As part of a new approach to the marketing of my photography and film making business, I have taken a look at the value in doing a regular blog. This will hopefully help all those working in the creative industries decide if a blog is right for them.
Not a great start
I started writing this blog at the start of the New Year with big plans to produce at least one blog per month! It is now April and this is the first chance I have had to re-align my working life with my plans. Please bear with me on this, its all in my head and I imagine wonderful content moving forward but actually finding the time to do this is tough. Anyone working on their own in a creative or other industry will understand. You then ask yourself the question is it worth the effort? Hopefully in the next few paragraphs you will be a step closer to the answers.
Reasons for writing a blog
In my working day events happen and discussions with clients lead me to numerous ideas for content, ideal for a blog. I hope that by committing these to paper (or screen) any new clients looking for answers about my services and indeed approach to how I work will be able to find them within the content of my blog before picking up the phone. This way they will understand how I work and hopefully start to see my personality and understand if they would like to work with me or not.
This content is not just my musings about blog writing plucked out of the air. For several months towards the end of last year I spent significant time and effort looking into the merits of blogging, well not just blogging to be honest, more the worthiness of all the social media platforms. I have undertaken a series of online training courses and attended some classroom training sessions, all with a view on how to best use social media in my business.
I have digested, trialled and analysed this knowledge and I now feel in a position to pass on my findings.
First and foremost I was looking into all the platforms, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see what social media platform would be the best one to promote my own business. I also wanted to be in a position to offer my clients the benefit of my knowledge in how to promote their businesses.
I offer a service to create quality content of images and videos, however this alone is of no use unless the content I produce is seen. I want my clients to come back and get real value from my visual content and the only way this will happen is if potential customers see the images and videos produced. By understanding the various forms of social media including blogs, I can hopefully add value by offering advice on the best way to get the visual imagery I have produced before their customers.
Why a Blog?
A blog is a way you can show your personality first and foremost. Personally I hope that my blogs show both my serious side and occasionally my not so serious side. We all like to work with likeminded people and people are the core to all businesses.
A blog also allows you to write about projects undertaken and various case studies of your work. This gives potential customers ideas on how you could offer a similar service for them
As an example one of my future blogs I have planned to explain the process behind producing a short 2- 4 minute video. In this blog I hope to show the planning, preparation, filming process, right through to the final film. By doing this and showing the steps involved and the amount people involved, a new client will get an idea of the scale of the undertaking and likewise gets a feeling for approximate costs. Some people can see a short video and think they would like this for their own business without any consideration for the scale of the task in hand. This can lead to a surprise when they receive the quote. If they see the process they will understand the quote a little more before even picking the phone up.
Do I have to create all my own content?
As creatives we normally work alone so we are the best placed to write the content. I have also produced and advised on blog content for larger businesses and the key is finding the right blog creator to suit your brand and style. Please don’t just write content for content sake. It has to be useful and relevant.
Points to consider for your Blog
The following is a brief summary of my findings on producing a blog for your business.
- If you want to get readers to subscribe then the content has to be quality. If it is of no value then it is essentially spam.
- Consistency is the key. If you commit to a blog you have to stick with it. - Random acts of marketing don’t work.
- Images are vital to a blog - I would say that :) - buy now :) Joking apart, people are much more visual now and so the right images are the best chance you have to get them to read further.
- Promotion of the blog is a key factor. You can’t simply write the blog and hope people will find it. Email it to your contacts, tweet about it, promote it on Facebook, etc.
- Start once per month (this is my target) - real value comes when you can write content once per week!
- You are much more efficient if you allocate time to bulk write content for say 3 - 4 months in one session.
- The headline is critical - this might be the only thing people see.
- You must give people the option to share (If you are still reading this my share links are at the bottom of this page :))
- There is no perfect length but it should not be too short 400-500 words minimum, with 1500-2000 words being the ideal value.
- If you are asking people to subscribe and give you their email address then you need to be offering value in return.
- A blog is a key starting block to all your social media. Its a great reason to send people to your site who find you via other channels.
- A blog should be the heartbeat of your business.
- If you are going to commit to a blog you have to give it a great chance by committing to it for a 12 month period.
- The created content is great for SEO (search engine optimisation). By having an integrated blog to your site this ensures the website is being constantly updated. Google loves fresh content.
Final Thoughts and a few facts
The term Blog was coined by Peter Merholz as a ‘Joke” in 1997 when he changed Web Log (which it was know as) to “We Blog” on his own website blog (April / May 1999). Blog was then used by Pyra Labs and the term “blogger” was devised.
If you need any advice on blogging then Liam Lally is your man! (not a paid for promotion but I hope if he gets any leads he might stretch to a coffee the next time we meet? )
Great quality blogs often get shared in turn promoting your business, again see below for my share links :)
If you write about what you do and what services you cover and offer to different clients via a blog new and existing customers can get a full understanding of what you do. There is nothing worse than hearing from someone “I didn’t realise you did that” when they have purchased a product or service from another supplier.
By writing a blog existing and new clients will see that you are the person to go to for your chosen area of expertise.
Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors ( Source : Hubspot)
Ensure you can measure the success via Google analytics or similar. Otherwise you will not know if the exercise has been a success.
We have this wonderful world of technology now and multiple platforms to get our message across. This all requires effort and hard work. The people who are successful on these platforms are not lucky they have worked hard to create engaging content.
Over the coming months I will also write about my findings on other social media platforms and my work processes, photography skills, video making, etc. Plus a few musings and personal thoughts.
I hope you have liked this content? If you have you might like my next one so please subscribe to my email list and I will drop you a line when the next one goes live.
Author : Mark Spencer