Are you lot stuck trying to figure out how to write a proficient weblog postal service that doesn’t sound the same as all your other photography posts? You lot’re not alone, but there are easy ways to discover new topics that your clients volition dearest, and make the blog posts about your professional photography stand up out from the crowd. Here’s how…
Today I’m going to focus on something and then many photographers seem to go stuck on, which is how to write a good web log mail service without sounding like a broken record by maxim the aforementioned things over and over again in every post.
In the previous post in this series, we looked at the important benefits of photography blogs and how you lot tin get more than clients interested in what you do by writing an effective web log, which is evidently great for marketing.
You lot’ve built your photography website with WordPress, simply that’south just the offset…
A lot of people still desire to know what actually goes into producing a practiced post for their photography web log.
For instance, 1 question I hear a lot is if there’s a recipe for creating posts people will want to read and share with their friends.
The other twenty-four hour period, I was talking with a lensman who specializes in kids portraits and when we started talking most her blog she sounded really frustrated with it.
I asked her what her biggest problem was, and she had this to say:
I totally understand the need for a blog, I do, it’s in that location to aid me connect with the right people and help them see more of who I am every bit a person, an artist, and a photographer. So I go that. And, everything went fine the first few times I posted, but and so I realized I was saying the exact same matter every fourth dimension, and couldn’t figure out how to brand my posts different.
I asked her what she meant by,
“e’er proverb the aforementioned thing”?
It’s similar my posts all came out of a cookie-cutter! For example, hither’s the latest session with xyz kids, they were then cute and we all had such a fun time creating the photographs, and mom was over the moon with what we did for her, blah blah apathetic… followed by some photographs. In fact, the photographs were actually the simply things that were different from post to post!
Right, and I bet you’re thinking something similar yourself, aren’t y’all?
The big question, so, is how to write a good blog mail that doesn’t feel similar it came off some kind of mass-production conveyor belt.
While I don’t believe there’s a specific recipe for that, there are nonetheless some guidelines we can follow to make sure we cover all the bases.
Notwithstanding, before we jump into all that, what the heck is a
“good web log post”
What does that phrase really mean, and can it even be quantified in any meaningful way?
Let’s find out…
How To Write A Skilful Blog Post—What Does It Hateful?
If you lot wait around the Internet, at the many blogs out there, and you examine them closely, you lot’ll see a lot of comments like
“awesome article”, but with very picayune to say about what was so great or crawly nigh the actual content.
Such comments were obviously not intended as genuine compliments to the author, just were left simply to get a link or to tap into the mail as a potential source of visitors to their ain website. That’south actually only ane level above existence spam, and definitely non the way to go about creating any serious appointment with other bloggers, and it really does nada to establish the postal service in question as being bang-up or crawly, regardless of whether it is or not.
Clearly, we can’t rely on the comments to find a proficient post so, in the context of what we’re talking near today, I would ascertain a
web log mail service but every bit:
A post that delivers on the promise the author makes in the championship in a way the intended audience finds valuable or entertaining, and which fulfills the goal the author was seeking to reach.
In other words, it’s all about results – both for the reader and the photographer.
A blog post that does all that will usually have a good number of social shares, a reasonable number of thoughtful comments that add value (if the weblog has comments enabled), and will pull its weight in the marketing effort for the photographer who wrote it.
I’ll talk a chip more about what constitutes a
for the reader, and the kinds of goals you might have in only a few minutes.
But start, there’s something of import we demand to talk about that often gets in the way for a lot of photographers, and tin can fifty-fifty prevent some people from blogging to begin with.
Don’t Worry (Too Much) About SEO
is search engine optimization and, earlier you tune out on me here, I’1000 going to say straight out that y’all do
need to worry (at least very much) about doing SEO on your blog posts.
Wait, what was that?
Yes, you lot read that correctly—SEO is more often than not pointless for the vast majority of the weblog posts you’ll exist writing for your photography business.
But, Nigel, isn’t SEO ane of the
reasons why blogging is important to begin with? Everyone keeps saying how much Google loves blogs and how SEO-friendly WordPress is, and all that kind of thing!
Aye, it’s truthful that Google loves blogs because WordPress typically has adept SEO, and the search engine optimization you
be doing actually applies more to your static pages, such as the website content, often-asked questions pages, and whatever special resource pages that you create for your audience.
At that place’due south more on this topic in the SEO For Photographers Made Unproblematic guide.
It might help to support a little hither for the benefit of those who might non be 100% familiar with how WordPress deals with your website and web log content.
