Photography Blog Success offers 55 pages of blog building ideas. We understand blogging is one of the hardest tasks for photographers keep up with, or even know where to begin. Below are some of the significant aspects of the book to help grow your blog today. I hope you’ll invest $29 to get the full 60 pages of recommendations. One new client will pay yourself back 10x.
1. Great images
Images make the sale in milliseconds and convince a potential client whether to look at more images, or look at pricing and contact you. Like a casting director screening actors, your visitors will be looking for photos that stand out above all others. For each image that goes in a blog post, ask yourself if it:
- is flattering to your client
- will grab the attention of a new visitor
- is representative of the work you want to do
Your clients will want to share your blog post with all of their friends and family – if they’re happy with the way that they look in the photos. You may have fallen in love with a set of shots that you want to put in your portfolio, but they may not be the ones that flatter your client the best. Remember that although it’s incredibly important to stay true to your art, your clients are the ones who will share your name through word of mouth. Make sure that the photos you choose make them look good! No need to include 10 images in every post to fill the space when only three are stunning.
2. Clear and inviting headline
Headlines get the user to read the first sentence, which leads them to want to read the next sentence, and so on. Each post is a story that must pull the reader in from the very first word, and your headline is key to grabbing their attention! Be humorous, be enticing, or write something that engages the visitor.
Headlines are also the first thing that people will read in RSS feeds, search results, social shares, and other links in to the blog. They’re incredibly important to get people interested enough in clicking these links. Use clear, inviting language that honestly represents the content that they’re clicking on. Puns, colloquialisms, and other not obvious language should be avoided; state clearly what the post is about using key words and phrases that you’re optimizing your blog for.
3. Keywords and phrases
It is important to do keyword research ahead of time, long before you start writing regular blog posts. Researching the key words and phrases that people are regularly searching for will help you decide what you should target with your blog. Try Google’s Keyword Tool, which provides a friendly way to discover related phrases and actual volume of searches done on each phrase. Simply type a phrase like “family photographer” to find similar phrases. Tag Crowd is another option to generate key phrase ideas.
Be sure to not overdo it – search engines know if you’re trying to “keyword stuff”, or sneak your way in to their pages without providing good content to back it up. I recommend using different variations on the key words and phrases across the title, images, and paragraphs, and be sure that they’re incorporated naturally. If you focus too much on them, it’ll be apparent to your readers what you’re trying to do, and it’ll come off as fake. Just be aware of what you want to rank for as you normally write your posts, and give it a once-over before you publish it to make sure the post sounds natural.
Be aware of what timing works best for your audience, as time of day and day of the post is essential for maximizing exposure. Do you get the most visits to your blog at a certain hour of the day? Do you know your clients like to catch up on blog posts during their lunch hour, or after work? Test out a few different publishing times to see what gets the most traction with your audience – 8am, noon, and 4pm are good ones to start with.
A post launched on Sunday at 10pm may only get 10% of the traffic than a Tuesday 8am post. The posting day of the week can be essential to getting the most blog comments, traffic, and backlinks – again, test this out to see what works most for your visitors. Weekdays are better than weekends for most blogs, and posts earlier in the week typically get the most visits. Also check your visitor data (explained more in the book) to see when most visitors are arriving at your blog.
5. Engaging Homepage
You can use a Static Page or Recent Posts List for your homepage. Using a static page is great for SEO because it is keyword-rich information on the main landing page of your site. A Static page tells users about yourself up front before they start reading posts, which helps them not have to hunt down who you are.
If you opt for the latest posts on your homepage, we recommend using a “sticky” post as the first post (see the next section on how to make a post “sticky”). This post should be like an About post that talks about you and shows your best images, so that you don’t have to rely on your most recent post selling for you.