I'm Dolly — a Nashville based branding photographer for small business owners & a systems + workflow educator (and Podcast Host) for creatives who want to be more streamlined and organized with Systems, Workflows & Dubsado. I'm here to help you look awesome (for your photos) & feel great about workflows!
Blogging is an awesome way to get more visitors to your website, improve your SEO, and position yourself as an authority in your industry or niche. And it can be fun! If you don’t think you’ll ever find blogging fun, I’ll at least show you how to optimize your blog so you can increase your website visitors in an effective and efficient way!
The title (or headline) of your blog is an important part of SEO (search engine optimization—essentially, how Google prioritizes your site in its search results).
Don’t use cutesy names for your blog posts. Instead, focus on keyword-heavy titles that are clear and concise.
For example, let’s say you’re posting a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. And you name your blog post “OMG! You’ll never believe how good this recipe is!” Let’s think about that for a second. Is anyone in the mood to make cookies, going to their search bar, and typing in “OMG! You’ll never believe how good this recipe is!” Umm… probably not.
Be specific and use the actual words someone would type into a search for the content you’re sharing. Posting a chocolate chip cookie recipe? Try “The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe.”
Before you upload your images to your blog (and you should definitely include at least a few images in each blog post), there are a couple of steps you can take to boost your SEO and improve the load time of your site.
First, make sure the metadata of your images is updated. Include “alt text” for every photo. This should be a description of what’s in the image, so someone who is visually impaired (or using a slow internet connection that won’t upload your photos) can still understand what’s happening in the picture. You can also sneak in your business name and a keyword phrase that relates to your industry.
So if I upload a photo of a boy and his mom holding hands, I might include the alt text: Photo of a little boy holding mom’s hand in Nashville, TN taken by Nashville Family Photographer Dolly DeLong.
I know it feels like a lot to add to every image, but if I can do it as a photographer who sometimes has up to 50 images in a single post, so can you!
You’ll also want to optimize the size of your images, as a full-resolution photo takes up a lot of space. I use a tool called “Blog Stomp” that “stomps” my images down to a web-friendly size! This helps my pages load quickly, which is super important as visitors will only give you a few seconds to grab their attention before moving on.
Make sure the images you post correlate with what you’re talking about in the paragraph immediately above or below the image, so people don’t get confused.
It’s also important to remember to select an image to use as your cover or feature image. Most blogging sites won’t automatically choose one for you, and it looks messy and lazy if you don’t have a featured image!
First, you need to make sure you understand your different heading options. You should use H1, H2, H3 in descending order in your post.
H1 is your main header, and only your title should be written in H1.
H2 can be used for more than one line of text and is generally good for subheads or larger text to break up sections or paragraphs.
H3 can also be used more than once, and I typically use it for a “Call to Action” (CTA) at the bottom of each post.
Your actual blog post content should have a clear purpose and be structured in a way that makes it easy to read and follow. Don’t include huge paragraphs of text, but break things up with plenty of white space and subhead dividers.
If you don’t have time to write regular content, I highly suggest you invest in a good copywriter. I work with Emily Conley of Emily Writes Well and she’s been a lifesaver!
If you don’t have the resources to outsource your blog content, then plan an hour or so into your workday to just free write about a topic. Then take what you’ve written and condense it down to a few paragraphs and bam! You’ve got a blog post!
My last tip for your post itself is to link out to other sources throughout. If you take photos at a specific location, hyperlink the venue’s website. If you post about a book, link out to the author. This helps give credit where credit is due and improves your ranking with Google. Share the love!
And don’t forget to include several CTAs throughout your post. (That’s where that H3 can come in handy!) Give people a way to contact you and link out to your services page so they can easily figure out how to work with you!
Several of the tips in the previous sections will also help your SEO, but here are a few of my search engine optimization favorites!
Use the “Yoast” plug-in (available on WordPress) to monitor your SEO. It will give you a green, orange, or red light to indicate the readability of your post. (FYI- professional copywriters are really good at getting green lights for you!) Yoast also shows you what your post will look like on Facebook, too, so you can make sure it’s formatted correctly for other platforms!
You also need to pay attention to your keyword usage! Now don’t just stuff a bunch of keywords into your post to the point where it doesn’t make sense. But you should pay attention to including keywords you’d want to be shown as a search result for. For me, I use “Nashville Family Photographer,” or “advice for small businesses” because these are things I specialize in.
It takes time to build up your online presence. No one is going to be searching for you (and Google won’t be putting you on Page 1 search results…) at first. But the more content you publish and the more you improve your SEO, the more likely it is that over time you’ll start popping up more in search results! And that’s great news for your business.
If you’re only depending on Instagram or Facebook to direct visitors to your website, you’re really missing out! An Instagram or Facebook post will quickly be shuffled out of your followers’ feeds, but a blog post lasts forever!
True story: One of my most popular blog posts today is a sunflower session that I blogged about several years ago! And it’s still driving website traffic my way!
One of my favorite ways to increase my website traffic is through Pinterest. I create between 8 and 10 unique pins that are linked directly to my blog for every post I write. This has been one of the most successful strategies I’ve used, and I’ve got a post coming soon with my step-by-step Pinterest process, so don’t miss that one!
This might seem like a lot to do for every blog, but I’ve gotten this process down to less than two hours. In about ninety minutes I can now have a blog post written with optimized images and strategic keywords, an Instagram post scheduled to promote my post, pins scheduled for Pinterest that direct back to my post and even a post uploaded to my LinkedIn for my small business advice posts!
We all can suffer from “the spotlight effect.” This is basically when we think everyone sees every piece of content we create and that they are tired of what we’re saying. But the truth is that your audiences on different platforms aren’t seeing everything you post! And only a small portion of your audience is even seeing one piece of your content each day.
Done is always better than perfect, so don’t let all of these steps keep you from even starting on your blog. But I do know that spending a little extra time to optimize your images, posts, and use social media strategically is worth it. If you put these steps into practice, you’ll consistently increase your reach and find more clients than ever before!
Download your FREE guide to how to best optimize your blog post HERE
Don’t have time to read the entire blog post? Check out my Youtube Video where I cover a lot of the points from this blog here:
Did you know that in addition to serving families, eloping couples, and business owners with my timeless, and radiant photography I also have a heart for serving the larger business community? I share my knowledge of tools like Pinterest, email marketing, and time management with fellow business owners in an encouraging and supportive way through Pinterest 1:1 training, helpful blog posts, and I love talking about email marketing tools as well!
Dolly DeLong is a Nashville-based family & branding photographer and a creative business owner who educates on all things Pinterest, Dubsado, Lead Magnets & Email Marketing (aka pretty much all the fun automation stuff centered around those business systems)! Dolly loves serving families, and business owners with her timeless, radiant photography. She loves capturing the joy and emotion in both digital and film photos.
She also has a heart for serving the larger business community. Dolly shares her knowledge of tools like Pinterest, Dubsado, email marketing, and business systems with new creative business owners in an encouraging and supportive way because she believes that even muggles can become automating wizards!
Dolly’s faith and love for her family motivate her to help other business owners find the joy and freedom she’s found in running a successful small business.
Whenever she has a spare moment, she enjoys watching TV (i.e. Survivor), loves eating way too many sweets, and listens to podcasts while running or walking. To work with Dolly DeLong Photography LLC, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out her contact form here.
Interested in learning how to best automate your small business but have NO clue where to start? Click here (or on the image below) to get started with learning the foundations of automating your business with Dolly DeLong Education!
Or maybe you're not really sure how you'd use your new collection of branded images? Download my free planning guide to learn how to plan an elevated brand photography session to impact your business!