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Blog to Bookings: Starting a Photography Blog

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What's in this article

Blogging is a free way to get traffic to your website. It’s free advertising, people have questions and you have the answer. Writing them down for the world to read is how you can get people to visit your website. Yes, it does take a lot of upfront effort but after a while when you have a couple of posts under your belt you’ll build authority in your field and those readers might just become clients but, where do you start when creating a blog for your photography business?

To sum up, decide who the blog is for, choose a platform, create a list of topics you want to cover, create a list of post ideas for each topic, write and publish the article, promote your post, connect with your community and optimize your blog.

Awesome! now you have an idea of how to start a photography blog, but do you still feel like this is still a little vague? Don’t worry! You’re not alone, I’m here to guide you on how to break down the steps of creating your photography blog.

1. Decide Who You’re Starting the Blog For

First, decide what is the goal of your website and then, you can figure out who you will be targeting with your blog. If you aim to get more bookings for your wedding photography business through your website, then your blog would be for couples looking for a wedding photographer… duh, sounds pretty obvious but many people forget this step. We first have to define the goal and then create a strategy around it with our blog.

This is where you take this a step further and start narrowing your ‘who’, who exactly do you want coming to your blog. The best way to get started finding your target audience is to base it off someone you already know, or they could be a past client that you enjoyed working with, a colleague, a friend, a family member or anybody you know and reckon you’ll enjoy working with.

Now create the content that they would consume. Remember your audience is not set in stone, it changes as you grow. By creating content for those ideal clients that you’re looking for, they can come to you. The formula is pretty simple, create valuable content, this shows that you are an expert and can be trusted to deliver quality work, and by continually creating content you will build authoritativeness and attract those potential clients.

The best thing about a blog is it lasts way longer than a social media post and with time you can build your E.E.A.T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness)

chart on how to build e.e.a.t for photographers
A chart on how to build E.E.A.T for photographers

2. Pick a Blogging Platform

Every photographer has different needs so there is no ‘best blogging platform for photographers’ and because of this, I’ve created this table that provides an overview of various blogging platforms and their suitability for photographers.

Choose the platform that aligns best with your technical know-how, budget, and SEO objectives for your photography business, side hustle or hobby.

WordPressGhostSquarespaceWixInstagramTumblr
CustomizationHighly customizableModerate customizationLimited customizationLimited customizationLimited customizationLimited customization
SEO FeaturesExtensive with pluginsBuilt-in SEO featuresDepends on theme or customizationsSEO tools availableHashtags for SEOModerate SEO tools
Ease of UseModerateEasyEasyVery easyVery easyModerate
Social Media IntegrationYesYesYesYesYesYes
Visual AppealDepends on theme or customizationsClean and minimalBeautiful templatesWide range of designsVisuals focusedVisuals focused
CostHosting and domain requiredSubscription-based, hosting + domain includedSubscription-based, hosting + domain includedSubscription-based, hosting + domain includedFreeFree
Best ForControl and flexibilityClean interface, focused bloggingBeautiful designEasy setupVisual content, direct client interactionVisual content, community, social sharing
This table helps photographers choose the best platform for blogging depending on their technical ability, budget and SEO goals

Highly Customizable options:

  • WordPress.org: This self-hosted platform offers unmatched control and flexibility. You can choose from thousands of themes and plugins, including powerful SEO tools like Yoast and Rank Math. However, it requires more technical knowledge and management compared to other options. By the way, I offer management plans with hosting 👀
  • Ghost: This is a focused blogging platform ideal for writers and photographers. It boasts a clean and minimal interface, SEO-friendly structure, and built-in features like social sharing and great out of the box functionality. Ghost is less customizable than WordPress but easier to manage.

Easy-to-use options:

  • Squarespace: Known for its beautiful templates and drag-and-drop interface, Squarespace makes building a visually stunning blog simple. It includes built-in SEO tools and mobile-responsive designs, but customization options are limited compared to WordPress.
  • Wix: Another user-friendly platform, Wix offers a wide range of templates and design tools, making it easy to create a professional-looking blog without coding knowledge. Wix also has SEO features, but its flexibility for complex SEO strategies is limited.

Overall pricing comparison:

  • Wix: The most affordable option with a free plan, good for simple websites with limited needs.
  • Squarespace: Easy to use with built-in features, good for beginners and small businesses.
  • Ghost: Cost-effective for personal use and small businesses, good for bloggers and content creators.
  • WordPress: Most flexible and scalable, best for complex websites with high traffic, but requires more technical knowledge.
Radar graph of blogging platforms comparing Customizability, SEO Features, Ease of use and Cost
Radar graph of blogging platforms comparing Customizability, SEO Features, Ease of use and Cost

So how do you pick a blogging platform for your photography blog?

