Posting regular, informative, and quality blog articles is one of the best ways to show up on the first page of search results when someone is looking for a portrait photographer in your area. Many experts on Search Engine Optimization (or “SEO”) recommend posting as frequently as possible while maintaining good quality. For some, this may be daily and for others, it may be monthly. Most full-time photographers will fall somewhere in the middle and should try to post once every week or two weeks.
The bottom line is that in order to be found more easily, you need to be creating regular consistent content.
I've been hearing this for a long time. But if you go to my website, I have a grand total of TWO blog posts. My excuse was either “not enough time” or “I don't know what to write about.” So I decided recently that since I can't create more hours in the day, I would at least try to eliminate that second excuse.
So I set out to scour the web for all the portrait photography blogs that consistently show up at the time of search results in major metropolitan areas (arguably the places with the most competition and thus the hardest to rank high on search results). My goal was to see what everyone was writing about. What topics showed up over and over again. Basically, what could they have possible thought of to write about that I hadn't.
So I took all these ideas, narrowed then down into categories, added a bunch of my own ideas, offered some commentary on the potential topics, and created the following list for all of you. Partially because I like helping other photographers and because I want everyone that takes one of the ideas from this article to share the article with another photographer and leave a comment below with your own blog topic idea.
Why 52? So you don't have an excuse not to write one blog post every week for a year.
No these aren't topics about Christmas Trees, these are the kind of topics that are never out dated. These are arguably the most important blog posts on your website. You can reuse these year after year. Update them every so often and re-post on your social media accounts. Use them as instructional pages for your clients and potential clients. These are topics that you want to feature prominently on your website.
1. How to Prepare for Your Family Photo Shoot
This is one of the blog posts I do actually have on my site. I send the link to every client and I can say without a doubt that it has led to better communication with clients about their expectations and to clients being better prepared for the shoot. That has resulted in better photos overall.
2. What to Wear to Your Portrait Session
3. Incorporating Props or Other Items Into Your Portrait
You can use it as an opportunity to give clients ideas about how to incorporate props into photo shoots.
BONUS TIP: Stay away from the cliche props, try to use items that have sentimental value to a person or family or help to show off their personality. Not everyone needs to be holding an empty picture frame in a field.
4. Adding Bold Colors To Your Portrait Wardrobe
5. What To Look for in a Portrait Photographer
This is some subliminal ninja advertising right here. Give a list of 10 things that you already do and then explain why they are important. That way when if a client reads the post and ends up making an inquiry about a shoot with you, they will already understand the value of all those things you offer without you having to explain it to them.
6. Why Prints Are Important
7. Your Favorite Wall Galleries You Have Created
8. How To Pick Photos For an Album
9. How to Choose Wall Art For Your Home
These are very important for setting the expectations of clients. I am a huge proponent of using print and wall art sales to drive profits significantly higher. You want to establish early on that this is a focus on your business. Mention it as much as possible. That will ensure that you entice clients that want wall art and discourage clients that just want to cheapest option available.
10. How You Plan A Portrait Session
If clients know that you don't just show up with a camera in your hand ready to go, they will appreciate and value the work you do even more.
11. Tips On Posing For A Portrait
Or you can just send them over to my other article 10 Family Portrait Posing Tips For Photographers. After all, there's no need to try and improve on an already perfect article of course!
12. How You Choose the Best Images From a Shoot
13. Portrait Walk-through From Booking to Delivering the Final Product
Imagine being able to just send a client a link when they ask you, “So, uh, how does this all work?”
14. Top 10 Client Questions (and Answers)
This can be a huge time saver and one article that you should link to from other pages on your site. Keep it updated with the most common questions.
15. How To Be Comfortable During The Portrait Session
16. What You Should Ask Your Photographer Before the Shoot
If you write this article, you better make sure you have awesome responses ready when your clients ask these questions.
17. Tour Your Studio
Just make sure you get a studio first.
Sure, everyone has an “About Me” page. But if you are doing it right, that “About Me” page should be a subtly disguised way of showing how you can serve the client's needs better than anyone else rather than your “photographic journey.” Save the life story topics for an occasional blog post. Some people may find it interesting, but most will not care. At least if you only have it on a blog post you won't bore everyone that visits your website.
18. How You Discovered Photography
For me, it was a dark and stormy October night in 1985 when I found an old Nikon in the basement… Just kidding, I think it was a $20 Fisher Price camera, but hey, everyone has to start somewhere.
19. Why You Love Photography
20. Your Most Influential Mentor
21. The Most Important Photo You Have
22. Where You Draw Your Inspiration
If you are into great artists then here's an opportunity to put that knowledge to use and craft an interesting article about how you try to implement that in your photography. I was always a fan of the dogs playing poker painting.
