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What I’ve Learned from Not Blogging

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I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.

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If you have followed my business for any amount of time, you know that I used to be the blogging QUEEN! I mean, I blogged EVERY week day for close to EIGHT years. Wow. It was quite a commitment….but it was a commitment that was well worth it. The growth that I experienced during those years of blogging was amazing. However, things changed once my first pregnancy took an interesting turn. I literally almost lost a part of my right hand due to a pregnancy-induced tumor that needed to be surgically removed.

That season of my life seems like a blur, but I’m confident that God gave me that journey to walk through because it forced me to be ok with not working like I had been working in the past. I was forced to except the fact that blogging needed to be put on hold for a while until I could type again. Then, a few weeks after my surgery, I gave birth to my baby girl and suddenly my desire to blog every weekday diminished.

I have continued to blog every shoot, every wedding, and a few personal posts here and there, but my blogging calendar is NOTHING like what it used to be. So in 2017 my blogging frequency took a nose dive, and then right when I was about to pick it back up again I found out that I was pregnant with our second baby. But that pregnancy was extremely complicated and our baby boy wasn’t expected to survive. Needless to say, my blogging commitment was put on hold again.

So here I am… months later and still trying to figure out what blogging looks like in this new season of life. It’s in this new season of life that I’ve realized what blogging has actually meant for my business. I’ve also learned things about myself and about what is really necessary and what isn’t, and I want to share some of these things with you!!!

FIVE THINGS I’VE REALIZED FROM NOT BLOGGING:

  1.  Loss of Rhythm = Loss of Motivation: I have learned what it feels like to get out of a rhythm and how hard it is to get back into it. I have an appreciation for how hard it is to feel motivated when your consistency has been slowly fading away.
  2. Change in Confidence: I have learned what it feels like to question whether or not a blog post is relevant or not. Previously I was super confident in my blogging, and I just put stuff out there and didn’t really think about it!  I was so used to blogging that it didn’t matter if the topic was a little off or wasn’t 100% relevant. I guess I’ve lost a little bit of my blogging confidence from simply not being in the rhythm of it. It’s the same way you feel walking out of the gym locker room when you haven’t worked out in months. You just feel a little out of place!
  3. Powerful SEO: I have come to realize just how powerful SEO is!  I have stayed on the first page of Google for “Virginia Wedding Photographers” because of my eight years of blogging.  I haven’t actively blogged weekly in two years, yet my place in google and my ability to produce leads hasn’t wavered! I’ve never been more sure that blogging is still relevant and that it’s still important if you are a small business owner of any kind.
  4. Loss of Accountability: I am realizing that there is a loss of accountability in other areas of my business when the driving force of my systems was removed. My blogging was the heartbeat of my daily rhythm in my business and when that disappeared a lot of other normal routine practice disappeared as well. Thankfully, I still push to make my 48hr wedding workflow a top priority for weddings. But my other blogging commitments have fallen by the wayside.
  5. Loving the Freedom: I have to admit, I have loved not having the daily responsibility of blogging weighing down on me. It was a huge task that took so much of my time… but it was so worth it.

So what is the general consensus here?

Well, I don’t think there is a perfect way to tie this post up with a bow and make any bold claims about what I’m going to do in the future. The truth is, I love being a mom. I love being able to not work as much as I used to. However, the work that I DID put in for almost a DECADE has been the greatest blessing to me. I wouldn’t be where I am in my business without it.

So what do I recommend? 

I recommend BLOGGING…. but not 5 days a week. I think that worked well for me back when I started by business, but times have changed. I think micro-blogging through Instagram is the new, vital commitment that photographers should be making in their business.

I recommend blogging your WORK . . . AND sharing about your personal connection to your clients. Great photography is normalized online. It’s everywhere. The average person has high expectations on what a good photo is these days. What isn’t normalized is being a business owner with a passion for photos AND people. So don’t shy away from sharing that you’re personally invested in your clients and care about them!

I recommend blogging MORE if you’re in a season where you can afford to. I recommend blogging LESS if you’re in a season where you’re having little ones…. but don’t stop completely! A DEAD BLOG is worse than NO BLOG. You have to be the judge of what’s too much and what’s realistic for your lifestyle.

And remember that SEO isn’t going to become your friend if your blog stays unused. Remember that EVERY little post counts. Every time that you click “publish”, you’re doing your business a favor because Google is crawling through your content!!!!

Last but not least, give yourself the freedom to change it up. If you used to blog a ton but just haven’t been able to recently, it’s ok to blog twice a month instead of twice a week. Anything is better than nothing if you’re actively running a business. At first, it seemed like a big fail for me when I wasn’t blogging five days a week….. but then I realized that it was actually a huge win.  Stepping back and doing less is actually quite an accomplishment for those of us who are wired to always want to do more!  :)

 

 

 

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

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