7 Simple Ways a Blog Can Get You More Photography Clients

7 Simple Ways a Blog Can Get You More Photography Clients

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By Ramsay Taplin

Are you a photographer who dreams of taking your photography business to the next level?

Well, one of the things that creative people (like artists, writers and, yes, photographers) forget is that you grow a business by marketing it – not necessarily by just being good at what you do. There are plenty of good photographers out there.

So what’s the problem?

Not all photography businesses have a huge budget to spend on marketing.

And that’s where a blog comes into it.

In this post I’m going to talk about how you can start a blog (or use an existing one) to get you more clients for your photography business. I don’t run a photography blog but I’ve got a bit of experience with helping small businesses grow using content marketing.

I’ll use a few examples from photographers I know as well as taking some sweet ideas from similar small businesses doing the same thing.

Not all blogs/websites are created equal

For the purposes of this article I thought it would be important to make a few distinctions.

And let’s start by highlighting the fact that a regular “brochure” website is not the same as a blog. Not by a long way.

What’s the difference between a blog and a website?
So what’s the difference? Well, a website is something that generally has static content – pages like About Us, Services, Gallery, Contact and so on. A blog is something that you update regularly with new content. The newest posts usually appear at the top. This comes with a huge set of advantages – some you might never have considered.

Can the two work together?
Absolutely. In fact, that is the ideal situation. The best way to set your photography website up is to make sure it has a blog integrated seamlessly with the rest of the website. Having a blog on a separate domain name is good but not nearly as good as building one under your main brand name. I’ll explain why later.

Where do I get started?
If you don’t have a blog (or a website) and want to learn more I’ve done a video and a full walkthrough on blog hosting that helps you understand how it all works together and how to get started the right way the first time around. You can also check out this Wiki later on for some hosting alternatives.

So how can a blog bring you more photography clients?

Now that we’ve got some of the preliminary stuff out of the way let’s jump into the meat and potatoes of the post.

1. A blog helps to build trust
The first thing to note about a blog is that it helps you build a lot of trust with your potential customers and clients. This is an extremely important part of growing a business these days because a huge amount of your customers will research you before they engage your services. In fact, some people say that one in three people look at the website before engaging the business.

Part of this means having a well designed website that showcases your work and part of it means showing your personality. This is especially important for things like wedding photography where your client will want to have a good relationship with you as it is such an important day for them.

LisaK

A few cool shots from Lisa K’s blog.

Tasmanian photographer Lisa K does this extremely well by having her blog as the homepage of her photography website. The articles she posts are about her daily life and family but always showcase some stunning photographs that would, no doubt, help to create an initial “buzz” and trust with a potential client.

2. A blog helps to increase your reach
The most important part of marketing a business is reach – you need to get in front of new people as often as possible.

This can be quite a difficult concept to understand because we are usually told that loyalty and repeat customers is the most important. Well, if you have five loyal clients who bring you the majority of your business but one drops off then you’re in trouble. A better scenario is to reach new people regularly and then convert them into loyal customers by providing a quality service. Reach is always more important than loyalty for growth.

So how does a blog help to increase your reach?

Well, it gives people something to share and a platform for you to promote all the cool intricacies of your business. People are very unlikely to share around just a portfolio site (unless it’s incredible!) but if you publish a quirky or unique blog post that’s different to your regular material you might find it makes the rounds on Pinterest or Twitter and brings you some new clients.

For example, let’s say you have some hilarious wedding photos of brides trashing their dresses. They’d look look good in a portfolio but imagine the difference it would make if you combined them into one blog post called 10 Hilarious Photos of Brides Ruining their Expensive Dresses. Much more entertaining and shareable.

3. A blog can get you more exposure locally
Google is now giving a lot of weight to local listings. What this means is that if someone types in “photographer” into a Google search they are going to get result from their local area. Here’s an example:

Screen Shot 2013 08 01 at 1 17 37 PM

As you can see, in South Australia I get a Wikipedia result and then the next few are all local South Australian photographers.

