So what do you all think? If you’re reading this on my blog, then you can clearly see that there is a new design! Many of you who visit my blog on a regular basis may have seen that I was using my blog as my website/blog (aka blogsite) but then switched back to having a separate blog and website. I didn’t like the design because it wasn’t very fluid. It just didn’t flow.
Last week at our Jacksonville PUG meeting, we had a really great speaker on SEO and one of things he spoke about was just how bad flash websites are for search engines. Now, this was something I already knew but I thought the “SEO friendly” flash sites had some sort of html mirror of sorts to allow search engines to easily index my site, but he proved that that wasn’t true when he did an audit on my website. This was the kick in the butt I needed to get my new blog+site redesign DONE! I feel like I’ve been so busy I just haven’t had time.
So last Friday and Saturday, I literally spent 13+ hours in front of the computer each day plugging away at a new design, new layout, and SEO friendly site. And there you have it! Blogsite is done! I really love it. I don’t know why I never did it this way before. It’s not only SEO friendly, it’s incredibly cost effective.
For photographers who are wondering (and maybe potential clients who are interested) part of the cost of running a legitimate photography business is the expense of running a blog, website, proofing site, lead management/pricing software, etc. Many people don’t realize that you can easily throw down $100+ a month in these expenses alone. That doesn’t include business liability insurance, insurance on your gear, any necessary gear upgrades, rentals, taxes, business licensure, education, continuing education, etc. Running a business is expensive, but if you love what you do, it is worth it. Many people who deem themselves professional photographers just go buy a DSLR and automatically call themselves a professional photographer, but they don’t understand that to run a legitimate business, you have to have a business license and pay taxes.
Here is where I’m going to be frank, well, because that’s how I roll. Here is a run down of website expenses:
- Website through ShowIt: $39 per month
- Blog: $4.99 per month (you pay for hosting monthly, but pay for the blog software as a one time fee)
- Blog dedicated hosting: $2.99 per month
- ShootQ (lead management): $30 but am on a promotional code. Typically it is $60.
- Proofing: Depending on who you go with, this can be very pricey. The cart system I’d like to use is either $80 per month or a one time fee of $999. So I’m currently saving some money using SmugMug at $150 per year, which is about $12.50 per month.
That’s $89.48 per month, just in website stuff. By eliminating the cost of a separate website, I’m saving $39 per month, which is a lot. That’s $468 per year. If you’d like to know, I purchased a prophoto blog from prophotoblogs.com several years ago. It’s basically software that allows you to build your own blog without knowing coding, but thanks to their advances, you also have the capability of creating a blogsite. What’s really exciting, at least for me, is that they are about to release P4, which includes additional features that are going to make things that much better. When you buy prophoto and they upgrade, you get a heavily discounted upgrade price instead of having to rebuy it. The other great thing about prophoto is that you don’t have to be a photographer. You can just need a website and be able to use it for any business. When I did more web design, I used prophoto for my clients who wanted a website and blog in one. It’s super handy and I just love it.
Not to mention, it’s SEO friendly! I also don’t have to pay anything extra to have my site available on iPads, iPhones, and other devices like that. It pains me to think of the money I wasted on websites that weren’t at their best potential.
Anyway, I hope this blog article is helpful for those of you, photographers or otherwise, who may be looking to save money on expensive websites or understand part of the breakdown for why photographers charge what they charge.
And because blogs are just better with a picture, here’s a picture of the prettiest girl in the world!