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Wedding suppliers – do you blog?

Pre-wedding season, I was peering through the tumbleweed at various wedding photography websites and genuinely surprised by a) the numbers of wedding photographers out there, and b) the lack of blogs!

A quick look at this as a little aside: I searched for ‘wedding photographers’ and got a map with chicken pox. There are so, so many photographers out there! (Even more if you zoom in). I knew that though…

wedding photographers map UK

wedding photographers - a rash across the UK?

I was on a bit of a mission to discover new wedding photographers – ones who hadn’t submitted to my blog before, so I could raise awareness of English Wedding blog. And I was looking for their real wedding features to get an idea of what they do.

Four out of five didn’t have blogs.

And I was surprised – in this day and age, surely a wedding business blog is as important for SEO and promotion as facebook, more important than twitter, on a par with having a presence at wedding shows and fairs?

I discovered with my wedding calligraphy businesses very early on that writing a blog would generate 40% more traffic to my site. Let’s make that more personal: for every 100 people who’d browse my site, another 40 of those who found my blog via Google search would then come and have a look at my website.

That’s how I fell in love with blogging and it’s partly where English Wedding blog came from. Now when a photographer, invitation designer or wedding entertainer gets in touch, I look for their blog. Instantly.

Why? It shows me a deeper insight into their work than a portfolio. I see a wedding photographer’s portfolio as a hand-picked selection of their very best bits. If I want to know more about their work, I look for real weddings, large size images, quick to scroll through. It has to be a blog.

In this day and age it really does surprise me that so many wedding businesses don’t blog. And I’d really love to know why. Is it time? Is it that blogging hasn’t registered with the wedding industry yet? Am I just too geeky for my own good? (I read a lot of tech news and web design articles.)

So – if you have a blog, please show me (comments below – I’ll pop over and have a look ESPECIALLY if I haven’t seen your blog before – I’m in the mood for discovery and adventure 🙂

and if you don’t blog, I’m really interested to know why. Would you, and is there something holding you back? Please share 🙂

Claire xx

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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34 COMMENTS
  • Charlotte
    8 years ago

    I am a wedding cake designer and I have a blog http://www.sugarruffles.com

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Hi Charlotte,
      I’ve just been for a peek! I love how you do the roses with all those wavy petals… beautiful. And I see you’re up in the Lakes – my home (I’m sadly an expat now though). You lucky, lovely lady 🙂
      Claire xx

      • Charlotte
        8 years ago

        Hi Claire
        Thank you so much! The lake district really is such a beautiful place to live.
        Charlotte x

  • Gary - Special Day
    8 years ago

    Hi, I have only just started blogging about two weeks ago. It has been on the “to do” list for so long and finally it made it to the top for 2012. Why not until now? We have really been focusing on orders through developing our website and non-blogging SEO, clearly blogging can feed into that in the longer term. Why not until now? We have dabbled with social media in the past but it is becoming increasingly clear that you need both facets (Google, Ecommerce, SEO together with strong social media) to your business if you are going to survive going forward. Turns out it is quite fun too!!!!

    Would value your comments on our blog……..It is a work in progress (he says to cover his shame) so all comments welcome……Since launch we have been putting up a mix of semi promotional stuff and a series of post on wording that we thought we be useful (we are getting quite a bit of traffic to those – measured in large 100’s per day from our invitation site). We are developing a more thoughtful content strategy going forward but sometimes you just need to start “doing something” to kick these things off! I think we will be running a competition in the coming weeks, giving away some stationery from the website. Watch this space (well our blog,anyway).

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Ha… Gary, I went over expecting to see invitation wording advice and landed on your Disastrous Weddings post. Brilliant (although after smirking guiltily at number one I felt awful at number two.) They’re certainly eye-openers!

      It’s an interesting strategy using entertaining (car crash!) blog posts like this as well as your wedding invitation focused posts. I like it!

      Claire x

      • Gary - Special Day
        8 years ago

        Thanks Claire. Yes, I am experimenting a bit at the moment. I feel that pushing out too much promotional posts and, what can be, relatively dry material about wording etc would make for a bit of a dull read! We shall see…….Thanks for popping across.

