The Business of Blogging

blogging business marketing Mar 23, 2019
When was the last time you wrote a blog post? 
What was it about?
 
This is the question I ask a lot of my mentoring clients when they start talking about their lack of new client inquiries or ask for marketing tips.
 
The response they give usually goes something like this:
 
“I have every intention of blogging, but then I get busy and forget. And I have no idea what to write about. I was never a good writer so I feel like it wouldn't turn out very well.  And who is going to read it anyway? Is it really that important?”
 
Sound familiar?
 
This used to be my response as well. I used to hate blogging. I felt like it was a waste of time and something that only stay-at-home moms did as a way to share their toddler nightmare stories and homemade granola bar recipes (there are some great homemade granola bar recipes out there by the way!).  I didn’t see how blogging was going to help my business.
 
It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I really began to understand the importance of blogging for my business and the impact it can have on my SEO and online presence.
 
I had a blog post go viral!
 
It was CRAZY! In a matter of days my blog post was everywhere. In tons of different countries, translated into different languages and plaster all over Pinterest. Even today I still get blog sites asking to share my post or include it in a post they are writing.
 
I saw an immediate rise in my SEO and Google ranking...all from ONE BLOG POST(that I almost didn't blog about)!
 
So....
These days I spend more time updating my blog than I do my website because when Googling my target keywords, 90% of the time it’s a blog post, not my website, that shows up.
 
I want you to take a look at your post view counts for your last blog post. (if you are using a Wordpress website you may want to install the Yoast plug-in to help track this). 
 
How many people are looking at what you share?
 
If you are a hot-shot photographer with thousands of views to your blog each day then great…you can move right along because this information won’t apply to you.
 
BUT, if you are the business owner looking at your post count and feeling frustrated or discouraged because your numbers are low, or they aren’t converting into sales, then keep reading because I want to help change that for you.
 
LET’S START BY LOOKING AT WHAT YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT.
 
I would love to think that my clients and potential clients are stalking my blog site and checking their email daily waiting for the next great set of images from me, but unfortunately that isn’t true (heartbreaking, I know). In reality they are busy women who don’t have time to spend hours upon hours drooling over the gorgeous photos I am posting. What they do have time for are posts that are going to offer them something of value.
 
Let’s look at two different scenarios:
 
Scenario #1– I have written a wonderful blog post about my client Sarah that I did a photo shoot with last week. Sarah and I had a great time together and her pictures turned out beautifully. I share a little bit about who Sarah is and why she booked a session with me, and share some of the best images from her session. I share the blog post with her and post it to my Facebook and Twitter page. I notice that Sarah has shared the blog post with some of her friends and family and the post generates quite a few views the first day. After the first day the views taper off and eventually the post goes dormant.  Sarah’s friends love her photos, but most glance at them and then quickly move on.
 
Scenario #2– I have noticed that several of my clients are working moms to young children, so I decide to write a blog post about balancing work and motherhood. I pull from my own experiences and write from the heart. I include pictures of my daughter for visual interest and wrap up the blog post by talking about taking a “mommy” break and taking time for yourself. I include a very brief paragraph about my boudoir sessions along with a collage of my recent portraits. I share the blog post on social media and with my email list. I notice that several people have liked and shared the blog post from my social media pages and several of my email clients forward the message to their friends. The post view count rises steadily over the first few days and then continues to slowly grow over time letting me know that the post has continued to be relevant to readers.
 
Which of the two scenarios do you think made the largest impact on my business?
 
If you said scenario #2 then you would be correct (gold star for you!)
 
The blog post in the second scenario GIVES something to my clients.
 
Rather than being the annoying friend that only wants to talk about myself and how wonderful I am, I am now the wonderful friend who is offering advice and information to my friend.
 
Think about the blog posts that show up on your social media feed that someone has shared with you. How many of them are GIVING you something rather than SHOWING you something?
 
Now, let me add a little disclaimer here. I am not saying that blogging your photos and products won’t get you noticed because it can and it will. The post I had go viral was from a photo session. 
 
However, I have found that this tend to be the exception rather than the norm.
 
Blogging about your business is easy, the content is there just waiting for you. Blogging about other topics takes a little more work and effort on your part, but in the end it can reap greater rewards.
I found that when I sat down to write a blog post my mind would go blank and I couldn’t think of anything interesting to write about. 
 
So, now I keep a running list on my phone of blog post ideas that I come up with when I am out and about.
 
This means that when I sit down to write I always have several topics ready to go. I have also found that it helps to start drafting a blog post as soon as I think of it. I don’t have to publish it immediately, but when I need a blog post to share I always have one ready to go.
 
So now that you know WHAT to write about, let’s talk about HOW to write it. Have you heard of the term “click bait”?
 
click·bait
ˈklikbāt/
(on the Internet) content, especially that of a sensational or provocative nature, whose main purpose is to attract attention and draw visitors to a particular web page.
 
I heard this term just the other day and it caught my attention (no pun intended). In it truest form “click bait” is meant to deceive the reader into clicking on a link and has a negative connotation.
 
We have all seen these on Facebook – “You will never guess which two celebrities got into a huge fight on the red carpet last night!”– they draw you in and most of the time end up being a let down when they are really selling diet pills to you. I am not encouraging you to use this to boost your click rate or post view count, but the general idea is a good one.  When creating a blog post you need a title that is going to attract clients and draw people in.
 
Let’s look back at the two scenarios from earlier and some post title ideas, both strong and weak.
 
Scenario #1:
  1. STRONG – Stunning Summer Senior
  2. WEAK – Sara’s Senior Session
Scenario #2:
  1. STRONG – Balancing the “mommy scale” {Finding balance in your everyday}
  2. WEAK – The balance between work and motherhood
Think of your blog title like the cover of a book. While we have heard the saying “Never judge a book by it’s cover” we all do it anyway. I have spent countless hours perusing Barnes & Noble and picking up books whose cover catches my eye. Your blog title does the same thing. 
 
Readers are more likely to click on a link if the title is catchy and interesting.
 
Putting just a little effort into coming up with a strong title can completely change the reach of your post.
 
Once readers get past the title they are going to want something interesting to read as well.
I want to let you in on a little secret….I used to HATE writing.
 
I can talk all day long but having to put words to paper was a whole different story. So if you are like me and the idea of putting your words on paper seems daunting think of it this way – write like you talk. Write from the heart.Start with a blank screen and your thoughts.
 
Don’t worry about the structure, run-on sentences, incomplete thoughts or grammatical errors. Just write! Once you get it all out then you can go back and tweak it as needed. The nice thing about blog posts is that it’s YOUR voice.There are no editors critiquing your grammar or spelling (thank you Spell Check) and your readers are there to hear your “story”, not to check your grammar.
 
So go ahead...get started. And feel free to share your new blog post in the comments below. I can't wait to see what you create!
 
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