BLOGS VS. WEBSITES
Just to be clear, a blog is an area of your
website where you post fresh content
regularly. The rest of your website is where
you typically post relatively static content,
like biographical information, your contact
information and your primary image galleries.
Other static content might include articles
and information. Some of that content can be
referred to as evergreen content, which refers
to the kind of content that stays relevant for
long periods of time—often for many years (or
forever, if you keep it updated).
WHAT’S CHANGED IN
To be honest, blogging isn’t very fun for many
photographers. In fact, I feel that blogging is
overly time-consuming, retouching is laborious,
writing is difficult and blog posts, in general, are
no longer as popular as they once were.
Every year I teach hundreds of
photographers about SEO and the business
of photography, and I’m frequently asked
by students if they should blog more, start
blogging, continue blogging or give up
blogging altogether. Since every studio
is different, I can’t provide everyone with
a perfect, one-size-fits-all answer to those
important questions. However, I believe I can
share some thoughts that might help you
devise a blogging strategy that’s just right for
you and your business.
Blog posts are commonly considered the
ideal method for sharing new content. In the
past, at least anecdotally, they’ve also been
held up as one of the most popular areas of
photographer websites. I now believe that
latter statement may no longer be true.
When blogs were considered innovative
marketing, newly engaged couples,
prospective clients and other photographers
all flocked to your website to check out your
latest blog post. Now, unless you’re a popular
photographer with a loyal following, most blog
posts receive a much smaller percentage of
visitor traffic than the rest of your website.
With that in mind, it might be a bit harder
to find the motivation necessary to write a
blog post that in many cases will only be
viewed by a few people.
There are dozens of reasons that could
explain this change in behavior, but I think
that it’s best explained by visitor behavior. I
believe that your prospective clients want to
first determine if you’re a good photographer—
usually by viewing your most prominent
image galleries relevant to their needs. Then
they want to know how much you charge, or
at least get a general idea as to your starting
price. And finally, if they’re still interested,
visitors want to contact you to find out if you’re
available and how they can book your services.
For visitors seeing your work for the first
time, I contend that they aren’t going to
be looking at your most recent blog entry.
Likewise, they won’t be digging into the posts
you’ve published over the last several years.
This means that your portfolio, pricing
and contact info are the most important
pages to the most important people—your
first-time visitors. To confirm this hypothesis,
check your Google Analytics account to see
if those traffic patterns hold true for your own
website. (Note that your website architecture
and clickable buttons may skew those results
depending on how your blog posts are
accessed and whether your image galleries
are integrated into your blog.)
IS IT GOOD TO BLOG?
It’s a known fact that fresh content is
appealing to search engines, and there’s
probably no better place to post your fresh
content than on your blog. So blogging is
good, right? The answer to that question is
yes. And no. And it depends.
If you’re a photographer who creates
unoriginal posts that aren’t optimized and that
only include a sentence-long introduction, then
you’re unlikely to be seeing large rewards from
your efforts even if you’re posting every day.
Using fewer words will save you time, but
if you’re hoping to see your post appear in
important search engine positions, that kind
of short-form content isn’t going to get you to
the finish line. You must do the work.
And if you’re doing the work, why not do
the work on your website where it will live
forever rather than on a blog where it will
eventually become less and less important as
Content is content.
That’s a stupidly obvious statement, right?
Of course it is. Let me use more words to say
the same thing.
Whether you create a perfectly SEO-optimized blog post or a perfectly SEO-optimized piece of evergreen content, you’ve
still created something that search engines will
love. Content can live anywhere and still meet
the needs of your visitors and search engines.
With all things being equal, I think it’s
easier and more effective to infrequently
create amazingly awesome, long-form
evergreen content than it is to frequently
create short-form blog posts. And in business,
I’m all about making life easy.
There’s no right or wrong answer to
blogging or not blogging, but if you’re one
of those photographers who really hates
blogging, these ideas and alternatives might
keep you from doing something that you
really don’t want to do.
Rob Greer is a Los Angeles photographer
specializing in weddings, portraits and
product photography. He’s also the founder
of Good Gallery, a website platform for
OF THOSE TOP 10 REASONS, writing blog
posts to improve search engine positions
is the most commonly cited reason. And
that’s certainly true when SEO techniques
like keyword research, content writing
and image optimization are correctly and
Signals that the