Thursday, July 9, 2009

Blog Love - Get Yours

I'll be honest, this is less "advice from an expert" and more "stream of ideas from someone in real time." I recently took a 10 month hiatus from my business blog, and just this past week created a brand spankin' new one and put up 13 posts to get me caught up. And now I'm thinking...."Ok, I lost all my blog readers, how do I get my audience back...how do I earn blog love?"

I wanted to share with you my ideas (before I've even had a chance to try them), and see what your ideas are? Help me out?

1. You Must First Giveth.
Comment on other photographers' blogs, and make sure to use your blog address. Many photographers are super great about reciprocating, and other commenters might also find you! Spread the love around!

Comment on other vendors' blogs! Find out if any planners, florists, gown designers, etc from your area have a blog, and if so, become an AVID reader. Leave a quick friendly comment every now and again! Maybe they'll return the favor...maybe you'll even make a friend!

Comment on your CLIENTS' blogs. I've found a few of mine do have blogs, and though I wouldn't want to continually blast them with spam, a cute comment about their life is probably welcome. :) Don't comment to promote yourself - be genuinely interested in their lives, and leave photography out of it (unless appropriate). But do use your blog address, and hope their readers follow the link!

2. Make it work!
Does your RSS feed exist and work? If others can't add you to their feed (a way to be told when your favorite blogs have a new post, and read them all in one location), they'll probably forget to check in at the blog. That would be a blog-FAIL.

3. Hear-Ye, Hear-Ye
I wouldn't do this every time (or it might get annoying, in my personal opinion), but if you have a really exciting blog post or if it's been a while...announce your new blog entry on Facebook, Twitter, or whatever other social media you are using.

4. Blogsfuscate
I'm not sure if I'll do this one or not....but if you send your client a link to their "sneak peak slideshow"- don't send a direct link. Send a link to the blog entry where they can find it. Then when they forward the email to all of their friends and family, they are all discovering your blog along with the slideshow! Alternately, include both a direct link and a blog link - and write something personal about them on the blog so they feel obligated to read it!

5. Sir-Blogs-A-Lot
Eeeeeek - does it work, yes? Can I do it? Ummmmm...history says no. But if you do blog often (and lets assume your posts are interesting, lol) people develop a sense of rhythm, excitement, and expectation. (There are a host of benefits, but that's another post completely!) You gain a committed audience, not just a group of one-time clickers.

6. Just Ask for the LOVE!!
How about just come right out and say "Hey! Leave me some love if you like this post!" Or, you could end each blog with a question and invite comments. ("What do you think about bananas? Leave a comment to let me know.") Make sure it's business appropriate though...controversial personal questions might not generate the right kind of attention.

7. Give give give give give.
Here's another one that I don't know if I'll do, but it's a great idea that I saw on East Texas photographer Christina McCall's blog. She's holding a "comments for charity" event and is donating money for every 25 comments she gets, up to 150!!! View her original idea here: http://www.christinamccall.com/2009/06/the-roadtrip/ (and send her some love while you're there)!

8. Write a guest entry at Photo Love Cat!
HEHEHEHEHE. Obviously, this is the route *I* took. But really, if you have some great information to share with the group, let us know! It's a great way to give back to the community as well as a way to get people thinking "hey, who on earth is this person?" We always link back to you so that people can explore and answer that very question.

What other ideas do you have to generate a continual positive stream of blog love with comments? (PLEASE comment below!)

Hugs and fishes,
JILLIAN
Jillian Kay is a wedding & portrait photographer from San Jose, CA. By weekday, she is a mild mannered software engineer. By weekend, she is a joyful and energetic force behind a camera! Jillian enjoys tackling the tough questions about client relationships and helping others see win/win solutions. When not working, she loves taking walks, blog-stalking, visiting with friends, and enjoying life!.

29 comments:

  1. Ah, I will leave a comment! More often, I am guilty of just reading, which is something I should fix. Thanks for this post, I really enjoyed it and there's a lot I can take from it! It's hard to believe what you can accomplish with a blog these days.

    Oh, and since this is my first comment here, I'll just go ahead and say how much I love Photo Lovecat. I'm a photography student and will be finishing my undergraduate degree in December...I love reading this blog and finding all sorts of helpful hints that I can apply to my photography/life both now and in my professional future. I really appreciate all the great advice here.

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  2. BLOG LOVE!! It was SO good to finally meet you last month!!! xoxo

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  3. Great looking blog. =) I just wanted to give a heads up that the three spots to click for the RSS feed are not working. (The IE title bar button, the one in your link bar, and the one at the bottom of the page.)

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  4. Thanks onelonelyapricot! :) So glad that photolovecat is a good resource for you, and thanks for commenting!

