11 Things You Must Do To Be More Effective At Blogging

Do you blog? What does your blog mean to you?

If you’ve been blogging for any length of time now, hopefully you’re beginning to realize the importance of content on a blog. It can truly be the tool you need to catapult your business to a whole new level.

I started blogging years ago, and now use my blog on a daily basis to connect and build relationships with my customers. Along the way, I’ve discovered 11 things you must do to be more effective at blogging. Take a look at my list, and let me know what I’m missing. What do you do regularly that helps you build a strong web presence with your blog?

1. Talk To Your Visitors

When people come to a blog, it’s to learn more about you. If you offer great information, they will be back. As a photographer, they love to see your photographs. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want to learn more about you too. Instead of creating a post, titling it “Amanda’s Senior Photos”, and placing 10 of her best images in a row, do something more. Tell the story of Amanda. Tell what it was like working with Amanda. Pictures may pull us in; but if you have a story with the photographs, we’ll quickly feel that much closer to you.

2. Consistency

If you blog, you have to blog regularly. Doing it only when you feel like it, and only when you have time doesn’t cut it. To be recognized, you have to build a schedule and stick with it. If you blog once a day, make sure you get it in once per day. If you create a blog post on your recent senior portrait setting, make sure you create a blog post for every senior you photograph.

3. Use Plugins

Right now almost 1 in 5 websites online uses WordPress as its design platform, and with good reason. Nothing is easier than being able to load a plugin in to make your job easier, and give you even easier access to create great content for your readers. Here’s my list of 10 WordPress Plugins For Photographers – what are your favorites?

4. Add a Little Variety

Nobody likes to come to a blog and see the same thing again and again. Even if you are niched, it can still get blasé if you see the same headlines all the way down the page: “Amanda’s Senior Photographs” “Andrew’s Senior Photographs” “Bree’s Senior Photographs”. Mix it up a little. Add some tips on what to where for your senior portraits. Show a YouTube video that is relevant to seniors. Use your imagination, and talk directly to your audience.

5. Think Like A Newspaper

The home page of your blog should be like a newspaper. It should have short and concise posts that give just enough information to want to click and read more. If you see the majority of your visitors visiting the home page and clicking away, change your posts to summary format. That way they will click around and more in-depth to view more of your site.

6. Use Your Sidebar

Blogs give you an easy way of adding information to your site in different ways. The sidebar can be used to direct people to different areas of your site, introduce them to new products and services, or even list out your favorite posts.

7. Imagery

As a photographer, you’ll be adding lots of photographs to you blog. Yet do you have a consistent way of doing it? You should always make your photographs the same size (have a standard horizontal pixel width, and make every photograph that size), and never deviate from your standard. It gets confusing to your visitor if they see thumbnails, large prints, and collages.

Dig Deeper: Using Your Photographs The Right Way In Your Blog

8. Options

People may click over and read your post from a variety of sources: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your newsletter, or even a link from a friend. The majority of people that come to a post will read that post and leave. However, if you can give them more options to click to other pages, you have a greater chance of them sticking to your blog, and potentially taking another step towards building a relationship. I’m a big fan of the Dig Deeper method you see above, where I give you access to another post that is relevant to the discussion. I also use a Related Posts plugin that automatically pulls 5 other posts that are related to the title and keywords of the current post.

9. Build Your Personality

People hire you because they resonate with you. So let your personality show through in every post you do. Make sure you have a photograph of yourself somewhere on your blog. Sign the comments you make back to people within your comments section. And be visible and showcase you are watching and listening to what is being said.

10. Marketability

A traditional website is failing because it sits there unchanged month after month. A blog is the lifeblood of a web presence, and helps you create a relationship with people looking for what you do. I’ve seen studies that show websites with active blogs gain more than 55 percent more traffic because it adds content on a regular basis. Yet just because you’re adding content doesn’t mean it’s the right content. You must think like your potential clients, and give them what they are searching for. They will never search for “Brady’s Photographs”. Instead, they search what is relevant to them. Make sure you are filling your posts with keyword and search terms in your URLs, titles, headlines, and content. While it should never be boring and overdone, you should be aware of how your writing is affecting the search engines.

Dig Deeper: Why Every Small Business Owner Must Now Be A Content Provider

11. Spread The Word

Your blog posts will help you attract search engine traffic if you are consistent with posting and add your keywords along the way. Yet it’s important that you don’t stop there. A great deal of our traffic comes from sharing our posts with fans on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. We also have great results with RSS and with ezines. Test your marketplace, and be where they want you to be. Its up to you to drive traffic to your site, and market your business every single day.

 

7 thoughts on “11 Things You Must Do To Be More Effective At Blogging”

  1. YES you forgot one of the most powerful ways get traffic and gain information. Read related blogs and engage the blogger via comments. Make informed, useful comments, not just unengaging comments like” Great Blog! This was very informative.” This does a couple of things for you and your sight. Your engaging others outside your blog, you learn from reading their content and you get valuable link backs to your blog which will increase your SEO Search Engine Optimization. I’m a Real Estate Agent, an active blogger, but I don’t limit myself to just reading RE Blogs. Think outside the box. Real Estate Agents need photography too. Go comment on a few RE Blogs. Offer some tips and tricks and maybe you just might get a job out of it. Feel free to start at my sight fountainhillsinformation.com.

    Reply
    • Hi Mark

      Couldn’t agree more, and something that is very important, especially as you are building up your blog. I keep my Google Reader filled with rss feeds of blogs I like and want to head back to again and again both to read and to comment on. Thanks for the tip!
      Lori

      Reply
  2. Great list! I love blogging, as it is a great way to keep fresh work out there. I find the blog to be a great platform for educating clients. Sometimes you just don’t have the time in consultations to go over everything you’d love to share with a client. We blog about topics that are important to us as photographers, such as why lighting is crucial to a wedding, what to wear to sessions, how seeing each other before the ceremony is such a great idea, product options, etc. Some clients read the blog religiously, and show up well educated and even more enthusiastic. I also like to use the blog to highlight the good work of other vendors.

    Reply
    • Hi Lara

      I always love it when a potential client shows up with several pages printed off from the blog. And when they can quote you, and really take what you say to heart – what could be better than that.
      Lori

      Reply
  3. Thanks Virtual Photography for the useful advice! Ex-pro photog, now part of an architecture/product design company with a unique project that gathers virtual submissions for what will become a real life exhibit to tour the U.S. and I am currently creating a list of content topics to write about on the “extra! extra!” section which is the blog portion of the site. (In fact a participating photographer’s tweet led me here while performing contect research! @enframephoto) Project is primarily of interest to visual artists and small businesses – especially those with a child-centric focus as half the proceeds are donated to St. Jude. So blog focus will include resources for artists and small business. Open to any suggestions you may have and wondering about how to get guest writers to share content. Thanks again for this post!

    Reply

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