A Nifty Trick For Getting Quality Commenting Traffic To Your Photo Blog

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More traffic on your blog means more eyes on your work. And if more people are looking at your work, you would hope that the increased exposure would lead to an increase in sessions booked. Unfortunately this isn’t always the case!

Lets take a look at a common problem and how to work around it!

The Photo Blog Trap

As you start to blog consistently you’ll notice that you’re slowly developing an audience. It will probably start with a comment here, two comments there. Then you’ll notice every post starts getting comments, until finally it seems like people are racing to comment on your posts! Hooray!

Comments are a great indication of the strength of your blog. If people are commenting, it shows that you’re providing useful, enjoyable content.

However, you have to remember that you’re not writing your photography blog exclusively for the commenters. You’re writing it for your target audience.

Now, don’t get me wrong. There will certainly be some overlap between who comments and who your target audience is. But blogging photographers face a unique challenge: other photographers!

The more you post and the better your photography becomes, the more other photographers will be stopping by to say hello. You may notice the abundance of comments by other photographers on your own blog or on some of your favourite photography blogs. There’s nothing wrong with that at all! It’s awesome to hear great feedback from folks who understand and love photography!

The problem is that you ideally want to be attracting high quality traffic to your blog. That is simply traffic that will convert to sales. If photographers want to leave comments, that’s awesome. But you also want comments from people who will actually book you to shoot them!

How can you do that? Give them incentive. 

The Solution

This solution hinges on aligning interests. You want more high quality traffic on your blog. Chances are that the friends of the client you’re posting about (be it a wedding, engagement session, portrait session etc.) are also your target market.

What you can do is offer a free print to your clients if they can get X number of their friends to comment on your blog post about them. It’s as easy as sending your clients an e-mail after you’ve posted their photos on your blog, letting them know that they’re up, and informing them of the special offer that if they can get 20 of their friends to comment you’ll give them a free 8×10 valued at $75.

It shouldn’t be an outrageously large number of people that need to comment, otherwise they probably wouldn’t participate. And it doesn’t need to be an expensive print either (but make it worth their time). Make sure you’re making it a win-win situation.

The beauty of this is that they’re probably going to share the photos with their friends anyways, so it’s not difficult for them to do. You’re just giving them a sweet prize for doing it through your blog!

This also does more than just get X number of commenters to your site. You’re gaining valuable social proof. First of all your clients love the attention and kind words that their friends are leaving on your site. The friends they enlist to comment see first-hand the quality of your work with people they know. And finally other potential clients visiting the site see the comments and what other people think of the photos! Win-win-win and all for the price of a print!

At first I was skeptical about this strategy. I was worried that it felt too much like a bribe. The change of attitude came after we noticed that every single client was enthusiastically taking the offer and winning the print. People love a challenge and they want to share their photos with their friends! This strategy is simply aligning interests and really benefiting everyone!

Tips

  • This trick will work for blogs of any amount of traffic, just make sure you set the threshold appropriately. You don’t want to put it at 100 comments when you regularly only get 5. That said, there is room for experimentation. You can experiment with this strategy, and see how you can get the most traffic
  • Keep the free print small enough to pop in the mail. Usually you’ll need to see a client again anyways (delivering album, or files etc) but in case you don’t need to make sure you keep the print small enough to be sent in the mail
  • We let our clients pick the photo, they usually already have a favourite in mind. But for simplicities sake you may want to limit the photo selection to photos in the actual blog post, to avoid having to set up an online gallery. Whatever works!
  • Make sure you actually deliver on the print! If the client makes the comment threshold, follow through! Take it upon yourself to check the numbers, and be quick to get their prize into their hands. It’s another opportunity to exceed expectations.

Bonus! – Facebook

One area we’ll be applying this strategy to this year is our Facebook fan page. Facebook is a fantastic place to show off your work, and there are people who will comment on Facebook who might not visit the blog, so you’re making sure to capture their interest as well. It also give your clients the opportunity to win one more print! Success all around!

So try this out on Facebook as well, and let us know how it goes for you!

Do you have an idea for attracting great traffic to your blog? Share it in the comments!

Rob Lim

Hi there, I’m Rob! I’m a photography ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I love all things photography: shooting, teaching and always learning more! If I’m not reading up on the latest photography news, or studying a technique, I’m probably reading a book or planning our next adventure!

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Comments

33 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. Great tip! I think this is a fun idea that my clients will love.

  2. When you do this on Facebook, do you count all the comments across every photo in the album, plus the album comments? And how do you treat "likes"? It's a lot easier to get Facebook comments because tagging means the photos will show up on the client's walls, as well as a lot of their friends' walls! Win!
    However, I have noticed that if you're posting from a business page people have to "like" your page first to be able to comment, and you can only tag people that are friends of your personal profile (which makes no sense. And people can't tag themselves). In the past I've found people are reluctant to like my page just to comment on photos! Apparently it seems like too much effort?!
    But back to my point, this is gonna be awesome when I get my blog happening.

  3. Thanks Nina, hope it works out well for you!

    Erin, wow! Such great points. I didn't know that about tagging with Facebook business pages, but I'm definitely going to check into all that now.

    You make great points about how Facebook is a lot less straightforward than a blog. We don't have a system yet, but much to think about as we create ours. Will share any insights when we get them!

