As a wedding photographer, learning how to start a photography blog is essential to the success of your wedding photography business. Blogging is a way to highlight your photographic talents, while also showcasing your personality. With a blog, you can generate interest in you and your photography brand. Your blog can then lead to building an even larger client-base.
How to Start a Photography Blog
Here at ShootDotEdit, we specialize in editing wedding photos. We also love to provide relevant and valuable insights on topics that are relevant to you as a wedding photographer. That’s why we partner with industry leaders to bring you their insights and tips on topics, such as wedding photography blog ideas, that can help grow your business. Below, we connect with Virginia-based wedding photographer Katelyn James to find out her blog photography tips. We also discuss wedding blog ideas and strategies with The Youngrens. And, we share even more tips for starting a photography blog (and succeeding).
In our Growing Your Business through Blogging Webinar, Katelyn James discussed the importance of managing your blog. Throughout the webinar, she also focused on how it can help take your business from great to amazing. Here are the top 5 tips to learn how to start a photography blog and use it to grow your business.
1. Know That Timing is Everything
After the wedding, how fast you begin posting images to social media becomes extremely important. You want to stay relevant in the minds of your clients. So, rather than waiting 2-3 weeks to create the blog post and share images from the wedding, get right to it.
Golden Window of Impact
Katelyn recommends posting each wedding on the following Tuesday after the event (about 72 hours after the wedding). She calls this the “Golden Window of Impact.” The Golden Window of Impact means you have a certain timeframe to share your wedding photos with maximum impact on your clients.
The reason behind this is if you wait too long, there may already be dozens of wedding images uploaded from guests’ smartphones or personal cameras. The excitement and impact will have died down by the time you share your professional images. By aiming to publish the blog post right away, this will also help you speed up the rest of your post-shoot workflow.
“If I wait 4 weeks, my brides are not excited. They have been back to work for 3 weeks already… there has to be an efficiency and an urgency to your blog posts.” – Katelyn James
Try sharing your new blog post through social media at a late hour, such as midnight. There may be fewer people on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter at this time, but there are also fewer posts being published. When your post goes live during this time, it has a better chance of being seen. This also increases the clicks and traction on it.
Related: Who’s doing it right in blogging? We highlight these 3 wedding pros and share what their strategy is!
2. Focus on Headlines
Creating the content and uploading photos to each blog post is important. This is a great place for you to be personable and connect with potential clients. So how do you get your followers to actually click on the post? You must make it a part of your routine to generate headlines and titles that are clickable and create intrigue in the minds of your readers.
With how saturated social media is with content, you need eye-catching titles for people to stop and click on your posts. The headlines are just as important as the actual blog post itself. As you work on your headlines, figure out how to highlight something unique about the wedding. You can do this rather than using a generic headline, such as “There is a new wedding up on the blog today.”
3. Share Posts with Vendors and Clients
Once you have uploaded your blog post, you will want to reach out to those who were involved in the wedding day. The goal of this is to help gain traction on the post. You can do this by tagging the bride, groom, and vendors on social media. This will alert them your post about their wedding is ready to be seen and shared.
By informing everyone involved the wedding photos are live, you are including them in the process. This is also a big plus when using Facebook. When you tag someone on Facebook, not only will they see it, but their friends and followers will see the post too. If some of their friends are newly engaged couples in search of a wedding photographer, this could be a great way for them to see your work. They may view your work and find that you are a perfect match for their upcoming wedding.
“Blogging is a win win. It’s a win for you. It’s a win for your clients. And it’s a win for your vendors.” – Katelyn James
When you work with vendors who share a similar ideal client as you, be sure to include a few extra photos that showcase their work within the post. This can help encourage them to share it more through their network and get in front of potential clients.
4. Create a Calendar to Blog Consistently
As you work on your blogging strategy, you may find one of the more challenging aspects is staying consistent with it. There may be some days where you are unsure of what wedding photography blog ideas to write about, or maybe you are too busy and do not have time to release a post. By developing a calendar for the month ahead of time, you will create a useful outline and schedule for yourself to stay on track.
The calendar will allow you to think of wedding blog ideas for your posts ahead of time so you have a clear idea of what to blog about each week. It will also allow you to think about the best days and times to post. Remember, even if you only have 100 readers following your blog, keep to a consistent schedule. They expect you to blog, and consistency can lead to you growing your following exponentially.
