The Benefits To Blogging For Photographers:
1. Hosting your own blog will help to establish your expert status in the eyes of your readers and fans because you can offer many more ways to share your expertise.
2. You become more accessible. Artists already carry a certain mystique, so when you freely share not only what you do but how you do it with your blog visitors the veil is lifted and your readers will begin to connect you on a personal level.
3. You’ll have a platform where you can demonstrate your expertise through a series of short tips articles just by posting them on your blog.
4. You can share photographs or even video clips from a recent shoot, highlighting some of the behind-the-scenes footage -or- images with your readers.
5. You can promote your other services like workshops and seminars you teach.
6. You’ll over time begin to create a relationship with the “fans” of your blog who will gladly become subscribers to your list. Collecting the names and email addresses of your readers is as simple as adding a form to your blog that will collect this data.
7. Blogging regularly will help establish your credibility with readers and will help you create a list of interested prospects. Your list will lead to sales for your paid photography services because you now have permission to contact them over and over again with your information and offerings.
Blogging Platforms: There are a variety of platforms that you can use to set up your own Blog; two of the most popular is Blogger located at Blogger.com and Word Press, located at WordPress.com. The difference. Blogger is a totally free service provided by Google. You can literally have a blog up and running in less than 10 minutes.
WordPress on the other hand offers is a relatively easy self-install software program that you host on a paid web hosting service. The only bill will be your monthly hosting fee; those typically run under $10 dollars a month.
Pros and Cons: While Blogger is a free service you are sort-of stuck using dot blogspot in your URL. Some experts feel that having the word blogspot in your URL is not considered professional enough for a business blog (I don’t happen to agree) or that it suggests that you’re not taking blogging seriously. Again I don’t agree. Where I do agree is that Blogger doesn’t offer as much flexibility in the design, look or feel of your blog.
Blogger provides you with a variety of pre-designed templates for you to select from, but the “risk” you run into is in your blog looking like someone’s else’s Blogger, blog. On the contrary WordPress does offer you a multitude of choices in how your blog works, looks and feels.
In my opinion you may need to hire a professional designer to at least help you with the template design & set up. You can create your WordPress blog to look like an extension of your website. But honestly I suggest that you select whatever platform your budget and time will allow. *Remember you are a photographer who blogs for your business, not a Blogger who happens to be a photographer.
If you are intimidated by the process of setting up your own blog or you just don’t have access to a web tech that can set this up for you Blogger may be the best solution for you. Whatever platform you select just make sure you commit to blogging regularly, communicate with you audience frequently and be generous with your knowledge, talent and expertise and you’ll go a long way towards turning your blog into profit generating machine.