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How to Start a Blog for Your Business

With search engine optimization (SEO) becoming more important for small business owners these days, it’s no surprise so many entrepreneurs are using a blog to find new customers.

That’s right: blogs are no longer only used for publishing content about personal stories or experiences. In fact, companies who blog often are more likely to generate leads than those that don’t blog at all!

If you already know how important it is to start a blog for your business, you’re on the right track. But in case you need a little extra help to get you started, here are a few key steps to kick-off your blogging strategy!

Define Your Buyer Personas

Before you begin generating content and publishing it on the web, your first step should be to narrow your strategy.

One of the best ways to begin strategically using a company blog to market to your ideal customers is through buyer personas.

Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal audience(s).  What makes them great for helping you with your blog content is that they allow you to better envision the types of people you’ll be writing to.

Personas can also assist you with coming up with ideas in the first place, because you’ll have a better grasp of who your ideal customers are, what they enjoy doing, and the top challenges or questions they have. And once you obtain that knowledge, you’ll be able to tailor your content to those problems and provide useful information to them!

Need help defining your buyer personas? Head on over to Hubspot’s free Buyer Persona Template!

Compile Blog Topics and Titles

Once you have a good idea of who you’re trying to reach, use a notepad or a new Google Doc file to keep all of your blog topics in one place.

Begin listing out some of the ones you discovered while creating your buyer personas. What questions might they have? What challenges do you hear from your current clients that you can provide solutions to?

Be sure to also write down some topics that may seem a little outside of the norm. Although you want to hit on all of the major talking points, it’s great for both SEO and user experience to write about topics your competitors might be overlooking.

For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, consider writing about other issues and topics in the wedding industry, rather than just in your niche. Many photographers miss out on the SEO opportunities out there and only publish content related to their previous client sessions and weddings. But the ones that publish content that provides the most useful information on the web will win out from an SEO standpoint.

Schedule Time to Write

Now for the biggest hurdle: actually spending time putting content together!

If you’re one of the many business owners out there who juggle 10 or 15 different roles every day, you may find it hard to write on a regular basis. While you could always outsource to a fantastic freelance writer, it’s important to remember that time management is key to success in business.

Aim to set aside a couple of hours a week, or one day a month, to write blog posts in advance. Then, once they’re done, you can rest assured until your next calendar reminder for blog writing comes up.

Final Blog Tips for Business Owners

Just a few last tidbits of advice as you venture into this new form of digital marketing:

  • Don’t be afraid to delegate. If you don’t have time or the energy, it’s okay to hand the job to someone else you trust.
  • Be yourself and utilize your personality. The last thing your clients will want to read is a post that sounds like a computer wrote it. Add in some flair! Write as if you were talking to your clients or friends out loud.
  • Proofread! This one can’t be emphasized enough. Although mistakes do happen, if you have several typos throughout one post, you could do more harm than good by publishing it.

Tell Your Story with an Impactful Website

liveBooks offers stunning, customizable website templates for wedding industry professionals and creatives.

Impress your potential clients with a visually stunning website that is ready for search engines and looks great on any mobile device!

We’ve also got a top-notch support team who’s here to help you every step of the way. Start for free today!

When you share a page from your website on Facebook or Twitter, the social media platforms pull info from your image, title and descriptions to populate the post for you. We’ve talked about the importance of these SEO parameters, and filling them in comes useful in this situation, too. But every share is a different story, so why should they all look and read much or less the same? Let’s take a little look behind the curtain and grasp social sharing like a pro in 4 easy steps.

1. In your content editor enter the page you want to share.

2. In the right hand sidebar, select SEO & Sharing to open the panel. The SEO fields will show first, so use the icon tabs to view a special panel for each of the social media platforms.

3. Select the social media platform you want to customize. Fill in your text fields and add the image from your library that you think fits best.

4. When you’re all done, press publish and start sharing that link!

Skipping these 4 steps will generate a post that will have your logo as the image and unless you have your SEO description customized, the first block on your page containing text will be the content used here. So, in other words, a random and somewhat generic experience that while it speaks true to your website content, it leaves very little personalization to the post you want to share with your followers.