  • Brooke - Wolf Whistle
    8 years ago

    Hi Claire
    Having started a new business I do recognise that having a blog makes a huge difference – I personally follow blogs of businesses/individuals who I may never purchase from, but I definitely refer people to them because I like them from what they show of themselves on their blog. That is kind of priceless, right?
    Anyway, having said that I am terrible at blogging and it is a time issue! I would really like to average two posts a week but i’m lucky if I can manage a fortnightly post. But still, it is better than nothing and I have to agree that those who completely lack a blog on their website are missing a trick!
    Brooke xx

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Hi Brooke,
      I do the same! I have 200 blogs in my feed reader, and I know which ones to go to when I’m feeling happy / in need of motivation / need cheering up 🙂 It’s helped me build up a great knowledge of the best wedding blogs, and wedding business blogs. And it’s so good to be able to help people by referring them to the right place when they’re looking for stationery, or tiaras, or a blog which is really great at x, y or z.
      And hey, a fortnightly post is fine. My calligraphy blog is kind of sporadic at the minute – I aim for a post every week-and-a-bit but there are big gaps and my average is a fortnight between posts. It’s nowhere near as pretty as yours though – those illustrations are adorable!
      Claire xx

  • Julie Boyd
    8 years ago

    Hi Claire,
    I have recently started a blog as you know (you’ve been on at me for ages to do one). I just feature a product I make with a little info about it. I’m not sure whether anyone reads it. I’ve now linked to to my Carol Miller Designs facebook page. Had a couple of likes. I decided against linking it to twitter. I don’t get much time these days to tweet and it’s mostly to do my #ff or asking how friends are. It’s nothing to do with business so I don’t want it linked. I quite enjoy doing the blog, but don’t want to bore anyone to death so I try to keep it quite short. I love yours, read it every day xx

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Julie, you KNOW I’m reading it!!! And you’re doing a brilliant job.
      Here’s a comparison for you: English Wedding gets 800 visitors a day (and double that in page views) so in theory, 800 people have read this post.
      4 of you have commented.
      I’m not being grumpy (far from it, I’m being smug) – but it goes to show people are reading and you don’t even know they’re there. I love that!
      So while I’m lurking on your blog, I’m probably not the only one admiring your work and your posts.
      And (in time) Google will be reading it, or sending its Spiders to come and crawl your blog, and you’ll see traffic from your blog to your website. Stick at it!
      C xx

  • I agree that it’s crazy that wedding togs don’t have blogs, however, I’m not going to complain as this hopefully brings more people to my site as they can see what’s going on easily. I probably don’t blog as much as I should but do try to get something up a few times a month to keep everything quite current. It always inspires me how much time sites like this put into blogging so I will try to be better 🙂

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Hi Mark, and thanks for the comment!
      Your blog is great – fab post titles, and I see you’re using the venue names and locations for your tags – something I’m trying to focus much more on when I blog real weddings for photographers on here. I also love your strapline – “making you happy makes me happy”! and your pic on your About Me page had me smiling right back at the screen 🙂
      Have a great weekend
      Claire x

  • Kerry Taylor
    8 years ago

    Hi Claire

    I completely agree that many wedding businesses still haven’t bought into the value of a blog yet. I am particularly astounded at the amount who have a blog but the last post will be from months ago! This kind of puts me off suppliers as I think it’s important to maintain and keep things up to date so lacking in this area may mean lacking in others?? I don’t know, maybe thats just me! Having now got into a regular blogging routine, I find it takes me much less time and I try to have a couple of days here And there where I can write several posts ready to publish at regular intervals. This helps immensely with time management. I also think there is a misconception that blogs have to contain long and meaningful posts but actually we often just post random things which we may have come across and want to share! Often these are some of our most viewed posts!
    We have found that it drives an immense amount of traffic to our site and also gives us credibility with clients as it leads them to believe that we know what we’re talking about and have our finger on the pulse!
    I would really value your thoughts on our blog as I regularly read yours and think you do a fine job!
    Thanks.

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Hi Kerry,

      I was watching a video blog by Alex Beadon this morning and she said the same thing as you have: if you link to your blog from your website, you really need to keep it updated or it gives the wrong impression!
      Yours is really good – loads of networking with other suppliers and I can see from some of the comments this is working very well for you.