Substantially, at that place are ii principal types of content in WordPress:
brand up the diary-style entries on your web log, and tin be idea of as existence like to news stories. These would exist posts about your latest projects or sessions, press releases and studio news, collaborations with other vendors, and random musings from you, the photographer.
agree content that we remember of as evergreen. With the exception of sales pages for limited-time offers, they typically have content that’south independent of when it’due south seen by the user, such as your
page, contact folio, services and session information, and answers to frequently-asked questions.
If you remember to use posts and pages in their proper context, so you simply need to do whatever serious SEO on pages, but it’s mostly wasted on posts.
But why? Surely, using my important keywords in posts likewise as pages can’t do any harm, right?
Really, doing SEO on blog posts for a small photography business doesn’t actually help all that much. As well, if done incorrectly (which is rare, just however possible), it can actually injure your search engine rankings.
As a pocket-size business organisation that operates inside a limited geographical area, the number of useful keywords you can realistically target is pretty small, so it’southward not going to exist very long before y’all first repeating keywords in your blog posts. Unfortunately, optimizing multiple posts for the same keywords confuses Google and actually dilutes the results you want for the pages that should rank for those phrases.
For example, if you lot’re a portrait lensman hither in Memphis, it’s tempting to simply add the words,
“Memphis portrait photographer”
to the end of every blog mail title and in the posts themselves, but Google is going to see that as a blatant attempt to manipulate the search rankings. As a result, the actual folio on your website that’southward supposed to rank for that phrase could finish upwardly being penalized or suffer a drop in ranking.
In short, unless your weblog post talks about a topic that does have SEO value for your website that you haven’t already covered elsewhere, and then you don’t need to worry about SEO besides much.
That’due south actually skilful news, right?
It Still Helps To Use The WordPress SEO Plugin
With all that said, I
recommend you install and use the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast on your blog. You lot’ll obviously need it when yous create pages, merely you’ll still utilize nearly of the plugin functions on your posts, with the exception of the
“focus keyword”, which is used only when you actually want to optimize a piece of content for a specific keyword phrase.
I’ll come back to the SEO plugin information you need in a few minutes, simply let’s become started with how to write a good blog mail that informs and engages your customers and prospects.
How To Write A Practiced Blog Post: Getting Started
Have you ever had this happen to you?
You’re ready to beginning publishing a new post on your photography blog, so y’all sit down at your figurer and stare at the empty screen for a couple of minutes, not sure where to brainstorm.
This is where the self-uncertainty starts to set in, otherwise known as writer’s cake, and it’due south easy to allow yourself to go distracted past everything else, except the chore at mitt. You start to worry about what to write, and the whole affair feels a chip overwhelming.
Take a deep breath, and don’t take this and then seriously that information technology becomes a massive headache! Remember, this is meant to exist a friendly piece of content that connects with people, not a major example of literary history.
Relax And Remember This is NOT A Writing Competition!
The first thing to do is relax and remind yourself that this isn’t some kind of writing contest!
Yous’re non being judged on how y’all write as much as on what you lot have to say and how you make people experience and, even then, there’s very little happening in the minds of your readers that nosotros could really call
A lot of the photographers I talk to tell me they take large issues seeing themselves as being able to write, whether that’southward for their blog or the content on the rest of their website, but the master issue seems to be the natural tendency we have to think nosotros have to be in some special
“writing frame of mind”
in order to do this properly, which is really non the example at all.
Quite the opposite, in fact!
As counterintuitive every bit this sounds, the more you relax and cease
to write, the easier it gets – and the all-time way to exercise that more easily is to practice, correct?
Imagine You’re Talking To Your Favorite Client
I way to make your writing experience more like an breezy conversation than a stiff blog mail service is to imagine having that conversation with your favorite client or platonic customer.
As a personal example, I’ve noticed that the engagement on my own posts has increased considerably since I started writing them with the aim of speaking the content in the grade of a podcast.
To do that, I just imagine I’m talking with someone specific, and so allow the words flow naturally, rather than trying to write in the more formal way I might use for a serious newspaper.
Now, is all this easy?
No, but it’s not that hard either, and practise definitely helps yous to improve over fourth dimension.
Define Your Goal For Your Mail
With the constraint of trying to write formally removed, you can focus on what you desire to talk about and what the goal of your web log post is going to be.
It’south important to know, before you start, what the purpose of your post is – what do you desire the reader to do after they finish, for example, and how does this postal service fit into your overall marketing programme?
