Your Website: Blogs
Let's, start with talking about blog's because it's really an important part. There's my first fifteen seconds, skippy, a blogger only works is a marketing tool. If you're relevant and consistent now, they're too they're really two kinds of blog's, and I think what's happening right now, especially with photographers, people are mixing up the purpose of their blawg. If you want to just have a blogger that you show your personality and you put a lot of stuff up of, you know hey just went to the new opening of, I don't know, a new bar and restaurant, it was great it's not necessary, relevant to photography, but it's about you that's one kind of blawg and that's fine that's, more social and it's, perfectly good, and you have fun doing it. If you're looking to make your blawg part of your marketing as a photographer, then you've got to be relevant and consistent, and you've got to be relevant. Inconsistent because it's really important to get people one used to coming into your block and s...
eeing all right, so what it wanted sherry what? Jared but it's, somebody who wouldn't skip, say today. What's what? What might help me? What thought, what things, aaron, the blogger, that that helped my business or tie back in with my business or tie back into the community the other reason you want to do it is by continually putting new information out there all those spiders on the search engines that are looking around for something new come over and take a look at your site if it's old stuff then it makes you look like you're not on the block all the time on dh maybe who knows consumer goes on the block and they see the last blast blocked post was was last february and the feeling is well wow you know, maybe they're not in business anymore the other thing to remember is that your blog's don't have to be real time all the time a lot of photographers think they're blawg has to be something that they just recently photographed so let's assume that minimum you're going to put up a new post twice a week personally I would go a least three times a week but all right let's just make it easy and every I don't know tuesday and thursday monday and thursday pick two days in the week where no matter what you're going to put up a fresh post now one post should be something that's really it would be cool to have it be something that you recently did something that's that's very relevant and fresh but the other side of it can be just something that's helpful all all of you were qualified to take take a couple days off and just say all right I'm going to write thirty posts they're going to be two to four hundred words some are going to have a photograph some will not have a photograph but they're going to have they're going they're going to position themselves as helpful information now personally I would try and have a photograph with everyone which is something that I've recently learned and it's also a recommendation from guy I was like I was kawasaki thank you of is to always you know don't publish a post without a photo it does bring people in obviously if you could make the photo more relevant to the post that makes sense and not just a random photo but being able to generate and build your pipeline and your stash up in advance if you had thirty post in your stash and you were posting twice a week than one time a week you could pull one from your stash and one live one in that way you've got the ability to kind of manage your time better and in terms of helpful posts everybody the five of you and everybody that's listening who's a photographer has the potential to write a helpful post it could be on it could be two moms on how to get your kid ready for a photo session it could be ideas on photo sessions it could be how to hire a photographer you could be helpful and at the same time be supportive of your own business things to ask questions, to ask recommendations to moms to not sugar up their kid before shoot, you know all right, little tommy's told that that if he's good he gets that candy bar, odds are he'll get the candy bar before he gets to sit down with the photographer and then by the time he's ready to go, he has sugared up in his bouncing off the walls again. Ed there's so much you guys can do in terms of device could be something going on in the community could be a photo event going on, so when you're thinking about your blawg, it doesn't always have to be live real time something that just happened to you it doesn't have to be necessarily unique to directly to your photography it could be helpful about photography and we're going to look at some blog's right now. The biggest thing again is to be relevant to what you're trying to do with your blawg and to be consistent and how often you post. So this is carlos is, um I brought up carlos, you've got some great images, consistency I would go after and it's just a matter of deciding and you're just starting out so you kind of get you get the ability to say I don't know I'm sort of new here you could play that for a long time but you've got you know you you tend to like to enjoy doing a lot of travel stuff and you've got some beautiful travel stuff and images that you've done that aaron you're blogged the only thing I would recommend is just be more consistent in terms of the timing if you want to write something with it I would always recommend just a short paragraph on why you photograph something why you were doing something why it was of interest that just makes your image more interesting and you just picked up the mike so I don't know if you were about to say something you know, just preparation for responsive question was posed but I'm not I don't particularly enjoy writing I'm not a writer so I prefer well I prefer to just put pictures up there and I called it a photo block so that people