Your clients are searching for an expert
Picture this: someone googles photographer – or any other business for that matter. What kind of small business are they looking to find? The expert, right? Who is listed on the first page of Google? The experts for that search term, right?
I know there are about a gazillion variables Google combs through to rank their results, but let me ask you one question: If there are two photographers, who rank identical in search, but one consistently writes for a national blog (or two) and the other does not – which one of the two will rank higher?
“Simple,” you say “the one who is a regular contributor to a well-known national blog, but how on earth do you become one of those bloggers?” If it were easy, everybody would be doing this, right?
How do you get national exposure?
Write for the blog of a nationally recognized organization to get national exposure, simple right? Well not so fast. Remember when I said that some of these MarketingHacks are simple, they just fall into your lap (like Marketing Hack #8: Do something unexpected – that one took me less than an hour and cost less than $10 bucks). Let me be honest, the one we’re talking about here requires work and lots of it.
So you wanna write for a national blog …
This may sound silly, but if you’ve never written for a blog – even if it’s your own – it’s gonna be hard to convince the editors of a national blog to have you write for them as a regular contributor (I’m not talking about the occasional guest blogging here, I’m talking about a commitment to creating content on an ongoing a regular basis.)
Show your work to the editors, so they can get a feel for how you write. If you can show that you write for other known blogs – even if it’s a guest post – that’s gonna help. Like everything in life …[nextpage title=”next page”]
… the first one is always the hardest:
- the first time someone hires you,
- the first time you line up a sponsor,
- the first time you do pretty much anything, someone believes in you
It’s always easier when you can show that someone else already trusts you. I’m gonna warn you – it’s gonna take commitment on your side. Once you’re invited or have convinced an editor that you can create beneficial content as a writer for their national blog, the easiest way to lose that gig, is to not follow through. You’re going to commit to producing a certain amount of posts each week/month/year, each of which must keep up a high quality of writing.
It’s not that difficult, but it ain’t easy
I’ve written for the American Society of Media Photographers national blog, Strictly Business, for around 2 and 1/2 years now, writing a little more than one blog post a month. I’m guessing that I spend about 3-4 hours on average writing each post.
I particularly like how this national blog operates: every few months our editor sends us a list of topics for the next few months. We pick the topic we want to write about – sometimes coming up with what content to put up is the hardest thing, so I’m very grateful to get a list of topics to choose from.
Quick Tip: The post you write for the national blog is a great catalyst for writing posts on your own blog, especially if you plan them out in advance, so you can link to a series of articles you’ve written on your blog for the national blog’s reader that want to dive into the subject in more detail.
Actually, this MarketingHack series was born from a blog post I wrote for ASMP 15 weeks ago: 25 Marketing Hacks For Creatives.
Get started, before you can write for a national blog
If you’ve never blogged, you should really consider it. It’s a great place for your clients to read about you and get to know you, but you must have something to say (hint – trust me you do have something to say). If you’re not convinced that blogs are important, watch long time blogger Rick Tuttle share his views on blogging:
This video is part of a post called “The blog is dead! Long live the blog!” I wrote. Once you’ve built up a body of posts as a writer for yourself, send some articles to other bloggers as a guest blogger and when you have a few of those, contact some of the national blogs, which can give you national exposure. Just remember, this is one of the more time-intensive MarketingHacks, but it’s also one of the most rewarding.
Marketing Hack is valuable, because …
You will reach a broader audience than you can on your blog. Plus some of them will come to read you’re blog as well, not just the post you write for the national blog. However, the most value I’ve gotten out of writing for a national blog is the benefits this gives me when a client is searching for a photographer.