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Blog Critique: Bliss – Seshu’s Wedding Photojournalism

Yes, blog critique time again!

It’s no secret than I am a fan of photography. For a couple of years now I have dabbled with my photography blog, been unhealthily addicted to Flickr and even have a couple of clients in photography and related industry. Portrait photographers are a special breed. While I have photographed two weddings that were successful, the stress of having only one chance at getting it right with no room for mistakes made me decide I could never do it professionally and gave me a great deal of respect for those who do!

With this in mind I enjoyed looking at todays blog critique victim customer, *bliss —“ Seshu’s Wedding Photojournalism. Seshu is a wedding photographer in New England. He uses Nikon cameras and TypePad for his blog but I won’t hold either against him (joke!).

There are important factors that make a blog for this kind of professional service work.

Service business is about people first and foremost, people dealing with people. Do you come across as a real, approachable, competent, credible, professional, likeable?

You have to project that you are:

  1. Personable
  2. Capable
  3. Trustworthy

People think I am crazy when I say you don’t need lots of traffic to a blog such as this. It’s true, you just need enough of the right people. With that in mind it is more important to have the blog/site work well than be extremely popular. Get it right then promote.

I’m pleased to say Seshu does a great job. Of course being the nitpicker I am, I’m bound to find something to criticise, heh.

First Impressions

  • It’s quite clear where we have arrived, who the author is, what he does, well done.
  • The design is friendly and professional, from the colours to the ease of use.
  • Good trust marks in the professional associations.
  • Seshu comes across as a nice guy, someone you would feel comfortable trusting with your big day.
  • Everything has been thought of, it’s all there in About, FAQ, what wedding journalism is, little photo and bio in the sidebar. Almost like he has been reading my previous critiques, ha.
  • Send to friend with a $100 gift card is a nice touch.
  • Clicking around you can see examples of his work, and well-written but sporadic blog posts.

My Advice

  • Less “We” More “Wedding” – Try to get your photography up early in the page, for example in the header area try adding some pictures that say “wedding” in a classy way. That way you are saying and showing. Remember you have seconds to make an impact. Reinforce in your posts.
  • The Fold Factor – the send to friend form with gift card reward is a great idea but does it have to take up so much room? Be aware that your most important features should be above the “fold”, that is you shouldn’t have to scroll down to get to it. It’s great that right away people can see who you are and what you do, but I think you can reduce some of the wasted space.
  • Do You Differentiate? – you have my interest, you have my trust, I like your pictures and style – is there anything you can show me or tell me to tip me over? Why you and not another wedding photojournalist? You are doing a good job but I think your blog could work harder.
  • MyBlogLog No More – Lose they MyBlogLog popups, they damage the good work you have done by confusing and cluttering and, well, they are ugly.
  • Fresh or Stale? – Dates work powerfully on our subconscious, like in a grocers, they can show your shop is open for business and there is fresh produce, but by the same token old dates have the same effect as passed “sell-by”s. The first date presented is September 06 …
  • Lift and Separate – The sticky post needs to be differentiated from the blog posts, can you set a different background or styling? Which is news and which is orientation/housekeeping text?
  • Prove It! – bring case studies and testimonials to the forefront, I would like to see proof
  • Build Authority – I look back on my wedding and think about stress and worry. What do wedding photography prospects worry about? What do they really need? What do they often forget to arrange or do badly? Answer these and other questions and you will have a perfect flagship content. This will build your authority allow you to talk about your service offering.
  • Survey Customers – Your past clients are a mine of information, call and ask them if there was anything missing, bad, wrong, good, useful, useless, confusing, clarifying. Ask them for testimonials. Don’t miss this opportunity to improve, you will never have a better focus group and the longer you leave it the more the chance of getting this feedback will slip away.
  • Tag Cloud Confusion – Be careful with your categories/tag cloud – phrases like QTVR, E-Session, Web/Tech say “technical” which can be a turn-off. Categories are for your readers navigation, not your organisation. Reduce your categories down to what your reader might want to read about, don’t get tag-happy and confuse or put off your less geeky prospects.
  • Ruthlessly Audit – Go through your blog and look at each element from a prospects point of view, justify to yourself “why” for each – if you do not have a good reason for each element, a benefit to you or your prospect, then remove it. Be brutal.

As I said, this is a good blog, done well. With a bit more focus on potential customers needs it could be a brilliant asset to Seshu’s business.

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Comments

  1. So how does someone attain the awesome accolade of the chrisg ‘blog critique bliss’?

  2. So how does someone attain the awesome accolade of the chrisg ‘blog critique bliss’?

  3. “Bliss” is the name of his blog 🙂

  4. “Bliss” is the name of his blog 🙂

  5. oh…duh! So how does someone attain the awesome accolade of the chrisg ‘blog critique blogpaul’?

  6. oh…duh! So how does someone attain the awesome accolade of the chrisg ‘blog critique blogpaul’?

  7. I have about 30 or so to get through then I will do another free blog critique announcement post

  8. I have about 30 or so to get through then I will do another free blog critique announcement post

  9. Just a bit curious as to whether you feel that MyBlogLog clutters all sites or not?

    I’ve found that I tend to visit those who visit me more then I ever did before I had MyBlogLog.

    Is there a downside I’m not aware of?

  10. Just a bit curious as to whether you feel that MyBlogLog clutters all sites or not?

    I’ve found that I tend to visit those who visit me more then I ever did before I had MyBlogLog.

    Is there a downside I’m not aware of?

  11. MyBlogLog is fine for personal sites, or more community-oriented blogs but I wouldn’t have it on a business blog. Especially as many people now are using saucy avatar photos. It’s the “# clicks today” popup rollovers I objected to on Seshus blog though

  12. MyBlogLog is fine for personal sites, or more community-oriented blogs but I wouldn’t have it on a business blog. Especially as many people now are using saucy avatar photos. It’s the “# clicks today” popup rollovers I objected to on Seshus blog though

  13. I can see your point about the photos. It would be nice if those could be edited out.

    Thanks for the mini lesson.

  14. I can see your point about the photos. It would be nice if those could be edited out.

    Thanks for the mini lesson.

  15. hey chris,

    thanks for that awesome review and ideas on improvement’s… now I’ve gotta tear through my blog and apply those ideas! If you’d mind giving your feedback on mine it’s be phonomenal! Cheers.

    http://www.harvardphoto.com/blog/

  16. hey chris,

    thanks for that awesome review and ideas on improvement’s… now I’ve gotta tear through my blog and apply those ideas! If you’d mind giving your feedback on mine it’s be phonomenal! Cheers.

    http://www.harvardphoto.com/blog/

  17. @Gayla – that’s what I am here for 😉

    @Dave – as I say above, look out for my next critique announcement, it’s only fair I get through the initial batch before taking on any more

  18. @Gayla – that’s what I am here for 😉

    @Dave – as I say above, look out for my next critique announcement, it’s only fair I get through the initial batch before taking on any more

  19. Cheers mate. I’ve just used a lot of your feedback for Seshu on my blog… lovin the changes. Thanks mate.

  20. Cheers mate. I’ve just used a lot of your feedback for Seshu on my blog… lovin the changes. Thanks mate.