“Should wedding photographers be blogging?” This is a question that I was recently asked when I was a guest on the Folio Albums podcast. It was hosted by Stewart Randall, the founder of Folio who used to be a wedding photographer. He explained that blogging was a thing when he worked in weddings but he thought it had died away.
This was peculiar to me. I’ve had my business for over two decades now. Blogging has always played its part in how I market to my ideal customers as a wedding photographer.
Before we get into this topic, I want you to consider this important transmission from me to you. As someone who’s been around for a while and has seen many changes in the industry, I want you to understand on thing. Your website is the only piece of digital real estate that belongs to you.
You have complete control over it, and this is not true anywhere else online that you are putting your marketing efforts.
Should Wedding Photographers Be Blogging?
Can you believe that I’ve had a website for my wedding photography since the year 2000? I’d love to say that I was ahead of the times and a trendsetter. However, the truth is that I was gifted my first website by my first groom. No money changed hands, just this exchange of services. I recall asking what a website would be good for. His response was that people would be able to look at my portfolio on the Internet. I had nothing to lose so gave it a go.
If you are a Millenial or Gen Z then it might be hard to envisage this but back then, there were not many websites around. As the world partied to Prince’s 1999 at the turn of the millennium, just over 3 million websites existed globally. For perspective, there are currently an estimated 1.13 billion.
So if they started out as a means for photographers to have online portfolios, where did the blogging part start to fit in? Like many creative industries, photography is a dynamic career and we want to display our latest work in order to keep progressing. Blog posts are great for this as we can present our own curated selection of images along with some text, influencing who books us and what they expect from us.
Before social media, blogs were how clients were presented with Sneak Peeks (preview images) from their weddings. As these are predominantly posted on social media now, the role of blogging has changed and maybe that is why Stewart thinks that they stopped altogether. And I confess, I did blog much more fastidiously back then. We made these mini ‘reports’ on each wedding that we shot and typically would deliver the full gallery sometime after this.
How To Blog to Attract Your Ideal Couples
The main difference is that now we blog for our future couples, not our past ones. Your blog posts can be set up as bait to hook your preferred customers. Search engines like to see fresh content when they crawl your site and blog posts are ideal for this. They also give you a chance to put your personality and your passions across. Remember that this is your space and you can do what you want with it.
Don’t like staying late at weddings? Don’t show the evening party part of a wedding.
Not fussed about the getting ready part of a wedding day? Don’t show images from then.
The more that you present the parts that you are most passionate about, the more aligned you will become with what customers ask you for. One simple rule and one that can work extremely well is SHOW WHAT YOU WANT TO SHOOT. Future clients are on your blog looking for a sense of what it’s like to work with you, what your personality is like, as well as what kind of images you take.
Tips for Blogging as a Wedding Photographer
- Look for at least one element from each wedding that you can blog about. So maybe the whole thing wasn’t super ideal for what you’d like to move forward with but there’s nearly always a subject that you can pull out that is.
- Do think about SEO – search engine optimisation. Just think about what your kind of customers might input into Google when looking for their wedding venue or photographer. Use these key terms in the title and text of your blog post and I would also include the term in the image names.
- Do blog. Doesn’t matter if you haven’t in ages or you cannot stick to regular slots, just blog. It is never as hard as you think and it can work better than any other marketing that you do. Yes, you should follow some rules but also just getting anything out there is better than never blogging.
- Don’t feel that you have to switch to a more professional voice on this part of your website. Remember you want to get your personality across, so write in your own voice. One trick can be to read the copy aloud. Does it feel awkward to say? Then it’s probably not quite your natural tone.
- Don’t make your content too set in time. So don’t display the dates on your articles, and don’t refer to ‘last weekend I shot this’ or ‘this time of year’. Instead make them as evergreen as you can so that whenever someone finds them in the future, they remain relevant.
Why Should Wedding Photographers Be Blogging?
Finally, once you’ve gone to all that effort of creating a blog post, you can easily extract social media content from it. I copy and paste the text into captions or repurpose the selected images into a social media carousel or reel. One blog post can be harvested for multiple pieces of content across multiple platforms. This gives you a consistent brand voice online and you can encourage people over to your site to do a deeper dive into your content.
Remember, once you get them onto your website, you have some control over what happens. So think about what appears at the bottom of your blog posts. Do you send people to check out a list of other suppliers? Chances are they won’t return so instead, place a Call To Action Button there that encourages them to look at your pricing page or to get in touch with you.
I got together with the wonderful photographer Katie Rogers who is a much more conscientious blogger than me, to host a class online called Be A Better Blogger. Katie has come up with a simple formula that helps with what to write on our blogs. If this is something you struggle with, then I recommend having a look.