It’s very easy to showcase your skills on any social media platform with the liveBooks features. You can use customization to your advantage every step of the way: for marketing campaigns, news and updates, or, better yet, when you’ve decided to go for a social media strategy that will boost your business and visibility. For more details on how to establish yourself as a sturdy social media presence, check out our two-part article on social media for photographers: part 1 and part 2.

Don’t have a website yet and still using social media as the front of your business, give our platform a try for free today! It’s easy to use, update and share with everybody everywhere!

Posted in Website Tips and tagged with , ,

reasons to start using and understanding google analytics

One of the most important marketing tasks you can complete as a small business owner is tracking how well your efforts are doing.

If you’ve heard how important website data and reports can be to your online marketing efforts, but you aren’t exactly sure why, here are some top reasons to begin using Google Analytics — and understanding what all of these numbers mean.

You Can Better Track ROI

ROI (short for return on investment) is an essential part of any great marketing plan, especially for small businesses. With limited budgets, it’s all the more important to understand what you’re getting out of the money you’re spending on search engine advertising, social media ads, email promotions and more!

For example, if you spend $500 per month on a Facebook ad for a few months, but only generate $100 in sales each month, your ROI is pretty low. This can mean your ads aren’t reaching the right people and need to be adjusted, or that the item you’re advertising for isn’t a good fit for a Facebook ad.

In short, tracking ROI can exponentially help you save money in the long run, as well as prove whether or not it’s worth it to keep advertising in the same way over time.

Best and Worst Performing Pages and Posts

By far one of the top benefits of utilizing Google Analytics on a regular basis is knowing how well your website is doing on its own.

Do you have some pages with high traffic and engagement, but others with really poor numbers? Do you have a couple of high-quality blog posts generating a big chunk of your traffic while others struggle to bring in one new viewer each month?

By understanding which pages and blog posts are doing poorly, you can better investigate why they may not be performing as well as other pages and posts and how to fix them over time.

Understanding Your Audience

Want to know which cities or states are most engaged with your website? Interested in data that shows you which services or products you offer are of most interest to them?

Google Analytics can help you uncover more information about your online audience that you may not already know. Even if some of the data confirms your guesses, other numbers may surprise you!

Take a look at the information in the Audience > Geo > Location section to learn about where they are visiting from. You might also explore the Behavior tab to see which pages they are engaged with the most on a regular basis.

Learn More About Google Analytics

Is it all a bit overwhelming? Thankfully, Google offers a free course on Google Analytics to show you all the ins and outs of utilizing the data and tailor the reports to your specific needs!

Optimize Your Website’s Design Today

If the data you see in Google Analytics isn’t what you’d hoped it would be, then it may be time to change up your design and content.

With a liveBooks website, you’ll be able to use our stunning, customizable website templates that look great on any mobile device!

We’ve also got a top-notch support team who’s here to help you every step of the way. Start for free today!

Andrea Brizzi was born in 1950 in Firenze, Italy, where he studied Architecture. In 1977, Andrea moved to New York where he since been active as a photographer, specializing in Architectural and Interiors subjects. For the past decade Andrea has been based in both New York and Honolulu, while frequently traveling in the US, as well as Asia, the Near East and Europe. Long passed the million miles marker with one airline alone!

Q&A with Andrea Brizzi

Q1: How would you describe the aesthetic of your website?

AB: Minimalist.

Q2: How often do you typically update your website?

AB: 3-4 times a year – or whenever I send out a newsletter.

 

Q3: How do you choose the photos that you display on your homepage?

AB: I like to show the variety of projects I shoot, even within a niche photography specialty. I try to present projects my clients can relate to.

 

Q4: What is your favorite feature of liveBooks?

AB: Ease of use.

Q5: What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to someone designing their website?

AB:. I believe a website aimed at business serves different needs from one directed at art directors or consumers. In the former case, mine, I am comfortable with a template which is not unique to my site and I see no need for bells and whistles. Art directors going through many competing sites might find the predictable format repetitive. Consumers (say, for portrait photography) expect more pizzaz.

See more of Andrea’s work here: www.andreabrizzi.com

Posted in Featured Website and tagged with , ,

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