Thanks to Janet Broughton a very successful photographer, copywriter and blogger for her top 5 tips to get you out of the starting blocks!
In one form or another I’ve had a blog and an online presence since 2009, long before I launched my business. I’m grateful that writing comes as naturally as photography and brings me almost as much pleasure, I’m also very aware that a lot of photographers don’t find the same pleasure in writing.
For all of you that prefer creating pictures to words I’m sharing my five top tips that I hope will help to ease the burden of writing for your website or blog.
1 Always Keep Your Audience In Mind
Before you start to write for your blog or website take some time to really think about who you are writing for. What sort of person are you aiming to attract into your business? If it helps write a description of them, give them a lifestyle and even a name.
Each time you sit down at your keyboard to create some content ask yourself if this person will be interested, informed or inspired by your content.
Write in a way that will be appealing to them. If you are trying to attract high end corporate clients into a commercial photography business you will need a much more formal writing style than a photographer who wants to attract brides planning relaxed, rustic style weddings.
2 But Don’t Lose Sight Of Yourself
Whilst you should adapt your style of writing to suit your ideal client take care not to give yourself a personality transplant in the process!
Make sure that you remain true to yourself at the same as writing appealingly to your audience. If you are naturally outgoing, lively and loud don’t write as if you are a quiet gentle soul. If there are words and phrases that you find irritating in conversation don’t let them creep into your writing. Don’t enthuse over the appeal of something that really doesn’t interest you in the slightest.
Always remember that you are aiming to attract the right sort of clients into your business. These are the people you will do your best work with, these are the clients that will become raving fans. There are right sorts of clients for every sort of personality but you won’t attract them if you adopt a totally different personality online.
3 Keep It Snappy
Online readers have a tendency to be lazy readers or in a hurry. They want to scan through an article not settle down with a coffee for a good long read.
To keep their attention and make it easier for your readers to scan keep sentences and paragraphs short. Plenty white space on the page makes your content easier to digest.
If you do need to write a longer piece break up the text with subheadings. Use bulleted lists if appropriate. Think about using colour, italic or bold fonts if you really want to make sure that certain words or phrases aren’t overlooked. But don’t overdo this or it won’t be as effective and will become a distraction.
4 Avoid Weak Words
Think carefully about your choice of words, replacing weak ones will make your writing more engaging. Words such as “nice” and “good” are not particularly powerful and can often be replaced with a better word.
“The bride looked nice as she walked down the aisle”.
It doesn’t really tell us very much does it? She could be radiant or beautiful instead and she could walk gracefully. Two small changes and the sentence is transformed.
“The bride looked radiant as she walked gracefully down the aisle”.
If you are feeling the urge to use “very” or “really” in front of a word it’s often a clue that a stronger word exists.
“The wedding day was very hot” sounds more engaging as “The wedding day was blisteringly hot”. If you find it a challenge to think of alternative words try using an online thesaurus.
5 Remember You Aren’t In School
Since you are no longer seeking the approval of your English teacher it’s ok to break some grammatical rules. In fact it’s even desirable, it’s how we find our voice and keep our copy more conversational. You can start sentences with and if you like. And keep them short.
But remember, even if you choose to break rules your copy needs to read well and make sense.
Take care not to use incorrect words. Your and you’re are not interchangeable. Your soul should not be confused with your sole. And don’t mix up your weather, whether and wether. Especially not the last one, don’t use that. (Unless you happen to write a farming blog.)
Before you hit that publish button read over everything. If you are struggling to read it out loud you probably need to tweak your words a little.
Janet has been a professional photographer for over four years. Alongside her photography she also helps creative business owners, and especially photographers, with website copy writing and blogging and can be found online at www.definitelydreaming.com
Image copyright Janet Broughton.
Further reading …
’Not using Zenfolio yet? Get your exclusive 1-month free trial at www.zenfolio.co.uk/aspiration. Are you getting more heavily involved in food photography? The Zenfolio website is the perfect solution if you quickly need an impressive website that will help you showcase and market this new arm of your business.