If you only have a select number of weddings you shoot each year, you can still find ways to consistently blog. Create blog posts on your favorite wedding day details, or start a personal blog series. Also, outsourcing your blogging needs to a specialist, like Fotoskribe, can keep you on track to blog consistently throughout the year.
5. Use Keywords for Brides
By including keywords in your blog posts your ideal brides are searching for, you increase the chances of them coming across your blog and booking you. To begin figuring out the keywords brides may use and help you find wedding blog post ideas, Katelyn suggests using an Incognito browser window. In the browser, type out keywords potential clients may look for. As you type these out, other commonly searched phrases will populate. This is a great way for you to learn some of the best keywords to use.
Simple keywords can sometimes be more powerful over a post full of technical language when it comes to SEO. For example, if you are a Boston based wedding photographer, use some simple keywords within your blog. These keywords can include “Boston wedding photos” and more. Remember, think about what your brides would search for when looking for a wedding photographer.
Blogging may not come naturally at first. But, once you develop a steady blogging routine, you can see a great return on the time you invested in your business.
Related: Don’t miss these 5 expert marketing tips to help you showcase your photography business to ideal clients!
Photography Blog Ideas
In addition to her tips to help you learn how to start a photography blog, Katelyn James has a few more insights to share. Keep reading to learn more about her photography blog ideas to help you always create content for your blog.
So many people never give blogging a chance because they don’t think they have anything to share. They’re struggling from either a lack of blogging ideas or a lack of courage, or BOTH. Let me encourage you with this: YOU are quite possibly your greatest enemy. And, you have control over YOU. So, let’s make a change!
Focus on Your Audience
Instead of being bound by fear, focus on what you have to offer your community. There are people who LOVE your business and what you stand for, and yet you never give them ANYTHING to follow along with.
I’m talking to you: the business owner with a blog that has been collecting dust for months and months. I’m talking to the person who thinks it’s not worth it because only 40 people will check their blog each day. To the business owner who thinks they have nothing to share because everything has already been said before: you’re wrong. Your business has a purpose. The 40 people who faithfully follow you DESERVE to hear from you. And, maybe your commitment to show up will eventually turn into the greatest marketing tool of your business.
Let’s say you read that and now you’re pumped up and ready to utilize the most affordable marketing tool a small business could have. You’re ready to start sharing on your blog! What wedding blog post ideas do you write about? What do you SHARE? You can start by sharing in the following categories: sharing personal stories, posting current work, and educating your clients.
Share What You Learn
There is ONE topic I think many people shy away from and that’s Learning Out Loud. Michael and I listen to several podcasts we really find intriguing and we heard this quote recently. A guy named Nathan Berry said he adopted the concept of “Learning Out Loud” and it transformed his audience.
So many of you out there are constantly learning new things as you continue to grow your business. Why not SHARE what you’re LEARNING as you continue to LEARN it? Some of you would say, “Well, I don’t want to attract other photographers to my site and so that won’t work.” My response to that is, “Why not? Why not attract photographers? People are PEOPLE!”
I can promise you, with 100% certainty, if you focus on HELPING others instead of just HIGHLIGHTING yourself, you WILL grow.
This looks like coming home from photographing a great wedding where you nailed the OCF shots and then doing a little blog post sharing why it finally clicked for you! Post the images you’re in love with and share a few tips! You’re showcasing your work, but more importantly, you’re providing valuable information for others. These are photography blog post ideas you can use to create valuable content for your clients.
Don’t miss out on the 5 most important elements of a blog post to ensure you deliver compelling content to potential clients.
Top Blog Photography Tips
Katelyn James shared some valuable insights into how to start a photography blog and her photography blog ideas. Now, we want to dive into additional details about blogging effectively to clients who are perfect for you.
We connected with Jeff and Erin of The Youngrens in our Secrets of Blogging for the Savvy Photographer Webinar. The photography duo shared some of the most important tips and tricks to use to attract potential clients to your blog. Here are their top blog photography tips to help you get started.
