If you’re new to the world of blogging, trying to figure out how to create your first blog post can be pretty intimidating! When I was first getting started as a photographer, I used to physically pair two vertical images together in Photoshop to create a “diptych” look and, as a result, it took HOURS for me to create each blog post.
The other mistakes I made? Thinking that I had to blog every “scene” from a wedding and publishing posts that were way, way too long.
It didn’t take long for me to figure out there was a better way. As you’ll see in the video, it takes me about 30 minutes total to blog a wedding (and that includes both the copywriting and the image sizing!)
So how do I make that happen? Well, let’s walk though everything that goes in blogging a wedding or portrait session.
We title wedding and portrait blog posts using the following format: “[Location and/or Venue] | [Couple’s Name]”
An example might look something like this…
“Chesapeake Bay Beach Club Wedding | Mike and Vicky”
Outside of the couple and their friends and family, most people won’t be searching by the couple’s names. Instead they will be searching for examples of weddings or sessions shot at their location or with a similar aesthetic to what they have in mind.
Titling are blog posts like this makes it more likely that we’ll show up in the search results for related searches.
We’re intentional about the categories and tags that we create because category and tag pages can appear in search engine search result pages (SERPs).
After I name a post, I’ll add it to a category. WordPress will let you select categories you’ve used before as well as add new categories on the fly. Our goal with categories is to keep them “broadly specific.” Since we shot weddings around the Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia area, we created categories based on those specific regions (and keyword research).
The above video walks you through my workflow for optimizing and blogging images. In general, you’ll want to make sure you do these things:
Size your images: Our general rule is that images should be 1.5x the size the width the photo is displayed on your website. Check out the video if you have questions about this. Keep in mind it’s not an exact science, and different people might have different priorities when it comes to things like page load speed.
Name your images: File names should use keywords, and each word should be separated by a hyphen. For instance, a file name might be “chesapeake-bay-engagement-photo-1.” We usually don’t give every photo in a session a unique file name. Instead we differentiate by changing the number at the end of the file name.
Add Alt-Text: Alt-text is the text read by screen readers to describe the image for someone who is visually impaired. It’s important that this text is written using normal sentences that truly describe the image. The alt-text is also used by search engines to determine what the image is about, so use keywords where it makes sense.
We used BlogStomp to do much of this, but another new interesting tool is Narrative.so. We’ve done a few tutorials using Narrative, and I think this is the tool we would have used if it had been around while we were still shooting.
Vendor credits are added at the end of a blog post because featuring other vendors is a great way to encourage them to share your work. We use our pre-wedding questionnaire to ask for that vendor information so that we don’t have to track it down as we’re creating the blog post.
We also send out non-watermarked galleries to those vendors so they can blog or share the images on their own channels. Our only criteria is that they tag us in social posts or link back to us on their websites.
I’m not the biggest fan of writing so describing the session was always difficult for me (says the girl writing a blog post!).
I eventually realized that if I did a little work on the front end to ask couples good questions, writing those descriptions became much easier. We ask all inquiries a few questions about how they met, how they chose their venue, etc. And I typically use those answers to help write about the session.
The pre-wedding questionnaire we send couples also includes more questions. Some of those questions help us prepare for the wedding day, but a few are in there specifically to help make writing a blog post easier.
If you’re not sure what to ask to get helpful responses from couples, take a look at the text that accompanies featured weddings on Style Me Pretty. Their posts tend to share how the couple met, their inspiration for their day and some of the couple’s favorite moments.
If you’re not sure where to even begin when it comes to asking prompts to couples, we share the exact emails and questionnaire we send in our Communication Templates.
We use tools like Ubersuggest and Moz’s Keyword Explorer to do keyword research in advance of writing a blog post. Beyond that, we use Yoast SEO to make sure that our posts are optimized before we hit publish.
The Yoast plugin in particular makes it easy to see through red, orange, and green indicator lights what needs to be done to optimize a blog post. (Keep in mind that a green light doesn’t necessarily mean a blog post is optimized.)
SEO can be an overwhelming subject at first, but don’t use that as an excuse not to publish blog posts. Do you best based on what you know, and make it a point to learn just a little more every time you blog.
If you really want to dive into SEO, check out the Inquiry System Course.
Once your images and content are loaded and you’ve optimized your post for SEO, you’re ready to publish! WordPress allows you to schedule posts to be published at a certain date and time, or you can publish immediately.
We like to load our posts in advance and schedule posts to be published sometime between Tuesday and Thursday at 2 a.m. as readership tends to be higher during the week than on weekends, Mondays, and Fridays.
I didn’t add this in the video, but once your post is live, it’s time to start sharing about it! Share images with links to the post on Instagram (both in the Feed and in Stories), Facebook and Twitter (if you still Tweet) and save a few images from the post to Pinterest.
And if you’re sharing work that you really love, schedule social media posts to share that post again in a few weeks, months and even next year! Most likely a very small portion of your audience will actually read the post when you share about it and as long as you don’t add dates to your
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not sharing their work enough. If you love a session and it represents the kind of work that you want to be doing, share that session until it no longer fits that criteria!
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