Do Photographers Need to Blog?
Yes, yes you totally, absolutely do. Instagram lets you share a few photos, but doesn’t let you give your viewers and followers a personalized experience. The whole idea of having a blog is that it’s an extension of yourself and you’re going to use this extension for making the most of what the internet offers. With blog content, you can easily share SEO (search engine optimization) rich content, be able to come up higher in search results for photographers in your genre, and also be able to create content with a lot of social value.
Instagram can only do that on its own platform. Essentially, it’s like a different version of your own zine.
SEO Value vs Social Value
So when you go about creating blog content, you’ve obviously got to have some sort of intention. Your content will typically lean towards one or the other: SEO rich content or social value. Sometimes pieces can have both types of value but generally speaking your content is going to lean towards one or the other.
So to go further into this, let’s compare two photographers who are blogging: Chris Burkard and Ben Von Wong.
Chris Burkard uses Tumblr and shares photos of his adventures. His images get a lot of notes and interaction on Tumblr. He doesn’t really share those posts on his Facebook page but instead uses Tumblr to interact with the actual Tumblr community. It keeps him in front of that audience. He tailors a message for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too.
But you don’t know a whole lot about him and his personality. You see the photos he makes–and you can see that anywhere. So while Chris’ posts have a lot of social media value, they don’t really have a whole lot of SEO value. Instead, Chris, like many other photographers at his level, rely a lot on marketing and networking.
Again though, his blog content can easily live anywhere else.
Ben Von Wong on the other hand is an absolute master of photography blogging. He’s producing organic, living content designed to live on a specific platform and that can’t really exist anywhere else. When he talks about his shoots, he shares them to social media platforms, sends emails out to the gatekeepers of the industry, puts together YouTube videos, etc. He makes a big deal out of it all.
Ben networks, markets, and creates SEO rich content that people will actually go search for. He makes sure the content is stuff that people will also want to share with others on social media, etc. But he also, of course, shoots.
As I stated earlier, his blog content NEEDS to live on a blog because it’s specifically adapted to it. Instagram and Facebook just won’t do it justice.
Your Shoots, Looking Busy and Showing off What You’ve Been Up To
Obviously, these two photographers are blogging a lot about the stuff they shoot; and that means you should too. Your followers (and more importantly gatekeepers) genuinely want to know what you’ve been up to. Showing off that you’re shooting, busy, what you’re doing, and how you’re evolving as a photographer is pivotal for your career as a photographer. This statement ties into every other section of this blog post. If all you’re doing is using your blog to promote your upcoming workshops, then you’re not providing value to your followers except saying that all you want is their money. But if you’re finding a way to captivate your audience, then you’re gaining people who will always vouch for you.
Musings to Show off Your Personality
One of the more important things that having a blog does is it lets you have musings and express yourself more as a photographer. This is how we get a better idea of who you are as a photographer, through an interface that you chose and customized yourself vs the plain Jane options Facebook and Instagram provide. By showing off your personality and sharing thoughts, you can find a way to tap into SEO rich conversations and social conversations.
But all of that is a whole other story that’s going to take quite a while to explain.