wouldn't expect I think that's factual text like you're not going to get why I felt that a table full of cheese was you know why I was drawn to that I just thought that a table full of cheese was pretty cool I and having so many friends in wisconsin who are really into cheese I would guess that that would be a really great shot now that's fine the question goes back to just what do you want your blood to be I would try and put a sentence or two with it because it ties back into who you are maybe you want to talk about the the specs on the shot what was the what was the camera? What was the lands? What was the aperture and shutter speed and just have some fun with it? Maybe you want to show a couple of different images that you've varied your specs just giving some people more information. That's more helpful now, sherry, I think you're going to your you're letting go you're blocked for a little while, right? So the blog's doing on the back burner the only thing I wanted to point out on your you're blawg oh, this was ok so you want your one that's got one up from last february and the bloggers coming down which is fine nobody nobody has to have a blawg if you don't want to have a blogger and you know it could maintain it. But one thing that I noticed on your blawg when I clicked on next blawg I thought I was going to your next post it took me out of your blawg and it took me into somebody else's website so who's ever service you were using for your blawg with that next blawg peace up there there's a lot of things everybody you need to check your side every single day there are a lot of things that happen and maybe that wasn't up there probably wasn't there in the beginning or maybe it was he didn't notice but I went to click next blawg thinking it was next post and again it took me off for your site and it took me into somebody else's blood there is it took me somewhere else so out of the five of you the one person here that's really using the blawg the way I would suggest and that doesn't mean that everybody I can't but jared has really developed an interesting concept in the blawg where he's doing a lot of the things that we're talking about for the community so this was one that he had up around mother's day with tips on getting the best in terms of improving your mother's day photos it's helpful it's got good information you had another piece on the snohomish and see now that I can say I can say it all the time and impress people that that makes three times five times in a row I don't know snohomish homer stone no no it three if I fail maybe after after a beer I could do it but you had that piece on the wedding walk back in may I think it was may which was which was great things that are helpful you've got some client things that you put up and share their you're posting regularly this was a piece you had on head on on on the artwork and tying back in, in fact, there's the other image that was in the story and also on your home page, the ties in your block together, it it brings a dog all together and it's helpful for the community. So as how long have you been blogging? Probably a little over a year often on, so I mean, as that as your followers grow and is your content gets better because the next part of this is to be able to tweet what's up on your post and to get the community involved in terms of things that are going on, and especially this is really effective if you're in a small community and you've got that sense of community there, where you've got a lot of people that are following, you know, who's, the who's, the leader in the community, that's telling us, what's going on, so you kind of put yourself in a position where you become like the old town crier in terms of spreading the news about things that are going on and there's, no question, I mean it, it helps build your reputation, it helps build your business every single block post doesn't have to be. You know why you should hire me as a photographer? This is about being helpful in this case, you're kind of giving back to the community, which is kind of cool. Oh, there he is. This snohomish. I forgot I had it in there. Let's talk about let's, switch gears out of blogging and put blog's and post together. Excuse me, blogging and twitter together. Um, scott born is my partner in going pro, which was the book by the same name. Uh, in fact, I brought five copies for one for each of you guys here that will give you later. Okay, two copies did get soaked by seattle's finest, finest baggage handlers at airtran. So I'll send you ones that don't that aren't truly what these air truly watermarked but scott's been involved in photo focus. Scott had the hundred fourth website in the world and the traffic on photo focus is truly amazing. He's been involved in skipped summer school with me. We were all going pro together. We just launched photo resource hub, dot com and the going pro concept. We just recently backed off on that so that we can spend a little time building new tools to help photographers just to talk about photo resource hub dot com is essentially going to evolve into my new blawg but we wanted to make it something more than just a typical blawg which I've been doing for three years now I started blogging blogging posting on the block three years ago and I went for seven days a week and it almost buried me I mean, it was it's like ok saturdays and sundays and after the first year I decided no let's back off to five days a week and then let's start to bring in a lot of guest posts from other photographers that air saying some very cool things in fact, just recently I had cell cicadas video upon pricing, which we're actually gonna watch a minute or two of it later today sounds got unbelievable information and if you've got an opportunity to be and I'm looking that way now at that