Your photography blog. I’m talking to you about this today as it’s something that a lot of photographers don’t do, and usually, forget about. But it’s really important.
A lot of photographers who already know me will be rolling their eyes because I’m talking about blogging, but a photography blog is your ticket to other types of clients.
In my last blog post, I spoke to you about how important it is to have a “scroll to a sale” style website home page that takes your customer on a journey to buy from you.
Today, we’re going a step further. We’re looking at how we can attract even more visitors to your site and bring them into our world as customers of the future.
How do your website visitors find you?
This is really important to think about. What you need to understand is that there are two types of searching that your potential clients are doing online.
There is Indirect Search and there is Direct Search.
So with my own website, The Photographer’s Mentor, if you go there I am trying to target people with my SEO who are looking for a photography mentor. So they’ve gone over to Google and they’ve typed in ‘photography’, ‘mentor in photography’, ‘business advice’, or ‘photography mentors in the UK’. So that is what you call Direct Search.
And then there are people who haven’t yet established what they want. They also need a photography mentor but they don’t know that yet.
This is what you call Indirect Search. And that comes from my blog.
The people who come here have a problem, or are concerned about something. They often don’t know how to do certain things. I’m giving them a solution to it through my photography blog.
So these people are typing into Google things like “how much should I charge for my wedding photography”, “how do I set up a photography Facebook page” or “how to be a photographer on LinkedIn”.
Think about your niche for your photography blog
If you’re a wedding photographer, your brides might be typing in “wedding photographer”, “New York wedding photographer”, or “Manchester wedding photographer”. So that’s a Direct Search. They know what they are looking for and they are ready to buy.
However, those are people who are already looking for a wedding photographer.
There are also people who will who have just got engaged today, for example. They haven’t got there yet, they’re not ready to buy. They haven’t got their venue. They haven’t got their dress.
But they’re excited. They’re looking for wedding-related things on the internet. They’re searching for topics like “trends for 2023 wedding dresses” or “best wedding locations in London”.
So what you need to do is you need to start utilising your photography blog. Your blog is not something that talks about you, and all the shoots that you’ve done.
You want to give them information on your blog that shows you as an authority.
How building your authority works
So, if you’re a wedding photographer, you might decide to make your photography blog the hub of everything wedding-wise.
As the hub of all information for brides and grooms right for couples getting married, you might talk about the latest trends, or you can do reviews on some of the best wedding venues in your area. Go along, and take some pictures.
Top tip: give the pictures to the venue. This gets you on their side! Write an honest review about it and what you really liked – maybe it had a great, beautiful staircase or the food is really nice, or it has amazing grounds. So write all these reviews.
Then start creating blogs about them. You know, “top tips for having a stress-free wedding morning” or “Uncover trends for 2023 for planning your wedding”.
You’re going to give them lots of blog posts that help answer the exact questions those recently engaged brides are typing into Google.
You’ll start getting them to visit your site and building that trust and relationship with them. Because they’re right at the very beginning of the journey.
This means that when they come to look at choosing a photographer, later on down the road, they remember you. They know there was a photographer who was always writing helpful tips on his photography blog at the beginning. So they’ll know to come and look you up.
So many people are already searching for that sort of information on Google. They are five, or six months down the line before they’re ready to make a purchase.
So you start building relationships with these people. When they start typing “wedding photographer”, into Google, they’re already thinking about you.
Showing up for Indirect Search results with your photography blog
So what you’re doing with your photography blog, is you’re intentionally doing this to show in those Indirect Search results. It’s a really powerful process.
I love recommending books to my photographers, so if you’re interested in finding out more about how this works, there is a brilliant book called “They Ask, You Answer” by Marcus Sheridan. It’s an amazing book. You can pick it up in various formats over on Amazon.
He built a huge business by answering customers’ questions who were planning on getting a swimming pool. So his blog became all about “do I get a pool or do we get a spa”, that kind of thing. He answered people’s questions. The people who came to his site weren’t there to buy a pool, they weren’t even really considering it.
So he was getting them right at the start of the journey. So the idea is that your blog starts attracting people who haven’t yet started the buying process.
And obviously, if you start giving them loads of advice, you’re helping them, they’ll remember. They’ll think, “oh, this photographer, this guy is really nice. He writes really interesting content. In fact, he’s going to be the first photographer I want to get a price from because I like him and he’s helped me so much already”.
How to decide what to write about
I know you’re thinking OK, this is all great, but how do I know what to write about? Is there a tool or something that I can check?
Well, yes, there are lots of different software tools that you can use, but one of the first things you can do is actually just type in a question into Google.
So you type in “how soon should I choose my wedding photographer” or “how much is wedding photography in Newcastle (for example)” or “how long will need to plan my wedding”. Then you scroll down a third of the way down the page.
There’s a section called “People also ask”. That will give you about five or six different questions.
Then if you scroll right down to the very bottom of the page, you also see other related searches, similar searches with different keywords. So that’s the first place to go.
Another place to go is Surfer SEO. Surfer SEO is a great place for new ideas for blog content.
You’ve also got UberSuggest by Neil Patel, that’s a great, great site. You can type something in and it will tell you whether it has a low or a high search volume and how competitive that search term is.
So what you want to look for are terms with a relatively high search volume to high search content, but low competition. Those are the key phrases your photography blog posts can be about.
Another one to check is called The Hoth. That’s another free one and will give you keywords and key search terms as well.
Your website is written for your customer, not for you
It’s really important to remember that your website is written for your customer and NOT FOR YOU. It’s not a website to just talk about yourself – it isn’t there to just talk about how you are a solution.
In August 2022, Google released its “Helpful Content Update”. You can find out more by Googling Helpful Content Update.
This update is aimed at cutting down low-quality websites – because Google wants to be seen as the search engine that produces results – the search engine that shows websites that are trusted, relevant, and answer a potential client’s questions.
Google wants to give people answers to whatever they’re searching for, and they don’t want to send people to low-value websites.
So if your website isn’t predominantly trying to help, educate and inspire your customers and visitors, then it won’t score well on the new Google algorithm update.
Google has even said that SEO and backlinks will start to take secondary priority when it’s looking for search results.
Google is looking for websites that show experience, expertise, authority and trust.
Google has even created an acronym, to help you remember the elements it is looking for. This is “E – E – A – T”:
This is one area where many photographers really need to up their game.
Just having images on your homepage is no longer enough, Google is looking for websites with helpful content that answers a visitor’s questions.
The Scroll to a Sale website that I mentioned is designed to turn visitors into paying customers. This is because you are giving those Direct Search customers helpful answers to their search, and they are more likely to buy from you.
By combining the power of the Scroll to a Sale Website with photography blog posts that attract your Indirect Search customers – you’re giving content that is helpful to people at both ends of the buying cycle.
How to get started improving your website today
As I said helping photographers create an amazing Scroll to a Sale style website has become my mission. I even released a book in December 2022 entitled “Help, my photography website needs MORE customers!”.
Like my other two photography business books it’s a step-by-step solution. I break all the elements of online branding, website creation, and content writing to help you convert more of your website visitors into paying customers. My 3rd book, like my other two, is available through Amazon. Search for “Help my photography website needs more customers”.
My new company The Photographers Suite specialises in creating very affordable, high-end, premium-looking websites. These sites are all built to my Scroll to a Sale format.
Come and find me elsewhere online. I’ve created lots of helpful content to get you started.
Do look around the rest of the blog on my website here for more helpful posts and free downloadable resources for growing your business.
As always, if you have any questions please reach out. I’m happy to advise. You can connect with me personally on LinkedIn where I always answer messages with a detailed voice reply.