Blog?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by FlashTimePhotography, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. FlashTimePhotography

    FlashTimePhotography TPF Noob!

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    Do photographers really NEED blogs? I have a blog right now, but never really update it! I'm not much of a consistant blogger ... I have a facebook fan page (which I'm in the process of updating) but my question is this: Do photographers need blogs?
     
  2. shama

    shama TPF Noob!

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    I think that the blog is a place where you can post some images that are let say "not good enough" to put in your portfolio page.

    I had the same question about 3/4 months ago, but finally i decided to add a blog to my sait. I am posting maybe once a week some new images or current projects that I finished or working on.

    Have in mind that with the new instant search that Google released, blogs could become even more important traffic driver and SEO tool.
    Look for example Jasmine Star’s blog , I was watching her on CreativeLive , and she explained that her blog is number one tool for attracting new clients. Of course she is shooting wedding photography , where hiring photographer is much more emotional than hiring commercial photographer.
     
  3. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Good question. I thought the same thing myself. I debated between the facebook fan page or a blog, but I went with the blog which I share posts on facebook and twitter. I hate how facebook compresses the images I upload.

    Do I really need a blog? I'm not a pro. I shoot out of passion and as a hobby. Although I would love to go pro, or even semi pro one day. The way I worked a blog into my web presence (if I can call it that) is that I have a website that is my portfolio. These are my fave images. I use the blog to post up other images, which may or may not be portfolio worthy. In the images I post, I flag some to be added to the portfolio site.

    The issue I have is that I am not a web person and I dont update my portfolio site. It hasnt been updated since last year :( So I rely more on my blog to get my "current" work out there and often send out a flickr set to people to review.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Do they really need them? Well no. Some of the old schoolers don't want it and don't need it.

    If your target market is anyone 30 years old or younger, there is a good chance that social media is a good marketing avenue.
    But go find the most successful wedding & family/portrait photographers and ask them if it's worth the time to have an up to date blog, facebook etc.


    I talked to a photographer this year (seminar) who uses practically nothing but his blog for marketing. I think He updates several times a day...and it's all tied in with facebook, twitter etc.
    One example he gave, was that he set up a weekend where he would only shoot pets. The only advertising he did was to drop hints on his blog, and when he finally started taking bookings for the weekend of solid shooting, it was fully booked up in a day or two.

    Of course, he has a big following on his blog...but that's the point. If your blog in interesting, you have a much better chance of getting & keeping followers, and those are the perfect people to market your photography to.

    A blog is also a good way to increase your web presence and SEO. When I Google myself, my blog gets as many or more hits than my website.
     
  5. FlashTimePhotography

    FlashTimePhotography TPF Noob!

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    See the thing is I don't have a blog following. I have more of a facebook following than a blog following. Is it worth it then to just use the blog as a place to put on photos that are not portfolio worthy?
    What about twitter? Should I have a twitter account for my photography?
     
  6. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    A friend of mine who owns a social marketting company Social Connect Blueprint | Facebook got in contact with me about my old blog and said if I wanted to ever be taken seriously or go somewhere with my photography ie semi-pro or what not that there are certain things that help you in marketting and blogs are one of them. Facebook pages and twitter were another two as was linkedin and a couple others. He has some free video tutorials about owning your online identity and marketting. I included a link and have to say Im not a pro but in a couple years would like to consider myself one and am working on it. Anyways point to this is it helped.

    I agree with BigMike that old timers are probably not going to take the blogging seriously but for anyone 35 and under social media is probably YOUR best marketting tool these days for that target age group.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are ways to connect your Facebook posts and your blog, if you want to.

    I guess it's not really all that important which method/site you use...the key is that you keep your followers interested. That means having fresh content and just being interesting.

    I know plenty of photographers that use facebook & twitter to stay in touch with their clients/followers. Some of them keep it strictly business but others are quite personal. Some like the personal touch and some don't.

    What I don't like, are those who update with constantly boring info that I (or anyone else) could care less about...buy it must work for some people, because I see it a lot.
     
  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Who remembers the day when e-mail was "oddball"? Or when a cell phone number was "odd"? And when Starbucks was "an upstart little company"? Remember the days when that new-fangled thing the kids called texting was just "a fad"?

    Blogs....hmmm....
     
  9. Chris Stegner

    Chris Stegner TPF Noob!

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    I'm not a pro either... just shoot for passion and to share with friends and family. Although I have sold some stuff off my site.

    I have a blog, FaceBook and a page on Zenfolio.

    Not sure what blog platform you're using, but you mentioned you get more traffic on your FB account than your blog. What I do is to post an entry on my blog, and I have a plugin (for the blog) that allows you to "share" the blog post on FB. It creates a thumbnail of the blog and you can type something along with it ("I shot these barns while on a recent photo trip" type of thing. So if you've got good FB traffic, send it to your blog... maybe your blog traffic will go up.

    What I do different than the others have mentioned is that I use 1 photo on the blog post (the one I like the most) then direct the readers to the zenfolio gallery. So if I go out and shoot old barns for the day, I write a short post about it (I'm not a writer!!!) and include my favorite shot from the shoot and a link to the rest.

    My point is that I think you should use everything you've got at your disposal. I even have a spot on my blog for readers to "subscribe" to my blog and then every time I post a new entr they get an email.

    Just my random thoughts!
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One of these days, I'm going to stop dolling out advice for free on this site and just put everything on my blog. You will all flock to my blog, driving the traffic way up...then I'll be able to sell some good advertising and I'll be rich....rich! I tell you!!! :twisted: :lol:
     
  11. Jeff Colburn

    Jeff Colburn TPF Noob!

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    Here's what I've found. My Facebook, Twitter and MySpace sites are nice, but they are social networks, so not really for business connections. You can get a social network that has a lot of business followers, but it takes a lot of work.

    I also use LinkedIn, which has more business followers, but it also takes a lot of work to get kinds of followers that want to use your work.

    I have a blog that has social and business followers. The one thing a blog does really well, is get it's content onto the search engines. They love blogs. I've posted photographs on my blog, and the next day it's on page one of a Google image search.

    Social networking sites, LinkedIn, etc. are nice, and I do suggest having them, but you need to know your clients. Are your clients using these sites? Do they use these sites to find photographers? Will you get a decent return on investment of your time by using these sites?

    I also stay active in forums, like this one. I have even received an assignment because someone had seen my posts on a photo forum.

    To really be active on all the main sites, you could easily spend 3-5 hours a day creating and posting content. There are only so many hours in the day, and you need to decide where to best spend your marketing time.

    Have Fun,
    Jeff
     
  12. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There are also applications and ways to effectively maximize your time spent doing this ie one hour updating all of your stuff.
     

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