If you are one of those people that has found yourself with a lot more free time thanks to COVID quarantine, then you’ve probably thought about ways you can be using this time to work on things within your business. Updating your website, online education and maybe even catching up on blogging. But then your next thought is probably along the lines of ‘Is blogging worth my time anymore?’ The fact that I’m blogging this is a bit of a giveaway as to my answer to that question.
The topic of whether or not blogging is dead is something that has been discussed a good bit over the last few years as people are spending their time much differently online now. People are more likely to watch a youtube video or spend a good chunk of their day tapping through Instagram stories than they are to read through a blog post.
Years ago, when I first started my business, blogging was a must. Social media hadn’t evolved to where it is right now, so it was really the best way to showcase your work and provide content for your audience. But now, people are spending a lot less time reading blogs than they used to, so is blogging still worth your time? Or should you just throw in the towel on blogging entirely so you can focus your efforts elsewhere?
To that I say yes and no. I believe that blogging is still necessary, but not in the way it used to be. It used to be that you should be blogging on a consistent basis, multiple times a week and covering a variety of topics. But now that people are spending much more time on social media and would much rather absorb your content that way, blogging may not seem necessary anymore. And while you certainly don’t need to be blogging multiple times a week, every week, I don’t think you should be ‘retiring’ your blog entirely. Here’s a few reasons why.
Now, I don’t claim to be an SEO expert by any means, but I know enough to be dangerous and if there’s one thing I know, it’s that blogging is essential for SEO. It’s full of juicy keyword content that Google loves. Images with metadata, SEO optimized text and website visitors. And every time you publish a blog post, Google sees that your website has new fresh content which is going to help your index. And you are bringing users back to your website, even if it’s not as many as you used to. Which brings me to my next point.
When the content you are sharing is on your blog, then that means someone has to go to your website to view it. More visitors to your website sends a message to Google that your website is worth viewing and therefore, it will land higher in Google searches. If your content only exists on Instagram, then people have no reason to go to your website. And no visitors to your website makes Google very sad and gets you pushed lower and lower in search results.
So without blogging, what reason is there for someone to visit your site? When a prospective client wants to learn more about your service? But when someone goes to Google to search for the service you offer, they’re not going to find you unless your website’s SEO is good! Sure, a lot of people are finding businesses and services on Instagram these days, but don’t underestimate how many people are still relying on Google to find what they are looking for! So even if your Instagram posts show up with someone clicks on the #charlottesvilleweddingphotographer hashtag, you may be nowhere to be found when someone googles ‘Charlottesville Wedding Photographer’.
When you blog the weddings and sessions that you shoot or the cakes you make or the styled shoot that you designed, you are able to share that work in a professional and curated way! When your bride goes to share her wedding photos, would you rather her post a blurry screenshot of your Instagram post or simply share the link to your blog post that features their wedding? Or when someone googles ‘Pippin Hill Wedding’, wouldn’t it be great if your blog post from a wedding you shot there showed up in the search results allowing them to see a nice curated collection of images from a wedding at that venue? This also gives the vendors, or anyone else involved in what you are blogging, a way to share the photos too!
While an Instagram post technically stays on your profile forever, it may as well be as good as gone after a few weeks. And Instagram stories don’t even last more than a day! Blog posts live on the internet forever! And people will keep finding them through google searches and links to the posts. I still have posts from years ago that are getting views every day because of google searches and Pinterest! So even if you feel like no one is reading your blog posts, they can still be found for years to come!
This tip is geared more towards portrait and wedding photographers, but it’s one of the biggest reasons I still blog ALL my weddings and engagement sessions. I do this not only because my brides have now come to expect it after seeing me blog weddings for so many years, but also because it makes me work harder on the wedding day.
Say I’m shooting a wedding and it ends up raining ALL day making it really hard to get those natural light portraits outside that my couple is expecting. They would certainly be disappointed if they weren’t able to get many photos outside like they wanted, but they would probably understand that my hands were tied due to the weather. And it might be easy for me to accept that I’m not going to be able to deliver a nice full gallery of portraits like I normally do due to the circumstances.
But when I know that I still have to blog the wedding and I want the blog to feel complete, I know that I need a good collection of outdoor portraits to do that. So that will motivate me to kick it into high gear and make it happen. I’ll watch the weather radar like a hawk waiting for even just a 5 minute break in the rain to go outside and get those shots I need. This way I get all the shots I need to create a complete blog post and the bride will be blown away with what I was able to accomplish under the circumstances. Win win!
While you don’t need to be blogging multiple times a week every week, you should still be blogging when you can! That extra effort you used to put into blogging regularly should be funneled into showing up regularly on Instagram and Instagram stories. But still save a little bit of effort and time for blogging!
I’d say that you should at least be blogging your professional work. This way you are able to show off your work in a professional and curated way! All those images and keywords you use as you describe what you’re sharing will do wonders for your SEO so prospective clients can find you!
Since you’re already creating content for social media, or maybe even an email newsletter, make the most of that content by turning into a blog post too! That’s actually how this post came to be. I was writing about this topic to send to my email list, but then I realized that I could just elaborate a little more and turn it into a blog post too!
Maybe you like to share tips for your brides on Instagram on how to plan their wedding or how to make the most out of their wedding photography. Why not put those tips together to make a blog post?? You already have the content, so go ahead and make the most of it! Then you can even pin the blog post on Pinterest to spread it around the interwebs even more!
Or maybe you did a Facebook live about a particular topic that is relevant to your following. Take what you talked about in the video and turn it into a blog post too! You can even link back to the video in the post.
Same with your weddings and sessions. You’re already editing the photos, uploading them to an online gallery and delivering them to your clients. So it shouldn’t take that much more work to create a blog post with the images!
So I hope this post has convinced you to keep on blogging (even your stats are down!) as there’s still so much benefit to be seen from blogging! And when you’re using content that you’re already creating, it’s really not that much extra work to turn it into a blog post!
Keep at it, friends! You’re doing great!
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