We interview top stylist + editor of lifestyle blog B.LOVED Louise Beukes, on how to successfully blog for business, ahead of our blog challenge starting next week.
If you’re an FPA reader you’ll know by now that we are running our first ever FPA challenge next week – designed to transform your photography blog into a complete client magnet. (You can join here).
Ahead of our challenge, we interviewed blogger + stylist Louise Beukes – read on to discover her tips for attracting returning visitors to your site, and Louise’s key recommendation to make any shoot look entirely professional and gorgeous…
Hi Louise! Can you please tell me a little about your blog B.LOVED?
The b.loved story started after my own wedding in March 2011, when still reading hundreds of wedding blogs daily, I realised my obsession with the details, design and styling of weddings wasn’t going anywhere!
I was approached by a South African blogger, Gaby from SouthBound Bride, who wanted to feature my day. This was the catalyst for founding B.LOVED, initially a blog to share contemporary inspiration in a world of vintage weddings!
Since then B.LOVED has grown from a passion (I initially thought I’d blog once or twice a week!) to a more-than-full-time job, I couldn’t be happier!
I get lots of enquiries from photographers who tell me that they want to blog more but don’t know where to start. What advice can you give to those who want to blog more for their business?
So many people ask me how I find the time to blog! This has to be a priority – the same as answering emails, preparing quotes, you need to set aside time in your schedule and stick to it.
A blog post shouldn’t take more than an hour – and if it’s taking longer you need to invest in some software to make your life easier!!
The key to a successful business blog is blogging regularly – it doesn’t matter if it’s once a week or twice a day.
You’ve recently made the leap into being a full time blogger + stylist- How did you decide the time was right to make the leap? Do you have any advice for those who have yet to make the leap to running their business as their full-time job?
It got to the point I was working over 100 hours a week, spending all day working for someone else and coming home to spend half the night and all weekend working on my blog, shoots, admin and marketing. I didn’t have any time for my husband, family or friends and I was constantly getting sick.
I also realised that I couldn’t grow my business in the way I wanted with the limited hours I had, so I knew something had to change! Of course it wasn’t an easy decision – in fact it’s terrifying not having that monthly salary – but there’s never a right time!
Don’t give up. Work hard. Be nice! There’s no magic formula, but the industry is very supportive – get lots of opinions and advice and listen to it.
What is the number one tip that you can share for increasing visitors to your site and building a loyal readership?
Really understand your reader and target client. Creating a target profile was the single most important thing I have done this year – it really focusses your mind on what is right & wrong for your business and makes decisions so much easier.
You are also a stylist. Can you tell me about your styling- what you have been doing so far & your future plans for your styling?
Pretty early on in my blogging I was asked to ‘style’ a shoot by Anneli Marinovich, so it’s all down to her!!
My background is in interior design, so she believed I had the skills to pull it off. It was such hard work, and looking at some of the images still makes me cringe, but it was the catalyst to launch the styling side of my business.
My passion really lies in Editorial Styling. I have been extremely fortunate to have my work featured on some of the biggest & best magazines and blogs in the world, which is truly an honour and testament to the amazing talent I get to work with.
I love working with wedding businesses, creating strong editorial images to get their work noticed!
Where do you find your creative inspiration?
If I’m working with a business, their story is my biggest inspiration. I love getting to know everything about them, their style and what they stand for – working out their ‘brand’. From this I usually start to form my own ideas for aesthetics and styling, and then head online to start researching images to illustrate my ideas.
Pinterest is simply amazing, I am definitely an addict!!
My business inspirations come from my incredibly talented friends in the wedding industry. They are all so talented, and watching them grow and develop makes me push harder!
What’s the number one thing that makes any occasion (or shoot) pretty?
Flowers! You don’t have to spend a lot, but they are the one thing that really transforms any event or set – adding colour, texture and freshness.
A big thank you to Louise Beukes for taking the time to answer our questions.
We hope you’ve found a few of these tips insightful – this is the briefest of introductions to the blog challenge next week – sign up for our Superblog challenge now – it’s entirely free but registration closes this weekend!