5 Ways Blogging Beats Traditional Advertising

5-ways-blogging-beats-traditional-advertising

Considering dumping dollars into traditional advertising? Think again. Try blogging instead. Of course, blogging isn’t a new concept, but you may be surprised to find out that it can be even more effective for your business than traditional advertising tactics. If you’re strategic in your approach, your blog may be your best source of advertising – and save you lots of money in the long term. Here’s why…

1. Blog posts help you reach other networks through social media channels.

By adding social sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc to your blog posts, it’s easy for readers to share your blog content with their own networks. This is a free way you can extend your reach beyond your own network. Traditional online advertising isn’t shareable in the same way, since conventional ads aren’t usually compelling enough to share.

2. Blog posts can help you rank for terms that your target audience …

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3 Keys to Effectively Monitoring Social Media (without losing your mind)!

3-keys-to-effectively-monitoring-social-media-without-losing-your-mind

Let’s face it: social media is an essential part of doing business today. But if you don’t want to waste hours on Facebook and Twitter, scheduling social media messages in advance is a smart practice for staying active on social media channels.

But if you’re trying to build real relationships with your audience of prospective clients, simply scheduling messages in advance isn’t enough. You’re not a robot after all and you’ll miss out on real time communication! Therefore, it’s also important to monitor your social channels for timely, relevant conversations.

But monitoring social media doesn’t have to be a full-time job. Start by setting aside thirty minutes at the beginning and end of your work day to monitor and respond to social media conversations. You might find that time to be sufficient!

To maximize the return you get on those 30 minute check-ins, it’s important to have a clear idea of how you want …

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The Professional Photographer’s Guide to Content Marketing

free-guide-the-photographers-guide-to-content-marketing

Does your blog bring you real job leads, ideal clients and incredible shooting opportunities?

Well, it should! When you started your photography business, you heard that your blog could serve as a valuable marketing tool. So you’ve been putting yourself out there, and have been spending enormous amounts of time and energy to keep your blog active.

But building your blog and posting consistently isn’t enough.

It takes more than authenticity and consistency to convert blog readers to paying clients; you need a disciplined process and approach. This guide will help you successfully use your blog as an effective marketing tool. It’s a three step process:

1. Creating and freely sharing valuable content 2. Building authentic and relevant relationships 3. Guiding potential clients toward the purchase decision

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How to Use Keywords to Attract New Leads

Flickr User SuperBoreen http://www.flickr.com/photos/superboreen/

Photo by Flickr User SuperBoreen

In the online marketing world, everyone seems to be talking about keywords.

But they’re missing something.

Everyone is talking about search engines and the importance of SEO. And while it’s no secret that good SEO can go a long way in helping people find you, it’s not just about the search engines.

It’s about the people who are searching.

That’s where long tail keywords come in. Long tail keywords are very targeted search phrases that are usually easier to rank for and specifically focused on your niche audience.  For example:

“inbound marketing” = generic keyword “generate leads using inbound marketing” = long tail keyword

If you can focus on long tail keywords that YOUR target audience is likely to be searching for, you can avoid the slow months or years that it can take to see any meaningful growth in targeting a highly competitive keyword. Although you may not see the same …

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4 Tips for Creating Blog Content that Generates Qualified Traffic

4 Tips for Creating Blog Content that Generates Qualified Traffic

If you want to generate qualified leads, you’ve got to start driving qualified traffic to your website. After all, leads don’t just appear out of nowhere! (Although, that’d be nice.)

How do you generate qualified website traffic? You guessed it…by consistently publishing content on your blog!

To truly find success generating qualified traffic through blogging, it’s important to tailor content to your target market. This way, your blog articles are relevant, compelling AND come up in search engines when your target audience is searching.

1. Identify Specific Buyer Personas

The first step to creating content that generates qualified traffic is understanding what qualified means to you. What is the “right” traffic? Create buyer personas to help you identify the traits that the right visitors have that you want to attract.

As a photography business offering services to consumers, you must identify the specific person you want to sell to, as well as the people who are the decision-makers.

For example, …

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How to Create Blog Posts that Appeal to your Ideal Client

how-to-create-great-blog-posts-that-appeal-to-your-ideal-client

A few years ago, photography sites were often built in Flash and were complicated to update. Now, thanks to technology (and WordPress), you can create an awesome website without being a ‘techy’ person. That also means you can update your blog by yourself, without having to pay a designer and wait for them to do the job. But creating content means understanding how to create blog posts that appeal to your ideal client.

Why blog, anyway?

Your blog keeps you in continual conversation with past clients, future clients and professional partners. It showcases your latest work and your unique style. Blog visitors want to see the latest, newest, freshest thing. If they get hooked, they may check past blog posts to find a specific location or shoot. Regardless, blog visitors instinctively go to the most recent post.

It’s easy to put together a wedding gallery with “best of” images, but blog visitors are …

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Happy Clients Means Happy Holidays- Part 3

Create Your Promotion Plan

Now that we’ve covered how to choose the holiday promotions that fit for your clients, and made sure those promotions make sense for your business, it’s time to create your promotion plan. Once you’ve chosen the products and services that you’re going to offer this holiday season, you should start getting the word out to ideal clients. Since you’ve already done the legwork to understand your clients- who they are, what they want and what makes them happy- you’ll be able to strategically market your holiday promotions.

Choose the correct channels. Just as we explored in the Social Media Dispatch, different communication channels are effective at reaching different audiences. Because you’ve clearly identified your audience, you can focus on channels that are going to connect with them. Don’t spend your time on a Twitter campaign when your audience is best reached through Facebook, email, or even your …

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How to Set Up Google Analytics on Your Photography Site

photographer phil thornton

In this video tutorial, Nashville Photographer Phil Thornton walks you through how to set up Google Analytics for your photography website or blog. If you have any questions or comments (such as unique ways for using Google Analytics), leave them in the comments section below or message Phil on Twitter @PhindyPhil.

Google Analytics Tutorial by Phil Thornton from Phil Thornton on Vimeo.

Written by Phil Thornton

Phil Thornton and his wife Mindy run one of the most successful wedding photography studios in the Nashville market, Phindy Studios. Before entering the photography industry, Phil was a web developer and internet marketing professional. He contributed to several international web marketing projects for clients ranging from Disney to Madonna. He has also helped develop internet marketing strategies for celebrities such as Clint Black, Martina McBride, and Sara Evans.

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How to Use Photoshop to Get Your Blog Images Ready- FAST!

using lightroom to export to photoshop in layers

Everyone knows how a regularly updated blog can be great for your business. Everyone also knows how time consuming writing blog posts and exporting images can be. I created this quick tutorial and Photoshop action to get you thinking about ways you can expedite that process. One thing that used to take us a considerable amount of time was creating the 2-up vertical images with our logo at the bottom. I used to have an action that simply added the logo (or watermark) to the bottom of the image but no really fast way of combining two selected vertical images. Take a look at the video below and the included action, it just might get you thinking about ways you can speed up your bloggin workflow!

Blog Ready, Vertical Images – Fast! from Phil Thornton on Vimeo.

In my workflow I use Bridge, but this can also be done in Lightroom (shown …

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