Now, a blog can help you take this to the next level in a few ways. The main one is that every blog post you publish will increase your visibility for local terms. For example, if you do a blog post called 25 Beautiful Landscape Photos from Around Sydney you are more likely to rank for terms relating to those photographs to people in Sydney.

Or, you might do a blog post about every photo shoot that you do with local businesses. When people see those photos on those businesses websites or marketing materials and then look it up on Google you’re more likely to appear. So you can piggyback off the success of your client and your quality photos to get more business.

4. A blog gives your website multiple new points of entry
This point strongly relates to the previous one but is worth mentioning on it’s own.

Every time you publish a blog post it (if set up correctly) publishes with it’s own unique web address called a permalink. For example, let’s say you do a post called 5 Interesting Photos from New York that post’s permalink would be something like www.yourwebsite.com/5-interesting-photos-from-new-york/

The great thing about this is that Google will index each post like this in the search results separately depending on what people search for, and how authoritative your website is. This is quite a complicated field we’re getting into now so if you’re interested you can read this SEO for blogs article or this list of SEO tips from Darren.

The main point, however, is that for every blog post you publish you’re creating a new set of keywords through which people can enter your blog.

A great real-world example is my mate Tim from SA TECHFLOOR who told me the other night that since he started blogging and posting photos of his flooring jobs he’s getting more and more phone calls every day. As each one has a different set of keywords (carpet, concrete, bamboo, timber, etc.) he’s got a lot of entry points he didn’t previously.

5. A blog can help your website rank higher
Now, one of the cool things about the previous few points is that if you do them all within your own website you can cause that website to rank higher on Google for important terms like “photographer in [your city]”.

Google likes to show results that are both fresh and of the highest quality. So if you have a small five page website with not much changing, Google might not think it’s all that useful.

If, on the other hand, your website has an active blog with lots of new posts, people sharing it on social media and so on, Google is likely to think it’s more useful for their customers (people searching) and thus rank it higher.

Organic ctr by search position 1 20 png

A graph of the click through rate of the top search results thanks to Search Engine Watch.

As you can see in the image above, this can lead to an immediate increase in business because the first result in Google gets over 35% of the traffic for that page. Worse still, the first page gets over 95% of clicks so if you aren’t in the first few results you’re getting overlooked.

6. A blog can help you form new collaborations
A good online friend of mine, Jamie Swanson, runs two photography blogs. One of them is embedded in her main business website and acts as a promoter of her main services. Her second blog, however, is called The Modern Tog and it’s all about running a photography business.

I wanted to mention her second site because it is a great example of someone who has set up something slightly out of the box and created a lot of new connections because of it.

For example, Jamie contacted me through Blog Tyrant about a year ago and I put her in touch with the content editor at ProBlogger. This lead to her writing a hugely successful post about Pinterest that, in many ways, has lifted her reputation online as someone who knows about photography and the marketing side of photography.

It wouldn’t have happened without the blog.

7. A blog can help reduce client friction
Client friction is what happens when they visit your site, like your stuff but for some reason don’t make contact. It could be because they don’t like your prices or it might be something a little bit more intangible like not really “feeling the vibe”.

James Field runs one of Adelaide’s best wedding photography businesses and has a great little video on his website that is a cool example of something you can do to get your clients to know you better.

Now, James’s video isn’t on a blog but it’s the perfect kind of cross-platform content that a blog is perfect for. For example, you could do a series of these types of videos showing how the wedding day pans out for your clients. These could then bring you traffic from YouTube as well as reducing client friction on your blog.

Tips for your photography blog

So now you’ve got some reasons as to why you might want to have a blog on your photography businesses website. But once you’ve got the blog what are some things you can do to make sure it succeeds?

