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5 secret reasons to keep your blog updated

Official challenge participants:

Erin Oveis Brant, James Law, Ashley Goodwin, Damaris Mia, Maria Maltseva, Ryan Lum, Jerod Harris, Mirian Silva, Sara Wilbur, Mioara DraganSaundra McBride, Abril Esparza,  Tiffany Manning, Jessica Furtado, Leslie Wilson, David Pascua, Kyle BromleyEd Devereaux, Ivan Harris, Christy Cropper, Chantale Perron, Julia Beckmann, Lori Myers, and Justin Douglas (link to be provided).  To be perfectly fair, I just want to make sure you all read the *fine print* on the challenge rules on my last post.  I expect you all to hold up to your end of the bargain, as I’ll be checking in each day at noon to see if you’ve posted.  You have until noon today to opt in or out – but if you opt out – I’m going to post it for all to see in tomorrow’s blog.  Let the challenge begin!

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To kickstart the momentum of this 30-day challenge, I thought I would provide a useful first post that might help a few of you out when coming up with ideas on what to post throughout this next month.  (Note* – a few of these examples apply mainly towards photography, but I’d like to hear input from fellow bloggers who *aren’t* photographers on alternative benefits of THEIR blog)

By now, I’m sure you’ve grown accustomed to the main incentives for blogging:

1.  Search Engine Optimization

2. Putting your clients in the spotlight

Blogs are great to increase your ranking on google, and they’re a nice tool to make your clients feel famous – maybe it gives them their first opportunity to see themselves published somewhere online!

While those are two terrific uses for blogs, I don’t consider them at all when writing my posts.  Here are some HIDDEN benefits I’ve discovered from my blogging and how I think they can help you in your business/personal life:

1. Provides you with a highly targeted portfolio

When booking a new client, sometimes I’ll respond to their inquiry with a link to a specific blog post which I think is very similar to what their looking for in their shoot.  Chances are, they’ve checked out your portfolio & liked your work, or maybe just heard from a friend that you do good work and that they should hire you.  This is your opportunity to get them HOOKED.  By showing them something that you’ve already done in the past that’s identical to what they’re looking for, it increases the probability in booking and clearly defines their expectations for the shoot.  This will ensure them that YOU are the photographer they’re looking for, and if not – helps avoid any unrealistic expectations of your work due to the idea that “because you are a photographer, you can match what abstract concept they have in their head, whether it be glowing red skies or an intense photoshop edit to make someone look anorexic.”  In a way, while your portfolio might get them interested in you, past examples of similar shoots will probably get them SOLD on you.

2. Helps your client identify with you as a person

I didn’t understand this concept completely until I had seen presentations from Promise Tangeman and the Youngrens on content marketing, but now that I do – it makes perfect sense. If most of your clientele is relationship based – meaning that there is at least some element of the business relationship based on personality and rapport, this is definitely key in strengthening that bond.

The Youngrens identify with their target demographic by posting about their love for scooters, boat shoes, and recipes for delicious dishes you can make at home.  They know their clientele and give them content they would enjoy reading about and can use in their daily life.  I didn’t realize this, but with my post about my experience in Spain, I was doing exactly this.  My goal is to attract adventurous, young, care-free clients who love to travel – and this post would identify with that ideal client perfectly. By posting about your own interests/day-to-day life, it allow the rapport process to happen THAT much easier.  I have another little secret weapon with this approach, but I’d rather not broadcast it out to everyone because it’s so good - if you’d like to hear about it, email me at tim@timkingblog.com

3. Success breeds success

Something I’ve taken from real estate agents has given me insight into what prospective clients are thinking when looking at your blog – if you post a lot, you’re busy.  If you’re busy, a lot of people are buying.  If a lot of people are buying, you must be doing something RIGHT!  What I had taken from real estate agents was the idea that presenting a successful image increases the probability that you make the sale.  (Are you going to want to buy a house from a person that seems like they’ve sold a lot of homes and can get you a good deal, or someone who looks like they’re just starting out?)

Constantly posting shoots or examples of your work instills the idea that people are buying, and one of the elements of “creating a want” is subtly letting others know that “hey, these people want me too, so there’s definitely something good about my work aside from the obvious”.  If you have no recent work to blog, go out and make them happen.  Get some models that look like the kind of client you want to book for future shoots.  Just look BUSY!

A great quote from entourage’s character Ari Gold, “You don’t bang the prom queen until she finds out her best friend blew you underneath the bleachers” – says it all.