1. Be Strategic
On your blog, be sure to write, post, and build content based on the people you want to photograph. When you write content, think of what your clients would like to read or like to see. Knowing your audience is an important part of your business strategy. It will lead you to the perfect clients. Take some time to figure out who your perfect client is and create content you know they would enjoy.
Brides may spend hours cataloging through various websites, such as Pinterest, to get ideas for their wedding images. Pictures of the dress, getting ready, candid friends and family photos, and the first kiss will be on most of your clients’ lists. For photography blog post ideas, use these types of images that best represent you and your brand.
“They have a picture of happiness in their head, and with the blog, you are able to present a picture of happiness and show them how you are able to fulfill what it is that they’re looking for.” – Erin Youngren
To set yourself up for success with blogging, shoot strategically for your blog posts. This will help you speed up your workflow and know which images are best to share on your photography blog.
2. Be Genuine
Your writing can represent your personality and help you connect with your clients. Your clients want to see you are human. By taking the time to write, you can provide an emotional connection through words as well as the images. Every photographer can provide images. So, show clients you are creative and can offer more than other wedding photographers in the industry with your words.
3. Be Consistent
Creating a schedule for your blogging is an essential part of your success while starting a photography blog. Choose the best times and days to post to your blog and stick to it. Try to make your blogging goals as realistic as possible to avoid becoming overwhelmed. If you know you only have time to post two times a week, do not create a schedule that exceeds this.
Another way to stay consistent in your blogging is to always link back to your website in any type of post on social media. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are effective media outlets for blogging and connecting with your clients. Share your blog posts through these social sites to gain traction, and encourage your followers to share your posts.
4. Start a Series
When you first learn how to start a photography blog, it is important to blog about wedding blog topics other than photography. Start a blog series about something that is personal to you as a photographer. The Youngrens have a series called Recipe Sunday, where Erin takes creative pictures of food she has put together. This is just one of the many blog post ideas for photographers you can utilize.
If you are not much of a cook, try photographing beautiful locations you visit. When you capture creative images, your clients can imagine how you would shoot the details on their wedding day. Using this blogging tip will allow clients to relate to your brand as well as your personality.
5. Be Systematic in Your Workflow
It’s crucial you set yourself up with systems to manage your workflow, whether you use a blog calendar or other programs to help. Here are just a few that can help you with your blogging workflow:
Asana is a task management tool that allows you to assign tasks and due dates, and it also allows you to schedule as far out as necessary to stay ahead with your blogging.
BlogStomp is a tool to help you get images prepared beforehand. If you outsource photo editing to ShootDotEdit, you can take the Lightroom Catalog you received back and export your images from Lightroom to BlogStomp. This will save you time, especially when you are uploading blog posts on a weekly basis.
Fotoskribe, a ShootDotEdit Company, is the leading expert in blogging-as-a-service for professional wedding and portrait photographers. Fotoskribe is a team of professional and passionate storytelling bloggers. The bloggers unravel your complex ideas and inspirations, then create stories that people love to read (in a way that gets Google’s attention). When you are learning how to start a photography blog, you can utilize an expert like Fotoskribe to help you get started and maintain a consistent blogging schedule.
Learn 3 additional steps to take to kickstart your photography blog from Jeff and Erin in this article.
How to Create a Successful Blog Strategy
In order to win over clients and expand your business, you need to develop a strategy for potential clients to find you online. There are many platforms to get your name out there, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media is one of the fastest ways for your business to gain exposure, and you can use social sites to your advantage by using them as platforms to share your blog posts. Here are three ways to create a successful blog strategy that will help you book more clients.
1. Create Dynamic Content
Content that is relevant and up-to-date is referred to as dynamic content. With dynamic content, consistent blogging can become the front-runner for your marketing. Create compelling blog content by sharing positive tidbits of your personal experiences while photographing recent weddings—this will help clients get to know you and cause readers to engage with your blog and check back regularly for updates. Most importantly, consistent and relevant content delivery on a regular basis is part of a successful SEO plan, which leads to a higher ranking on Google. Include recent work so people can get a good sense of your personal style and brand.
2. Write a Narrative
With a compelling and successful blog, it can become a more powerful tool than your website for booking clients. To create engaging content, include a narrative that goes along with the images. This helps potential clients understand the type of story you capture on the wedding day. While your website showcases your strongest images, your blog is a tool that allows you to expand on the specific events of the day that you found the most meaningful. The more engaging stories you share, the more clients will get to know you and feel connected to you and your images.
