I try to blog Monday through Friday. Every week. It's a challenge. It can be hard. Content can be few and far between. The inevitable question of "What should I write about" can always creep in. But I've made a commitment to try to write five time as week. And I've found that I've enjoyed blogging. I enjoy thinking about things to write about and share with my readers. I enjoy sharing my life and I've found a way to do that here. I've been ask, how do you think of things to write about? How do you not just stare at your computer for hours? The simple answer? Schedules.
Having a blogging schedule in place, helps to prevent those hours wasted in front of your computer wondering what to write. I'm going to be honest, sometimes there will be days where you are just blank, and that's ok. Having a solid blogging schedule, however, will help and may even make blogging a more enjoyable process along the way.
Below I outline my tips to making consistent blogging a reality. Maybe you already implement these tricks or maybe you'll take one away and use it today. Blogging every day is not for everyone and these tips may not work for you. These are not the right or wrong way to blog but just the techniques and tools that have worked best for me.
1. Pre-blog. I hardly ever write a blog post the day of. I am constantly thinking of things to share on this blog. Anytime an idea hits, I open up my web browser and write a draft of a post. That way on busy weeks, I can just go into the drafts and pick posts that I want to share. This has taken SO much stress out of the blogging process. Setting aside just a few minutes to pre-blog has almost stopped the dreaded stare down of the computer screen. I've constantly have fresh content to share here that is relevant and personal.
2. Create series. Series are posts that have a continuous theme. They can build on top of each other and can be expanded through various posts. These series can be about anything! For me I chose to pick things that helped readers to learn more about me and that would help clients in their planning process. I have several series on this blog including, Bookworm, Vendor Highlight, 11 in 2011, and Frequently Asked Questions. These posts give readers an insight into who I am, and create bonds through common interests.
3. Be Time Sensitive. I know it is hard to blog right away, especially after a long day of shooting a wedding. But I always make it a priority to post a sneak peek of the wedding or engagement or portrait session the day after. It only takes my five minutes out of my day and helps to drive interest to the full blog post that I post at the end of the week. In this digital age people want instant gratification, they want to see their images right away. Being able to connect to your readers days after a wedding or session instead of weeks will go a long way to building a loyal and happy readership.
4. Slide shows. Slide shows have been a great way to create an interactive experience for my readers. After every session or wedding post I a short slide show set to music. I am trying to create an experience for readers, one that they can participate in. I want to create an emotional reaction and a bond between the reader and the content. I find that doing a quick slide show is a great way to accomplish that.
5. Get personal. When I first started blogging, the idea of being personal seemed weird and forced. But after writing several personal blog posts, I realized that it was a great way to connect with readers and clients. Being personal makes you more approachable, more relatable. My business is built around the relationships that I form with my clients. A big part of those relationships comes from building common interest with things that I share on this blog. People want to know that you are a real person with likes, dislikes, imperfections, joys, lows. They want to read about you. So start sharing.
6. Facebook and Twitter. Use it. There is no better way than to get your recent content out there for people to see than on Facebook and Twitter. If you don't have a Facebook business page, create one TODAY and start using that to advertise your blog. Tweet about recent posts, import your posts into Facebook and tag people. Whatever you need to do to get your blog out there.
7. Schedules. Like I mentioned at the top of this post, the way that blogging works for me is through schedules. I take all these tips mentioned above and schedule them out. For example, I know that on Monday's, if I have had a shoot over the weekend, I will post a sneak peek. Then on Friday I will post that full session or wedding, complete with a slide show. I do this every time. It helps create an expectation for readers and helps me to know that I'll have content on Monday and Friday. Then I'll tackle the Tuesday-Thursday. Typically on Tuesday or Thursday I'll post a Bookworm, or Vendor Highlight and leave Wednesday open for a personal blog post. Done. Content for a whole week and I haven't had to think up content. On weeks that I'm feeling depleted I'll just go into my draft post and pick and choose from there.
These are the tips and tricks that work for me. I encourage you to find ways that makes blogging easier. Make a small commitment and build from there. Maybe it is resolving to blog every Monday, whatever it is, stick to it. You'll be surprise at how much easier it gets, and how your blog will begin to grow.
Blogging is such an important part to my business. Yes it's a great and free way to advertise your work. But even more than that it creates a conversation, a way for people to connect with me. I want to build relationships with my readers and what better way to do than to write. Thank you for all of you who read this blog and for those who participate in this conversation. Thank you for encouraging me as I grow. Thank you for listening:)
** Parker news flash**
This weekend we adopted a VERY shy but VERY cute puppy, Maya. I had every intention of taking her photo today and sharing our newest family member with you here. However, as I took her out this morning, in a moment of just-woken-up-haze, I took a digger on our steps and now my elbow is on ice. I may or may not be typing this right now with just one finger;) I am hoping tomorrow to share our cute little girl here:) Stay tuned! For now, an iPhone photo will have to do!