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Blog Articles Should Come From Your Heart

Intro by Skip Cohen

If I were to just share this archived post from Mary Marantz most of you would think I was nuts. It doesn’t have a single thing to do with photography, let alone building a business. On the other hand, it has EVERYTHING to do with your business, especially your blog.

Mary Marantz wrote this years ago as a post and I can’t think of a better way to make a point about blog content. So many of you are trapped in what I call rip-tide marketing. You only run images of your clients on your blog, showing shoot after shoot of weddings, families, babies, kids, pets or engagement sessions. And, now you can’t get out of the loop because if you ran one couple last week, the couple you’re working with this week will be hurt they weren’t featured on your blog!

I’ve written this a lot – your website is about what you sell, but your blog is about what’s in your heart. What I love about Mary’s post is her sharing a bit of who she is – her personality is in the spotlight along with her relationship with Justin. She’s using their blog to show a little classic humor and a tiny piece of her personality.

So, as you struggle for content ideas, start thinking about sharing a few private moments in your life. Remember, for most of you, your target audience is “Mom.” So share things Mom can relate to. Don’t be afraid to talk about some of your dreams, awkward moments, frustrations or challenges.

Branch out into topics that are helpful. Share information about upcoming community events, picture-taking tips, what to wear for a family portrait etc. And, to break out of the rip-tide challenge show fewer images. When you do share an image from a sitting, use it to make a point about the pose, lighting or composition.

Remember, when Mom decides to hire you, she’s not going to care what you shoot with or what awards you’ve won. She’s interested in knowing if she can trust you to capture the kinds of images she wants of her family. One of the best ways to do that is share content she can relate to.

The door closes behind him, as I prepare to take center stage. For the next twenty minutes, while he runs to the store, our living room is no longer a living room but a packed venue filled with thousands of screaming fans.

My screaming fans.

I stand in the imaginary spotlight clutching my hairbrush microphone, as I wait for the music to begin. After what seems like an eternity, iTunes finally launches and syncs wirelessly to the speakers across the room. And the twangy chords of a banjo in a country song float happily through the air.

I belt out the lyrics and I rock out the chorus. I hold the high notes longer than Miss Carrie Underwood herself.

I dance, I shimmy, and I work that crowd like nobody’s business.

I point, I high five, I jam with the bass player, Jim.

For one shining moment, I. AM. A. STAR. All the world’s a stage and I alone hold the hairbrush microphone. I can already see my debut album skyrocketing to the top of the charts, and I make a mental note to start practicing my autograph. But just then iTunes quits unexpectedly, and reality sets in with a thud at the scary sound of my own voice without the benefit of a volume turned wayyyy up.

The packed arena quickly fades into nothing as the roar of ten thousand fans becomes merely a whisper, and once again the all too familiar sight of our own couch & chair comes back into focus. Truth is, I couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket even if I had TWELVE buckets. Twelve buckets AND a wheelbarrow… ya know like one of those industrial strength ones from Home Depot.

Never have, never will. But that sure doesn’t stop me from dreaming. And as I turn back to see my husband, who was standing there in the doorway all along, he just smiles and says “Sing it again, darlin’.”

That’s when I know… I’ve already got all the fans I’ll ever need.