Blogging about Blogging for Photographers

The best way to learn how to blog is to start blogging.

It may sound redundant, but it's true. Yesterday Daniel Payne interviewed me for his presentation on social networking for the upcoming PMPA meeting July 9th. As I was chatting with him it was fun to reminisce about how blogging started for me and Soul Mates Photo and how it's effected my business. I'm sure wishing this will reach someone out there in cyber world so here goes nothing!

I totally believe in blogging for business sake and for personal sake. However– a really big however– this was not always the case. When I first heard of blogging I hated the idea for a few reasons.
#1 I'm not a writer. I'm not a speller. Hooked On Phonics did not work for me.
#2. Who cares about what I do? Honestly.
#3. Why would I spend all this time carefully crafting a post to have no one read it. Really... It's kinda time consuming and I have better things to do like play with my dog.
See, these are all really great reasons. Right? Riiiiiight. I also swore to myself and a few others that I would never EVER post pictures about what I ate for dinner. If you want a good laugh click here.

I started my blog just over a year ago. I was a little late to jump on the blogging train but once I did it's proven itself successful time and time again. Here's a few of my tips that make my blog what it is. This is just my opinion...
#1. Personal or professional. How do I choose? Beeeeee yourself. Don't try and be someone else when you are writing. I'm not a good writer, and I know that. I write like I talk and always have. The great thing about that is when people meet me (and have already been to my blog) they have a better idea of who I am opposed to my well crafted and carefully proofread website. That's just it– the blog is personal. The blog is real. And if you don't want to connect with your clients, friends and other people that have similar tastes then you might as well stop reading here. I post about personal trips, experiences, my dog, my husband, many clients, life stories, random weather etc. Honestly I don't know who reads it but I DO KNOW someone does.
#2. Who am I talking to and how do I write? Blog as if you are talking to yourself. There is no way to write to a specific person because there is a mass of people in the bloggin world. How is one to write each post to reach a couple hundred people. It's simple, you can't. I write like I do in my journal. I write to myself. I'm doing that right now. Hi self.
#3 It's just a blog, right? Realize that your clients love the blog! Helloooo! First of all, how fun (and nerve racking is it) to have a photo shoot done? When I've gotten ready for a session where I was the subject I'm all nerves. All the while amazing things are running through my head such as, "Is my face doing something weird? Do I look alright? How's my outfit? Gosh... here comes that fake smile of mine." PS My fake smiles is the bomb. It comes out in every picture cause for whatever reason I suck at smiling for the camera on command. Bummer. Anyway... this is how I respond and I'm dying to see some of the photographs from the session cause I want to make sure they look alright. Our clients, friends and family are THE SAME WAY. When they see that they don't just look alright, they look fabulous, they forward it to everyone they know. enuff said.
#4. What's the point and does it really increase business? I think it's safe to say the more people know about you the better it is for business. Isn't that why storefronts want the primo location? They want people to drive by, walk by, discover it? Same with a blog. Think of it as a storefront and people are waiting to discover it. Moving on.
#5 How do you know it's working? There is this little sweet company. You might have heard of it. I'll give it a shot. Google? Great, you've heard of it. Perfect. I love Google. I might even want to think about sending them a Valentine's Day card this next year. Google does something that I really respect and appreciate– they keep it simple and simple is exactly what I want as a small business owner. I have the same account for my email, blog and Google Analytics. It's sweet. All I did was sign up, plug in a little code and I can now track the traffic to my blog and website. The reason this is important is to find out where people are viewing your blog, how often, what they are clicking on etc. It's sweet, simple and smart. A no brain-er.

I'm sure I gave Daniel a ear load of info... and I'm sure his speech is going to be interesting. If you are in the Portland area you should check it out. It's the PMPA meeting. I hope this encouraged someone to start blogging if they are not already! I would love to follow your blog with my Google reader (yet another fabulous way Google works for me). Share your blog in the comment section below.

And here's a quick picture of me a few weeks ago on my birthday in NYC.

Thanks for reading!
Big Smiles, Melissa Tomeoni with Soul Mates Photography.



ian and maalaea photography said...

Thanks Melissa! So helpful, we just started our blog and all those thoughts were roaming through my head.

Kim said...

Great post, Melissa! I definitely wonder at times if I'm just doing it for myself....

Erica Bader said...

Very helpful! Love the fact that you linked to the lobster dinner!

Deyla HUss Photography said...

Amen sister and Wordddddddddd! LOL love the oufit, super cute!!

Daniel Payne said...

It was a delight to speak with you Monday about blogging and your portrait business. I read about your latest post on LinkedIn. All the best to you in 2009.

Amy Nieto said...

omg, we should both sign the same valentines card for google. :) Thanks for your tips.

Melissa with Soul Mates Photography said...

thanks for all the comments ladies! i'm so glad it's helping people! i knew someone had to be thinking... who cares?! :)