Updated: Mar 24, 2020
Blogging is old-- in a relative sense. Blogging, as we know it today, started its evolution in the mid '90s and has grown to become a huge part of the internet today. How big is blogging? Well, according to Worldometer, there are nearly 4 millions blog posts published every day. That's big.
What does that have to do with photography? A lot. If you've ever spent any time researching the photography business online, you'll see many self-proclaimed photography "experts" extolling the importance of creating and writing a photography blog for your business. In this instance they are not wrong. This post will get into a few of the details of why writing a photography blog is important, as well as a few tips I've personally learned along the way.
This is my third photography blog (I believe 😕.) My first was attached to one of my earliest websites as part of the website package I purchased in my early photography days (probably around 2007 - 2008'ish.) The truth of the matter is I don't recall making much use of it, if at all. I may have had a few posts, but it was not the focus of much of my efforts. It was simply a simple blogging platform that was integrated into the service I was using at the time.
My second photography blog was maybe around 2012 - 2013'ish, and at this time, I think blogging was becoming the "in" thing to do-- and perhaps though still as more of an "activity" for photographers more so than a method to build website traffic (and as a result... business.) I constructed this second blog on a Wordpress platform, and made an effort to post regularly, and before long, this blog was generating thousands upon thousands of visitors per year. Not bad.
I kept that up for a bit, but blogging seemed to fall out of favor for other social media outfits, and other avenues started to get more of my limited time and attention. I debated keeping that blog, and for whatever decision, I let it go perhaps two years ago, and decided to start anew-- again.
So here we are on my third iteration of a photography blog, and at this point I'm taking advantage of some of the lessons I've learned previously, and I'm here to pass along some useful information to you, so you can re-discover blogging as a means to help grow your business.
I'll start out by giving a brief overview of the current social media scene. As a business, it's your goal to attract customers and make money. The one thing to understand about outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest is, well, they are not yours. You don't make the rules on those platforms, and at any moment those companies can, and do, decide on their own terms what may be best for you.
I'll give a real great example using Pinterest. At one time I was more of an avid Pinterest user. I would post a few photos a week, and over time, I literally was receiving thousands of visits per year from Pinterest. Granted, most of these people weren't my customers-- they were merely people interested in my work, and most of this traffic was going to my photo galleries.
I think it was around summer 2018 I noticed a strange thing. Essentially all my traffic from Pinterest was gone. All of it. It was one of those things I noticed, but didn't really research at the time. It wasn't till much later I was poking around, and the best I could come up with was that Pinterest had developed some sort of an AI platform that was analyzing photos, and in its programming it was determined that "boudoir" style photos were "bad" content and they were all pretty much scrubbed from the platform. It didn't seem Pinterest removed the photos... they just merely hid them from feeds or search results. Result. No boudoir photos showing in Pinterest feeds = No traffic. This is a striking, but real world example of how in an instant someone else can control my material and they determined it was "unfit."