      – Blog posts with more comments will rank better in Google search than quiet ones, by the way – any wedding planners or event stylists reading should look at Kerry’s blog as it’s a great example of this 🙂

      My thoughts on your blog? I’m impressed! It’s a busy blog, I could spend hours reading and it’s easy to navigate via the categories in your sidebar (the post counts there are a great thing to have), or to browse by scrolling. A full, busy and very social blog 🙂
      It clearly drives traffic; does it drive enquiries and orders? I’ve only had a quick browse I admit, but I did wonder if using local keywords in your post titles would help too: wedding planning Durham (etc.)
      Also – a link to your main website home page from your sidebar. I couldn’t find it (could be me; it’s Friday night and I’ve been at the red wine 😉

  • Simon Dewey
    8 years ago

    Hello Claire,

    I’m a blogging photographer. I try to keep it up, although last winter was hard as I had few weddings – hoping for more or less weekly posts from now on in. I don’t know if it brings more people to my site, but it certainly makes them stop and have a look around!

    http://www.simondewey.co.uk/blog

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Thanks Simon, I’ll subscribe to your feed too.

      I think people expect wedding photography blogs to be quieter in winter – but it’s also an opportunity to write about things like your training (I liked that you disagreed with some of it, and watched the other photographers – tells me a lot about you, I think – all good!)

      I’ll look forward to your more or less weekly posts from now on! Have a great wedding season 🙂

  • Belinda McCarthy
    8 years ago

    As you know Claire, I’m a bit of a blogging fiend (now I get a little bit more time!) Seriously, though, as soon as I started blogging it made A HUGE difference to my SEO. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to showcase your work, put across your personality and engage your website viewers on a different level. A website just doesn’t work for you in the same way as a blog, and as my website is WordPress, my blog is an integral part of it rather than an ‘add on’, which I feel makes everything look much more streamlined and together.

    I’m trying to get my blogging a little more structured this year so that I stay in the swing of it, so let’s see if that happens! I absolutely LOVE reading other supplier’s blogs, as well as wedding blogs such as English Weddings.

    It’s amazing where traffic comes from and what generates it, as well. This week, when Darcey Bussell was announced as the new judge on Strictly Come Dancing, my web stats went through the roof, as last year I did a photoshoot with Darcey and suddenly hundreds of people every day were clicking on the blog to see this! It doesn’t matter that this isn’t ‘targeted’ traffic as such, as far as I’m concerned, all positive exposure is great news and you just never know where the next exciting lead will come from.

    My blog: http://somerset-wedding-photographer.co.uk/news-blog/

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Hi Belinda,
      Oh I agree – I must see your Darcey Bussell blog post as well! Something like that is as great as an editorial feature in a quality magazine or newspaper – like you say, not strictly wedding-related but great press and good exposure for your business. How fab!
      I love your blog for your discussion posts too. For any wedding photographer personality is key if you ask me, and sharing your opinions on photography as well as other issues in the wedding industry is a great thing to do – not many do for fear of being controversial, but it sets you apart and I really admire that.
      Claire x

  • Hi Claire,

    A little late to the party I’m afraid, but have just read your post via my RSS reader, and its an excellent article… and yes I keep tabs on your blog, but only as yours is one of the few I genuinely enjoy reading out of the many out there. Your writing style is really easy going and gets your personality across ever so well which often very difficult to achieve.

    As an editor to a wedding blog myself, I do find that whilst you’ve identified wedding photographers as group that have not woken up to the benefits of blogging, I find that as a whole, even sites that do have blogs might as well not have them as they hardly keep them up to date, and that to me is a greater crime than not having a blog at all.

    As mentioned one of the benefits of having a blog is enjoying the additional search engine traffic that comes with it, but only because of the dynamic nature of the blogging process, i.e. blogging regularly. If one doesn’t blog on a regular basis it becomes superfluous. But there lies the paradox, having a blog is great for many reasons, but not producing content for it is no better than having a static site.

