This page deals with the role that a blog can play in your online marketing strategy.
We have been using Rosh Sillers' solar system analogy to describe your online marketing strategy. In this illustration your website is the sun, the central point of your solar system that you want to direct people towards where conversions take place and your blog is your personality circling nearest to the sun. Your blog is where people to get to know you as a person. People like to deal with people and your blog provides that opportunity.
Blogging is also extremely helpful for your SEO. With your blog you can create blog posts centred around relevant keywords that help you to score with the search engines much more easily than your website can. Blogs give you a chance to put words around your images and it is the words that search engines read and rate.
If you have a website with good SEO, a blog and some good social media pages you can start to fill the first 10 results in a Google search. This would not be possible with your website alone as Google will not show so many results from one site on the first page.
FIGURE 1: The blog of Bangladesh photographer Monirul Alam
How to blog
The most commonly used blogging platforms in the Majority World currently are WordPress and Blogger. They are free to use and you can get set up pretty quickly.
You need to be clear about what angle you are going to take. Who is your target audience? What are you going to be sharing with them? As a photographer you can maximise simply sharing your latest shoot. You can try different approaches and find which one works, look for something that you have some expertise in and share that.
You should try to be regular with your blog posts. If you can only manage to blog once a month, then keep it to that. If you do 1 a week you for a month you start to build that expectation with your readers.
Your challenge is to keep your readers interested with your photography and your writing. You could also consider putting resource lists and reviews of products and services that you know well into your blog. People will often share those resources with others.
Photoshelter has a really good resource to help you with your photography blog - you can get it e-mailed to you.
FIGURE 2: Christian Payne's blog, Documentally
SEO for blogs
One of the reasons for having a blog is to improve the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) of your website. So make sure that you regularly link back to your website from your blog.
You also need to do good SEO on the blog to make sure that it is found. Blog platforms usually conform to SEO requirements and WordPress is particularly search engine friendly.
We will look more indepth at SEO in a later lesson but the same points that apply to websites, when applied to a blog, will help you to get a good search engine rating.
FIGURE 3: David Campbells blog commentary on photojournalism