If you’ve made it this far in the Building Your Photography Business series, we’re going to make a couple of assumptions.
- You already have a photography website and/or online store, or plan to create one. If that’s the case, it wasn’t a stretch to convince you that online marketing for photographers is essential to get traffic to your site and build your business.
- You’ve bought into the idea that blogging for photographers will play a significant role in how you and your work are found.
Everything we’ve talked about to date will help you to build the foundation for your online marketing activities. But saying you need a blog, researching and planning the keywords relevant to a photography business, and putting an SEO strategy together doesn’t speak to the stories you want and need to tell.
Visual vs. Written Storytelling
As a visual storyteller, you plan your shots. Is it going to be a single shot or a series? A photo essay? What’s the topic or theme? What’s the visual narrative? What message are you trying to relay? How are you going to get your audience to engage?
The same principals relate to our written content. You don’t set out to take random photographs when you are visually telling a story. Similarly, we want to be systematic in our written work. In other words, we need a content plan that is strategic and results-driven.
A Content Plan for Photographers
To start, you may be wondering what a content plan is. A content plan helps you define what you want and need to write about, what form that content will take, and where you want to publish it.
The good news is that a big part of your content planning is already done! You have a keyword list relevant to your audience, and we will use it to determine our topic ideas.
Note: SEO and keyword research is important but you still have to write good online content that not only inspires your audience, and also registers with search engine algorithms.
The next and most important step, is to create a content map.
Content Map Theory
A content map helps you visually lay out what you’re going to write about. It will have a main topic, three subtopics, and nine supporting base topics. Your map will also outline ideas for what kind of content this is, where it will live on your site, and where you can syndicate it.
Let’s lay it out:
1. Main topic
a. Your most competitive key phrase
b. You build out content from here, but this is your main high-level topic
i. For example,“Wedding Photography in Chicago”
2. Related sub-topics (three of them)
a. This content ideally includes your main keyword phrase, and should be designed to answers questions, provide how-tos, and be useful for your audience
i. “How to find a Wedding Photographer in Chicago”
ii. “Dos and Don’ts: Wedding Photography in Chicago”
iii. “Best locations in Chicago for Wedding Photography”
3. Supportive base
a. A broader range of related topics (nine of them)
i. “Wedding Photographers in Chicago: What to look for”
ii. “Wedding Photography in Chicago: A case study”
iii. “Wedding Photography 101: Equipment you need for photographing a wedding [in Chicago]”
iv. “What you thought you knew about wedding photography [in Chicago]”
4. How to present your content
a. Not all of your content has to live on the blog, nor are you limited to just publishing it there in long-form
i. Add it to a page on your site (Case Studies, FAQs, About Us)
ii. Create a Slideshare, video version and/or infographic
iii. Pitch to a publication with a greater domain authority than yours
iv. Guest blog for a publication with a greater domain authority than yours
If you’re doing the math, your content map could generate 13 blog post ideas. Depending on your frequency, that can hold you for over two months at the very least. And that’s just based on one of your keyword phrases. You can create a map for all of them!
Content Plan for Photographers: The Next Step(s)
You’ve identified the keywords you want to rank for, and you’ve mapped out the content you want to write. What’s next?
Before you start writing, it’s important to remember that in addition to strategic content, we also want to strive for results-driven material in our plan. At a high level, results include an increase in domain authority and better rankings in search.
Pro tip: Remember, domain authority will not improve if you don’t get other sites, with a higher domain authority, to link back to yours. Check out Moz’s “Growing Popularity & Links” for some link building basics.
But in addition to algorithmic success, there should also be calls-to-action and opportunities for engagement in your content plan that we can track going forward.
Content Plan: What to Track
We’ve discussed how important your email marketing list is to your photography business, so make sure you are including a “Subscribe to my newsletter!” call-to-action to your content and your list of things to track.
Pro tip: TruLife® Feature Photographer, Scott Papek credits his email list as one of his most valuable marketing tools.
You should also track:
- Video downloads
- Webinar registrations (maybe you can teach some photography courses on the side)
- Case study downloads (make these in a PDF format, in addition to posting them to your site)
- Any other calls-to-action that you use on your site
Content Plan: Measurement
Apart from creating more content maps and continuing to write engaging content, it’s important to measure your results. Measurement not only tracks how well your planning is working, but it also informs your planning going forward.
If certain keywords don’t resonate, you need to change them. If your audience isn’t engaged with your content or converting on your calls-to-action, you need to adjust your strategy. Use tools like Google Analytics to monitor and measure activity on your site. You can also use link tracking services, like bitly, to see how well your calls-to-action are performing.
Pro tip: Learn from your mistakes. You aren’t going to get it right from the get-go, or all the time, but as long as you are tracking and measuring your activities, you will be able to learn, pivot, and continue developing an ever-evolving content plan that will drive results.
If you enjoyed this post, please sign up to receive additional information from TruLife® Acrylic, including TruLife Feature Photographer posts, the Business of Photography Series, and product updates.
Also, when you sign up, you’ll receive 25% off from one of our print partners through February 28, 2018.
Share this Article:
This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.