camera for those people if you've got an opportunity to be in this audience here then june sixteenth is the day to get your video done for cells program sal is just remarkable and it's really grassroots solid stuff that you really can't take back and implement and you don't have to think about it's this is what I need to do to close the sale to build my business, to diversify and he's going to be talking about seniors which is such a lucrative strong part of the market if you could grab a piece of it so photo resource hub dot com has videos that come up all the time it's got podcast in fact, tomorrow will air on the first tenth and twentieth of every month is a new podcast. Tomorrow is my interview with with hall of famer photoshopped hall of famer eddie tatp, who is a photographer and artist, a writer, a teacher there I'm not sure there's anything that he can't do and that will be up tomorrow. So in any event, going back to scott scott road a guest post for me a year ago, scott now has over one hundred twenty one thousand followers um the most followed photographer on twitter and just remarkable background in terms of social media and scott did a pope guest post for me on ten things to make your blog's and tweets more effective and they're really good some of emerges comments affect their almost of emerges common sense let's start with the first one blog's podcast in social media's apps sites when combined are ten times more effective than when used along so you want to play off of those jared when you put a new post up, put a tweet out that says great new post it may only be of interest to a select group like the their own estate again the snohomish wedding tour but it gets the message out and it keeps you active in social media remember that you need to be accessible to communicate we talked about that yesterday even terms your contact information pay attention to your messages pay attention to your tweets stream you've got to be accessible you've got to be out there, you've got to make yourself available to people respond to your audience when they ask for help or ask a sincere question that's really important in fact, that was a good one this morning from let's see educated savage is her name on twitter and she was asking the question about we talked yesterday about personal personal work and she asked the question about well my person I'm a portrait photographer my personal work is horror now I think she meant she's documenting things that air horrific I hope that's what she meant and she wanted no how does it fit you know, should I be posting that should tie that back into my website should have it on my block and the same answer we said yesterday remember who your audience is? Just be careful and think about what you're posting what you're showing on your website needs to be effective with who your audience is and this goes back to the line I'm going to say fur about the eighth time if I can see the world through my client's eyes I can sell my client but my client buys so be helpful when they ask a question I love number four ignore your audience when they're complaining, do their faults believe that they're entitled to something from you other than the free gift to give them of your time? Sooner or later everybody is going to walk into a troll don't fight with him don't give them the time don't put him in the spotlight there are people out there that think they have a right to everybody's time yours mine you don't have to give up that time you don't have to give up that right? Did you pick up that? Because you're about to comment well, I want to ask of that idea of trolls you know it spills outside of social media sometimes people believe that they're entitled to more how do you respond to that? And when it's a little more personal than social media, I think it's some point you confront the troll I had, I had an attack about no, I'm guessing it's about three years ago and it's really interesting because I got I got attacked in a public forum about something that somebody felt that I had done in the way I had handled their customer service situation and what's really interesting is that I just I responded in public saying, you know, if I did it I apologize I'm sorry, I don't remember doing it and I'm willing to bet there's more to the story and then it was interesting because what happens based on the strength of your network, you guys know that if somebody comes after you in any kind of forum that a lot of your friends will jump to your aid and that's what happened in that one in this particular one um I remember cliff mountain are jumping in and saying, wait a minute, you know, that doesn't sound like something skip would do but was really effective is when I saw that particular person in a show six eight months later and confronted them face to face they had absolutely nothing to say I didn't even remember doing it oh no skip you know, I doubt that doesn't sound like me the reality is that people are lying there's some people that are just lions hiding behind the anonymity of their computer screen and when they don't see it so I would confront them without being confrontational if that makes sense and just going I mean jared, I I know you well enough that if somebody really did aggravate malady that you'd still go on approach it in kind of a nice way going you know, what is this all about? What can can we resolve it? How can what can I do to fix it? What made you feel that way but that's the problem in so many of these things and so many issues with with trolls relate from bad information as well where they don't have all the facts and they're jumping on something because of piece of it and we've all done it we all forget to count to ten or or wait a day before posting something I did comment I don't know if other photographers or filmmakers