Guest blogging and SEO strategies should be high on your radar if you’re keen to ramp up traffic to your photography website and boost your perceived credibility online.
Creating marketing content, and particularly blog content is soooooo great for SEO!
Benefits of blogging and SEO strategies
There are many benefits of investing time and effort into creating blog content.
Whether it’s created for your own website or is a ‘guest blog’ – created for the websites of other business owners, brands and publishers – blogging can boost your search rankings.
Related reading: Why bother creating content for your photography blog?
What’s even more brilliant about blogging and guest blogging is that those benefits are long-lasting.
Unlike a social media post which has an incredibly short shelf-life, blog content and guest blog content continues to work hard for you over time. It can drive traffic to your website for years after it’s first published.
Plus, if it ranks well on Google, and it gets shared on social media and linked to from many other sites, views of that blog article can potentially skyrocket!
If Google begins to recognise that article as a valuable, authoritative piece of content it will make it more visible in search results. Which, of course, is good news for your photography business.
Boost your SEO through content
Higher rankings and greater visibility in organic search results contribute to more website traffic to your blog articles.
This then leads to increased awareness of your photography services, and potentially more social media followers, more email newsletter subscribers, and more enquiries and sales!
Related reading: 33 Social Media Content Ideas for Photographers
Guest blogging benefits: Reach new people and grow your audience
So, now let’s talk about guest blogging specifically. Writing and submitting guest blog articles for SEO purposes might be something you’re keen to start doing.
How guest blogging works is that you write a blog article for another website and you benefit from exposure to their audience. You also gain a valuable backlink from that guest article to your website.
Being featured and linked to from another website is a positive signal to Google’s algorithm. Backlinks boost your website’s domain authority and can impact how well your photography website ranks in search listings.
Related reading: Five ways to become a go-to photographer in your niche
Guest blogging and SEO opportunities for photographers
Depending on your marketing goals, the websites you may want to guest blog for could be, for example:
- a local/regional business website
You’d identify a non-competing business, based in the same locality as you, that has the same target audience. Then, you’d offer to write an article for their blog.
- a national business website or brand
Again, you’d pitch your content idea to a non-competing business but who has a large established audience and whose content is followed/read by those you wish to reach.
- an established interest-specific blog or website
This could be a women’s interest blog with a national focus, for example. Or, it could be or a more niche blog – perhaps photography specific, wedding or pet-focused etc.
- or, you could target media publications
Some media publications – newspapers, magazines and websites – welcome guest content.
Tips for guest blogging and SEO
As with pitching to the media, if you’re keen to guest blog for a business, brand website or blog, there is a process to go through. Read on for the main steps in that process, which I have coined the ‘IDEAS’ framework.
It goes like this…
The ‘IDEAS’ framework: A guest blogging process for photographers
Step 1: I – IDEAS & INTEL
The first step is ‘I’ which stands for ideas and intel. This is your research and planning phase.
You need to brainstorm potential blog topic ideas that could interest the audience of the blog, website or publication you are thinking of approaching.
- Develop specific guest blog content ideas
Notice that I suggest you pitch topics rather than themes.
You want to come up with specific ideas rather than just offer to write about ‘family photography’, for example. This will help the website or blog owner you are approaching to more easily determine how your blog article could fit their site.
For example, a proposed article about ‘Five ways to display your family photos around the home’ will be much more likely to get a ‘yes’ from a family-orientated business or blog than a broader promise to write about ‘family photography’.
So, be specific with your guest blog ideas to increase your chances of getting a ‘yes’ from those to whom you’re pitching to.
- Keep the needs of the audience in mind at all times
Another key thing when brainstorming guest blog content topics is to put yourself in the audience’s shoes.
Consider…what would they find interesting, valuable, or want or need to know about the topic you can write about? Also, think about why they would need to know what you have to share.
Also, how is it relevant or timely? Or, how could you make it so? Could you hook onto an upcoming national awareness campaign that provides that timeliness or sense of urgency?
Related reading: How to use awareness days to inspire photography content ideas
You also need to gather intelligence about blogs or websites that you could potentially target.
- Do they accept guest content?
Not all will accept guest content, so it’s important to establish whether they welcome guest pitches before you make an approach.
Do your due diligence. Read it closely. Look through the existing content and really get familiar with it. If it does accept guest content, does it look like a site where your proposed article would fit in well?
- Have they already covered the topic (or similar topics)?
If you discover that the topic you were planning to pitch has already been covered, don’t necessarily be put off. If it is an old article, they may be open to the idea of you providing an updated version. Or you could simply come up with alternative angles on the same theme.
The fact that they have already covered similar topics is actually a positive sign. It shows that you’re on the right track and that their audience is likely to be interested in your guest post.
If you suggest a blog post idea that is aligned with their existing content, it may be very well received.
- Do the articles on the site get good engagement?
During this initial research stage, do also check how much engagement the guest articles seem to get. Do the number of shares and comments on them suggest that the website or blog owner promotes their content well?
This will give you valuable insight and help you to prioritise one site over another when you come to draw up your target list of sites to blog for.
The more marketing-savvy the website or blog owner seems to be, the more potential there is for a guest article you write for them to get shared and seen.
Step 2: D – DOMAIN AUTHORITY
The second step is ‘D’ for domain authority.
Every site has a domain authority score out of 100, and you can find this out for the websites or blogs you are planning to target. Use a domain authority checker tool. There are many free options available online.
MozBar is a free Chrome extension I recommend for determining domain authority scores.
The higher the domain authority score, the higher its perceived credibility by the likes of Google.
Step 3: E – EVALUATE
Now, in this third step, ‘E’ stands for evaluate.
