Look, we all make mistakes, but you don’t want your business to suffer because of some simple errors that most bloggers face, but are totally preventable. You want to make sure that your blog serves its intended purpose of driving interest, increasing sales and creating some online attention for your photography studio. But remember, if you focus on these aspects of blogging rather than the value you are adding for your clients, you run the risk of alienating everyone with your egotistical blog. Let’s run through the list of the top five mistakes photography bloggers make, and how to deal with them before they happen to you!
- Don’t focus on what you want to write, focus on what your audience wants to read. You may wish to include some personal details in your blog, but remember that highly personal details don’t matter to your average reader. Readers are very focused today, and looking for effective, on topic writing. Unless it has some direct bearing on your photography style, equipment or sessions, keep the personal chatter to a minimum. Chat with your spouse, best friend or therapist, blog about photography!
- Avoid taking ‘informal’ too far. Many bloggers try to work with an informal style, but getting carried away in this direction can lead to becoming simply unprofessional. Reading blogs, we realize that a casual style can be fun, light and engaging, but this is not an excuse for sloppy writing. Ensure you are carefully checking grammar and spelling carefully before posting and remember that credibility is tied to accuracy. Other photographers or related businesses would not forward a post to their circle of influence that is poorly written, just as you wouldn’t.
- Ensure your blog does not become unreliable. Even though you may not blog daily, your blog must have consistent material for readers. Obviously, you will gain the most exposure if you blog daily and include great photographs for your readers, but if it is not posted at regular intervals, your readers will lose interest in the times when you are not posting. You can write in bulk at times when you are inspired, but ensure that the posts are scheduled using your blog’s scheduling function to ensure consistent content. Even if it is once per week, if your readers know when you post, you will reap the benefits.
- Remember that blogs are interactive, and draw readers in. Effective posts are like lightning rods for comments, emails or even response blog posts. You must respond when your readers reach out to contact you, or you risk alienating your audience and appearing distant. Your desire is to let your personality show through online, just as you would respond to a phone call at your office, you must respond to communication online. These are the actions that will drive your blogs and business forward on the internet.
- Create a voice for your writing, not simply press releases or images. When people read blogs, they are looking for a blend of fact and personality, they want to get ‘behind the scenes’ with your business and catch a glimpse of the world the way you see it. There is nothing more disappointing on a blog as content that is not tied to commentary and perspective. If you need to do an ‘information release’ I recommend posting it somewhere else on your site, and including a link in your post. If you wish to share many pictures, make it a story. You must engage your readers with your content, not make them sit through it ‘for their own good,’ they won’t.
Use your blog to share what is happening with your business, to give readers that first-hand perspective. You can use the issues and solutions from your business to support others, and even ask others for their opinions. If you can hook others into a conversation on solving an issue in your business, you are providing a sense of camaraderie with your blog that may help your blog stand out as a reader’s favorite. While each of these points is simple in itself, if you attend to each your blog will be a success with engaging, regularly scheduled material that causes your readers to wake up and take notice. Remember, you are not out to write the next great American novel, just be yourself and offer a snapshot into your life and studio. Have fun with it!
Guest Post by Georgia McCabe – As an author, speaker, trainer and social media and photography evangelist, her perspectives on social media appear in print in her newest book entitled “SocialMorphosis – Transforming Your Business through Social Media”. Georgia is also a co-author of the book “The Relationship Age”, with social media guru Mari Smith. Georgia is a frequent guest blogger for our professional photography lab.