3. Plan It Out
The best way to ensure that you are blogging regularly is to plan it out. Plan out your posts ahead of time for each month. For example, pick a day and time where you fill 4 weeks worth of photos from recent and past weddings. Design a schedule of when you will share your content on social media. It is best to pick a time of the day when social media activity on your Facebook Page is heavy so more people can engage in your content. This will encourage people to tune into your page or look for your posts at that specific time. Blogger Rachel Avery Conley shares her equation of an effective blogging plan:
“If you blog once a week, taking off 2 weeks for end-of-year holidays, that’s 50 weeks to fill. That’s not talking about how your week went, but 50 posts relating to your business. Say you shoot 20 weddings a year, add in 15 engagement sessions, 10 portrait sessions, and 5 strictly personal posts (with images). You have 50 weeks of content already filled and ready to be planned out.”
Blog posts that are shared through social media can be the bridge between you and your dream client. Plan to capture their attention through your images and engaging blog content. This will help you book more clients and create more stories to share with your followers.
The 5 Most Important Elements of a Blog Post
Before you can book clients, they first need to hear about you and your photography business. Blogging, if done correctly, can be a great marketing tool for you to share images and express the story behind each set of photos. With a properly designed blog, you can follow the same structure for each post and see the ongoing benefits from the SEO boost it will provide. Here are the 5 most important elements in a blog post.
1. Dynamic Content
Dynamic content is relevant and up-to-date content that contributes to a successful SEO plan. Since search engines are constantly ranking sites with fresh content higher than sites with static content, a blog is a great way to create new content regularly without needing to redo your site each time. Rather than scheduling one post a week with 900 words, Google favors multiple posts a week that are closer to 300 words each. When thinking how to start a photography blog, remember to blog consistently – set up a blogging schedule and stick to it!
2. Link Building
To rise higher in search engine algorithms, it is important to include links within your posts. These can be outbound links to people, places, and things that you refer to, or you can create inbound links that direct people to another one of your blog posts. When possible, link out to vendors, because they can link back to you and drive traffic to your website. Link building is an essential part of starting a photography blog.
3. Social Sharing
By controlling each piece of content on your blog, you have the ability to include easy ways for it to be shared. Make it part of your routine to share your blog posts through your social media platforms – this is a great way to gain additional exposure and attract potential clients. Make it simple for your viewers to share blog posts by including WordPress share plugins. Be sure that these share icons are visible by placing them at the top or bottom of each post.
4. Image Optimization
One of the main reasons people visit your blog is to view your images, so it is important that they are properly optimized for the web. Depending on your blog theme, images should be around 700-900 pixels wide and 72 dpi. Since these images are on the web, it is not necessary to include the full resolution photos. Programs such as Lightroom or Photoshop can be used to modify and resize images, though Blogstomp provides a quick and easy way to prep images for your blog.
5. Categories and Tags
Categories and tags within your posts are important because they keep your posts organized and make it easy for viewers to find similar content within your blog. Categories are the overall type of post you are writing. As a wedding photographer, your categories may include weddings, engagements, and portraits.
Tags provide an additional section for you to add keywords. These may be search terms that potential clients are using to find you. Consider using tags to include the name of the venue the wedding was located, the name of the city venue, and any vendors that you worked with for that particular wedding.
Ultimately, the more people that visit your blog, the higher SEO you will have. By maintaining your blog and sharing it through various social media channels, you can increase the traffic to it and book more clients.
3 Blogs Every Wedding Photographer Should Follow
Inspiration comes in many forms and, when you are running your own photography business, you may find you need encouragement for many different areas. Especially during this time of year, it’s important to stay motivated as a wedding photographer. Sometimes it is best to check out other sources of photography, particularly ones that deal with the craft and the business of photography. Here are our top 3 photography reference blogs.