You’ll want to review the insights you’ve gained from the first two stages to develop a priority list of websites or blogs which accept guest posts. This will become your list to work through and target one-by-one.
Qualify your options
Of the blogs or websites you’ve researched, which are the most authoritative?
Depending on your strategy, you may want to prioritise those sites with high (or higher) domain authority. These may well attract thousands of readers and could potentially drive large volumes of website traffic to your site.
But, don’t be swayed by domain authority alone. Do also consider the relevance of that website to your business.
Relevance is important in Google’s eyes and is a factor in how it decides to rank your content. Relevant backlinks will be far more useful to you for SEO purposes than backlinks from less relevant sources.
So, despite what you might initially assume, sites or blogs with a low (or lower) domain authority score may work very well for you. They could attract a smaller, but highly relevant audience!
Step 4: A – APPROACH
Step 4 is ‘A’. Make your approach and offer yourself as a potential guest blogger.
1. Craft your compelling email pitch
How? Well, pitching guest blog content ideas is usually best done over email.
You’ll need to put together a succinct, brief and clear email pitch that outlines:
- what you are proposing (your guest blog topic idea – plus any alternative ideas you have in case the first one you propose doesn’t appeal to them)
- who you are (and why you’re an expert in this area),
- and, how you feel it would complement existing content on the site and benefit their readers.
If you’ve done your research, you’ll be able to briefly mention existing articles and topics they have covered, and illustrate how you see your content fitting in with those.
Within your pitch, you should also highlight that you can provide unique, beautiful photography that could support the article. This is likely to be regarded positively by the site owner since strong professional images help to make a blog post more visually interesting. Quality photography is a prized asset so don’t forget to mention it!
You could also briefly convey your interest in their site and mention why you’re keen to be featured by them in particular. But, do keep this kind of flattery genuine! Don’t fake an appreciation for their site if you’ve never actually checked it out before!
2. Attract their attention with a well-written headline
An intriguing headline helps to get your guest blog email pitch opened, but don’t try to be clever by using a play on words that they might misunderstand or find cheesy!
In the subject line, I’d suggest you simply use “GUEST BLOG PITCH: [Your proposed topic idea here]”. For example, “GUEST BLOG PITCH: Baby stages every parent should capture in photos”, or “GUEST BLOG PITCH: The top locations in [town/city] for outdoor family photoshoots.”
Or, follow their specific guest blogging guidelines, if available. They may have a preference for a headline to be written in a particular way or to include certain information (and you won’t want to get this wrong).
STEP 5: S – SCRIBE AND SUBMIT
The final stage is ‘S’ which stands for scribe (write) and submit your guest post! I’ve also thrown ‘share’ into this final section as you’ll definitely want to do that too, once it’s published.
1. Write your guest post
Having received a ‘yes’ to your guest blog pitch, you’ll need to write the article.
When writing, ensure that you keep a focus on quality. Aim to write in a way that would be interesting and valuable to the readers. Keep it jargon-free and use short, simple sentences where possible.
Remember, punctuation, spelling and grammar are very important. So check, and double-check, your work before submitting it to the website or blog owner! A free grammar checker tool like Grammarly is well worth using to help ensure your guest blog article will make the impression that you hope it will.
You’ll want to link to your website within your article, but do be sure to follow the site or blog’s submission guidelines. They will likely outline what you can and can’t include.
While each site is likely to have different rules around what they do and don’t allow, be careful that you don’t overstep the mark with overly self-promotional content or too many outgoing links to your own website content.
A word of warning: Not following a website or blog’s submission guidelines is a sure way to annoy the site owner and risk your guest blog not being published at all!
If you wish to, and it’s permitted by the site or blog owner, you could consider providing a free resource or ‘lead magnet’ related to your guest blog topic. Readers of the article could click through from the guest blog to your website, where they could sign up for free access to this.
This is a smart strategy as your guest blog article will then drive traffic to your website AND also grow your email list. If you have it set up right, once someone has provided their email address in exchange for your free useful resource, they will then be automatically added to your email list.
A well-crafted email nurture sequence, and regular email communication, will then ensure that they are made aware of your photography services and products. This may, over time, inspire them to hire you or buy from you!
Once it’s completed, send your guest blog article off in advance of the mutually agreed deadline. Don’t leave it until the last minute and risk sending it in late!
Provide the visual assets, the bio and anything else you promised to send over with the article.
Once the article has been published, remember to thank the site or blog owner again and get sharing it! Promote it widely at the time of publication and regularly over time.
Guest blogging and SEO
The impact of your guest blogging efforts will be realised in the longer term rather than the immediate term. However, you should be able to see a difference in your website traffic and domain authority within 6-12 months if you start to focus on guest blogging and SEO as a key strategy in your marketing mix.
Guest blogging and SEO are a brilliant combination. I would definitely urge you to reach out to websites and blogs that would appreciate your expert content!
Depending on what you hope to achieve through guest blogging and what kind of sites or blogs you are targeting, you could submit photo essays, educational content, gear reviews, or personal stories and opinion pieces. There are lots of possibilities!
One thing is for certain, backlinks from guest blog articles are very valuable. They will certainly help to give your photography website an SEO boost!
Blogging for photographers: A powerful visibility and lead generation tool
I honestly cannot stress enough the value of blogging and guest blogging for your photography business!
Blog content strategy development and blog writing are key elements of my 1-2-1 consultancy service. I help my photography clients to create consistent and strategic blog content for their own websites and external sites and blogs. This activity ups their rankings in Google, boosts website traffic and helps to generate leads and drive business growth.
Related reading: How to boost organic traffic to your photography website