A few weeks back I asked on our Facebook page what are some things people want to know about blogging. I know, you are probably tired of all the blogging talk but this month is my 2nd blog-aversary so I wanted to share some of the things I have learned to help you! Here are some of the questions I received.
How do you come up with ideas?
I have an editorial calendar notebook. Basically, I created this massive 160 odd page notebook. It includes a page for yearly goals and then is broken up into months. At the beginning of each month is a calendar, next page is a list for monthly goals and then a planner section where I can write my daily to-dos. After all the months are TONS of blank pages for me to create topics and blog posts. I love this notebook! It is my saving grace! I typically create a months worth of content at the beginning of the month and write down the topics on the calendar. I do not necessarily write all the posts but I have the idea. Then when it is time to work on posts I know exactly what I’m going to write about. I use the blank pages in the back to draft up the post and points I want to touch on.
I get a lot of ideas in the shower. Weird…I know. I keep a dry erase marker in our bathroom. It is mainly used for writing a little love note to my husband on the mirror (it wipes right off) but if I have a great idea when I’m in the shower, I’ll hop out and write it on the mirror. It always makes me laugh when hubby comes home and sees an idea on the mirror and reads it confused. I also keep a notebook in my purse for when I get an idea when I’m out and about.
How does this come into play as a photographer blogging for your business? Well, if you have sessions scheduled be sure to plug in when you will blog about them on your calendar. You do not need to blog everyday and I will touch on that later. You can do monthly prompts like 10 on 10 or other themes you find interesting. Just because your blog is for your business and showing your clients a preview of their session you can still show off your photography skills and let people get to know you.
I would also consider writing a post that would entice your reader to want to come back. Think about it, who is looking at your blog? Future clients and clients. You want them to come back to your blog even after their session is complete. You want to be on their mind the next time they want to book a session. How to do this? Give them a reason to come back. Maybe write a monthly photo tip. You don’t have to share your secrets. It could be something simple like picking out clothes for a session or how to take pictures of their kids birthday party. You aren’t going to lose your clients by telling them a few simple tricks to improve their photos. You are going to be a blog they come back to.
Any tips for photography business blogging?
Keep in mind, I’m not in business. But like I said in the answer above, give your readers a reason to come back. If you only post your sessions they are going to get tired of looking at strangers. Blog about your life if you want. People like blogs because they feel they are able to get to know a little more about you through your writing and photos as opposed to a static website. Decide how much you want to share about your person life.
Don’t put the pressure on yourself to have to blog daily.
In fact, I read a great post on ProBlogger about how posting everyday could actually hurt your numbers. If your readers get behind on reading your posts and they have 12 to catch up on, it will be too overwhelming and they may not read them. I have heard people say you should give your posts some time to “simmer”. I used to post 5 days a week. I have since cut down to 4 times a week.
I know I just finished saying you don’t have to post daily, and you don’t. But you want to have some consistently to your posts. If you only post every 3 months people are NOT going to keep an eye on your blog and come back. Why would they? Every time they check it’s that same post you wrote two months ago. Try to make it a goal to post at least once a week. It may seem like a lot but if you use an editorial calendar and plan out your posts at the beginning of the month it won’t seem as overwhelming.
How do you make the time scheduling work for you? Do you create blog posts at a certain time of day or day of the week to ensure more traffic?
I love, seriously love, the schedule feature on blogs. I write a lot of my posts during nap time and in the evening. Like right now it is 11:32pm and I know when I’m done I don’t want to publish it when most of my readers are asleep. I schedule my posts to go up at 8am. I started that time when I lived in Japan because it was 7pm EST and I found that to be a great time. A lot of my readers were online in the evenings and it worked. Being a creature of habit, when I moved back to the States two months ago, I kept the time at 8am. I realize for everyone else that changed when my posts went up. Now they go up at 8am EST instead of 7pm. I haven’t noticed a drop in my numbers. In fact my numbers have gone up since I moved back. Maybe the morning time is better for everyone. I would play around with different times. Maybe try posting in the morning for a few weeks and watch your stats. Then post in the evenings and see if there is a difference in your stats. It really depends on your readers.