Information technology may be that you lot don’t have a money-related goal in mind, such equally booking a session with you, and that’s fine, but so you should at to the lowest degree have something that moves the reader further along your marketing funnel, such every bit calculation themselves to your email marketing list, or engaging with y’all on social media.
The i thing you lot
want to practise is accept them finish reading your postal service so find themselves hanging with no clear next stride. In that case, they’re more likely to leave your website altogether and they may not come up back any time before long, if at all.
How To Write A Good Blog Postal service: 7 Easy Steps
As I mentioned at the beginning, I don’t think in that location’south a definitive recipe for creating the perfect blog post, but I take identified vii distinct steps yous can follow to help you avoid missing out anything important.
#1: What To Write Almost And How To Make Information technology Different
It’s very tempting to think that, since you’re a photographer, the only things yous can write nigh have to do with the bodily photography projects y’all have going on, right?
In fact, I get 2 or 3 emails every calendar week from photographers who feel trapped in a Catch-22 state of affairs because they want to use their blog to concenter new people but they currently have no jobs to web log about. They have no piece of work on the books because they have no work to talk near on their blogs.
Here’due south simply one instance:
If you know your platonic customers very well, what they like and what’south important to them, you can find resources and information they would be interested in and and so apply that every bit a ground for your own content. I don’t hateful but re-create it verbatim, but yous tin put your ain spin on information technology and add your opinions and ideas, or fifty-fifty curate the original content by linking out to it alongside your editorial comments.
Pinterest is a really good source of inspiration for this, and yous can fifty-fifty create your own infographics and visual content that can exist shared by and with your ideal customers that will keep people coming back to your blog.
But, I know you do desire to avoid the situation I talked about at the starting time where every web log postal service feels like information technology came from a cookie-cutter, and there are some easy ways to practise that:
- Compile your ain dictionary of emotionally-charged words and interchange them in your content to keep it fresh and exciting.
- Talk to your clients in depth before, during, and after the project and then include brusk quotes from them in your blog posts.
- Use testimonials from your clients – more on that in a minute.
- Open upwards almost your own personal thoughts about the projection or session.
- Draw the scene in particular and call up to apply all the senses. The sense of aroma, for example, is ane of the nigh powerful at evoking memories attached to emotions, and it fifty-fifty works very well in the written form.
I know this might seem like a challenge at first, but if y’all stick with it, you’ll find it energizes you and starts to feel like fun, which is great because that will smooth through in your writing, making it more engaging still.
#2: Take Care Of The Meta Information
Dealing with the post meta data might seem like a giant yawn-fest, and it’south certainly not the nigh exciting part of writing a good blog postal service.
Only it does pay to make sure information technology’s done right, fifty-fifty though we’re not actually concerned with the SEO aspects of it, as I mentioned earlier.
Here’s a screenshot of the typical WordPress SEO snippet editor with some suggestions on how to use each part:
Apply A Tricky Postal service Title
The post title is normally what your readers see as the main headline for your blog post, then yous should brand this descriptive and interesting. It’s often been said that the main function of any headline is but to take hold of the reader’s attention and compel her to read the first line of the re-create, so it’due south worth spending some time to write something more engaging than
“Baby Portraits by Memphis Baby Lensman”.
Tidy Up The SEO Championship
The SEO title is a picayune dissimilar because that’s the title Google cares most. Although we’re not really concerned with keywords in our blog postal service titles, you should still attempt to fit your SEO title into the recommended amount of space and so that information technology doesn’t get cutting off when displayed in search results. The WordPress SEO plugin does a good job of helping with that.
The Meta Description = A Mini-Ad
Adding a compelling meta description to your blog post is also worthwhile, and you should remember of it as a mini-advertizement for your post because the meta description shows upward in search results and also on social media. Keywords are not necessary in the meta clarification, and so you can use that space to brand a pitch for your mail service, equally information technology were.
Humans Like Readable URLs Too
Another piece you desire to pay attention to is the URL of your post, often chosen the permalink or slug. This is unremarkably a place where we put keywords for SEO purposes only, more chiefly in the case of a regular web log post, you want to create URL’s that are readable by a man being, as they can be a good signal of what your postal service is nearly.
Brand Your Post Easy To Share
With social media beingness such a huge office of our lives these days, yous’d call back we’d accept the mechanics of sharing our content all figured out, but the reality isn’t quite as pretty as that.
