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Anne Ruthmann, New England Occupation: Photographer Website: Anne Ruthmann Photography About Me: Things that make me happy: old people getting crazy on the dance floor, world travel, hello hugs & goodbye kisses, cultural celebrations, acoustic live music, indie handmade crafts, cinema, environmental protection, diversity, the sound of nature, authenticity, white water rafting, discovering artists, photographing people in love. Things that bore me: bland food, celebrity gossip, negativity, fake anything, waiting in lines, egotism.
About anneruthmann

ed note: This post was originally written in November 2006, but it’s still so relevant and helpful that we’re posting it here. :)

At first I was only going to post this on photography forums, but I realize there are quite a few photographers who read my blog but may not visit those same forums. I also know that quite a few of my friends and clients have blogs and/or small businesses, and are looking for ways to attract new readers, or to keep current readers interested. So, in the interest of making all blogs a little more addicting… (as if I don’t spend enough time reading them and writing them!!), I thought I would share some ideas with the hope that others will feel free to add to this list and to share their thoughts as well!

Why blog?
- To improve your search engine ratings (if your blog contains searchable text; also known as SEO)
- To keep your customers (and competition) updated on your latest news and work
- To give your customers a way to personally connect to you and/or your business
- To convey your philosophy/personality/style
- To announce new products or specials
- To make your clients/friends/family feel famous and to show your appreciation to them (aka being a lovecat)

What to blog?
- Favorite images from your latest event or shoot complete with location info and any additional vendor info. Key phrases like “chicago, il” “engagement photos” “four seasons hotel” will get attract search engine rankings - website links will help as well.
- Stories about the couple or the wedding (everyone likes to feel famous, right?!)
- Your latest awards and recognition (be your own biggest fan!)
- Create a weekly or monthly feature, such as random favorite things, theme image or technique, favorite quote, fun stuff online, personal news, favorite recipe. It doesn’t have to be photography related, in fact it may be even better if it isn’t since it will give your clients another way to connect to you that may more closely relate to their lives.
- New products, or products that you’re considering
- Questions or contests for your readers
- Sales and promotion information, deadlines for holiday ordering, holiday gift reminders and ideas - Personal news, happenings, and travels
- Random thoughts
- Ideas of things you’d like to try with future clients (planting the seed early! Trash the dress, rolling in sand and water on the beach, sky diving, etc.)

Think about the blogs you’re addicted to and why you’re addicted to them. Often times addicting blogs have a few things in common…
- It’s not always about business
- They blog frequently and you feel like you’ve missed out if you haven’t checked the blog in a few days, or they have a special feature that you look forward to weekly
- They make you feel good or inspire you
- They have a definite sense of personality and feel very “real” with single voice that comes through to personally connect with you instead of a stale company voice (this is the difference between a real blog and just a site for your company’s latest news)
- They keep the content fresh and change things up from time to time

Here are a few blogs which I find very addicting!!

http://bludomain.typepad.com/blus_daily_blog/
Even though this is a company blog, they do an awesome job of connecting to their readers and keeping them interested weekly! I think they actually do all of the blog ideas mentioned on the “what to blog” list above… favorite things, contests, new products, latest news, etc… they’ve got it all.

http://www.photojojo.com/content/
Tons of crazy ideas and things to do with your photos or your camera!

http://swirlygirl.typepad.com/swirly_girl/
Amazingly creative, highly personalized, thought provoking, and interesting little bits of life on paper!

http://www.marriedtothesea.com/
Just plain funny and often unusual! (Thank you Meg for introducing me to this!)

http://www.trashthedress.com/
One which I would someday like to contribute to… (hint to past & future brides!!!)

http://photographs.wordpress.com/
One which I’ve been featured on a few times, and has some really neat images along with their stories.

http://www.xanga.com/garyfong1
An amazing guy who gave up a safe career in pharmacy to become a wedding photographer, inventor, and investor; who is now a millionaire (or is it billions now?) I visit often for the embarassing videos of his friends, but value it for his awesome business info and insights.

… and I love reading my friend’s blogs!!!! If you have one and I don’t know about it, please post it here or email me a link!!!

http://redmeg8.typepad.com/meganderings/
An awesome illustrator, creative soul, music lover, and cat servant!

What are some of your favorite blogs? What keeps you addicted? How can you apply that to your business or blog? Did you find this post to be helpful or should I stick to taking pictures? ;-)

(Disclaimer: I don’t think my blog is as great as it could be, but knowing what I need to improve is half the battle. ;-)

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7 Responses to “Why Blog? - Making the Most of Your Blog”

1.
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Guest
Your Photo Tips

I think it’s really important for photographers to have a blog that is somehow connected to their photography website especially if it’s a flash based website.

You’re right that knowing what you could improve upon is half the battle.

 
2.
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khali

This could not have come at a better time. I just started my own blog a couple of days ago and today I was feeling a bit overwhelmed at the possibilities. I was not sure if I had to have a steam line focus or if it was okay to just post about stuff I like and found around town and internet. After reading you post I feel like as long as you are happy and enjoying it then you are doing the right thing and the focus will come. thanks

 
3.
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Aylee of AyleeBits.com

Photography websites with blogs tend to catch more of my attention. I don’t really care looking at portfolios in websites. I like how photographers post photos of the latest weddings they shot. I also get to learn more about their personality through their blogs.

 
4.
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MrsLifeAccounts

These are really great tips, I’m just starting my own blog and while it’s not a photography-specific blog, these tips are still helpful. Thanks!

Oh, and anytime you need a model for a trash-the-dress shoot, just send me an email :)

 
5.
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Emily Ink

What a wonderful post! I will definitely take some of your advice.

 
6.
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Kelly Merrill

I’m new to the game (I assist & second shoot currently). I’m already blogging, but I would like to know which forums you recommend.

 
7.
Laura Nadeau @ Lo and Co
Pro
Laura Nadeau @ Lo and Co (message)  82 posts, Worker bee

I love this blog! I hope you become addicted to my blog - I love your camera phone photos of your day. I am thinking of doing more personal posts. I just never know what people will find interesting.

 

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Anne @ Anne Ruthmann Photography Anne Ruthmann, New England Occupation: Photographer Website: Anne Ruthmann Photography About Me: Things that make me happy: old people getting crazy on the dance floor, world travel, hello hugs & goodbye kisses, cultural celebrations, acoustic live music, indie handmade crafts, cinema, environmental protection, diversity, the sound of nature, authenticity, white water rafting, discovering artists, photographing people in love. Things that bore me: bland food, celebrity gossip, negativity, fake anything, waiting in lines, egotism.
 
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