I haven’t written a wedding business advice post for a little while – but over the last few weeks I’ve been helping friends with business advice here and there, and I thought I’d share with you today.
Every time I’m asked for advice about running a wedding business, I think, “I’ve been through that”, and it means I can help. I’m sure very many of us running our own businesses can identify with the same issues and dilemmas, so I’m going to try and use the blog to share my advice with everyone.
Wedding blogs – what’s that all about?
I was asked this question today, by a photographer I know via twitter. It’s funny: I live in a little bubble where blogs are the centre of everything I do, and it’s so easy to forget that the blogging phenomenon is still relatively new to the UK. Of course, this applies to brides and grooms as well as to wedding businesses. So it was a great question to be asked, and really got me thinking.
Wedding blogs are for brides and grooms to get inspiration
That’s the main one. The bloggers are all here to write about things they love, from the latest letterpress invites to button bouquets and wishing trees. Brides and grooms want to see ideas they can use, and they want to see other brides and grooms, and real weddings especially – which is where photographers come in.
The wedding blogs are also popular with a particular market segment, if you like: those brides and grooms for whom photography is a very important part of their wedding day.
Wedding blogs are a place to promote your business
This works in a few ways: simply by commenting on blogs you can get a link back to your site every time – dead easy, quick and a nice thing to do (note: only say nice things – we, and our brides and grooms are real people with feelings).
For wedding photographers, getting a wedding featured on a top UK wedding blog is as good as getting a wedding featured in a wedding magazine was ten years ago. The blogs are huge now – and you’ll also see a spike in your web traffic, especially if one of your weddings makes the big time with one of the top three: Love My Dress, Rock n Roll Bride or Rock My Wedding.
Sponsoring a wedding blog can be expensive, but the benefits are 1) a constant presence on the blog’s sidebar will encourage a few brides and grooms to visit your website and 2) affiliating your brand with a blogger will help you establish or build on your brand image. Most bloggers will also write a ‘sponsor introduction‘ post when you sign up as a sponsor, which will help with your website traffic as in the paragraph above.
If you’re a wedding supplier but not a photographer then you’ll also have the option of a sponsored feature on a wedding blog. This is an opportunity to showcase your latest product, launch a new collection, tell the world that your business is the bee’s knees, or run a competition. A sponsored feature on a wedding blog can cost anything from £50 to £300 and more.
Comments help build a supportive wedding blog community
There’s a lovely community aspect to wedding blogs too – and if you’re new to blogging, you’ll soon learn that this applies to wedding business blogs as well. Look at the top UK wedding blogs, and you’ll see certain blog posts get plenty of lovely feedback in the comments at the end of each post. (Great examples: Rock My Wedding blog, Marianne Taylor’s photography blog, and Tobiah Tayo’s wedding blogs.)
If you comment on someone’s blog, more often than not they’ll return the favour with a nice comment on one of your blog posts. Now, while the links you’ll get back to your website by posting a comment aren’t worth much, having lots of comments on your blog posts does help with your search ranking. It’s also just nice – to spend half an hour reading blogs, admiring the pictures and complimenting people always makes me smile!
Wedding blogs will help you reach different clients
As I mentioned above, wedding blogs tend to attract those brides and grooms for whom photography is one of the most important things in their wedding. The bigger wedding blogs will feature at least one real wedding every day; the likes of Rock n Roll Bride feature 2 or more, daily. Shift your perception slightly: consider the photography-loving couples as a distinct market segment you could target.
Every bride knows she can pop to Smiths and get a wedding magazine for inspiration. These are the traditional source of ideas for weddings. Then websites like Confetti and Hitched came along, with their thriving forums for brides, and now we have the blogs – often trendsetting, definitely innovative, creative and inspiring. The brides and grooms who are reading wedding blogs are the forward-thinking couples, the fashion-conscious, trend-aware, web-savvy types who are often looking to be different when it comes to their weddings.
We all love a creative client, don’t we? Someone who will challenge us with a new idea, a creative brief, something to make our working lives more exciting? This is another way to use wedding blogs – to connect with new clients and reach a different market to the magazines.
Wedding blogs – when to use us!
The advice I gave over the phone today was to use wedding blogs…
- if you need more enquiries from brides and grooms
- if you’re looking to expand your client base
- if you want your business to head in a different direction
- if you have decided to try advertising in new places
Of course I don’t know everything, so if you’d like to add a comment or a question I’d love to hear your thoughts on wedding blogs too!