    My point being that whilst we should encourage photographers and others to set up blogs, one shouldn’t under estimate the cost in terms of time, thoughtful creativity and energy required to run a successful one. Something which you won’t have any need to worry about BTW.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Thank you Paul – an interesting point and one I can identify with. I’m hearing over and over again that having a blog which is never updated is worse than having none at all. And yes, it’s a time issue of course. I think I’m going to write a separate blog post about this though – because the investment of time doesn’t have to be that much: an hour a week can easily be enough to keep a blog updated; less than that, even.
      My calligraphy blogs are updated every couple of weeks, no more. I know I won’t get the traffic I get from English Wedding; but what I will get is a gradual build up of traffic as the blogs grow, and a decent search engine position for them. I spend half a day each month scheduling calligraphy blog updates.
      For photographers I think the same applies: one blog post a week is plenty. It doesn’t have to be a full wedding (although if you use WordPress and the Faster Image Insert plugin it can be). I love Vickerstaff Photography’s blog and Tory’s ‘image of the week’ – quick blog posts, a little content and always a beautiful image which will make the reader smile.
      Even if you only have an hour per month to update your blog, it can be done, and well: just get the SEO bits right. Use keyword titles, subheadings, Google- and reader-friendly content, name your images etc.
      Before I get carried away here, I’ll start writing a new blog post on this topic!
      Claire xx

  • Lesley Pattinson
    8 years ago

    Hi Claire

    I’m with you its utterly bonkers, blooging helps SEO but it shows the real you. I blog every week partly inspired buy wedding blogs like this to be honest. I wanted ot engage my clients old and new.

    I blog a mix of personal musings (or ramblings) and real weddings / image of the week etc to keep it fresh and interesting. My clients tell me they love to read the blog as it keeps them updated with what I’m up to and I’ve had several new bookings who said they loved the way I wrote and talked about the weddings I covered.

    Its sooooooo hard to get the real you across on an about me page and a blog takes care of that not to mention showing latest pictures which is what people are stopping by my website for.

    I’d love for you to have a read http://www.memoriesthrualens.co.uk/blog

    Lesley 🙂

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Hi Lesley,
      That’s a brilliant point. Blogging is a way of getting across all the ‘About Me’ bits without having to talk about yourself so much! Describing a wedding, sharing the day through your own eyes – it tells the reader more than you think.
      I see you do an ‘image of the week’ blog post too – and I adore the photo of the page boy! What a fantastic moment to capture. Interesting to share the techy stuff for photographers on there as well – a really nice idea. (Readers click here – so cute! http://memoriesthrualens.co.uk/a-job-well-done-image-of-the-week-17/ )
      Claire xx

  • Hannah
    8 years ago

    Hi Claire

    I know what you mean, it is so important to blog for so many reasons, but it is especially important for us photographers. Clients should be able to see a wide variety of weddings not just a carefully chosen selection! We also find that it tells a lovely story of the day for the couple and their family and friends.

    We will definitely continue to blog and we will always be checking out other blogs too!

    Warm wishes
    Hannah
    x

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Thank you for your comment, Hannah! Another point leading on from your words: potential clients will be looking for other weddings held at their venue too. So blogging a dozen or so images from each wedding, with a few words, is a great idea for photographers.
      I love Jo and Olly’s Swinfen Hall wedding on your blog, by the way!
      Claire xxx

  • Ben
    8 years ago

    Hi Claire

    As a wedding photographer who is also rather passionate about online, it’s my limited time that is the common restriction. I made a conscious effort to increase the social share ability of my website, its content and most importantly my images with a dedicated pinterest button on each expanded image about a year ago. I think it has realled helped in increasing the reach of my photos reach, increasing new enquirers and referrals.

    Whilst updating my blog is important to me and I appreciate the SEO value in having ‘fresh content’ I just dont have the time to write engaging keyword rich content regularly. I think that most photographers if like me probably enjoy editing their photographs over writing articles and why partnerships and features weddings on wedding blogs works well for them. This adds value to their site through promoting their work with the SEO value of a link.

    Have a look at my blog it’s simple but puts out what I want to say effectively http://www.benstirling.com/blog/category/wedding-blog

    Ben

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Hi Ben,

      You inspired me to add a Pinterest plugin to my calligraphy sites the other day 🙂 It’s a great idea! Social sharing is very tough to achieve – something I definitely haven’t mastered yet. Again, I think it’s all about the photography.

