4 Best Practices for Blogging to Generate Leads for Your Business


In order to generate leads, you first need to generate traffic on your website. Good thing you have access to one of the most effective tools for generating website traffic — blogging.

Believe it or not, before blogging became a popular way for individuals to make money from advertising, it was invented as a way to create consistent content for search engine optimization.

Smart search engine optimization = inbound website traffic

Here are four blogging best practices for generating traffic and turning those visitors into leads:

1. Choose Topics Wisely

The topics you choose are key to generating inbound traffic through search engines. To be truly effective, they need to satisfy both search engines and searchers. Appeasing both of these groups will ensure that you’ll rank for the terms your buyers are searching.

When brainstorming topics, start by by focusing on:

The terms your buyers will be searching for using search engines. Your prospective buyer’s pain points.

Both of …

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Vacation Portraits – Tap into the Multi-Billion Dollar Travel Industry


When do you have money burning a hole in your pocket? When do you save money just so you can spend it in one short period of time?


I learned how to tap into tourism and capture some of the billions of dollars that flow through the travel industry by treating my photography as a vacation activity instead of a traditional portrait session. Tourism exists in all 50 states and all over the world. Whether you’re in a tropical locale or next to a natural wonder like the Grand Canyon, there is a market for vacation portraits.

When I first moved to Maui and decided to start a photography business, I did an online search to see what was out there, and I found pages upon pages of photographers, almost all of them focused on wedding photography. At first I felt a little discouraged, then I decided to …

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Photography for the Professionals {10 Truisms}


I’m a fan of age-old photography wisdom that’s still relevant today.

When I stumbled upon the book “Photography for the Professionals,” written by Robin Perry in 1976, I thumbed through the dusty pages. What I found surprised me, no different than this 1937 gem.

If age-old wisdom stands the test of time today, imagine future value? That’s something a new book won’t buy!

Despite being published over 37 years ago, the abundance of ‘golden nugget’ information relevant to today’s professional photographers inspired me to write this post for The Photo Life. Here are Ten Truisms from the book “Photography for the Professionals” that are applicable to today’s professional photographers.

Ten Truisms, 37 Years Later:

10. The key to success in photography (or anything else for that matter) is education.

As Mark Twain said, “Never let school interfere with your education.” Going into debt for photography school isn’t a sound investment. At all. However, self-improvement …

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How to Engage Your Audience and Kickstart Social Media Conversations

How to Engage Your Audience and Kickstart Social Media Conversations

If you’re tirelessly working on ways to capture the attention of your target audience on Facebook and Twitter, welcome to the club. You, along with millions of other businesses are in the same boat, trying to turn the social media microphone into a way to make more money. While many companies make the mistake of thinking that the number of fans and followers they have is what’s important, true social media ROI (the kind that translates into dollars and cents!) isn’t just about popularity. It’s about ENGAGEMENT. In other words, is anything meaningful happening with those fans and followers?

Audience “engagement” can mean anything from someone re-tweeting your content, replying to your posts, clicking on a link or getting more information from your website. This type of engagement is meaningful because it can help you see if you’re reaching your target audience. This engagement also is a starting point for tracking whether …

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How to Build a Studio Team


When I started my business, I was solo, working out of my apartment while working a 9-5 job too. Needless to say, it was hectic. So I knew that IF I went full-time as a professional photographer, I couldn’t do it alone.

I am a people person; I love working in collaboration with others. So I knew that building a studio team would be essential to both my success AND my happiness. Today, I have three associate photographers who work in my office, helping me manage my studio.

Do you want to build a studio team?

A team looks sexy, but it isn’t for everyone. If you’re considering adding photographers or staff to your growing studio, ask yourself a few key questions.

Do you want to be a boss? Managing a team means setting deadlines, dress codes, company policies and occasionally having to discipline them. Do you want to make more money? If that’s the …

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Why Options Stink.


Options. We think we like them. We actually hate them.

There’s a hamburger chain out in my neck of the woods called In-N-Out. Many of you have probably heard of them, if not had a hamburger from there at one point. They have a bit of a cult following, with consistent lines out the door at all of their locations. They’re focused on fresh (never frozen) burgers that taste delicious.

To appeal to so many people, you’d think they’d have lots of options on their menu. Lots of people = lots of different wants and needs = lots of options. Wrong. In-N-Out has three options: a hamburger, a cheeseburger, and a double cheeseburger. That’s it.

I have a rant I do when I present on this topic, and it generally addresses an area where I see photographers offer WAY to many options: ALBUMS. Think about all of the CHOICES you give your client when …

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Tips for Booking and Rocking Same-Sex Wedding Shoots

© 2012 Cindy M Brown

© 2012 Cindy M Brown

Documenting the story of a same-sex wedding is really not that different from documenting the story of any wedding, at least from the perspective of a wedding photojournalist. In both, a photojournalist’s job is to capture the personalities, the emotions, the moments, the context and the details that work together to give viewers a sense of the love shared by the couple, their family and friends on that one special day.

© 2012 Sharon McMahon

So, how do I go about booking same-sex weddings?

1)  Seek this business only if you are truly supportive. If you have any reservations about the right of gays and lesbians to make meaningful, legal and sacred commitments to each other, that uncertainty will likely show when you meet with couples.

2) Make it clear on your website that you’re open to photographing same-sex unions. Show photos of same-sex couples if …

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What I Learned from Buying a Commercial Studio Space


As a multiple photographer studio, I quickly learned that having my staff work out of my home wasn’t the best option. Who wants their team members wandering around when you’re trying to finish breakfast? But I was still scared to death when I signed my first three-year lease for a 600 square foot space at over 600 dollars a month. What I didn’t realize was that during the next three years, I would grow my dream then BUY my own studio space. Here’s what I learned from buying a commercial studio space.

Why buy?

I hate paying someone else money. Doesn’t everyone? I’d rather invest in my own future. Buying a commercial space for my studio meant lower overhead for my business. A mortgage is typically less per month than rent.

Consider these questions I had to ask myself:

Should I buy a BIG building and then sub-lease space(s) to other businesses? Or, should I buy a …

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How to Collaborate with Clients to Create Inspiring Images


I am living my dream. It’s the truth. I wake up every day and create art. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. Beyond the blessings I feel that I have being a photographer, even more important to me is that I am shooting work that inspires me and others. I ask myself all the time, “What am I shooting that not only inspires me, but others as well?”

If you are familiar with my work, you have seen an image of a bride facing a giraffe. It’s my favorite image right now and, admittedly, I’ve put it everywhere! The home page of my website, and on most of my marketing materials. I am asked often how I created this image. How was I able to get a bride and giraffe together for a shoot?

The real question is, what can YOU DO to create images you are proud of? …

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How to See the World Like a Child

I once had a professor who told me to always think like a child. Out of all the things I learned during my university days, I took these simple words of wisdom and carried them through my years as a professional photographer.

Children get excited about the smallest things; they see life innocently and they don’t have filters. As they grow and mature, they adapt their thinking and perspectives based on parental principles and societal pressures.

They learn to judge, to hate, to see a cloud as a cloud – not as a big, roaring lion or a unicorn floating in a sky. Things become “normal” and nothing is as exciting as it once was.

I think my professor was onto something when he compared artists to children. We must keep our innocence – in both our vision and our thoughts. Our thoughts carry over to our vision; our vision creates …

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