PS – as a side note, your competition is probably blogging all the while, so how do you think that might make you look in comparison?  Which leads to my next benefit…

4. Staying in front of their eyes & building trust

I’ve had it happen too many times to call it coincidence, but I’ve found that a few minutes after I will promote a post, a client will inquire about an upcoming event they’d like to use me for.  Sometimes you strike at the right time, and sometimes it’s just a matter of staying in the front of people’s minds when there’s a potential gig around the corner.  Maybe an acquaintance of yours has a friend that’s getting married, and she just so happens to see your latest post pop up on her news feed/twitter stream.  She’ll love to help her friend out with this “photographer that she knows”  Or MAYBE a potential client is on the fence about choosing between you & another photographer and you don’t even know it!

I’ll bet that your consistent posts are going to instill a sense of trust within them, and it might just be the “difference that makes the difference” when it comes to choosing you.  Even if it’s not spectacular content, it’s FRESH & reliable. Seeing you respond to blog comments and interact with your audience just might be the factor that makes a client feel comfortable enough to TRUST in booking you.

In addition, if you’ve been wanting to start a newsletter – linking to recent posts is a great filler for email blast content.

5. Building a community/Voice of authority

I could write an entire post on the benefits of this item, but ‘ll try to keep this succinct and to the point. The importance of building a community around your blog will bring you benefits in TEN-FOLD.  Not only does it serve as a conversation-starter for potential clients & industry affiliates, but it makes it a whole lot easier to foster new connections based entirely on YOUR posts.  A blog relayed on twitter, online publication, or a guest-post might lead you into a new relationship with peers in your industry that will propel your progress and give you a huge boost towards getting to WHERE YOU WANT TO BE.

It works both ways, and by paying attention to other blogs – I’ve gained some pretty valuable experiences by being interactive.  Blogging has introduced me to new friendships and solid second shooters. Eventually, I’d like to be able to reciprocate to an online community and be able to provide opportunities to aspiring photographers in the future.  An efficient way to get there is by building a community around a blog.  Eventually, by building a strong community/following – companies & individuals will be open towards sponsoring you, providing promotional give-aways, and affiliates will express interest in creating a symbiotic partnership for future products.  I currently use this idea for some smaller-scale business ideas, but would prefer not to list it online for all to see – if you really want to know, email me at tim@timkingblog.com and we’ll talk.

And while you might not realize it (this was a hard thing for me to grasp myself), but your work might very well be inspiring to someone who’s just starting out.  I remember the first photographers who I came across when I first started out, and I would read their posts for HOURS-ON-END some nights!  Seeing the cool images & stories they wrote about their work made me want to achieve something similar one day.  After the first email I received from a reader telling me that I “inspired” them, I first thought there must be some kind of error and they confused me with another photographer.  You never know who’s checking out your work, and how much it may mean to them.

6. (BONUS!) Provides you with an opportunity to learn

As an unexpected benefit, I’ve actually gotten feedback on my posts and learned about new products/techniques that have helped my business grow in some form or another.  Whether it be a great lighting technique or a shooter who’s style is similar to mine, sometimes the FEEDBACK on a post ends up being the most valuable part!

With that said, I’d love to hear about YOUR IDEAS when it comes to blogging & what benefits you have experienced as a result.  Or maybe you’ve come across some killer ideas which have really helped your blog gain a lot of the right kind of attention? If you’ve got something to share, post it in the comments below – I’m sure not only myself, but the other people reading this post would really appreciate it as well!

I hope you enjoyed this post my friends, and as always – have a good day.

30 Day Challenge | My Great Photography and Other Happenings Blog - […] Not only did he explain why he was do the 30 challenge, but on day 2 he explained the 5 secret reasons to keep your blog updated.So, on this day, I have committed to take the 30 day challenge myself. I started my blog in July of […]August 25, 2014 – 4:34 pm

the 30 Day Blog Challenge: Is it over yet? » [Blog] Ashley Goodwin Photography - [...] month ago, my friend Tim King posed a challenge on several of us photographers. To blog for 30 consecutive days.  Over Christmas.  And New Years.  And Hanukkah! Today is the [...]January 5, 2012 – 12:23 pm

Is Jesus good for marketing? | Tim King Blog | Tim King Photographer - [...] I said in my post that touched on identifying with your target demographic – you want to have similar common interests, and it would be best if your attitudes on life [...]December 25, 2011 – 5:28 am

Lisa Faulkner - Even though I’m not ‘official’ since my posts aren’t making it up by noon, I’ve managed 8/9 days and I’m seeing results! My day one post was shared with a wide audience so I’m attracting more readers. And interacting more with them.

The ‘start now’ idea has surfaced in my life in a couple other ways (like today’s post: http://poledancingprofessor.com/2011/12/these-are-a-few-of-my-favorite-things/
Ideas are flowing for blog and for my research and workshop projects. Woot!

