Blogging has a lot of photographers scratching their heads in frustration. Outside of our real weddings, what other content can we share on our blogs? And should we even bother? We're told over and over again that content is king, so providing useful information to clients and potential clients that meets their needs is a great way to build trust and show that you know your stuff.
But where do you even start? We asked Maddy, our favourite marketing, writing and SEO consultant for her top blogging tips. Here's what she had to say!
How often should I blog?
How long is a piece of string. Some say blog two to three times a week, whilst others say every day. Here's what I say: blog regularly. Whether it's once/twice/three times a week or month, just do it regularly. Use the Wordpress scheduler to select a date and time to publish and use Facebook scheduler / Buffer to share your posts.
How can I come up with content and ideas?
- Sit yourself down and brainstorm the topics your clients ask about.
- You should think about what you want to say and to whom you want to say it.
- What is the purpose of your piece? Why are you writing? What do you want to achieve?
- Look in your inbox, what are the most common questions? What questions are you always asked by your clients? What are you asked by fellow professionals and peers? Write about those topics first.
- Address a specific question and you'll get the readers in.
- Read wedding blogs designed for your audience. Check out Top 100 Wedding Blogs for inspiration.
- Share other people's blog content. Do not copy and paste their posts, but instead write a couple of paragraphs about the topic, then link to the blog post and email them with a compliment about how much you enjoyed their work.
- Write about what projects you're working on right now.
- Always feature your real weddings
- Keep a Google Doc / Word doc of article ideas on your phone so you're never stuck for an idea.
How should I organise my posts?
- Tutorial posts or "How to" posts. (They build trust for the reader and they're great for SEO)
- Resource lists (list local services and be thorough with your information, contact the businesses and let them know you've linked to them, they might link back! Call the posts things like "Top Ten Wedding Venues in London"
- Checklists (yes, they're prolific, but oh boy are they wildly popular, don't dismiss them as they're also potentially viral on social media including Pinterest). Make sur the lists are informative to your reader and in line with your business values.
- Infographics - this relates to being helpful to your couples. They're also hugely popular on Pinterest. Use a free tool like PiktoChart to convey some useful information. Search on Pinterest and see what's already out there.
- Guest posts on your blog - featuring guest posts from other professionals in your field is a great way to share audiences, and to associate yourself in a particular area so that readers know more about you. Reach out to other pros and ask them if they'd like to write for your blog. Writing a few short questions for them if they say yes will help inspire them to be specific.
- Guest post on other blogs - Publishing on other people's blogs earns you a new audience, boosts your traffic as the link on the new site will earn you a great backlink to your site.
- Interviews - interview pros you admire in your field, perhaps get their take on the current trends in your area, interview yourself so potential clients can see what you're all about! They want to get to know you before they trust you to book your services.
- Sponsored posts - if you choose the right blog for you and your audience, then purchasing a sponsored blog post can give you great visibility that generates good quality leads.
Is there a particular way I should format a blog post?
Whilst there is no set way, there is a format that I would recommend:
- Introduce that proves you understand the problem you're about to solve
- Share your expertise by understand the problem
- Examples that demonstrate your expertise
- Conclude with a purpose and call to action (what do you want them to do next?)
Please know that comments are not a benchmark of success. You need good images and / or graphics, a strong and steady social media presence.
What titles should I give my blog posts?
This is a great question which sometimes isn't given so much thought. Please know that this is important, not just for tempting readers to click on it when they see it in their Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest feed, but also for SEO when readers are Googling questions related to their interest. Have you done any keyword research for your website? It's useful to use keywords here. You need an exciting and informative headline but one that your readers will click on.
I have a super secret way of getting you the perfect blog post headline BUT I'm only going to share it with you if you tweet something for me.....
Tweet: Every week I get free #marketing advice from @MaddyRedPen - it's awesome. You can sign up here to get it too. http://ctt.ec/C2UbW+
For more information and ideas about blogging, check the following links!
Beginners guide to social media and blogging from Moz
What the best business bloggers do and you should too from Hubspot
150+ blog ideas from Coschedule