Today’s guest writer post comes from the fabulous Cindy Reeves, founder of Magazine Mama.  Magazines and welcome guides for photography businesses have been a very HOT  topic within the last 6 months, but Cindy began using and creating these templates 2 years ago. If you are considering using magazine templates for your photography business, check out Cindy’s tips.

using magazines

What do studio welcome guides, SEO and Google have in common?

Studio welcome guides are a great tool to use for marketing your photography business. Professional and beautiful to look at, they provide a take home portfolio of your photos and answer client’s frequently asked questions; which in turn presents yourself as an extremely knowledgeable and talented expert. What’s better than that?! Did you know that this one piece of marketing collateral can be used as a printed piece AND for online marketing? That’s right, welcome guides are perfect for enhancing your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts! Now don’t go home and scan your printed guide – publish it online. Publishing the content of your welcome guide online gives you multiple SEO benefits…with no extra work.

Here are 3 SEO reasons to publish your welcome guide:

  • Find a bigger audience. Promote your digital guide on Facebook, Linked in, twitter and any other social media sites. Then embed it on your website for easy download and lead generation. Try a free program to help you upload and distribute your content. (I like or
  • Grow your backlink popularity. Backlinks are an important part of SEO. The more links you have from reputable websites – the higher Google considers ranking you. By publishing your welcome guide online, organic backlinking may occur. Just publish content that your ideal target market is looking for and wants to share. Downloads and shares from new viewers are the best way to increase your online visibility and footprint.
  • Search engines crawl the text of your welcome guide. One way to upload your welcome guide for maximum exposure is to use They have an excellent page rank which is how google ranks websites in search results. If you use a site with a high page rank like, you can gain more exposure in search results. Issuu gets over two million unique visitors daily and over 16 million daily page views. How many of those do you want for yourself?


Issuu publishes the text of your guide to help search engines find, read and rank your content. That means when someone searchers for a topic that you have published in your content, search engines can discover the content of your welcome guide and show it to searchers. To make the most of publishing through Issuu, upload the text as a vector file (not an image) and add keyword rich metadata.

If you decide that you want to host at Issuu but you don’t want the guide to be viewed by the public. Issuu lets you make your guide “unlisted”.  Unlisted is the default option when you upload the document. Some reasons you may want to publish as unlisted is if your welcome guide is still in the editing/reviewing process or if you’re publishing a client guide and your client wishes the photos to remain private.  A free account allows 25 unlisted publications.  To move the publication to public just select it and hit “publish”.  Tip: once you publish – you can’t go back and make it “unlisted”.  The only disadvantage of publishing your welcome guide as “unlisted” is that it won’t be found by search engines.


 How to update your welcome guide so search engines can find it:

Step 1: Read through your content and optimize key areas for search terms. Check headlines, sub-headlines, the URL, image ALT tags and overall messaging. Optimize content for search engines like you would for your readers.

Step 2: Check your PDF file to make sure it’s a text file, not an image. After you created a PDF of your welcome guide, open it in Adobe Acrobat. Go to the tools button in the top right of the toolbar, click on “recognize text” and then click “in this file” button. Then click okay. It can take anywhere from 15 seconds to up to a couple of minutes depending on the size of your file. The recognized text will show up in the reader.

wedding photography templates

Add a custom URL to increase SEO

Custom URL’s work for search engine optimization because they create a short URL, which is quicker and easier for search engines to read, and they also contain keywords, which search engines use to rank web pages for specific searches. is another digital publishing platform that allows you to setup a custom URL. Instead of using the domain, a custom URL will match your business URL. That means all the great traffic, shares and backlinks benefit your website.

 For example, the default link to a publication would be:

With a custom URL you could make it look like this:

 Choose a publishing platform plan that fits your budget

  • The basic plan is free
  • There are ads during publication viewing
  • For $26 per month you can get rid of the ads and even customize the reader with your logo
  • The plus and premium plans have analytics

  • A more affordable option without ads
  • The FREE version has an unlimited amount of magazines, unlimited pages per magazine, HTML5, Flash and JS
  • For $9 per month you get Google Analytics support, no advertisements and Privacy settings for your magazine.
  • You get a 30-day free trial with this package

 Every business needs great marketing materials. As a photography business owner, you probably already have welcome guides with introductory information for your new clients. If you don’t check out my website for for some pre-made magazine templates that include pre-written text – a huge timesaver!

Cindy Reeves aka “Magazine Mama” is founder of, an online photographer resource that sells beautifully designed welcome guide templates with professionally written text.  She also sells customizable curriculum for photographers to teach basic digital photography classes and earn extra income in their off season.  Use code “getfound10” to get 10% off your next purchase at