January is a big month for making changes and setting goals, isn’t it? We look back at the previous year, evaluate what worked and what didn’t work, and find ways to improve and grow many areas of our lives and businesses. This time of year reminds me of this quote:
“Cheers to a new year and for another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey
I posted this quote in my facebook group last week and asked group members: “What aspect of your blog would you like to “get right” this year?” The resounding answer: blog consistency. It’s no surprise that one of the common goals among photographers is to blog consistently this year. I hear this every single January. Sadly, one year later, photographers look at their blog stats from their previous year with disappointment, set the same goal again for the new year, and hope the new year will be different. Keep reading to find out how you can ensure it *will* be different this time.
We all know that blogging is important, so why is it that so many photographers fail at blogging consistently? Well, according to a survey I recently did in my facebook group, here are five reasons why you don’t blog as consistently as you’d like:
Personally, I think that the reason why most photographers fail at blogging consistently is because they don’t know *why* they need to blog consistently. It’s important to first determine the reason for blogging in order to identify the driving force that will keep you motivated and focused on your blogging goals.
I get it. Blogging is hard. It took me a long time to figure it out. Actually, when I started blogging in 2010, I would include 1-2 sentences as an intro with a handful of images and hit publish. Don’t believe me? Click here to see my first ever blog post. I more or less blogged that way for three years. Then, in 2013, I discovered how important blogging is to driving traffic. That’s also the year I signed up for Google Analytics and began to track the traffic to our website and blog. And that’s also the year that our business started to grow in ways that we never thought possible. Because, my friends, blogging = traffic = exposure = bookings. Blogging is the top reason why, I believe, we were able to grow our business to the point where I felt confident in quitting my $90k/year teaching job last year in order to chase my dream. Writing content for our blog consistently for the past four years has undoubtedly increased our website and blog traffic, put our work in front of more and more potential clients each year, and allowed us to attract our ideal clients.
Now, I’m not a numbers person. I majored in French, minored in Spanish, taught high school for 14 years, and I’m now a full-time photographer. None of that points towards someone who likes to analyze numbers and create graphs BUT I think it’s important to show you how our website/blog traffic has grown since I began tracking it four years ago. Check out the bar graph below, keeping these terms in mind:
You don’t have to be a math whiz in order to see how much our blog has grown since that day in January of 2013 when I started to realize the importance of blogging. Every year, I continue to be amazed by the number of visitors who find us or come back again and again for the content on our blog.
I bet you’re curious about how blogging consistently has translated into bookings. Well, since 2013, we’ve booked an average of 28 weddings per year and last year alone we turned away over 60 weddings, which we referred out to other photographers in our local area. Isn’t it amazing that through our efforts, not only do we get to do what we love but we also get to help other photographers, too? Sadly, many photographers forget why we have a blog in the first place, and because of that, they miss out on an amazing opportunity to grow their businesses while connecting with the people who love their work. Our blog’s greater purpose may be to provide engaging and helpful content for our readers, but, ultimately, our blog exists because we need to generate leads in order to do the job we’re called to do.
Alrighty then. Now that you understand why blogging consistently is key, let’s talk about how you can do it.
First and foremost, you’ll need a blogging strategy. I know that sounds scary but don’t worry, I’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you create your blogging strategy for this year: