December 12, 2016
One of the best ways to grow your business is to get your content published. Honestly, I’ve seen my google ranking increase greatly since I’ve spent the time to promote my work through other blogs (other websites linking to your website is a piece of Search Engine Optimization). This can be a bit of a tedious process, but I promise, the effort is worth it! I’ve learned a lot over the past few years about getting work published, so today I’m going to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve gathered along the way. Hopefully this inspires some of you to start getting featured!
Do your research.
This sounds obvious, but honestly, I think we are all guilty of this. The same way you would like potential clients to know what your style is before inquiring with you, you need to know what a blog is looking for before you send content their way. You can usually find this in their “about” section or even in their instagram profile caption. Some blogs focus on small weddings. Some focus on central Florida brides. Some focus on weddings with planners and larger budgets. Some focus on brides and vendors that give back through their wedding. Each one has a target audience, so make sure you’re submitting the right content to the right blog.
Here’s a list of the top 100 wedding blogs to get you started!
Read the instructions.
(Full disclosure – I submit to each publication manually, and don’t use Two Bright Lights, so this may be different if you are a TBL member). This follows very closely behind my first tip. Each publication has requirements for image width, number of images, and how they want the images delivered (dropbox versus another online gallery format). Read these instructions carefully. I remember the first time I submitted content I got rejected because I didn’t size the images correctly and I was so bummed to get denied for something so small that was in my control.
Also keep in mind that some blogs are exclusive (meaning they want to be the first to feature the content) and others are happy to post previously featured content. Be mindful of this difference and be sure to keep track of timelines if you want to submit the content elsewhere.
Believe me, I love amazing bride and groom portraits as much as the next girl, but blogs want to inspire other brides with details. What did the centerpieces look like? Did they have a unique seating chart? What about the ceremony set up? Be sure to get good, clean detail shots of everything that you can at a wedding. Once I started shooting details for blogs, I realized that my eye as a photographer improved quite a bit and my couples had more images to remember their day as well!
One tip I have for detail shots: Get on the detail’s level. Flat lays work too – but if you’re shooting a centerpiece or cake (anything really), bend down to capture it on the same level. In my opinion, the photos are stronger.
So what if your wedding doesn’t have a lot of details? Don’t overlook the little things – venue details, architecture, hair styles (back of the head shots do surprisingly well) and even hand holding details. These pieces of information can tell a more complete story.
A lot of vendors worked hard to put together the wedding or styled shoot you just photographed! I work with the bride to gather all of the vendor credits before her wedding day. Be sure to submit all of the vendor credit along with your images. I usually keep these in email drafts in case I need to find them again (if I’m rejected from a blog or I’m going to submit the content to another blog in the future).
A lot of times, I submit to “reach blogs” first and often get rejected (truth…). To stay organized and efficient, I mark all of submission images with 3 stars in Lightroom to indicate those are the images I’m submitting to a blog – or I create a separate collection for them (not sure what the difference is between a folder and collection is? Read this blog here). Then, if I’m rejected from a blog, I can easily go back to the gallery and export the same set of images in another size for the next blog.
When you’re submitting lots of content to lots of blogs, it can be really hard to keep track of when you’re supposed to hear back from a blog or when one of your features is going to live. Also, what about keeping track of when you’re allowed to submit the content to another blog?
I started a Google spreadsheet to help me keep track of my submissions. You can view a template / example here. The top section is content that has been submitted that is going to be/has been featured. The middle section is content that I’ve submitted that I’m waiting to hear back about, or that has been rejected. The bottom section is content that I would like to submit. I keep track of blogs that I think my content would be a good fit for in this section. Feel free to adjust to your liking! Also note that I know some of the columns don’t make sense for every section, but I wanted to be able to easily copy / paste the rows to different sections.
Earlier in this article I mentioned that I don’t use Two Bright Lights. Since I initially drafted this article, another submission software/system has been introduced – Matchology. Matchology streamlines submissions for the Aisle Society bloggers. I sign up for a monthly subscription to Matchology 3-4 times a year – and do a whole bunch of submissions in one month. I cancel my membership after one month – and then sign up again for one month later in the year when I have a batch of content to submit (and time to submit it).
I hope this was helpful! Please send me a message if I can answer any more questions for you!