As I prepared for my presentation for the Blink Conference (all about blogging with SEO in mind), it dawned on me that there would be fellow photographers or creatives there that actually do not have a blog. Some perhaps never launched a blog or they rebranded in a new platform and have not yet started blogging, or maybe some others have completely abandoned their blog. I am guilty of all these things, and I did not want my presentation to make people feel bad about not blogging. Instead, I wanted them to view blogging in a whole different light. I even said, “I am not here to convince you that you should be blogging for your business, but in looking at my journey as an entrepreneur and as an online SEO teacher, I realize that I could not have done it without blogging.”
I should not hide the fact that blogging helped me land photography clients again and again. I should not be ashamed to tell my students that blogging does matter. Blogging was the resource that allowed me to get continuous inquiries, even when I had my photography “office” inside my mom’s waxing salon, or when I would meet clients at restaurants or Starbucks. Blogging helped me have a presence online when I couldn’t attend wedding networking events because I didn’t have gas money. Blogging is what helped me stand out in a competitive market and allowed me to pursue photography as a business and make a profit. Blogging was what led me to go from hobbyist to pro. Blogging allowed me to connect with peers, to showcase my SEO knowledge and to document my journey. It also taught me so much about life, and I had some hard lessons to be learned. One of my core values is freedom. Freedom to create, to travel, to have a flexible schedule… and blogging has allowed me to pursue that core value with all that I have. This is exactly what I want for you, this freedom, and for you to be successful in your business.
So, my dear creative, yes… blogging is essential to growing your local business or even an Etsy store or online business, and here is why.
#1. Your blog is your voice. Jasmine Star once said that your website is your handshake and your blog is your voice. So your blog is the home base where you can journal personal stories, your new products, new services, and showcase your current clients. It is the place to share your story as I am doing now. I love following RoSho, who is a storytelling strategist. Ro teaches entrepreneurs how to share their story and how their story is such a significant part in attracting ideal clients and connecting with customers, plus making sales. Many times we shy away from sharing our story, and she states: “Too often we wait for others to give us permission to tell our story. Stop looking for permission and just do it! Do it now!” #whatsyourstory.
#2. Showcase your expertise. A blog can help you stand out from the crowd and become a thought leader. If I have no place to go and check you out, how can I know if I like your stuff, or if you’re a thought leader or expert? In a small business, there’s always the worry about what to do in a saturated market and how to make yourself stand out. A blog is a great solution for that. When people visit your blog and see photo shoots (if you are a photographer) or recent product launches, it adds an extra layer of trust. If they see you showcasing your expertise, then you are viewed as an influencer.
#3. Provides social proof. Any viable business nowadays needs to have an online presence. PERIOD. When they visit your website and see reviews and places you have been featured, and they see that your content (your posts) are being shared in social media, this gives you automatic social proof that you are legit.
#4. Your blog allows you to be the ultimate resource for your audience. Yes, blogging gives me a voice. Yes, blogging reveals me as an expert. And yes, blogging allows me to have social proof… BUT these things won’t work or even matter if I am not being a resource to my audience. You see, your blog is not just about sharing how great you are, it is a place where you will highlight your client. If you have caught me on live streams or have seen me in one of my online classes, you know I have a saying: “I want people to find me before they even know they need me.” How can you do that? First, you need to know your audience well! Secondly, you need to provide tips and answer questions related to the concerns and problems they may have. An expecting mom has very different troubles than a college student or a bride. So, when you come in and provide the inspiration, ideas, tips, events, and solutions to the things they are already looking for online, you become their hero!
All the pieces finally made sense when I learned how to not only be a resource but also to optimize my posts with SEO in mind.
Now, I know you must have every excuse in your head right now why you can’t bother with blogging. I have no time, I am not a writer, I have not blogged in over a year and they will hate me, I am clueless about SEO or Google, and so forth. I actually have an answer for all of that, and you can watch it on my 1st of 3 videos in a series launching this Monday about your blogging fears and some blogging tips. Plus, you can download my Blogging SEO Checklist.
DO YOU WANT NEW CLIENTS FOR 2017?
Do you want brand visibility? Do you want so many inquiries you don’t know what to do with them, without having to spend your dollars on paid ads? And all with only blogging 1-2 times a week? Then check out these 3 videos AND news about early-bird access for my Get Your Blog Found in 30 Days course!
P.S. January is the perfect month for that.