      See my comment on Paul’s feedback above about the time thing. I think blogging can be a much quicker process than people think, I really do! Maybe there’s something in writing little notes to your past clients via the blog, rather than sitting down to construct an ‘article’. I’ve seen lovely blog posts by McAvoy Photography on their couples’ first anniversaries, for example. They include photos of the wedding and keywords focus on the venue + photography.

      Claire x

  • Fjona Wei-ling
    8 years ago

    Hi Claire,
    My husband and I run a beautiful wedding venue http://www.hamptonmanor.eu – think country manor but with contemporary interiors, not a red carpet in sight! He does all the important running stuff, I do all the styling, interior designing and dreamy stuff! I’m also a photographer and love wedding blogs and have been itching to see some seriously beautifully styled weddings in our venue. Having seen the blogs, a lot of what came through our doors at first was pretty uninspiring. So we wanted to introduce our brides to people like you – but locally. We’d decided to do our wedding fayre quite differently to other venues – we wanted to handpick the real talent and give them space to create rather than ramming in lots of mediocre stuff. But hunting for them was quite difficult – like you say, easy with the photographers but not with the rest. (see http://bit.ly/JjnPKY for the result!) Thats when we decided to set up our own local wedding blog, showcasing local wonderfulness! We felt that lots of wedding blogs featured were sourced from all over the country and worldwide – perfect for inspiration but we wanted sth more practical for our brides. We’ve just started and appreciate now what a lot of work it is for your pro bloggers! Its always hard to know how much business its directly bringing us at these early stages but we at the end of the day , even if it just creates a local momentum for creativity, thats enough for us.
    So our baby new blog is http://www.soontowed.co.uk
    I also have a photography blog http://www.fwphotography.co.uk/blog too 😉

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Wow, Fiona! … I thought I was busy!
      I love the idea of your local wedding blog – there are real opportunities for this and I’d urge anyone who is thinking of writing a wedding blog (as a business in itself) to consider a local focus right now. I wish you the very best of luck with it – it’s a fantastic idea.
      I’ve enjoyed reading all your blogs this morning! Now I really must do some work!
      Claire xxx

  • Val Mattinson
    8 years ago

    Hi Claire

    Thanks for another great post. I am relatively new to blogging but I’m trying to post regularly.

    As a wedding planner I always look at supplier blogs for a greater insight into their work and the services they offer. I appreciate the time it can take to keep a blog fresh and current but I really think it’s worthwhile.

    Please take a look at mine and let me know what you think at http://www.benessamy.co.uk/blog

    Thanks

    Valerie x

    • Claire
      8 years ago
      AUTHOR

      Hello Val,
      Congratulations on starting your blog – I love it, you clearly want to help and provide inspiration for your brides and grooms, and your local networking is a great idea too. I’d encourage all wedding planners to follow your example and blog about other local wedding suppliers (who will then return the favour, building up a cosy little nest of local wedding links). It’s a great thing to do.
      A great blog – but watch those headings. You want ‘wedding’ and a local focus in your headings and titles to attract new potential customers to your blog and website.
      Very best of luck with everything, you’re doing a fantastic job there!
      Claire x

  • Sarah
    8 years ago

    For me the blog came first and the website grew up around it! I’ve always been good with words, though, and had an interest in writing from an early age so I suppose that’s why I’ve got a blog.

    I think a blog goes some way to showing potential clients the personality of a photographer though. I know it’s something I look for in searching for a photographer for my own wedding (and have yet to find!).

    Blogging regularly is something I find more difficult particularly as my photography business is only part-time at the moment. But I try to make an effort to post as often as possible and not just about photography shoots. I have a very similar belief to in that I want to pass on what I have learned to others starting out like me so I’m working on lots of ‘how to’ posts, sharing tips and secrets etc as well as talking about current work. Hopefully people appreciate it and will keep coming back!

    • Sarah
      8 years ago

      Ooops, buggered up that link a bit there! HTML is not my strong suit! The link is for Jasmine Star’s blog.

  • Deborah
    8 years ago

    Hi Claire

    I have a Online Vintage store with a range called Bang On Bridal. I find my blog is key to drive traffic to my shop. http://www.bangonvintage.co.uk/blog I try to blog 3 times a week but posts are mixed Vintage and Wedding related. I do use the blog to showcase other Vintage and Wedding businesses as well as promoting my own shop.

    Debs
    Bang On Vintage

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