1. LensProToGo Lab
You may know LensProToGo as the online rental company to go to for your gear needs across the country. What you may not know is that they have a separate industry blog called LensProToGo Labs. As you would expect from a rental company, they post often about gear and equipment, but they are also a great resource for blogs about relevant trends in the photography world. In addition, they really focus on creative professionals, providing tips and tricks on topics like working from home, using Instagram, or showcasing a range of creative subjects. The best part is that the whole blog is infused with the creative wit that LensProToGo is known for—after all, this is the company known for drawing dinosaurs and hiding candy in their delivery boxes.
“When it all comes down to it, we’re one of the nation’s largest online rental companies, run by a family of 12 co-workers who have no intentions on being the largest, just the best at what we do. Nothing will ever change that.”
2. Digital Photography School
Created by Darren Rouse, Digital Photography School is a first-class resource for photography tips and tutorials. Written for new to semi-experienced users of digital cameras, they have also found a market in professional photographers looking to refresh or relearn key skills. The strength of the blog is that they have built up a community of post authors and forum members who take the time to leave thoughtful comments with other views on the same subject. As technologies and cameras change, Digital Photography School is a great resource to keep on hand for the moments when you want to polish your knowledge of a particular area or skill.
“This ‘School’ is not a formal one by any means. There are no classes, no teachers, no exams—rather, it’s a learning environment where I think out loud about what I know and where in our Forum we share what we’re learning by showing our photos and ask and answer each other’s questions. Also, unlike most schools, the information here is free.”
3. Ground Glass
Ground Glass focuses more on the business of photography, but with a refreshing twist. Run by Spencer Lum, a Brooklyn wedding photographer and owner at 5 West Studios, this site infuses Lum’s own real-life experiences as a wedding photographer with a voice that draws you in. As you click over to the site, the tagline summarizes the content without having to go any further: “Ground Glass: Sort of like a kick in the pants. But wordier.” Ground Glass covers topics in sales and marketing—interspersed with daily inspirations and experience from the front lines. It is a great resource for learning about key problems you may be having in your business today. Ground Glass was the recipient of the 2nd annual Tiffinbox award, and it is easy to see why.
“Ground Glass is about breaking down barriers and dealing with real-world business. The top reason people fail isn’t a lack of desire or effort. It’s finding a course of action that specifically fits their business.”
Extra: Sprouting Photographer
We couldn’t leave it at just three! New on the photography blog scene, Sprouting Photographer is another great resource for the business of photography—run by a team of writers, editors, programmers, web developers, and graphic designers and led by Bryan Caporicci, Robert Nowell, and Skip Cohen. They are generating a lot of great content in the form of blogs and podcasts, even going as far as to publish their content topic schedule, so you know what to expect and when. With interviews from industry leaders such as Dave Sanders, Jason Groupp, and Jerry Ghinois, you can anticipate great things.
“At Sprouting Photographer, we provide education, strategies, and tools to help photographers with the business of photography. We share actionable, concrete and “how-to” advice with photographers to help them in the business of being creative.”
Growing Your Business Through Blogging
Does this sound familiar? Wedding, engagement and portrait shoots, emails, meetings, timelines, albums… the list goes on and on. You have a never-ending to-do list to maintain your business.
A wedding happens and you capture images you are ecstatic about and have full intentions to share them on your blog to show your couple (and to help attract more clients). But, the next client inquiry comes in and your schedule is suddenly packed again. You think, “I’ll get to starting a photography blog to share about my last wedding when I do the next one.” And then, it happens again, and again, and again.
Blogging is a Bottleneck
Blogging is a bottleneck for many wedding photographers and is one of the most common tasks to get pushed aside. And even though it may never be the most important task of the day, it is vitally important to learn how to start a photography blog and use it to grow your business. The challenge is figuring out how you can blog consistently, share valuable wedding blog topics, post in a timely manner, and keep up with the demands of the rest of your business. We have a great resource to help you with each of these items, so you can reap the benefits of blogging as a wedding photographer.
In our 5 Keys to Growing Your Business Through Blogging Guide, we highlight how to make blogging a higher priority in your workflow and how to get to the point where you are blogging regularly. We also introduce you to 5 photographers who have seen the business benefits of blogging first hand, and we share the secrets behind their success.
Learn how to start a photography blog, how to simplify and streamline your blog workflow, develop a steady blog audience, rank higher on search engines through SEO techniques, and share a strong brand message that attracts clients who are perfect for you!