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August 1, 2015

How to Start Blogging For Creatives

Blogging has been an important part of my life for over 7  years. How crazy is that?? I am so glad that when I was 12 years old I went with an impulse decision to start a blog. I had no idea that it would grow so much and become what it is today! It took me a long time to get where I am now, and I made so many mistakes. Like, a lot. But I can at least chalk that up to being 12 and not knowing any better ;)

But most of you probably haven’t been blogging for 7 years, and you don’t have time to make all those mistakes that I made! So today I’m sharing a few tips to speed up your process, and hopefully save you from making the same mistakes I did :)

Fortunately for me, by the time I was really ready to start using my blog for more than just personal photos, I had already built up a little following. But I know that it can be difficult to start a blog from scratch! Where do you even begin??

First of all, why is blogging even important? I think that it gives your clients a more personal view of you! It’s not just posting the occasional photo on your Facebook page, it’s a closer look into your life. Clients will feel like they know you just by the way you type and tell your stories! I don’t want to be seen as just ‘the girl behind the camera’, so I try to show my personality in every post!

Here are some tips for getting started, and creating a blog-space you can be proud of!

1. Decide what you want your blog to be. There are so many things you can blog about! Try to focus on one or two things that you know you can be really great at. For me, I of course focus on photography! But I also make personal posts, because that’s partly why I have the blog following that I do! I’ve made it my job to include people in my life, as well as show them my recent work. Also decide who you are blogging FOR! Are you looking to attract mothers for maternity sessions and newborns? Or do you want to focus on weddings and couples? Either way, make sure your blog reflects that! If you want to book more weddings, but all you post are newborn photos, brides will assume you are a newborn photographer! Blog for the people you hope to attract.

2. Choose a theme. Similar to what I just said, choose a blog theme that will attract the types of clients you want! I use ProPhoto, but that can definitely be expensive for someone just starting out. If you’re looking for some free Blogger templates, try BTemplates

3. Consistency is key! If you only blog once a month, people are going to start losing interest in it. A lot of people ask “which is better – quality or quantity?”, and in this case I would say quantity! I would rather keep my blog moving and post about less-than-glamourous things, instead of letting my blog sit unread for weeks on end! Try making a blogging calendar, and writing out everything you want to post! I have the Notes app on my phone and computer, so whenever I get a new blog post idea I’ll write it down right away! Then on days I’m feeling stuck, I can go right to it and there’s tons of inspiration! If I know I’ll be out of the office for a few days, or even just really busy the next few weeks, I’ll schedule some posts to take the stress off my mind! My readers are still getting their content, but I’m getting some rest :)

4. On the same note, don’t overshare on photos. I know what you’re saying… “Emily, you’re just talking in circles. WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM US” The difference is that yes, I think you should share as often as you can! But when you’re sharing, don’t post 100’s of photos in one post. It will make your blog load slower for your readers, and most of the time, they will lose interest. I’ll be honest with you… If I see a beautiful wedding on Facebook and follow the link to their blog, but after I’ve been scrolling for what feels like 10 minutes and I’m still on getting ready photos, I will quickly x out!! Maybe our attention spans are too short, but the best rule of thumb is to keep it short and sweet. (I personally think that weddings should be less than 75 photos, engagements less than 40 photos, and personal posts as short as possible)

5. Stay positive!! Most people don’t want to read about your terrible day at work, or how your kids were screaming all day long. There are obviously blogs that this works better on (mom-blogs, or more real-life type blogs), but for your general photography blog (that you’re hoping to book CLIENTS) from, try to keep the negatives to yourself. Or just keep a separate blog for all your complaints ;) You don’t want to vent on a blog that potential clients read saying “today’s wedding was the WORST! Sometimes I wonder why I even do this…”. While some days that may be true, call your best friend and tell her instead.

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Blogging can be such an amazing tool for your business! If you’re not taking advantage of this free marketing, I say you should get on the bandwagon :)

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