In short, the “best” platform depends on your tech skills, budget, and SEO goals, for maximum control and SEO flexibility: WordPress or Ghost, for ease of use and beautiful design: Squarespace or Wix, the affordable option is Wix.

3. Create a Topic List

Before you get started writing we have to create a plan, and we’ll start with a simple question, what could you talk for hours about and not get bored? imagine creating a blog and 5 articles in, you realise that you don’t like writing about this topic, all the effort could have been used on topics that really get you excited.

On top of that, you don’t want your blog to only cover a small fraction of a topic, it doesn’t look good for your E.E.A.T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness). When writing about a topic make sure you cover every aspect of that topic it shows Google that you are an expert on that topic. and after a while, you’ll have to cover a couple of topics, building your authority.

Immerse yourself

See what is out there and immerse yourself in the topics that you want to cover for example, Local Photography Spots, what is being covered, what is missing, and what is popular, see how others are presenting their topics and how can you make it better.

Don’t limit yourself to Google, check out some forums, Facebook groups, magazines, books, podcasts, YouTube channels, and anywhere you can think of to get ideas. Google wants to show the most helpful and accurate information there is and if you see that a certain topic online hasn’t been covered thoroughly add it to the list.

Mind Mapping and Clustering

Start with a piece of paper or your favourite mind-mapping tool or a Google sheet and create a central theme, for example, product photography and brainstorm as many topics as you can think of, gear guides, mastering the craft, storytelling, behind-the-scenes, business.

blog-topic-mind-map-for-product-photographer
Blog topic mindmap for product photographer

From here cluster related topics with an overlapping theme like in our example, under gear guides we have editing tools and under behind the scenes we have editing, these overlapping themes are under different topics but share the same themes.

Right now it doesn’t matter because you’re probably starting and haven’t written anything just yet but keep these clusters in mind for later on when you have written a couple of articles.

Connect the Dots

See if there are opportunities to weave different topics together into broader narratives or create a series around specific themes. This is where link building comes into play to boost your SEO, but more on that later. In our example, mastering the craft and storytelling are unrelated topics right? Or does storytelling rely on mastering the craft to tell better stories?

Bonus Tips

All of this can be overwhelming and your mind is probably racing with ideas and topics to write about or maybe you’re in paralysis analysis mode and not even starting. Here’s what I recommend: start with just 3 topics, cover these 3 topics as well as you can, and aim to write at least 10 articles for each of these topics. That alone should thoroughly cover a topic and position you as an expert on that topic.

4. Brain Storm Post Ideas

Focus on covering every corner of each topic from the previous step and put yourself in the shoes of the ideal client or customer, what would they ask? and what is the next question that they would ask? aim to give the most helpful answer possible.

Now you can start writing down all the ideas you have tucked away in your head. Having a list of ideas to write about makes the process so much easier, instead of sitting down to write you’re ready to write because you did the leg work beforehand. Here are a couple of photography post ideas to get started:

  • 11 Best Venues in Sydney for an Outdoor Spring Wedding
  • Building a Story Around Your Food Photography
  • 10 Patterns Not to Wear on a Photo Shoot
  • 5 Tips for Location Scouting for Fashion Shoots
  • 7 Brides Who Rocked Red Wedding Dresses

Use AI to Your Advantage

Stuck on coming up with ideas? use an AI prompt like Bard or ChatGPT to generate a list of ideas around a topic, you don’t have to write all of the ideas that it gives you just pick the ones that stand out. AI is super helpful for tasks like this because it can help you come up with ideas that you would not have thought of.

Give Away your Best Stuff

In Paul Aldren’s book, ‘It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want’ he writes Somehow the more you give away the more comes back to you. People base the value of your paid stuff on the value of your free stuff, if your free stuff is crap what will they think of your paid stuff? Give your best stuff away, don’t hoard your ideas.

“The problem with hoarding your ideas is you end up living off your reserves. Eventually, you’ll become stale. If you give everything away you are left with nothing. This forces you else where to look, to be aware, to replenish… Somehow the more you give away the more comes back to you”

It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be by Paul Arden

But It’s Already Been Done

As you’re doing your research you probably wondering if it’s worth doing, there are 100’s of other photographers that have covered the same topics should you write about it too? In Austin Kleon’s book “Show your Work!” he writes about a Wunderkammern, a cabinet of curiosities that many people had in 16th century Europe, in this room or cabinet, Austin writes you might find books, skeletons, jewels, shells, art, plants, minerals, taxidermy, specimens, stones, or any exotic artifact to show people you thirst for knowledge. But, what does this have to do with a photography blog you ask?

You have a cabinet and might not even know it and no two Wunderkammern are the same. Austin writes We all carry around weird and wonderful things and these mental scrapbooks form our tastes and our tastes influence our work. Yes, there are many articles online about the topic that you want to write about but not everybody has the same collection of stories, styles and influences as you.