As far as what day of the week works. I used to post on the weekends and noticed I did not get the numbers that I was getting during the week. Probably because my readers are out photographing the world on the weekends. Again, it really depends on who is reading your blog. I found that week days work best for me. In fact, I typically get the most hits on Tuesdays and Fridays. I keep this in mind when writing certain posts.
What is the best blog site to use?
That is a tough one. Personally, I like WordPress. I used Blogger for several years for a personal blog before I started Click it Up a Notch and decided to go with WordPress. I find WP to be very user friendly. I love all the plug-ins and layouts available. Especially as a photographer there are some amazing layouts like ProPhoto blog templates that are really popular.
Where do I start?
Starting a blog can seem so overwhelming but if you take it one step at a time it is much more manageable. You should check out this great posts by The SITS Girls – What You Need to Know When First Starting Your Blog. I recommend getting a domain name and a company to host that domain name. I use Blue Host and LOVE them. They are super helpful. I don’t know anything about computers…well, I’ve picked up a thing or two over the past couple of years. They don’t talk to me like an idiot when I ask them to break down what they are telling me so I understand it. Plus, they have help 24/7. I LOVE that!
How do you keep up with blogging as well as hitting all the social media?
I don’t sleep…ha ha just kidding! I’m not going to lie, my first year I pretty much worked on my blog non-stop. However, in my second year I have set some guidelines for myself. This includes the weekends are mine. I don’t answer emails or do much on social media on the weekends. Social media can be a full time job in its self. I would say focus on one social media platform to start with. I started with Facebook because I understood it. This past year I have moved onto Twitter which I’m still trying to figure out. I do use Hootsuite for Twitter which is the only way I can manage Twitter. I try to spend at least 10 minutes a day on the different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I don’t always hit them everyday but I try. You can typically find me on Facebook but it really does take some commitment to stay on top of all the social medias. I signed up for Google + but haven’t really figured that one out yet.
I have not figured SEO out yet. However, I do know a couple of tricks. One thing is this fantastic plug-in Melissa from Momcomm told me about, Yoast. This is an amazing plug-in that basically holds your hand to help you figure out the SEO in your post. It wants you to find your keyword and reminds you with green, yellow, and red signs to let you know if you have used it enough and to it’s fullest capabilities.
How to pick a keyword?
I use Google Adwords to help me figure out the best keywords to use in my post. This site helps you figure out what words are searched the most and how many other sites are using this site. Love this tool!
I’m working on getting a website up and running. Should I wait to start a blog?
Personally, I would definitely have a blog. Blogs are a great way for your readers to get to know you and they are also constantly updated with your most recent work. I’m not in business but if I did decide to go into business, I don’t even know if I would create a website, I would seriously consider only doing a blog.
How do you get traffic?
I wish there was a magic formula for this answer. The best piece of advice I have and I promise it isn’t a cop-out to not answer this but to create great content on your blog. You can do all the SEO work you want but if your content isn’t great people will leave. You want to have great information on your site so your readers will tell your friends about your site. You want people to share it on Facebook, tweet it on Twitter and pin it on Pinterest. I know more then half of my traffic comes from referring sites like these.
How do you make time to work on your blog?
I get this question a lot. I’m a mama of 3 girls and one of them is 3 months old. Life is busy, I’m not going to lie. However, I don’t do everything. My husband is a HUGE help around the house and taking care of the kids. He knows how much I enjoy blogging and photography and is sweet enough to help me find time to work. My kids are also amazing nappers. I can typically get a good 2-3 hours of peace and quiet in the afternoons to work. Now, if you come to my house unexpectedly you will see it’s a mess. I sometimes choose blogging over the dishes. When we lived in Japan I had a cleaning lady who came every other week and did laundry (I know, I was spoiled). That freed up a ton of time to work on the blog and photography. My goal is to get up before my kids to work on stuff and answer emails then but I’m a night owl. I try not to work on my blog after nap time until everyone has gone to bed. I like the evenings to be family time. So, some nights I’m up late after everyone has gone to bed to work on things. If you are struggling to find time to work on your blog create office hours. Even if it is just 30 minutes a day. Lock yourself in the bathroom with the laptop and work.
Do you have any other questions??Pin It