You’re a great photographer and your work deserves to be seen by more of the right people, so I’m sure you have a photography website, but do you really need a blog as well?
Most online marketers will answer this with something emphatic like, “Absolutely! Anyone marketing anything on the Internet MUST have a blog in today’s marketplace, or else risk getting left behind.”
Although I’m a HUGE fan of blogging as a marketing tool, I’m not 100% sure a blog is essential for every photographer.
I actually think the decision of whether or not to start a photography blog depends on a few things.
- Do you have a clear lead-generation process? If not, there’s no point in starting a blog until you know how you’ll convert your readers into leads and clients.
- How much time can you dedicate to writing posts? If you’re a busy part-time photographer with another full-time job you may find regular blogging too demanding.
- Are you getting enough clients from other sources? If you’re already so booked up that you’re turning people away, or adding them to a waiting list, then a blog may only be a “nice to have” option.
I’m sure there are more reasons not to start a photography blog, but you can see there’s no blanket answer for this.
How Can A Photography Blog Help You?
What about the reasons why you should have a photography blog?
If you’re just getting started as a professional photographer, or you’re looking for a way to showcase more of what you can, then a blog may be great as a means to generating business leads.
For photographers who need their prospects to get to know more about them before committing themselves, a blog is the perfect vehicle.
In the case where your social media strategy could benefit from being directed more towards your website, a blog is a much more enticing alternative.
I’m a little biased, of course, but I think there are more reasons to start one than there are not to.
- At the risk of putting too fine a point to it, static websites are simply boring.
- A blog is a low-cost marketing platform, at least financially.
- Posting on a blog keeps your online presence looking fresh.
- Your personality and approach to photography can shine on a blog.
- WordPress is a flexible, robust, and proven content solution.
- Google loves blogs (but not quite in the way you might think).
- Blog posts are easy to share on social media.
- You can use a blog to educate and nurture potential prospects.
- More content = more chances to engage people.
- Blogs help prospects to get to know, like, and trust you.
- Posting regularly creates authority in your local community.
- Every new post represents a new point of entry into your marketing.
3 Things To Consider
First, choose the right blogging platform.
You could get by for a while with a free blog from wordpress.com but it will only serve you up to a point. You can’t install plugins, for example, the range of themes is limited, and there are zero SEO benefits (learn more about how to do search engine optimization in the SEO For Photographers Made Simple guide).
In short, it’s not a smart business decision to run your blog on someone else’s turf.
Instead, I recommend the self-hosted route.
This simply means you use your own domain to host the WordPress software, which you can download from wordpress.org (or get as a 1-click install from your hosting company).
Self-hosting WordPress gives you 100% control over the design and functionality of the blog, as well as the actual content.
If you don’t want to get involved with the technical aspects of hosting WordPress, which isn’t at all hard), you can always go with a company who specializes in hosting WordPress websites, such as WP Engine.
Next, use a premium theme.
There are lots of free themes for WordPress out there. However, I don’t recommend them because they’re often poorly coded, not future-proofed against new WordPress features or changes, and they come with zero or limited support.
Instead, I advise you to choose from one of the many premium themes, all of which are very affordable.
Third, don’t put design ahead of business priorities.
Your website and blog are there to get you more photography clients or make sales, not only to look pretty.
If you always put your business and marketing needs first, and design second, you won’t go far wrong.
Now, this doesn’t mean your theme must be ugly or not fit in with your brand identity, far from it. However, you should consider how a particular theme fulfills your marketing functions and the experience it provides to the user.
I personally recommend the fantastic array of WordPress themes from the awesome people at Imagely (the same amazing folks who developed the NextGen Gallery plugin). These are good themes for photographers who want a website that means business.
Avoid The Most Common Blogging Mistakes
Before I finish, it’s worth noting that many photographers make some common mistakes with their blogs. Some of these can truly hurt your business, so it helps to know what they are.
The good news is, these are easy to avoid and simple to fix.
Get the full scoop in this article:
The Top 10 Photography Blogging Mistakes
Do Photographers Really Need Blogs? Yes And No
As you can see, there’s no clear cut answer to the question, and it depends on a few things.
However, there seem to be more reasons to have a blog than not to, so it’s worth considering a blog seriously for your business if you don’t already have one.