While most of us think of Photodex as the leader in slideshow software, if you follow their blog, they’re a leader in education. “Kathy” is always sharing ideas and other websites/blogs to help you build a stronger skill set. Well, as I thought about what to share on Photodex Friday. I started to think about one of the biggest complaints I hear all the time from photographers who have a blog:
“But Skip, there’s nothing to write about!”
Okay, so it’s time to change that – here are eight great ideas to help you build content, but remember, consistency is the key to a great blog and if you’re not posting on a regular basis you’ll lose readership faster than you gain it. I always recommend you start out with at least two days a week. Your goal is at least five, but for now, let’s get you consistently posting.
- Photo Tips: A great blog is about being helpful. You do things every day that you take for granted when it comes to capturing images. So, let’s share some of those ideas. Remember in the portrait social categories of photography; women make 98% of the purchase decisions – so this is your way of helping Mom get better pictures of her kids and family, and your tips are almost endless. Here are some examples:
- Share a composition tip with how to set up the subjects. Let’s get away from firing squad lineups.
- Talk about lighting and fill flash – even on a cell phone, the flash can make a difference.
- Remind them to move in close – what you see is what you get is a great reminder.
- Give tips on storytelling – get them thinking about how their images can tell a story.
- Cameras and kids – remind them to put the camera in the hands of the kids now and then for a different perspective.
- Community Profiles: This is one of my favorites. Get out there and do some environmental portraits of some of the key people at places you love to visit. For example, everybody has a favorite pizza place in town. Do a portrait of the chef, waiter/waitress, owner, etc. All you need is the image together with a 30-50 word post. The fun of this is that when you run it on your blog, they’re going to see it and share it. It’s a great way to show your skill set and at the same time create a small ambassador network. And, this applies to EVERY establishment you visit – product guys, pharmacists, dry cleaners – there’s nobody not in the potential circle of community members.
- Photo Ideas: The easiest is holiday cards, but give people ideas on things to do with images. This is like the old “Subliminal Man” theme on Saturday Night Live because you’re reminding everybody you’re a photographer as well.
- Great Gift Ideas: One call to your lab and asking the question, “What’s new?” and you’ll have a whole series of ideas to share with your audience.
- Places to Shoot: Every photographer has a series of locations around town where you like to photograph. Share some of those locations. This also gives you a chance to show some of your work whether it’s from portrait sittings, engagement sessions or just fun landscape images.
- Community Events: Just like the old town crier in the 1700s, help get get the word out on events coming up that are of interest to your readership. Again, this is where Mom comes in, and you have the ability to have a lot of influence. Plus, with some of the events, you’ll be putting yourself in a role of support for the sponsoring organization and be building a relationship at the same time.
- Camera Gear: Share ideas on camera gear including lenses and accessories. You’ve got an incredible level of expertise as a photographer. Use it to help your readership capture better images of their own.
- Pet Profiles: The hierarchy of why people hire a photographer goes brides, babies, pets for the top three. Doing pet profiles can eventually tie in every pet owner in the community, and it’s fun content to share a “Pet of the Week” kind of profile. Again, each pet owner becomes an ambassador for your blog and each image shows a little more of your expertise as a professional photographer.
Put these ideas together with sharing images from past sessions and next build a stash of posts. You don’t have to post everything in real time. Build up a stash of twenty posts and then do a “fresh” piece each week on one day and something from the pipeline on the other.
Consistency is one of the biggest factors in building a successful blog. Put that together with always sharing relevant content and you’ve got two key ingredients for success!
“A blog is only as interesting as the interest shown in others.” – Lee Odden
Skip Cohen is President of SCU, founder of Marketing Essentials International and past president of Rangefinder Publishing and WPPI. He’s been an active participant in the photographic industry since joining Hasselblad USA in 1987 as president. He has co-authored six books on photography and actively supports dozens of projects each year involving photographic education.