Each social network seems to have its own way of interpreting the posts nosotros share, and their requirements for the meta data they wait for in gild to do that, but we can take care of most of it with something called
“open graph meta information”.
In the WordPress SEO plugin, at that place’s a
tab where you can enter most of this data, and that seems to work for almost situations, then do brand sure you fill that out, especially for Facebook.
For example, you tin specify a Facebook-specific championship and description if yous desire to.
Only the most important element is the prototype Facebook displays whenever the post is shared. At the time of writing this, the preferred prototype size is 1200 x 627 pixels, and then you lot’ll need to create an image using those dimensions and then upload it to WordPress in the social tab of the SEO plugin on your mail. The image isn’t actually shown in the post itself, merely is used by Facebook as the thumbnail when the post is displayed in the news feed.
The odd human being out in the social networks, at least information technology seems that way to me, is Pinterest.
While y’all tin can pivot just about any epitome on Pinterest, and there are some good plugins to aid people do that, the images that tend to perform best on Pinterest are tall vertical images, rather than horizontal ones. For that reason, information technology may make sense to create an epitome specifically for sharing on Pinterest, and so utilise the Pinterest widget builder to create the necessary code you can then paste into the postal service, along with the epitome, equally a pin-it button.
#3: Get-go With A Featured Paradigm
It’due south time to move on to the post itself, and some tips on how to make it more engaging or to improve its operation with respect to the goal yous want the postal service to attain.
At present, at that place are loads of ways to go most this, and then I’thou non laying downwards whatever kind of rules here, simply guidelines to get yous thinking almost all this.
I’m sure you can find other strategies that work equally well or even better, and you lot can even adapt what I’m sharing here. Merely, if you’re stuck at the offset, and you accept no thought where to start, this should aid.
First, I recommend starting out with a prominent featured epitome.
Many WordPress themes display the featured epitome y’all set up for the post at the pinnacle as a kind of mast caput, which is groovy for setting the scene.
If your theme doesn’t do that, don’t worry, y’all tin can still manually include an prototype at the kickoff of your mail service, preferably a horizontal photograph that occupies the full width of the screen, but don’t forget to include suitable ALT and Title text.
You tin can also use the caption on your featured image to introduce the topic of the commodity, or as an excerpt that gets people interested in reading more.
#4: Create A Rhythm In the Text And Get in Easy To Read
Having decided what to write about, you now need to actually write the text for your blog post.
At this point, don’t become caught upwardly in the complex technicalities of writing – just relax, and say what you want in the aforementioned manner you would if the reader were sitting in that location having a fun chat with you over a cup of coffee.
Yes, you should write effectually 300 words or more, but that’s not hard to do, specially if you take some time to retrieve about how you desire people to feel when they read what y’all accept to say and your photographic stories.
At present, this side by side function is where it gets a lilliputian difficult to explicate, just I’ll endeavour my all-time because this really impacts the readability of your mail service. It also affects how long people will spend on information technology, equally well as the chances of them taking the action you desire them to at the finish.
Nosotros’ve all seen those blog posts that expect like one gigantic mass of hard-to-read text in huge paragraphs with hardly any breaks.
How piece of cake would you lot say those are to read online?
Not very, right?
That’s because the manner we read online is very different to how nosotros read a book, and long paragraphs that take upwards a large part of the screen only arrive harder.
At most, proceed your paragraphs to 3 sentences, and try to vary the length of your paragraphs to create plenty of breaks for the reader’s eye every bit they navigate the page.
You tin even utilize single-judgement paragraphs.
Or, ones with merely a few words.
Writing like this creates a certain rhythm to your mail service and, although I’ve not formally studied this, I have a feeling that everyone develops their own signature rhythm according to their personality, style, and voice, kind of like a fingerprint.
Go along The Left Reading Edge Clean
Something I only discovered recently is the thought of keeping the left reading edge of the mail service clean by not interrupting it with left-aligned images where the text wraps around the right of the image.
Apparently, doing that disturbs the visual anchor in the reader’due south mind, causing them to get more distracted or fifty-fifty to lose their place.
It’s okay, though, to have pocket-size images aligned to the right, as that preserves the left reading edge and doesn’t seem to have the same negative effect.
Create Visual Stop Points
A lot of people will also scan the text of your mail service to pick out the key points, so you lot tin use sub-headings, block quotes, bold, and italics to create visual checkpoints, every bit it were, that interrupt the scanning process and encourage the reader to wearisome down and avert missing something important.