Ferrante Imperato, Room of Curiosities (Wunderkammer), 1559, Naples, Italy.
Ferrante Imperato, Room of Curiosities (Wunderkammer), 1559, Naples, Italy. Kunst und Wunderkammern.

Shoot & Share

Your recent shoots capture joy, love, and magic. Share these moments that speak to potential clients and make them imagine what it would be like to work with you or their special day. You can have an unlimited supply, well ongoing supply, of these posts because each shoot is unique and you can showcase your style, talent and experiences.

Include insights and advice related to photography. Share what you learned from these specific shoots, and offer tips for people choosing a photographer, planning their timeline, or capturing specific moments or shots.

With these types of articles, I’ve noticed that other photographers miss out on a massive SEO opportunity, they mainly just show photos and barely any text. Describe the day, where was it? what was that location like? what do you recommend for this location? what other insights can you give that will help your readers when picking their location? talk about the venue, the caterers, florists, were there any unique traditions or personal touches? how did you capture it?

Answering these questions helps you create an original piece of content that helps you rank for that location, and when people search for photographers in that location, guess who will show on those search results? You.

5. Write, Publish and Promote!

Now for the fun, writing! 🤓 if you have been following along you have a list of blog posts to write about for your audience, each categorized in their topics. But, before you start typing here are some tips on writing blog posts that can help convert readers into clients

Writing Tips

How to Convert Readers into Clients with Blog Posts?

With subtle self-promotion like mentioning your services in the post where it fits and feels natural, for example, blogs are part of the website packages that I offer. Check out my packages here. Notice how the self promo naturally fits in this section of the article and it also has a call to action check out my packages here.

If you don’t tell the reader what to do next then they do nothing at all, always encourage readers to contact you for a consultation, see your services, or follow/share on social media. Whatever your website goal is make sure you only ask one call to action at a time.

Mastering the Give : Ask Ratio by Alex Hormozi

You don’t want to fill up your content with your offers, it puts people off, In Alex Hormozis’s book ‘100M Leads: How To Get Strangers To Want To Buy Your Stuff’ he writes, You deposit goodwill with rewarding content, then withdraw from it by making offers. When you deposit more goodwill your audience pays more attention.

In the context of making offers in your blog posts, and using Hormoiz’s strategy, give way more value in your posts than making offers, if it doesn’t naturally fit then don’t add it. A strategy that I use at the end of the post is to ask a question and then a call to action, scroll down to the bottom to see it.

How Long Should a Blog Post Be?

Many sources will give you a word count range on article length like Wix which says 1300 – 1700 words is the ideal post length that will get shared the most but thinking I’m going to write a 1300-word post may force you to fill the article with fluff i.e. crappy content. Instead, think what are points I want to make and then under each point, what do you need to write to make the point? aim for 1000 words, it helps with getting those backlinks, and also make sure it’s engaging which can be done with the next tip.

Make it Readable.

Break up your content by adding headings, subheadings, unique images, lists, scanability, here’s a quick guide on website readability. Nobody likes to read a massive wall of text.

How to Make Blog Posts User-friendly?

In short, help out your users with easy navigation and a table of contents, it helps users navigate to what they’re looking for. Also, add internal/external links if they wish to dive deeper into other topics mentioned in the article.

How to Create Super Helpful Content?

Take the extra time to add data that you came up with, think Facebook Polls, ask an expert, use Canva to create custom graphics, books that you’ve read and conclusions that you have come up with. Don’t reiterate what other blog articles have said too.

Don’t Get Lazy with AI

AI can write whole articles, and yes it can write decent articles but, decent won’t cut it against your competitors. You need a combination of AI input and human editing to create amazing content.

Promote Your Post

It can take a while for your post to start ranking on Google, I’m talking 6 – 12 months, so in the meantime why not recycle it for social media posts? What I aim to do with my posts is, break my posts into smaller social media posts, taking out key points that I made in the article.

Here are some blog post promotion ideas:

  • Pinterest: Create pins for Pinterest and link them back to your blog post. This post shows you how to get more traffic using Pinterest
  • Twitter or X: Paste your article into Bard or ChatGPT and ask it to extract tweets/ snippets and then a link to the article
  • Instagram: If you have the time you can create carousels and captions based on the post *cough* ask Bard or ChatGPT *cough*
  • YouTube: Convert the post into a YouTube, I know a web designer who simply records himself reading his articles and adds it as a voice over for his videos and then gets the videos animated. Side note: he has gotten clients this way!
  • TikTok, Reels and YT Shorts: While writing you might get an idea for a Reel, take note of it record it then repost it on the other platforms. Did you know Pinterest has stories too?
  • Email list: Have a newsletter? let them know you published a new article. There’s a WordPress plugin called MailOptIn that notifies your subscribers of new posts along with many other features.
  • Ask your followers to share. for example, if you found this blog post helpful share it with a friend with the share buttons on the left 🙂

