Why Blog? - Making the Most of Your Blog

posted on: November 14, 2006

At first I was only going to post this on photography forums, but I realize there are quite a few photographers who read my blog but may not visit those same forums. I also know that quite a few of my friends and clients have blogs and/or small businesses, and are looking for ways to attract new readers, or to keep current readers interested. So, in the interest of making all blogs a little more addicting... (as if I don't spend enough time reading them and writing them!!), I thought I would share some ideas with the hope that others will feel free to add to this list and to share their thoughts as well!

Why blog?
- To improve your search engine ratings (if your blog contains searchable text; also known as SEO)
- To keep your customers (and competition) updated on your latest news and work
- To give your customers a way to personally connect to you and/or your business
- To convey your philosophy/personality/style
- To announce new products or specials
- To make your clients/friends/family feel famous and to show your appreciation to them (aka being a lovecat)

What to blog?
- Favorite images from your latest event or shoot complete with location info and any additional vendor info. Key phrases like "chicago, il" "engagement photos" "four seasons hotel" will get attract search engine rankings - website links will help as well.
- Stories about the couple or the wedding (everyone likes to feel famous, right?!)
- Your latest awards and recognition (be your own biggest fan!)
- Create a weekly or monthly feature, such as random favorite things, theme image or technique, favorite quote, fun stuff online, personal news, favorite recipe. It doesn't have to be photography related, in fact it may be even better if it isn't since it will give your clients another way to connect to you that may more closely relate to their lives.
- New products, or products that you're considering
- Questions or contests for your readers
- Sales and promotion information, deadlines for holiday ordering, holiday gift reminders and ideas - Personal news, happenings, and travels
- Random thoughts
- Ideas of things you'd like to try with future clients (planting the seed early! Trash the dress, rolling in sand and water on the beach, sky diving, etc.)

Think about the blogs you're addicted to and why you're addicted to them. Often times addicting blogs have a few things in common...
- It's not always about business
- They blog frequently and you feel like you've missed out if you haven't checked the blog in a few days, or they have a special feature that you look forward to weekly
- They make you feel good or inspire you
- They have a definite sense of personality and feel very "real" with single voice that comes through to personally connect with you instead of a stale company voice (this is the difference between a real blog and just a site for your company's latest news)
- They keep the content fresh and change things up from time to time

Here are a few blogs which I find very addicting!!

Even though this is a company blog, they do an awesome job of connecting to their readers and keeping them interested weekly! I think they actually do all of the blog ideas mentioned on the "what to blog" list above... favorite things, contests, new products, latest news, etc... they've got it all.

Tons of crazy ideas and things to do with your photos or your camera!

Amazingly creative, highly personalized, thought provoking, and interesting little bits of life on paper!

Just plain funny and often unusual! (Thank you Meg for introducing me to this!)

One which I would someday like to contribute to... (hint to past & future brides!!!)

One which I've been featured on a few times, and has some really neat images along with their stories.

An amazing guy who gave up a safe career in pharmacy to become a wedding photographer, inventor, and investor; who is now a millionaire (or is it billions now?) I visit often for the embarassing videos of his friends, but value it for his awesome business info and insights.

... and I love reading my friend's blogs!!!! If you have one and I don't know about it, please post it here or email me a link!!!
An awesome illustrator, creative soul, music lover, and cat servant!
A political critic, horse racing and classic car enthusist, photography lover and now a budding seamstress!

What are some of your favorite blogs? What keeps you addicted? How can you apply that to your business or blog? Did you find this post to be helpful or should I stick to taking pictures? ;-)

(Disclaimer: I don't think my blog is as great as it coule be, but knowing what I need to improve is half the battle. ;-)

And now... because I can't possibly create a post without also including an image of some kind. Here's my latest YouTube video pick. I find it hilarious because I'm sooo guilty!!!! :-) LOL!!! :-)

PS. If you liked this post, click on one of the LABELS below to see other relevant posts!!!

8 comments, to add [click here]:

  1. Anne - great entry! Thanks as always for the thoughtful comments and great links. I had never seen Photojojo before. Oh goody! Even MORE things on the 'net to suck up my time... :) ;) LOL !!!!!! (score THAT one...)

  2. Two things:
    Thank you SO MUCH for the plug!
    That video!! Awesome.

  3. PS> I always worry about attaching my blog to my professional site. I used to have them connected (more obviously than they are now) and a few fellow illustrators found it unprofessional.

    Hmm... I fall on your side of thinking, btw. Maybe I'll reattach them.

  4. Megan - you know I'm a fan! I think illustration is something that takes mad skillz, and girl, you got 'em!

    LOL!!! :-)!!! :-)

    I used to have a seperate personal blog as well, but it's hard to keep up two blogs... plus, it eventually became mostly photography, but it was still being posted under my maiden name... (hmm, note to self: I should probably move some of those posts over to the archives of this blog.)

    I definitely don't share as much personal information on this blog as I would if it were not connected to my business, but if I can ask the question "Do I want potential clients and other photographers to know this about me or my life? Is it OK if the general public or my closest friends and family know this about me?" and still answer yes, than I'm OK with sharing it here.

  5. I think you are dead on in your reasons to blog.

  6. Matt, I like that you have a pure photo blog, and that it's updated daily (right?) I've been meaning to ask... are you taking advantage of search words as well by perhaps embedding them into the meta data, or in the image file names?

  7. Hello Anne,

    I don't know you and have just come across your site 'by chance' ... (or not as the case may be!)

    On the subject of blogs and business ... they are proving more and more effective in boosting your 'identity'.

    People are getting tired of over polished websites with no 'feeling', and a clean (yet professional) blog allows for an insight in to the business owner the viewer may be planning to invest in ...

    Perhaps create a blog specifically to link to your business site, with tips, suggestions, free stuff, news ...

    Hope this helps and that you don't mind my intrusion.

    Kind regards,


  8. Anne, I just wanted to say your posts are always so helpful and just delightful to read.

    p.s. I'd love to get together sometime in the next year with a fellow midwesterner!


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