  • Be personal
    People will love your photos (if you’re good) but they might not like you. Try to figure out who your audience is an, if possible, make sure you are personal and friendly.
  • Know your brand
    Know who you are targeting and what keyword they might be looking for on Google. This will help you craft the right content.
  • Make sure it loads fast
    People are getting less and less patient when it comes to websites. In fact, a one second delay can affect conversions by up to 7%.
  • Find a way to be different
    Don’t just publish the same stuff everyone else is. Take a leaf out of BuzzFeed’s book and use content we’ve all seen to come up with something fun, shareable and relevant.
  • Make your blog your “home base”
    In my guide to social media I talk about the fact that your blog should be your base for all your social media activities. This way, all the Tweets, Pins and Shares that you get go towards growing your blog’s traffic and rankings.

Do you run a photography blog?

I’d be interested to hear how many DPS readers have photography blogs and whether or not they’ve helped to get more customers vs just a static website. What has worked for you? Leave a comment and let us know!

Ramsay runs Blog Tyrant – a blog about trying to make a living from the couch and other internet marketing ideas. Find him on Google+ today.

Also check out dPS founder – Darren Rowse’s article – How to Start a Blog in 5 Easy Steps.

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Guest Contributor This post was written by a guest contributor to dPS.
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Become a Contributor: Check out Write for DPS page for details about how YOU can share your photography tips with the DPS community.

Some Older Comments

  • Nigel Merrick September 20, 2013 02:24 am

    Hi Ramsay

    Nigel here, one of your "tyrant troops", and glad to find your post here!

    You're right on the money with this one when you say "photographers grow their business by marketing it", something I've been trying to help professional photographers of all levels understand for a long time :-)

    I love the great tips you mentioned at the end, and I would add this one:

    Don't get stuck in the rut of only posting about the latest photography session!

    There are LOTS of other topics photography bloggers can create content for. For example, creating feature stories about other local businesses who happen to serve the same target market.

    Thanks for posting this, and I'll be sharing this with my folks too.

    Cheers

    Nigel

  • Steven Duncan September 15, 2013 05:56 pm

    It doesn't have to be a blog per-say, simply a website that you've done proper SEO work on, and make sure you update it regularly. A blog definitely helps you do this of course. Makes it so much easier. Quality and quantity of content combined equals success always.

  • Sylvia August 28, 2013 01:25 am

    A couple of years ago I attempted a photography business. Who hasn't right? Anyway, I paid someone $750 to create a website for my business. And I separately created a WordPress blog. The website was basically useless whereas the blog shot to the 1st and 2nd spot in Google very quickly and brought me new clients. I only had maybe 4 basic pages/posts. Blogs are amazingly effective marketing tools.

  • Ramsay August 27, 2013 10:53 pm

    Hey Stephen - you can always outsource some of that work to other people.

  • Sarah August 12, 2013 04:32 pm

    Matt,
    I'm definitely learning as I go and wish I could devote a few solid days to building my site. Thank you for sharing your websites—awesome images and I am impressed with all your travels! I hope to get to see at least half the places you've visited in my lifetime. I see what you mean about the watermarks. I'm building my site using squarespace.com and getting a handle on how things work is a project in itself! Thank you for the encouragement! Safe travels to you! Sarah : )

  • Stephen Godfrey August 11, 2013 11:57 pm

    Good article, I guess my biggest problem with my blog is putting up content. There always something else to be done and I avoid posting things that I don't feel a good enough.

    I will not change my ways.

  • Spencer Pullen August 9, 2013 01:59 pm

    I agree with this. I started my blog over two years ago. At first I just sent it out to friends and family. Over time it has been gaining popularity. I also teach photography and Photoshop classes in the Southwest Florida area. I put all of my classes and venues on the site as well. This encourages my students to keep coming back. When I teach classes I collect volunteered emails and send my blog posts out to these folks once a week. Over time this has been building my student base and has increased my revenue.

    Here is the link to my site/blog: http://spencerpullen.com

    Thanks...

    Spencer

  • Maria August 9, 2013 12:17 pm

    Thanks Ramsey! I live in Adelaide and was surprised to find this post :). I'm a photographer 'in development' and will find your guidelines (blog) very useful. Thank you again!