In each promotional post link back to the original article, I aim to recycle a blog post into all of these but it is a lot of work, either focus on 1 platform and then branch out to another platform once you get your processes down pat OR hire someone to recycle them for you.

mind map of blog post recycling ideas for social media
Mind map of blog post recycling ideas for social media

6. Let Your Community Connect with You

There are different ways of connecting with your audience like the comments section on your blog or through social media. Either way, have a way for your audience to ask you questions, who knows, you might get the next idea for your blog post.

Here are some of the ways to connect with your audience:

  • Encourage them to connect through your comments
  • Ask your audience questions on the platform you’re using
  • Host an event, virtual or in real life
  • Collaborate with other photographers
  • Interview one of your past clients
  • Ask for a guest post from other photographers

Side Note: You’ll probably notice that I don’t have a comments section, this is because it can be a lot of work, people don’t see behind the scenes where each comment has to be approved before visitors can see them and most of these comments are spam.

What do you think? should I turn on the comments section? DM me on Instagram @uxmalcuellar or email me at [email protected]

7. Optimize your blog

Alright now to make sure your blog is the best that it can be with some SEO basics, if you’re unfamiliar with SEO, it basically is positioning your blog to answer people’s questions. There are many ways to optimize your blog to reach the right people.

Get started optimizing your photography blog with these tips:

How to Get 60% of SEO Done

Google is an algorithm. We all know that Google ranks websites if they have to right keywords that people are searching.

When it comes to rank, that’s a whole other animal. Rank has nothing to do with good content it has everthing to do with math and if you give the algorithm the math that it wants you can rank very very well.

Kyle Roof co-founder if High Voltage SEO

Kyle Roof an SEO expert ran an experiment on how important keywords play in search. He and his team, carefully placed keywords throughout a website that was filled with lorem ipsum, placeholder text.

What happened was the website started ranking as number one for those keywords 🤯. not just in the SERP’s pages but Google Maps too.

Here is a basic strategy to get started with the above. If the keyword is “start a blog” then make sure it’s in the:

  • URL of the post
  • Title of the post
  • First H2 tag and
  • In the body of the first paragraph under the first h2 tag

A little caveat with the URL keyword, if you have already a post that has been indexed by Google, do not update the URL. Google will treat this as a new page and that page will have to start from ground zero, just leave it… it’s okay.

image of a browser and the keyword 'start ablog' highlighted throughout the browser
Browser that has the keyword ‘start a blog’ highlighted throughout the webpage

Backlinks Internal and External Links

If it makes sense to link to another article then link it. It can be on your website or someone else’s. Internal links keep people on your website which is great for your SEO and external links help you provide value.

A backlink is when some links back to your website, to get backlinks make great content and if it is good enough people will use it to provide value when writing their articles. or you can:

  • Reach out to other bloggers, content creators, and basically anybody related to your industry and give something, like a guest post, in exchange for a backlink.
  • Sign up to H.A.R.O, Help A Report Out, where you can write articles for journalists and get a backlink in return
  • Write an article for someone else website where they have a broken link

Check out Link Whisper to get AI to speed up the process of internal linking.

showing how backlinks internal links and external links work with arrows and boxes
How backlinks, external and internal links work

Faster Page Speed

This means compressing those images, try not to use too many GIFs, I recommend converting your JPGs to WEBP, don’t worry it keeps your images crisp! and remove unnecessary plugins. Use tools like Google Lighthouse and GTMetrix to get an idea of how your page speed is doing or you could check out my service roast my website which includes page speed analysis and so much more, by the way, it’s FREE!

Take Advantage of Google Search Console (GSC)

This tool gives you the ability to monitor, maintain and troubleshoot your website presence in Google’s search results. This is great for monitoring your articles under the Performance tab it gives you soo much data on how they are doing on Google. Use this data to see what people are entering into Google i.e. search intent, and update your article title accordingly so it gets found readily. Here are other example use cases

Optimize the Meta Description

This is the additional text that appears in SERPs that lets readers know what the link is about. You can use tools like Yoast or Rank Math to guide you with it. Otherwise, make sure your meta description describes what the page is about. simple!

google serch results of manychats with meta description highlighted

Optimize your Image’s Meta Info

Update your image name from ‘IMG_0050.jpg’ to a more descriptive name. This is for the Alt-text, captions and description of your image too, and actually describe what the image is, don’t keyword stuff it with locations and your business name, that doesn’t work anymore.

So, are you going to start a blog? Do you need help getting started? Let me know 👇

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