Earier this year I think I figured out why so many photographers are challenged by blogging, at least in 2016.
They’re still strying to blog like it’s 2010.
Let me explain.
The Early Years of Mainstream Blogging: Building a Following
As blogging gained popularity, around 2007–2010, the push was for photographers to blog frequently on their websites as a way for their fans and followers to keep up with new things. This is the timeframe when we saw popular photography bloggers such as Thomas Hawk, Jasmine Star, and Scott Kelby grow large online followings, with their blogging efforts being a significant factor. Lesser-known photographers, working pros and hobbyists alike, began blogging as a way to keep their clients, friends, and fans in the loop with their photographic work.
This was prior to widespread adoption of modern social media, and blogs provided a convenient way to build, and communicate, with fans. The general pattern of most blog entries was “here’s what’s new.”
Blogging in an Era of Social Media
Things have changed, and your blogging strategy should as well. Now, if someone wants to follow along with your latest ventures, they’re far more likely to follow you on Facebook, or Twitter, or join your email list. Google Reader was the last (only?) semi-mainstream RSS reader, and when it went away, so did most casual users of RSS, the technical protocol that allows one to easily subscribe to updates from blogs and websites.
Now, your fans aren’t likely to follow your blog to find out what’s new. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be blogging.
Blogging is the best way to update your website on a regular basis with new material. This is an important search engine ranking factor for Google, and each time you add new photos and articles to your site, you increase the amount of content by which someone can find you.
By writing focused blog articles designed around a particular topic of interest to your ideal clients, you establish yourself as an authority and provide helpful information to those who might hire you or who are interested in your work.
Keep using social media for casual conversations. Invite folks to join your email list (here’s how to get started). Keep blogging, but don’t blog like it’s 2010: your goal there isn’t simply to build a following. It’s to write relevant content that will help your readers and gain search engine traffic.
The modern blogging strategy is one of strategic content designed to attract and provide useful information, not just “here’s what’s new.”
For modern photo website success, don’t blog like it’s 2010.