Thank you for the inspiration.December 15, 2011 – 9:43 pm

New York Fashion Week | Tim King Blog | Tim King Photographer - [...] 5 secret reasons to keep your blog updated [...]December 9, 2011 – 12:13 pm

Early Check In & Like A Love Song {Day 3 of 30} | Sara Wilbur Photography - [...] I have to put myself out there. This is not a new idea and was inspired by Tim King’s “5 Secret Reasons To Keep Your Blog Updated“.  I’ve always had mixed feelings with just how much should be shared publicly and how [...]December 9, 2011 – 8:31 am

Gerald Labrador - I’m glad to see an update. I’m a fan of the Photography topics where you post helpful tips and other helpful information. Keep em coming! and Thanks!December 8, 2011 – 11:50 am

Matthew Kunce - Fantastic post Tim. I wish you and everyone luck on your 30 day challenge. Blogging has helped me better get my thoughts in order so that I can put them out into the blog. This then helps me gain a deeper understanding. And of course the learning by reading other’s blogs (yours included) has helped me grow as a photographer and as a person. I look forward to reading all the blog posts from the group. ~MatthewDecember 8, 2011 – 3:35 am

Christy - tim. tim, tim, tim. i love you. you are a genius and i nearly started crying i was laughing so hard at the ari gold quote.

ok. so, I know this is like starting out with a failing grade but is it too late to join in this challenge? i need to do this. even if you say “no! no you cannot try to be a better blogger, business person, and all around person. it is too late for you! it’s OVER!” i will completely understand and probably do it anyway. just saying.

hearts all around. 1 down, can’t wait to see what the next 29 hold.
xoDecember 7, 2011 – 10:41 pm

michael raymond - this is awesome!! Love it! very informativeDecember 7, 2011 – 7:07 pm

Erin Oveis Brant - Ahhh Ari Gold, such a wise man! I can’t believe how excited I am to be participating in this. It’s like you and my subconscious met for coffee and collectively decided to kick my ass! Not sure if you follow Seth Godin or not, but his blog post today is pretty spot on for what we’re doing. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/12/i-am-here.htmlDecember 7, 2011 – 4:46 pm

Jen - I’ve been eager to read this post since you told me about it last night. I think you totally nailed it. Great job and I’ll be following your 30 posts – they better be awesome. But I know they will be :)December 7, 2011 – 3:43 pm

Tim - @Saundra – checked it at 12:30, post was up! You’re all good.

@Justin – get on it!

@Maria – fixed the links, thank you!

@Sarah – yeyuhhhh. Got a lot of shoots to post about!December 7, 2011 – 2:49 pm

Saundra McBride - Got the first blog post up, and it was probably late. :-( not a cool way to start. Once it was posted though it felt good, and I started getting excited about the process. Thanks so much for opening this challenge up to everyone. By the way, from now on I’ll check your blog first thing in the morning to see if there are any updates or info. I didn’t get to read your post till a little while ago. Sorry.December 7, 2011 – 2:25 pm

Chantale Perron - I hope I’m not too late to join in!? I JUST now saw the link CreativeLive posted on Twitter, followed it here and, although I know it’ll be super hard for me I know it’ll be worth it!
http://www.chantaleperron.com and the blog is http://blackcat.typepad.com/blackcat-photography/December 7, 2011 – 12:59 pm

Ryan Lum - Good post sir!December 7, 2011 – 12:53 pm

Justin Dogulas - I’m in, Right now I’m at work so can’t post my link yet…. :(December 7, 2011 – 12:47 pm

Maria - Thank you for bringing us together and starting this challenge. I’m sure during these 30 days each of us will hate you every once in while but eventually we all will be very grateful.

PS Check your links – James’s link goes to your nightlife photobooth post, Ashley’s says “nothing found”.December 7, 2011 – 12:11 pm

30 Day Challenge » Be My Light Photography Blog - [...] make it to the finish line will benefit immensely. If you want to know how, check out Tim’s post “5 secret reasons to keep your blog updated”. (Hey Tim, I just mentioned you over here, do I get a blogging free day off now? Juuuuust [...]December 7, 2011 – 11:57 am

Erin Youngren - So glad our presentation helped bring into focus the whole content marketing thing! And I LOVE your example about the realtors – that’s such a great analogy! and Ari Gold – classic :)December 7, 2011 – 11:09 am

SarahV - I wish I could explain how happy I am that you are doing this challenge because it means more words of wisdom and sick photos of yours that I get to look at for 30 days STRAAAAIGHT! So essited!December 7, 2011 – 9:43 am

Ashley Goodwin - Pepper spray ees beech.December 7, 2011 – 8:37 am

Brooke Schultz Photography - Wow, this is an awesome post. Thanks so much for writing–looking forward to the next 29 days! :)December 7, 2011 – 6:27 am

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