    Hi Michelle, it was fun to meet you too!! :)

    Thanks Kelly Ann, I'm assuming you're talking about my photography blog. :) Yeah, the RSS feed links are quirky, which is what led me to mention it here. They work in one browser but have a code issue in another...I need to figure out whether that's just a "feature" of wordpress, or something I can fix. Thanks for having my back, though!

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  5. Wow, here's the interesting thing about your blog, according to google reader, you have at least 962 subscribers to your blog. And the last post you did only generated 12 comments! I for one, enjoy your posts thoroughly and will do a better job of letting you know! Seems pretty selfish of me to want fans of my own blog, but not visit yours?

    I have a question though... I have a personal and a business blog... what do you think, should I double post sometimes? Do my photo blog readers want a little insight into my personal life as well? If it's on blogger, you can just click my pic and see all my blogs, but otherwise, I'm wondering which I should pick. I'm thinking this it would be best to use my business blog as my calling card and start updating it with personal tidbits as well, but I'd love some input...

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  6. I heart blog stalking too - I am ATTEMPTING to a better commentator lol :)

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  7. Hannah, I am in the exact same boat!!

    Courtney - Since your business blog is the one that earns you moola, I say push that one. I think personal tidbits (positive ones) on the business blog are great! But you might want to write a whole new post, with a different perspective and/or tone for the business blog. Or just put a one liner with a link to the personal blog :)

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  8. Very helpful and right as I needed it. I've been slacking lately and had NO clue how to get back my (few) readers.

    Thanks!

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  9. I think you've covered everything I can think of to get 'blog love'! And thanks so very much for linking the comments for charity event!

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  10. Thanks for the ideas. Over on my blog, pointclickshoot.blogspot.com I placed a google calendar where I maintain a list of photographic workshops. I did this because finding a workshop can be time consuming. So in addition to my regular blog posts I post about the workshops I have tracked down or others have told me about.

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  11. Thanks for posting this Jillian! I love Photo Lovecat and have learned so much. I have absolutely no idea why people don't leave comments on my blogs and lots of others. I know that people are visiting, because I get a couple hundred hits a day. And I also know that eventually, some people do come out of the woodwork. For example, I remember someone admitting they had "stalked" aka visited J*'s blog for over a year before they left a comment. I did a post about not being shy and it brought some people out. I just want to know who they are and if they are enjoying my blogsite. Thanks again Jillian! Off to read your blog! Hugs to you!

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  12. As a new blogger, I really appreciate your honesty. Just tellin' it like it is. Where you're at. That's HUGE! Keep going.

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  13. Great post - I think we British don't tend to share things quite the same and so people don't comment on blogs unless they know the person - which as a photographer I find quite frustrating!

    BTW Courtney, how do you find out how many subscribers you have?

    PS sorry if this comes up more than once - I keep getting some message in arabic!

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  14. as always a great blog entry! Thanks for the great advice!!

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  15. Thanks Cassidy, Christina, Loves, Sandra, and Kirsten!

    Jason, thanks for the calendar idea! Providing extra info that photographers would be interested in is great!

    Tira, thanks for the idea to write a whole blog post encouraging others to not be shy!

    Kirsty, thanks! I think if you are using a particular feed tool (like google reader) you can find out how many other users of that particular tool are subscribed to a particular feed. I know you can in bloglines, it's an option in the upper right hand corner when you're reading a specific blog feed.

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  16. Thanks for the great post! So happy I found your blog! :)

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  17. @Jillian: I just checked out your blog and I love your work. I was going to subscribe to your feed, but I keep getting an error message. Is it just me? Or, is this #2 on your list? hehe! ;)

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  18. I sincerely enjoying reading each post from here, I never read unless there are pictures (shame I know) but I always read the wonderful information on here, Thank you!!!

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  19. WOW! I just moved to a new area and this is probably up their on most helping business/photography information...ever. Seriously, thanks! Heading on over to your blog now...

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  20. Thanks Tanya!

    MsBunn, thanks! Yes, my own feeder not working was what led me to add #2. :) I think I finally have it working though, so let me know if you have any trouble!

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  21. Good point Kari! I should remember to add photos next time. It's always a good excuse to show off my cute niece. :)

    Thanks Kaitlin, good luck in your new area!

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  22. Love this post! There is so much good stuff out there these days on social media and how to utilize it, and this is particularly helpful for us photographers out there that are tryin to blog it up! Thanks girl for all your help!!!

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  23. A great article full of really useful tips!

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  24. I find it weird that I'm a Gillian as well (albeit with a 'G') who has also been a software developer and now delving into the aspects of professional photography. Thanks! Really enjoy this post!

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  25. I love this blog! I am so glad I stumbled across it this evening, I am going to have to subscribe. Love helpful info.

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  26. I love this post, and I'm not surprised that you've inspired many of us who read this to leave a comment. cheers!

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  27. Great post! Thanks for all the ideas!

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