  • David Wahlman August 9, 2013 12:14 pm

    Thanks for the interesting article! Yes I do have a blog where I primarily write posts on tips, techniques, and lessons on photography. www.wahlmanphotography.com/blog

  • Matt Hahnewald August 9, 2013 11:26 am

    @Sarah:
    Good luck for your trip to New Zealand and for your blog project. So sorry for the mishaps with the watermarks. I did exactly the same mistake. We travelled China last year and we used the tried and tested format from Blogger for both short texts and for our photos. It worked for us, but it is just one model out of many ones possible. Have a look at
    Blog about Beijing
    Blog about Pingyao
    Blog about Xian
    Take care, Matt (Konni & Matt Travel Blog).

  • Sarah August 9, 2013 10:27 am

    Thank you for posting this information! I can definitely use a lot of it for a website that I'm in the process of building. My situation is that I've uploaded a lot of my images (after doing so multiple times) and now I need to go back yet again and watermark each one—alas, will it never be completed? In addition, I have a blog on the site, but have yet to add any new content. However, I do have content from past blogs that only I have seen! : ) I have an exciting trip to New Zealand coming up, going solo, never been there before, want to take a lot of pics...I thought a blog would be fun to do leading up to it and during the trip as well. But I'm at a standstill. I guess I'm totally second guessing myself and asking if I really have anything worthy to share. Well, I know I do, but rather than being perfect from the very start (I tend to be that way), the site will be a work in progress...thanks again for your tips! Sarah

  • Jamree Adimin August 9, 2013 04:11 am

    Very interesting information. Will try to include the ideas into my blog

  • Cheryl Garrity August 9, 2013 02:25 am

    This article is timely for me. I created a website about 2 month ago and I have added a blog. I have four posts. My concern is how to create a blog that will get me noticed by potential customer. My ideal customer is someone who wants to purchase fine art photography. My blog posts have been fun, as I haven’t felt the need to be serious. But in the market I want to attract, is that the correct way to go?? I guess time will tell.

    I will review the links and see what else I can learn. Thanks for the information!

  • Matt Hahnewald August 9, 2013 01:38 am

    Hello Ramsey:
    This is a gift parcel loaded with extremely useful ideas about a blog. So many thanks. This will keep me busy all weekend about how I could improve my own travel blog. Feel free to have a quick look at Konni & Matt in Malaysia. But I am not a professional, just a retired grandpa…
    Anyway, many thanks for your helpful and very detailed article. Cheers, Matt.

  • Balmore August 8, 2013 10:00 am

    It has worked for me very well! A lot of the stuff you said is very true, a lot of my costumers like feeling or establishing a connection to my work. Not only that but it helps me connect with people that share the same kind of views I have. It really is a great way for me to express the kind of work I like to do and to show everyone that I like to keep an active shooting style, in a positive way that is.

    Link BnA.Photo

  • Ramsay from Blog Tyrant August 7, 2013 02:40 pm

    Hi Andrea.

    I would suggest maybe writing more articles based on the types of clients you want to attract. Don't worry too much about a following as such, just try to create wonderful content for jobs you'd like to get.

    Also, see if you can get some guest blogging spots on related photography blogs in your area.

    Hope that helps.

  • Jay Rodriguez August 7, 2013 12:45 pm

    This post is a great refresher when we (me) lose touch with our blogs. Being busy at work can make things difficult to blog sometimes but putting in the effort at lest once a week can really help with google recognition!
    Thanks again for the post!

  • marius2die4 August 7, 2013 07:15 am

    I also have a blog with some fans:
    https://marius-fotografie.blogspot.com

  • Rob B August 7, 2013 07:05 am

    Good info..

    http://www.blog.bertbradyphotography.com/

  • Marc C Photography August 7, 2013 05:40 am

    I have found that my own blog, although fairly modest has generated quite a bit of business. As the article states it does bring multiple points of entry and also a fair amount of interaction from the readers. "note to self" must write a new article this week. :)

    http://marccphotography.com/blog/

    Great article with a few great tips to try........ thank you.

