How the HECK do you write a photography blog when you’re not a writer?! We’re here to help! Skillful blogging is not as cringeworthy as you think!
Why Is Blogging Important?
Photography is a highly personal service. Your clients are inviting you to capture important moments and milestones in their lives, so you need to establish that you are trustworthy through your words! This is why we need to connect. We want our clients to think to themselves while on our website, “I would TOTALLY be friends with her/him in real life!!”
A photography blog or website is the best way to connect to future clients. A blog gives you the perfect platform to not only showcase your work, but a blog also allows your client a glimpse into your personality that pictures can’t. What is important to you? Why did you become a photographer? How do you treat and talk to your clients? All of these things come through your words on your photography blog!
Another perk of a photography blog is that people often share the photography blog or website with their photos, meaning YOU get free advertising with your blogging! Word of mouth marketing is not only the BEST form of marketing in many respects, but it’s also pretty darn inexpensive!!
Steps to Start a Photography Blog
Creating a photography blog or website may be overwhelming at first, yet a photography blog isn’t complicated as long as you have guidelines to follow. If you’re considering managing a website or blog to promote your work or want to share your passion, let’s get your photography blog or site started using these steps and tips.
1. Set Up Your Website
There are several free blog hosting platforms that provide the best value for money. Some of the popular options include Blogger, Wix, Medium, WordPress, and HubPages. Meanwhile, other blogging platforms might offer premium blog plans you can pay per month or year.
Choose a Blogging Platform
Moreover, selecting a blogging platform is a crucial step, as this affects your ability to grow as a photography blogger. Since the goal is to develop a blog or site with photography content, you would want something that lets you showcase your craft or photos.
Some blog platforms are ideal for beginners, like WordPress, while others are too complex. If you’re skilled in programming, you can pick platforms that allow you to create codes. Otherwise, start with ones that offer user-friendly features.
Pick and Register a Domain Name
Similar to other kinds of blogs, deciding on a domain name is one of the essential parts of creating a website. Also known as the URL, the domain name is the address people will use to go to your site.
Brainstorming for names can be exciting, as it acts as your identity online. Consider these pointers when choosing one:
Relevance: A domain name reflects your work, which is why a domain name should complement your branding or personality.
Short and easy to type: Avoid complicated spelling on your domain name that can cause people to type the wrong address.
Memorable: There are millions of registered domain names in the world, so yours must be catchy to have a long-lasting impression.
After deciding on a site address, it’s time to buy and register it at hosting sites such as WPX Hosting or Bluehost. Securing a domain name adds professional credibility, increases business visibility, and reinforces your online presence.
Select a Theme
The next step is to start working on the website design. While blogging platforms like WordPress typically offer default WordPress themes, you can also tweak those WordPress templates to make it suitable for your branding as a photographer.
Visitors first notice the overall appearance of the site. Set a visually appealing design on WordPress that won’t grab attention away from your content, photos, products, or services.
If you have limited time designing, WordPress has lots of free layout designs for blogs that you can easily customize or revamp. Experiment with various WordPress themes until you find the most appropriate one to make it easier for readers to see your work.
2. Focus on a Niche
There are lots of photography blogs, so your content must be worth sharing. If this is your first time blogging, consider your reasons for starting a photography blog.
Bloggers usually focus on a niche to enable them to become a subject matter expert. This strategy also helps you plan what to photograph and write every week or month when you’re starting a photography blog. Thinking of relevant categories or niches is a good starting point to keep ideas flowing when you start a blog.
While you’re starting a photography blog, ask yourself:
- What issues interest me as a photographer?
- What kinds of tips do beginner photographers need?
- What topics can help photographers earn more money?
- How do I want people to remember my blog?
- Can this category help me produce content per month?
For instance, try sharing your skills and experiences as a travel photographer when you start a blog. Aside from giving outdoor, street, and landscape photography tips, you can develop content about the best equipment, lighting techniques, and travel must-haves.
Come Up With Topics
Seriously, the more you freak out about writing something, the more you’re going to put it off. Trust me; this happens to the best of us. The most helpful way to knock out a blog/article is to do it when you’re feeling inspired. So…try not to overthink anything and just go with the flow. The first thing you have to do is decide WHAT to write about and then decide on the title.
This can be one of two things:
- A photography session. In this case, you can write (Names, Place, Type of Session). For example: “James and Katie, Coronado Ferry Landing Engagement.”
- A personal post. If you go the personal route, come up with something short and sweet. For example, “Relationship Chronicles: When I Saw my Future Husband do a Somersault on the Dance Floor.” (This happened the first night I met my husband. Needless to say, it took me nine years to finally say yes.)
Find Trending Discussions on Social Media and Search Engines
If you’re struggling with topics to discuss, searching in the online world and social media is an excellent place to start. You can also check other blogs and get inspiration from old and new content. Another way is to join online communities and engage in meaningful discussions with fellow creatives.
Read social media comments from other photographers. You can even find hidden gems or thought-provoking questions from Quora and Reddit threads. In some cases, ideas may come from random people sharing their thoughts.