have this issue, but I find myself wanting to blogged my fellow craftsman because I feel we have a lot in common and it's comfortable new camera came out everyone's excited but your clients are excited about it. Maybe so is there is there a way to get on the level of your clients as opposed to your fellow professionals? I don't know this there are a lot of times, especially in your business where party a target audience is the business commercial video side so there are times when you're talking about a new cameron something new that those two past can cross I don't see it is a is a huge issue which you want to be careful of is putting up a post that says, oh my god, I just dealt with the dumbest client who couldn't understand why, you know we went three minutes and ten seconds instead of two minutes and forty nine seconds you want to be careful on dh not put tweets out there or post rather that they're going to come back that reveal some of the magic behind what it is you do for a business so you just want to keep them that way, and you might want to have it some point you might want to have a separate blogger that talks about technology and goes towards a totally different audience where you might not be able to mix your audience. That kind of makes sense. Okay, um, number five on the list, try to use your blawg podcast and twitter sites to solve problems. Everyone likes a problem solver, nothing more to say on that one. Give back solve problems, be consistent. We really already talked about that blogger pas cash once every hour or every day or every other day or every other week, whatever it is you're doing, just be consistent. So I said earlier, in terms of blogging post at least twice a week, if you expect the blawg to have any kind of traffic, I would post maura often if you could do five days a week, then I would go for it. But don't let your blawg become who you are in terms of just dominating your time it's difficulty, but there's so many things you can do, I use wordpress, which is just great for being able to stack up some blog's in terms of different topics so that some of them are very fresh and every now and then there's one I've actually done that morning, most of them might be done a couple days earlier that just relate to something that I'm talking about don't spend too much time worrying about s ceo in search marketing when your first, especially when you're first getting started. Now, at some point, you need to pay attention to ceo and ecm and all the things that I said I wasn't going to cover in terms of this marketing program for two days and that's important, but at least when you're getting started in blogging and tweeting, don't get too wrapped up in some of that because you're you're traffic is going to build and follow. I do have a question on this, and I know you don't want to dive into it, so just tell me yes or no, no, but right now my site is really buried, and I'm really working really, really hard on my s e o does blogging and prove that? Oh, I absolutely believe it does. Okay, it's, it's all a piece of it, but consistently blogging, right? Anything that points an arrow somewhere during the day to something you're doing helps build traffic. Okay, this is the second part of that question because I really I'm not a writer either that's why I'm a photographer because I don't like punctuation and grammar. Um and that's why my my blogging is not up to date and I'm not good with it. So would you recommend if I'm doing a bunch of these press releases because it's not informative to, you know, helping the client's anything like that it's just about community involvement and would you recommend posting those is a blogger trying to use those topics? It depends I mean, I've used some when we when we did the going pro project and when we were doing that differently than we're doing it now there are some press releases that we actually ran changing the wording a little bit to make them a little bit less oh, a publicity release is very self centered it's supposed to be it's about you, so to make it a little more helpful their components of it that we might pull out so you could pull out components of that you could pull out components of things you might have written for something else I mean in your case having been a documentary producer on a television channel, there are things that you might want to pull out from your past that relate to being able to tell the story being able to screen ah particular client or project there things that you that you could bring into this that might create some good post for you to use that came out of your past that just relate it's relevant to the community and what you're doing now even though it might have been done five years ago ten years ago that relate to something I mean your experience in and working with people there are things that happened over the years I'm sure that would be great block material and things that you might have written about that you could also add to that to build your content um when you first start out in blog's podcasting on social media listen first talk second that's a really good one in fact that applies to just about everything it was the best advice of friend gave me when I got the job is president hasselblad I went in there it just arrogant is khun b thinking I know what I'm going to change and I want up spending the first few months just listening and learning and getting to understand what the issues were and it's really interesting how much my opinion of things changed after I really understood more about business when you launch you'll have very few people in your audience just be patient it grows and suddenly it's you know you've got ten people and suddenly wake up one morning and you've got one hundred one hundred becomes a thousand and then suddenly