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Monday, May 2, 2011

MEP Photo Blog - An Experience in Learning | Maris Ehlers Photography

If I had to describe myself, one of the words I would definitely use would be "random".  I'm a random doer, random thinker, inspired by all things random, and yes - quite often get distracted by well, almost any random little thing.  :)

I've had this blog (and I use the term loosely) for quite some time, but it was, as you can imagine, not much more than a random collection of things I had posted: Favorite images from Maris Ehlers Photography photo sessions, observations about things I enjoy or like, stories and snippets of my life with my family, and sometimes many days or weeks would pass without me posting anything.

The sad thing is, I actually love to be immersed in all things social media, but my blog was really just sort of floating out there on its own.  Finally, with the help of a very talented colleague, I realized that I needed to either shape this thing up and give it a greater purpose than being a random catchall for a myriad of random thoughts and observations, or give it up completely.  I committed to trying to discover what this communication tool is really supposed to be for me.

I invested a few hours in trying to make it not quite so ugly.  For the first time ever, I tackled some important SEO tasks, tried to clean it up in terms of functionality and layout, and started to post more frequently.

I was shocked.  Within 48 hours I could see a noticeable difference and in the next 30 days I had over 5,500 page views.  While that might not seem like anything impressive, keep in mind that I had around 7,300 views over the entire life of my blog (let's just say for more than one year).  The second month, the page views were just slightly higher than the previous 30 days.  The best part though, is traffic has increased GREATLY to my other sites / pages (i.e. my website and facebook business page).

Last two data points on right are the months of April and May 2011

So not only is this little blog growing, but I'm learning a lot as I go (which is honestly how I learn best).

Here are a few things that I've learned:

1.  Visitors to this blog tend to like to see previews from sessions the best (makes sense since this is technically a photography blog, right)?  These posts tend to rate the highest.  Of the different types of images posted, favorites seem to be babies and weddings.  Big surprise there, huh?

2.  Visitors do seem to be interested in "what to wear" posts for different sessions.

3.  You all are a quiet bunch - even when I end a post with a question, people rarely answer. If I post the link on facebook, more people will typically comment there.

4.  The whole point of having a blog is to communicate with the audience it is created for, but so far, it seems to be a pretty one-sided conversation.

5.  I still don't know exactly what I want this blog to be, and I'd love to hear what you think.  I love posting sneak peeks, but I like to write about other things as well.  Things that inspire or frustrate me as a parent, photography tips and tricks, random observations about life in general, that sort of thing.  We also tried something new over the past week and a half with some guest bloggers sharing their observations about motherhood.  Lots of views (and repeat views), but not many comments.

So in closing, thank you for silently bearing with me as I explore new territory for the MEP Blog, and if you have any thoughts or suggestions, I'd love to hear them.  Honestly!

I've added some tools to try to help make following along and sharing easier (check out all of the bright and colorful social media icons near the bottom), and I hope you'll help me further refine the type of content delivered here - based on what you'd like to see!




Kelly @ Illustrations Photography said...

Interesting analysis! I'm a fellow photog and would be interested in how you did your analysis? I use statcounter but not regularly and just wondered if you knew something better.? Also, any tips for us fellow photogs on what changes to make (besides more sessions and what to wear post)?? THANKS!

Maris Ehlers Photography said...

Hi, Kelly. Thanks for your comment. The chart is just from my blogger stat panel. The analysis on posts is just from taking a look at over page views by post and topic, comments, likes, etc. Nothing too outrageous.

I'll think about some additional blog topics for photogs. Thanks for the ideas!