    Perhaps the most straightforward way is to just post one photo on your Facebook page and count comments on that. Or simply importing the blog post itself into Facebook, rather than using an album. Albums just seem to make things confusing!

    But like I said, we will share more when we get more into this! Thanks again for the insights, super valuable!

  4. I like this concept and I have seen it work very well before.

    Do you think it would still be effective if the client purchased the digital negatives in their package? or the photographer included them in all packages?

  5. Hey Evan! I definitely still think it would be effective!

    As popular as digital files are, there is something really awesome about holding an image in your hands. I think printed photos are still super important, and clients still enjoy a really well printed photo!

    Plus, even if they have the digital files, getting something printed takes some work on their part. If you, as the photographer, are offering really fantastic prints (awesome quality, maybe fine art paper, whatever!), it has a lot of value!

  6. Thanks for the reminder! I've seen this done before but had forgotten about it. This is my first time to your blog BTW, great stuff!

  7. Thanks for the comment Joe! So glad you enjoy the site and the post!! :)

  8. This is a really cool idea- thank you! We'll definitely have to give it a shot. :)

  9. Hi Lauren,

    I love this post. It is absolutely great idea. I have just started my blog and was scratching my head of how to get involved my existing customers and potential customers so they would leave their comments on it. this solves my problem! thanks :)
    With the Facebook page we were doing similar incentive already but instead of asking for comments under the pictures we ask to leave reviews on facebook, google places and a few other directories which also helps to build confidence for our new customers to book in with us.

  10. This really solved my problem, thank you!

  11. Thanks for sharing this useful article.
    Greetings…

  12. I am happy reading your article and I suggest you to post another article like this!

  13. ya Friends, Such a Really nice Article

  14. Very good blog that was easy to read! One of the best I’ve came across recently. It’s never as easy as it sounds tho!

  15. Thanks for the great tip! I recently started my blog and I am needing to generate more traffic. This should work like a charm!

  16. I read your all tips carefully and i like it. Its very informative for every one, if anyone use this step so really he can improve yourself blog service.

  17. Great tips, will certainly have a go, Thanks

  18. Great tip! We need to try it in the next wedding season! :-)

  19. Great tips Lauren, I am going to launch my own blog shortly. I have outsourced the template design and am awaiting it’s submission. I expect it sometime next month. Once, that is ready I have all the content and photos ready for posting. The tips outlined will be of great help to me.

  20. Here’s my issue – almost every single client I get has a Costco membership or likes to get prints from Shutterfly.
    If I tell them a print from me is going to be $75 or something like that, they move on – where are these clients that will pay for print packages instead of going to the corner market and getting them in an hour ?

    • Kathleen,

      These days it is difficult to charge high prices for prints. Fullstop 

      In the old days photographers held onto the negatives and the client had to come back for more prints. Often the client didn’t pay much for the session, they paid for the prints.

      But this is the digital age. People (clients) want digital images, to post on FB or email to grandma, etc etc

      Because of this, many photographers changed their pricing model. They will charge more for the session and give the client a set of images on a disk or thumb drive.

      I, for example, have no interest spending my time organizing prints for my clients. I’m quite happy for them to print the images they like. I offer prints or albums as an extra, but very few people take up this offer.

  21. while i was reading i thought: “oh my god i can’t comment this blog anymore!” :-)

  22. Thank you for the useful article! so helpful!

  23. Hi there, I’m Manjinder! I ‘m a photographer as well as the student of Curtin University WA . I like all things photography: shooting,teaching and always want to learning more because i’m new in this field. if I’m not reading up on the latest photography news, or studying a technique. I’m probably reading a book or planning my next adventure!
    This is a great tip! i have to try it in the next coming wedding parties! :-) I definitely still think it would be effective!
    As famous as digital files are, there is something really awesome about holding a photo in your hands. I think printed photos are still very important, and clients still enjoy a really well printed photo!
    plus, even if they have digital files , getting something printed takes some work on their part .If you, as the photographer, are offering really fantastic prints, it has a lot of value!

  24. Great article. One thing ive been pondering is if i should edit 1-3 great images the day after the wedding and uploading to facebook + instagram with the couple tagged. Theres always ALOT of activity on the couples facebook pages with everyone congratulating and tagging themselves in images taken by the guests but the activity will die off in 3 days or so. Are there any downsides to this? Would the couple take any possible offense by doing it?

  25. Hi,

    I’ve just started my photo blog and dont really have a sprecific target audience. http://www.londonetparis.com/londonetparis/
    Any suggestions on how I can improve my traffic, I don’t currently get any?

    Thanks
    Christopher

  26. Great post will see about trying this in the next couple of days .

  27. This is a fantastic suggestion for getting comments and traffic to your photoblog! It makes perfect sense – so practical & useful. Thanks!

  28. This is a great idea and so easy to do!

  29. Wow nice tip, It’s very usefull! thanks

  30. Great Article, I am really thinking about using some of your techniques on my website!

  31. yes, you are right! if a person is commenting on your article then it means he/she read the whole article and not expressing his/her thoughts. :)

  32. I totally agree on your opinion regarding comments that if we are getting comments on our post so its mean we are getting traffic as well as our content is engaging. It also shows the strength of our blog. Thank you so much for sharing such a lovely tips.

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