you've got nine thousand six hundred thirty seven and you're working to get to ten thousand this is my most favorite out of that be generous if you think about it your most valuable commodity everybody's this time it's the one thing we never have enough of be generous with your time your knowledge and your gifts and when you when you tweet and you develop a consistent blogging style and you've got these post coming up and you're helping your community this is about you giving back this is about everybody being generous with their time and in terms of where you find all of those I'm on skips photo network dot com scott is on photo focus dot com and photo resource hub dot com is the is the new block let's take a quick look at contact pages yes can we ask you some questions about that last section that would be awesome you can't I'm all done on a question from kelli trumble branson are in branson I think montana maybe I've seen a lot of wedding photographers use a well done facebook page and it seems to work kind of like a blogger without the overhead and maintenance of wordpress set up any thoughts on that yeah I think they're both good I'm I happen to like I happen to like a block because it gives me access to a wider audience and people can come into it to me they can come into it much easier than facebook I have I'm on facebook I have my my facebook page and I hit my five thousand followers and then I went to start a fan page, because facebook cuts you off it five thousand and my problem was that I just didn't get it maintained, but you absolutely can use it. I think you have more flexibility, so I think the trade off to a full fledged blawg page gives you more flexibility to do more things better than just a good, solid facebook page, but you could absolutely do both all right question from duke in park city about blog's what about comments increasing engagement versus distracting noise or a sign that the blogger doesn't have much traffic? I'm not really sure I don't know if that's really a sign that it doesn't have my traffic I mean, I have I have good traffic, and a lot of times I have post that have no comments at all. One thing on comments definitely set up your blog's so you can screen your comments. I've been hit with a wave of spam pieces lately that I want to give me a lower mortgage rate that give me earning power outside of whatever it is I'm doing. You can absolutely tell that they're coming in from overseas because the english is atrocious, they're always funky names, and they're always there connecting to some website that has absolutely nothing to do with photography, so I would screen your comments. So that you don't let anybody you don't you don't want to let any any post in your your blawg is about your relationship with your community it's about what you want to open your heart to talk about somebody doesn't like it that's absolutely their right, but I would absolutely set yourself up so you could screen comments and that's just really easy because you can click through it takes me two minutes to delete a couple of dozen comments that I know are just spam coming in that are totally irrelevant and they'll always be a lot of them will say really great topic I'm going to mark this, I'm going to bookmark this page and then you see that it's coming from, I don't know somebody in the cosmetic industry or something totally unrelated, so it's just set yourself up to screen them. So skip, we have several folks asking about we were talking earlier about some photographers don't feel that they're strong writers um and sam cox as well as antonio marta's in south beach. Would you recommend doing your block yourself or hiring hiring a blogger to write your content? And then sam asked, could there be, or is there a business opportunity for ghost writing for photography clogs? Well, in a few minutes, you're going to see a website that you are l called ghost writers dot com ghosn t r I g h t r s which is a company that I'm a part of with two other partners and we set it up specifically because photographers needed help writing and it's there to help with blog's bios rewriting resumes just about anything that involves writing as well as cleaning up messes on your website and I need to know that that was not see that I needed you didn't know that on my partners I mean sean harris worked with me it at range finder and matt guards is a great unbelievably talented designer and um what's the website website ghost writers dot com matt's got a lot of great background I actually have it coming up on a slide so that's one opportunity but two photographers that don't want that don't like to write I would go in the direction of what carlos is doing and, you know, posting image if you want to have it make obviously you've got to make sure the image is air great don't post average images because then that becomes a gallery for you of average photographs but post images that air dynamic and put a sentence in or two about them and also it just because blogging is part of social media if you don't want to have a block, you don't have to have one it's just it's perfectly fine there that's one of those spokes I had on that target that michael was in my it was you, or is a bill who talked about the target yesterday? Yesterday's target with the arrows is built so that's, just one of the spokes that are accessible but it's the same way there are. There are hundreds of filters that you can use to change an image on dh, hundreds of settings. You don't have to do everything just because it's out there and available. So if you're really uncomfortable and you really don't want tohave ah, blawg, and you're really not happy writing that's. Ok, don't look for other avenues and use some of those other other spokes on that target to be able to go ahead and get your message out.