#five: Using Photographs In The Post Itself
Let’s talk well-nigh using photographs in the post for a moment – since we’re photographers trying to showcase our work, this is evidently an important function of it, right?
The first affair I’ll say here is to delight try not to go crazy with photographs in your posts!
Every day, I encounter web log posts with about 30 words of text followed by 20 or more photos, ane after another, only this is a wasteful and ineffective way to show off your images. I’ve compared information technology in the by to watching a failed fireworks display where all the fireworks go off at in one case – it might be spectacular in some ways, but it’s also overwhelming for the viewer.
Instead, care for your photographs like the amazing ambassadors they are for your business, and choose the absolute all-time three to five images to include in your post. If you practise want to include more than photos, y’all tin can always create a slideshow of those as a video or a Slide Share presentation.
What Are Your Photographs Near?
And, whatsoever y’all do, don’t simply dump your photos into the post and expect the readers to instinctively understand the story you’re trying to tell.
Instead, write a descriptive caption that tells the story happening outside the frame also equally within information technology, and remember to use descriptive ALT and TITLE text on your photographs.
I already mentioned the importance of fugitive left-aligned images, but information technology’due south perfectly fine to center them or take them right-aligned, with the text on the left.
On a side-note, WordPress allows you lot to brand images clickable every bit hyperlinks, but it’s all-time to avert having that link get to the image itself, which creates a browser window with merely the image in it. Non only does that disrupt the user feel on the blog, it breaks the reader’s attention on your mail service, which tin impact the completion of your goal.
Then, unless yous desire the image to link to another page or post, I recommend you ready it to no link.
#six: Harness The Ability Of Testimonials
While we’re on the topic of using photographs, it can exist immensely useful to include client testimonials from the clients in those photos to provide social proof for readers, also as give the customer’s perspective of their actual experience.
You can as well include testimonials in your posts whenever you talk well-nigh a specific benefit or feature of the experience you lot had with the project or session you’re blogging about.
I would also advise including testimonials in the posts straight, rather than linking out to another folio created just for testimonials, considering you want readers to continue reading the postal service wherever possible.
And, to aid testimonials stand out from the rest of the re-create, you lot can apply a different font and size, or include the testimonial in some kind of a break-out box or in a cake quote.
#vii: Remember The Call To Activity
Finally, the last (but definitely not least) thing to remember most in your blog post is the call to action.
This is where you lot effort to become your readers to consummate the goal you fix out for your blog post, and where and so many people trip up considering they surrender to the demand to not exist seen every bit blatant marketers or perceived as hyped-up sales people.
We all really need to get over that one.
Your blog is there to back up your business organization, which needs leads and clients for it to survive, right? So this is no fourth dimension to be overly-cautious or hesitant about trying to make that happen.
The trouble is, almost people (ourselves included here) surf the web in a somewhat semi-somnolent state. They’re not actually asleep, just they’re in some kind of mental state where clicking around a website is near on auto-pilot. They’re browsing effectually, but not really paying full attention virtually of the time, so it’southward very easy for them to miss a call to action unless it’due south blindingly obvious.
For that reason, it must stand out on its own, and shouldn’t just alloy into the background.
A adept call to action is strong, clear, to the indicate, and leaves no room for ambivalence.
Now, you don’t have to go all retro on this and resort to flashing text in obnoxious colors that scrolls across the page, or anything similar that, but it should be obvious to the reader that yous desire her to practise something, and what that something is.
Also, take a look at the finished post and be aware of any page elements that might be near to the call to action that might distract the reader or lead them off downwardly a path where they tin can get needlessly distracted.
How To Write A Skilful Weblog Mail service: A Summary
When I start started to call back about how to answer the question of how to write a skillful blog post, I had no thought at that place would be quite and then much to it, and we’ve barely fifty-fifty scratched the surface here – I’1000 sure you have more questions about some of these answers than yous did when nosotros started, right?
Just to recap what I’ve talked about hither, I looked at why photographers struggle with writing weblog posts that are unique, and some ways you can brand that happen.
I as well gave you 7 steps you can follow to write a good blog post every fourth dimension without spending your life chained to your keyboard:
- Involve your clients and their interests to make each post different…
- Craft your meta data to back up the human needs of your posts…
- Outset with a featured image to attract interest and set the scene…
- Give your writing a natural rhythm that carries the reader forth…
- Use photographs in your posts intelligently and with a purpose…
- Put testimonials to piece of work for you lot and tell the story of the experience people savour with you…
- Recall to include a stiff and clear phone call to action for the goal of your post…
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