  • Bonnie Rannald August 7, 2013 01:20 am

    Thanks for this very informative post. I do have a photography blog: http://www.bonnierannald.blogspot.com/
    I will start applying the tips that you have mentioned and be very interested to see the future progress.

  • Philipp August 6, 2013 07:47 pm

    As you said, not many have the funds especially in the beginning to hire a professional designer who will create a website for you. I am one of those, which was the main reason to get a blog set up for my stuff. I also love the fact that I can update it whenever I like. Its not rocket science as a proper HTML website might be and I don't need t bother my programmer every time I have a new picture. A blog for me shows my work just as well as a normal website would. The only thing I am paying for is the domain name which I linked to the blog and a personal email address. This comes to about 30€ per year.

    Have a look at www.photohunger.com or find me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/photohunger

    I am always happy to talk to people about everything photo-related!

  • john dosoja August 6, 2013 07:37 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out, Ramsay! nice post! Off to share it with my peeps….
    my peeps….

  • Andrea Kruck August 6, 2013 04:43 pm

    I am a blogger and love photography and writing but I struggle to get readers and traffic to my blog. I am with wordpress and find that the majority of visitors I get is spam. Any suggestions about how to get followers? I love my blog but have become disheartened with the lack of public interest.

  • Ramsay from Blog Tyrant August 6, 2013 02:38 pm

    Glad you're enjoyed the post everyone. Hope it helps some of you use blogging to get a few more clients. Happy to answer any questions if you've got them.

    Ramsay

  • Jason St. Petersburg Photographer August 6, 2013 11:24 am

    Great arguments for having a blog, especially a blog be part of your overall website. Since the beginning of my site in 2008, the blog section has always gotten the most hits:

    http://jasoncollinphotography.com/blog

    The home page itself is only second, and then other pages and other blog posts.

    I put up 3-5 blog posts per week, and as the author says, basically every shoot I do I put up a blog post about it putting in very specific location and content of the shoot in the title of the blog post, so if someone searches for headshot in St. Petersburg, or family portraits on Treasure Island, I will come up. The results are even better for a Google image search.

  • Jeff E Jensen August 6, 2013 09:41 am

    I'm several years into my blog. I love looking back at how I've progressed. It's a strong record of my photographic history.

    http://jeffejensen.blogspot.com/

  • Jamie Swanson August 6, 2013 04:17 am

    Thanks for the shout-out, Ramsay! Great post! Off to share it with my peeps.... :)

  • Len Moser August 6, 2013 12:05 am

    I started a blog a few years ago, but haven't posted anything to it in a long time. I can see now, that's a big mistake. I'm going to start blogging again. Thanks for great info.

  • stacie August 5, 2013 02:16 pm

    Great blogging information! Thanks for sharing - there's always something new to learn with blogging & SEO!

  • Helen August 4, 2013 11:19 pm

    Great post and some really useful links thanks! Good to know I'm working along the right lines! :)

  • Justin Cooksey August 4, 2013 04:24 pm

    Good article. I always find a good read on this site, on any and all aspects of photography.
    I do have a blog on my site, but I'm not a pro photographer.

  • Nizar Ghosn August 4, 2013 07:04 am

    Thanks for the tips, very informative ... And yes i have a website and a blog ...
    Niz-image.blogpost.com

  • Archie August 4, 2013 06:32 am

    I'm no pro, but found the blog supplied by my host didn't generate much activity. Chose to have blog on blogger and link the two. Works ok for me. Nice post btw.

  • Jenny Gildea August 4, 2013 03:37 am

    Thanks for this info! I recently redesigned my website and moved from a blogspot.com as my only website to a .com which included my portfolio and blog in one location. I don't know if it's just that, or a combination of that and being in my fourth year of professional photography, but I have had many more inquires and new clients. I searched myself on google the other day and was ranked WAY higher than in the past (third page...but much better than not on there at all!). I definitely need to make the time to blog more, but this new set up is really working for me!

  • Phil Leighton August 4, 2013 03:14 am

    Great post, I am just starting out and have put a few blog posts. I will certainly look to take on board your advice.