3. Learn the Basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Now, let’s briefly chat about SEO (also known as Search Engine Optimization). This is probably something you’ve heard about, but don’t know much about.
SEO is the method of increasing the quantity and quality of organic traffic to your website through search engine results. Basically, getting ranked on Google.
Your goal is that when someone searches, “Photographers in (your city),” that you rank on the first page. Now, there are about a bazillion more things you can learn about SEO, so keep it simple at first and learn the basics.
4. Outline and Plan Your Article
If you have no idea about how to start a photography blog post without a writing background, think about how you prepare a shot list for a photoshoot.
You list the sequence from the essential shots up to filler images. Depending on the shoot, you may also categorize photos to make your work more efficient. The same goes when starting an outline and planning your new blog posts on WordPress.
Create Headings and Subheadings
Search engines favor new blog posts with a clear hierarchy of main points. This is why the title usually acts as the first header or H1. Headings normally include the main keyword, and the H2s must echo what the title is all about.
When writing a post on WordPress, you would see different ‘levels’ of headings in the text editor, letting you map out the main points from H2s to H6s. Be cautious about adding the main keyword in the headings as overstuffing can make your outline appear unnatural.
Some people tend to skim a site’s content, so there’s a chance they may only focus on the headers before reading the supporting details. Therefore, the headers should make sense without any explanation.
Write the Draft
With a solid outline, you can start researching relevant information and adding your ideas. In essence, a good photography blog post must contain:
- Introduction: The most vital part of a post as this states the article’s purpose and provides a solution to the problem. It also presents the pain points and evokes a reader’s agitation. A strong intro gives you a better chance of getting a reader hooked.
- Body: This part lets you expand the solution or argument found in the introduction. It also enables you to transition from one key point to another. Depending on the topic and voice, the body allows you to share your thoughts, supporting facts, figures, and citations.
- Conclusion: Acting as a bow on the package, the conclusion contains a call-to-answer for a question or a request for people to do something after reading the post.
Before I write anything, I come up with a title and four to five subheadings that I can then take them piece by piece! That allows you to organize your thoughts effectively. At this point, you can change the order to make sure that the blog flows well. This is how I tend to outline:
- Paragraph 1: Intro with a short story! This can be about your first communication with your client, a funny story they told you, something funny or unique that happened on the session.
- Paragraph 2: Write about your client. Tell us about their personality, what they love to do, how much they love their family and friends (or their dog), really give us a sense of who they are!
- Paragraph 3: Write TO your client. Seriously, send them a little-personalized note at the end of a blog because THEY are going to be reading it, right? This also tells any FUTURE clients who are learning that you care about your clients enough to personally thank them on a public forum.
Your goal is to connect with your existing clients and future clients!
Personal Post: Outlining will be vastly different depending on what you choose to write about. Personal posts on your site allow your clients to get to know you as a person, rather than a sterile business. You can be as personal, or as reserved as you want, but remember that people want to CONNECT with you on a deeper level.
Here are some ideas if you want to start your own personal posts on your site:
- Chronicle a time in your life or a person in your life that is important to you.
- Tell us how you met your partner.
- Describe a lesson you’ve learned from your photography clients.
- Explain WHY you have chosen to get into photography.
- Detail a funny parenting fail.
- Illustrate a time you wanted to quit something and didn’t.
- Express yourself about a time you’ve felt vulnerable and how you overcame an obstacle.
- Outline a photography tip for your client, like how to dress for a session.
5. Work on Finishing Touches
If you’re blogging a session, include 5-10 of THE best images from the day! This is a great way to get the hype going before you deliver a gallery on your site! For example, you can send a sneak peek on day one, the blog on day four, and the full gallery on day seven.
When you include your images, remember to do the following:
- Keep the images consistent in editing style.
- Pair varied images together.
- Choose images with different composition (you don’t want them to all look the same).
After writing and uploading all necessary information, you’ll want to start double-checking the formatting, facts, numbers, links, and photos of your blog posts. Proofread for spelling errors, punctuation, and grammar.
There are times when being familiar with the topic prevents you from seeing errors or gaps. Try creating a system that can make it easy for you to edit content.
For instance, start proofreading every morning once you feel alive after a good cup of coffee. Come back with a fresh set of eyes and make sure your writing makes sense. Another option is to look for online proofreading services or ask a friend to help you check.
A lot of writing comes from inspiration, so it’s ok to take a break from your site when you’re just not feeling it. Yes, you want to get it done, but I promise you that your blog post will FEEL more genuine if you write it WHEN YOU WANT TO WRITE IT, and not because you HAVE to write it.
Some days you’ll knock out two posts on your site, and some days you’ll stare blankly at your screen. When that happens, walk away and come back at a later time. BUT COME BACK.
Remove the pressure, get out of your head, and simply remember that your blog or site is an avenue for sharing your love for photography with clients and other photographers.
Check out this tutorial if you REALLY don’t know what to write on your site.