23. When You First Started Your Photography Business
24. Your Favorite Photographers
Photo or Client Specific Topics
25. How I Got The Shot
Show off your skills. This has two effects. First, it lets people know that you know what you are doing. Second, it kind of gives your clients a little preview of how a shoot with you goes. It's the kind of post that you can link to in your emails to new clients to explain the process. It also helps if you have someone else shooting some behind the scenes photos or video to go along with this.
26. Featured Shoot
These are the easy and probably the one type of blog post we actually do regularly. Here's a couple tips though. If you aren't writing at least 300 words, its not helping your SEO (and 500 is better). So don't just paste a few photos from the shoot onto a blog post and call it good. Try to tell a story about each shoot.
27. Photo Editing Walk-through
It's important here to choose an image that you did a lot of work on. If you clicked the Auto Tone button in Lightroom and it happened to work out perfect, maybe don't tell your clients that. Pick one where you did some Lightroom work then sent it over to Photoshop for a 10 layer extravaganza of an edit. Maybe swap out a sky or something. Just make it look impressive.
28. Featured Photography Project
Upset that your latest photography project wasn't picked up by a book publisher to become an Amazon bestseller? You'll have to settle for a blog post. Just try to make sure it is in some way connected to portrait photography.
29. Photos From An Event You Shot
Mostly, its better to keep your brand consistent, but if you had an opportunity to shoot a cool event, especially if its a charity or something people will appreciate, it can be a positive thing to make into a blog post. It may even lead to some side gigs in different areas of photography.
30. Yearly Top Ten Photos
What better way to attract clients than with your best shots from the year.
31. Holiday Themed Shoots (Christmas, Valentines Day, New Years, Halloween, Fourth of July, et.)
You can even use some photos from the year before and incorporate the blog post into some type of holiday promotion.
Location Specific Topics
32. Top Clothing Stores To Find Outfits For Your Shoot
Clothing Stores? Yep! But before you start listing every store in the mall, think about reaching out to some small locally owned boutique shops and see if you can partner with them before you mention them. Offer to give them some free photography of their clothing (if they get the models) in return for them handing out some form of advertising (coupons, business cards, a mention on their social media, etc.). This can be a great way to target a demographic that you want to shoot.
33. Top Wedding Venues
Yes, this post is about blog topics for portrait photographers, but (1) a lot of you also shoot weddings and (2) I had to cheat on a few to get enough of these.
34-37. Favorite Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter Shooting Locations
Yes, I am counting this as four! This type of post can also be updated and used many times over. Once a year for each season, a least!
38. Interview a Local Businessperson
This could be a good way to get your name in front of new audiences regularly. Find a local business that has a big social media following. Tell the owner you are featuring portraits of local business people and that you want to feature them on your blog. Most people would be flattered and readily agree. Then ask if they can share the link on their social media too. Now you just have to do a really good job on the portrait because you just gained a whole new audience for your photography.
Photography Tips and Tricks
There are two goals here. One, to show your clients that you are an authority in photography and you can teach them and, two, help them out with their own photos enough to build some trust. Don't worry, your clients aren't going to abandon you as soon as they learn the rule of thirds.
39. How To Compose a Portrait
It helps if your clients know you aren't just pointing the camera in their general direction and clicking the shutter.
40. How To Shoot In Low Light
This is magic to some people. It also helps people understand why their camera phone isn't as good as your camera.
41. How To Get Great Looking Vacation Photos
This is a good opportunity to show off a lot of varying photography skills. Maybe you are a portrait photographer by profession but you also love landscape photography? Show your clients your skills. The cool thing about “Travel Photography” is that it can pretty much be any genre you want, as long as you do it far from home.
42. Tips For Taking Great Family Photos
Number one tip…if everyone is looking at the camera with their eyes open, its probably a keeper.
43. Get The Best Photos Possible With Your New iPhone
Show off your skill with an iPhone. Let them know that its not just about the camera and that even an iPhone can produce great photos when its in the hands of a skilled photographer (a.k.a. you).
44. Basics of Shutter Speed On Your Camera
45. Why Light is So Important
If your clients happen to read this one, they'll understand why you don't want to shoot at noon. At the very least it will save you some explaining when they ask for that time slot.
46. Tips On Photographing People Outside
47. Tips For Photographing Children/Pets/Teenagers/Etc.
Remember your audience here! Keep in mind that your clients don't care as much about gear as you do. They certainly don't want an in depth comparison of the noise at 6400 ISO between the Nikon D850 and the Sony A7RIII. Keep these posts simple. Use the articles as an opportunity to show some great photos you have made with the gear rather than getting technical about it.
48. What Flashes You Use
49. What's a Prime Lens
Include a Transformers joke for bonus points.
50. What's a Zoom Lens
51. Your Dumbest Gear Purchase
A little humor can go a long way towards helping people connect with you. If humor is not your strength, then maybe skip this one.
52. Your Favorite Props
See #3 above. No more picture frames!
Add Your Own…
So there you have it. These are the best ones I could come up with. I want to hear what you all have to add to this list. I bet you all can come up with another 52 so we all can have our topics set for the next two years.