…And The New Blogging Format

You know you suck at blogging when you count the posts in your own blog and find eight total… two being reposts from the archive. And what the heck is “higgledy-piggledy” anyway?!

Well, first things first. I’ve been blogging for much longer than the term “blogging” existed, and I don’t really suck at it; quite the opposite in fact. However, I do suck – terribly – as a commercial photography blogger. And who doesn’t? Honestly, I cannon name even one blog that is ran by a commercial photographer on his or her own website, that is even remotely interesting… unless that blog is about something other than photography. Basically, when photographer’s website has a blog, it always falls into one of these categories:

  1. SEO-Schmeo. “Tonight I’ve photographed the most fabulous wedding of Whatstheirnames”. Location keyword, venue keyword, vendor keyword soup, and a few photos to rank higher on image search. Other than search engine bots, no one ever reads this crap. In most extreme cases of “SEO-Schmeo” there’s an automated reposting of the same keyword salsa on all imaginable social networks. Yeeesh!
  2. Photographer’s Photographer. A lot of excellent photographers out there don’t cater to consumers or B2B clientele at all. Their target audience is other photographers. Affiliate links, ads, workshops… It is possible for a “Photographer’s Photographer” to make six figure a year on Youtube ads alone, at least that’s what I’ve been told by a bunch of independent sources.
  3. Sales Cornucopia, AKA “Sales Funnel From Hell”. Each post on these blogs is a landing page, with a proper call to action and an expertly crafted sales funnel. If you’re on a market for a photographer, there’s no escape, you’ll be hooked and landed. But if you aren’t looking for a photographer, you’d be bored to tears after 1 or 2 of these “posts”.
  4. Hodgepodge. Photographers who keep rotating through the first 3 categories can be classified as “hodgepodge” or sometimes, “wishy-washy”. They want sales. No, they want huge following. No, they want 100500 likes on each and every photo. No, let’s try ads. Workshops? No, back to sales…
  5. Personal blogs. These are mostly domain of landscape and editorial photographers – professionals who seldom, if ever, deal with consumers directly. In the era of offendotrons and melting snowflakes it is nearly impossible to share your personal thoughts and not offend anyone. However, these are by far the most interesting blogs out there, at least when it comes to full time professional photographers blogging on their own business websites.

For over a decade my “business” blog was strictly in the first category. Then I’ve got stuck in Russia for 6 years and eventually had to redo the entire website in Russian. ROI from running social media ads in Eastern Europe justifies the cost of doing that, so for a while my blog became a Sales Cornucopia. Then I came back stateside, redid this website again in English and… lost all appetite for blogging.

Why? For starters, during my firs year back on US soil I did a lot of subcontracting. You hire a famous and expensive studio, and tadaa! – you get me as a photographer. So I’ve shot many high end events, but blogging about them or posting the photos I’ve shot under a different brand would’ve been unethical. Then I’ve got into business event photography – conferences, conventions, you name it. Very engaging subject to blog about, don’t you think?… Me neither. And lastly, when I finally started booking my own high end events, most of them came with some form of NDA. “Tonight I’ve photographed a charming undescribable event in undisclosed location, and I can’t show you a single meaningful photo from it”. Doesn’t look like a great blogging material, eh?

Then there’s a question of “why would I do that”. My Facebook page has 2,573 followers from all over the world. It brought me exactly zero new clients since my return stateside in October 2015. Zero, zilch, nada. Same applies to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin… you name it. And this blog… My clients just never read it.

In short: my current clientele doesn’t care about my social media presence and blogging habits. And I’m tired of running separate blogs for “sensitive” topics. So here’s the new blogging format for my business website from now on:

  • There will be no format at all.
  • If I feel like posting a photo (any photo!), I’ll do it here, since on my website I control the quality of presentation. If you’d like to see a crosspost on Instagram or Facebook, make sure to leave a comment below.
  • If I feel like writing a post or an essay on any topic, I’ll do it here. Even if it has nothing to do with photography.
  • Sometimes I might do a “gear dump” style post with affiliate links. It’s fun. Seriously.
  • All Twitter and Instagram integration will be gone from my website pretty soon. No one cares.
  • You cannot offend me without resorting to physical violence. So if you have a suggestion, speak up! :)

Spring Is Near!

…Oh, you’re still curious about the “higgledy-piggledy“, why I used it in a preface of my last post and in a title of this one instead of more common “hodgepodge”? That was a part of the SEO experiment with low frequency keywords, there’s no deep meaning. As a side effect I might find myself #1 on Google search for “higgledy-piggledy photographer”, but somehow I doubt that anyone, other than the readers of this very post, will ever perform such a search.