gallery on their social media pages. Friends and family of that client, many of whom have been looking for reputable photography services, see the link and contact you to shoot their events. That’s the best-case scenario, right? When you run a reputable blog and update it frequently, it’s also a very likely one. Blogging makes your content shareable, which is critical for a salient photo business.
5. Blogging Helps You Establish Your Personal Brand
Differentiating yourself from the competition is essential for photographers, and blogging makes it easy. Everything from the layout to the color scheme of the blog can be customized to suit your brand image, not to mention that you have complete control over the voice you use to interact with customers.
How to Blog for a Photography Business: 10 Actionable Tips for Your Photography Blog
If you’re reading this, you’re likely considering blogging for your photography business for the first time. While it can seem intimidating to start your first business blog, it’s not nearly as difficult as it might seem. Just follow these guidelines.
1. Understand Your “Why”
The key to a successful blog is having a reason for doing it. While it’s true that blogging is an essential part of running a modern photography business, it’s also not enough to just have a blog you update only occasionally.
Instead, you need to make a conscious decision about why you’re operating your blog and what you hope to achieve. For example, is your blog going to act as a strategy for recognition, helping your customers recognize your work and your brand where it appears?
Or is your blog a movable portfolio that you’ll update regularly? If you’re like most photographers, the answer will be several things at once.
No matter why you’re operating your blog, though, you need to understand the motivation behind it and what you’re hoping to gain from the blog. This will help direct everything else.
2. Pinpoint Your Audience
Today, there are 3,583,926,400 people using the internet.
Can you imagine trying to speak to all of them?
Of course not! For one, not all these people are interested in hiring you, and even the fraction of them who need a photographer won’t hire you for various reasons, ranging from geographical issues to a different preferred style.
One of the biggest mistakes new bloggers make in their photography blogs is trying to talk to everyone. In addition to being impossible, it’s tiring to be everything to everyone.
As such, you’ve got to pinpoint your audience.
Who are the model customers who hire you? And how can you speak to them more effectively?
Answering these questions by constructing a target persona is an essential method for starting your blog off strong and stable.
3. Offer Relevance
The best photography blogs out there succeed because they’re relevant. For example, a great wedding photographer might blog about how many hours of wedding coverage customers should consider purchasing (most people assume they need less than they do, and a relevant blog about how long everything takes would be helpful).
Photographers that specialize in alternative processes might talk about why cyanotypes are so unique, or how large format cameras play into modern-day photography. Photographers who specialize in newborn and maternity portraits might offer helpful tips for getting your baby to pose on picture day or how to help other siblings join the photos in a constructive and equal way.
The more relevant you can be with your blog post topics, the better. In addition to helping your customers connect with your content, it will also make them want to come back for more.
4. Make Converting Simple
When you start blogging as a new photographer, you want to make it as easy as possible for your blog to draw new customers. Initially, this means making it simple for your customers to convert. For best results, ensure that the blog posts you write have all the information your customers need to feel comfortable and trusting in your brand.
This goes for your website, as well, which should feature everything from your location and contact information to your pricing and testimonials. You’ll also want to find creative ways to incorporate calls-to-action (such as “book your session now” or “Get a quote”) throughout your page. The easier your blog makes it for readers to convert, the better off you’ll be.
5. Be Consistent in Your Blogging
You know what’s worse than no blog at all? A stagnant blog that never gets updated. Not only does this show customers that you don’t care about your content, but it also sends the message that you’re not very good at following through. Instead of falling victim to this dreaded fate, ensure that once you start a blog, you can update it regularly.
While the frequency will depend on you and your goals, it’s wise to update your blog at least once a week, if not more often. Once you’ve found a blogging schedule that works for you, stick with it. This is the only way to earn readers and grow your audience, after all.
6. Integrate With Social
If you’re not integrating your blog with your social media accounts, you’re missing out on a large piece of the puzzle. Today, blogs and social media go together like peanut butter and jelly. Without one, the other can’t reach its full potential.
Every time you write a new blog, share it on your social profiles, as well. Most blogging platforms, like WordPress, for example, offer built-in functionalities that make it easy to share the blog post automatically. As you gain likes and shares on your social profile, you’ll also gain readers on your blog.
7. Save Your Best For The Blog
Thanks to the immediacy of blogs, people often assume they’re a place for half-baked thoughts and hastily rattled off ideas. Not so. In fact, your blog should be the home of your best and brightest content.
With this in mind, ensure that everything you publish on your blog has been vetted thoroughly by your quality-control methods. You want to proofread everything adequately, showcase only your best photos and ensure that the formatting of the blog is perfect before you fire it off.
Don’t ever write and publish anything in one day, if you can avoid it. Instead, start drafts and then hone them until they’re perfect. While it’s true that this takes more time, it’s also true that it will deliver better results in the end. When it comes to blogging for your photography business, it’s always quality over quantity.
8. Keep It Professional
Photography is a very personal profession, and that’s bound to come out on your blog. For best results, though, you want to keep it personal but still professional.
This means always getting permission from your clients to share their photos, using discretion when sharing intimate or private photos, and being careful to protect the identities of the people you mention. Over-sharing isn’t cute in any aspect of business, especially photography. When in doubt, don’t share it.
9. Learn Some SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a critical part of blogging, and learning the fundamentals of it can take your blog from good to great. Ideally, you’ll want to learn how to include target keywords, how to format headlines, meta descriptions and titles, and body content, and how to optimize the images in your post so Google can discover them.
While these sound like complicated steps, they’re not!
Here are a few tips to follow:
Keep Your Paragraphs Short
Paragraphs should be between 2-4 sentences.
Include Keywords Naturally
If you’re targeting “portrait photographer in Boston,” you’ll want to include it in your headline, a sub header or two, and throughout your body copy a few times. Don’t overstuff your content with it, though, or you’ll come off as spammy and cheap.
Optimize Images With Alt Text
When you plug an image into a blog, it’s important to use alt text to help search engines “Read it.” Right now, Google can’t interpret images without alt text, so this is a critical SEO component of ranking well. Here’s an example of what good alt text looks like, from Yoast.
Write like you speak. While you always want to be professional in your blogs, it’s also essential to be natural. The more natural you can be in your writing, the more attractive and approachable you’ll be to readers.
10. Keep your topics fresh
It’s easy to get stale as you blog for your photography business. Fortunately, you can keep your topics fresh by writing about things like your recent work, adventures you or your clients have taken, your personal experiences, and general photography tips, tricks, and questions.
Be sure to keep an ear to your readers to ensure you’re writing about topics they find interesting, and covering the areas they want to read about. For example, topics like “10 Tips to Prepare for Your Engagement Shoot” or “What’s the Right Age for Newborn Pictures?” are both great topics.
Remember Jasmine Star’s example of unique photography topics that appeal to her specific audience.
Your topics should be narrow enough to match your niche. For example, if you’re a portrait photographer, you might not want to write about which lenses to use for landscape photography.
The more you can narrow your topics and your niche, the more successful your blog will be.
How to Blog for a Photography Business, Made Simple
While blogging for your photography business may seem like a new idea, it’s one of the smartest ways to make your company stand out from the crowd.
Learning how to blog for a photography business is crucial. In addition to labeling you as an authority, boosting your SEO, and making it easier for would-be customers to find you, blogging also helps you hone your skills and expand your offering to clients.
This, in turn, can boost your entire business and help you grow your bottom line in a big way.
For more information about blogging for your photography business, or to find a team of writers who can help you create content you’re proud of, contact Express Writers today! We have photography writers ready to create your blogs, and blogging packages that are completely hands-off.