Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Real World Examples of the Benefits of Blogging

I thought I would take a "deep dive" look at how my BLOG positively effects my photography business and share that with you... you read all these articles about how great a blog is, but rarely does someone peel back the layers and show you concrete examples of the benefits... so here is the skinny on my blog...
I use BLOGGER from Google and it is embedded as a page on my website, You can access the blog directly through that site or by its own URL,
I started this blog in September of 2010 and was periodically writing posts whenever the mood struck me. In that month my posts were read 317 times. The number of times my blog was read over the next 12 months started to slowly climb to 1937 blog posts read in a given month. My posts were hard to find, I wasn't tagging them properly and I really wasn't engaged with my blog marketing efforts the way I should have been. I was a part time blogger still not looking at photography as a profession.
Then I gave a seminar to 25 car dealers about being engaged with their blog as a full time marketing initiative... I was teaching them about how to reach out to their clients and tagging their blogs properly in a way that it matched people's search phrases on the search engines. I sat there on the second break and thought, "I should start to take my own blog more seriously and apply that methodology to my photography."
In October of 2011 I retagged ALL my posts and photos in my posts, started being proactive and writing relevant content 30 days in advance so I could increase my frequency of posts. I would take two nights a month and write posts for four (4) hours and plan a strategy to properly reach out to photographers about things that matter most to them. (gear posts, how to posts, business posts)
Since I started that strategy my blog has exploded with traffic and clients are now reaching out to me because they saw my blog posts. I now get requests to attend workshops and purchase images. In fact, it generates more business than any other marketing effort. It really was not hard... its was just a commitment.
In November of 2012 my blog was read 8250 times and I posted 38 blog posts in November, most of which were wrote in September or October and scheduled to coincide with initiatives I wanted to promote, and some new partnerships that were going to be announced. In December I am on track to have my blog posts read over 9000 times.
So now you have my traffic baseline... but where does that traffic to my BLOG come from, and how am i generating revenue from my blog?
How Do People Find My BLOG?
(1) Proper indexation of my content for search engines… for each type of post, say a post on “Photography Composition” I look to a tool that I have that identifies the top searches pertaining to that topic. I then make sure those terms are in my blog title, in the body of the post and i use the same terms to tag the blog. It makes my blog so that they are easily searched.
(2) Proper time of day releases… I live in “Eastern Standard Time” near Toronto, Canada. The majority of the people that read my blog also live in Eastern Standard Time, Mountain Standard Time and Pacific Standard Time… The majority of the population lives in Eastern Standard Time. By understanding when peak Internet traffic times are during the week, and on the weekends, allows me to schedule when the posts go live. This allows me to maximize my chances of having my blog read by the most amount of people.
If I post two in a day I capture the appropriate peak time in eastern North America and western North America for readers during the week and then at appropriate times on the weekend.
How Do I broadcast my BLOG to maximize people reading it?
(1) As soon as the BLOG goes live on my site it gets socialized on my Facebook business pages, sometimes on my personal Facebook page, on my Twitter account and my Google+ account.
(2) I have two boards on my Pinterest profile that lend themselves to my blog posts. I have a Board showing images of travel where links to my posts about trips, wildlife and workshops will be placed. I also have a Board for tips and tutorials. With each photo goes a link to an appropriate tip. When I post on or occasionally on flickr I also post links to posts from my blog.
(3) Guest Blogging… occasionally I will guest blog on other peoples sites. I will put links on those BLOG posts directly back to my blog or to my website…. I will offer the same benefit to people reading this. If you want to guest post on my blog, reach out to me and we will get some of your posts scheduled into my BLOG.
(4) There is a link to my blog in my email signature on my personal email address.
(5) I post some links to my personal BLOG from my business website,
(6) My posts also get posted on my meetup group, my 500px profile and on occasion my flickr profile (when i post there)
Where Does My BLOG Traffic Come From?

Direct traffic accounts for 11.2% people registered to receive my posts via email or people that regularily come back because they have it bookmarked
Google searches account for 32.9%
Yahoo and Bing traffic accounts for 3.2% this should be larger but there has always been a search issue with Canadian sites by US browsers searching with Bing.
Facebook traffic accounts for 16.4%
Twitter traffic accounts for 11.8%
Pinterest traffic accounts for 1.2%
Traffic from my business website accounts for 5.9% and flickr traffic accounts for 3.6%
Rick Sammon’s website from guest blogging and workshop info account for 7.4%
The leaves 5.4% of my traffic coming from web sources because people have shared my blog posts, or other unknown web sites had a link to my blog posts.
So Where Does The Money Come From?
I looked at all the bookings from my workshops and photo tours and looked at the answers that people gave me regarding how they found me. My BLOG generated almost 23% of all my bookings of my International and Domestic workshops.
I ask everyone that purchases images from me how they found me and here is the percentage of clients that came through my blog… 38% of all my images sold come as a result of people reading my blog posts.
I found one corporate client because they read my BLOG posts. My BLOG eventually took them to my images and they reached out to me.
I found a new client for my mentorship program because they were following my BLOG posts and were reading them everyday on Facebook.
As you read in earlier posts, my BLOG generates money from AdSense… its not much, but its growing as my traffic grows.
As you can see, my BLOG generates a good portion of my revenues... for something that does not cost me anything, other than the time I invest in it, its the most profitable revenue generation avenue I have.
If you want to learn more about blogging come to my 2013 seminar in Kitchener, Ontario. You can see details here,
Or, if you are not local to me, I have a program where we can work together remotely to help you become more recognised online. Check out that program here...