Reporting Weather Where You Don’t Live

When doing research for an upcoming presentation, I always like to look at the list of attendees. I look to see how many are from large companies who might not have blogs, who blogs, how often people are blogging and who blogs well.

Those who set up a blog, write an introduction and never blog again rarely surprises me. I am also not surprised by people who toss up a bunch of images, add two sentences and nothing more.

However, the one thing that STUNS ME, are the people who blog consistently but do not blog about anything that ties back to their business.

One of the recent blogs I read talked about national data, and what I will call “DYI hazards” in their industry.  This provided the opportunity to discuss how their company could help mitigate these hazards or talk about their team and what sets them apart…and they did NOTHING!

If you are going to blog about ANYTHING, national data, trends, planning tips, ANYTHING… relate it back to your business, focus on how you and your team exceed the standard or products and services you offer that tie into the data.

Blogging for the sake of blogging and filling space is a waste of your time and energy. Prospective clients will stop coming back because the first thing they look at is ‘What’s In It For Me’?

If you are not relating the information back to your city or region, including search words to make people find you in the area you serve, it is a waste.

At a minimum, tie the article back into a call for action that brings in your location, the name of your business and a hyperlink to an email for more information or your phone number.

Email me today to talk about consultations to help you improve the way you blog and how to improve your SEO.

 

Investing Time and Doing It All Wrong!

True Confession:

Very little frustrates me as much as looking at someone’s blog, seeing that they have good content, a few links, good keywords and that they have invested time in renaming their images…

Only to open the images in a new tab and seeing that they have renamed them ALL WRONG!

No one, I repeat NO ONE is searching for Susie + John’s wedding except for Suzie and John, and they probably have seen the images already!

Very, very few people are searching the name of your company, most likely they have been on your site already OR are searching wedding photographer in Atlanta. or Central Florida.

Try adding items that couples are searching for. Start with the name of the city using Cleveland weddings, or Key West sunset wedding ceremony, or terms such as pink peony bouquet, and Groom in a blue suit.

Or, try renaming a photo of a bride using the gown designer, or the venue where the wedding was.

When was the last time you searched for John’s Plumbing and not a plumber in St Petersburg Florida?

Think outside the box when renaming your images. Look at how you search for something you’re looking for.

You would if you could…

…but you can’t, so you don’t.

Recently a lot of people are asking me exactly what I do and what makes it valuable. So, let’s start with the WHY and take it from there.

Why is hiring Wedding Ghost so valuable?

I don’t know anyone who would dispute the fact that every wedding, event or hospitality business has a website, and that your goal of having a website is to use it as a tool to sell your company 24/7.

Beyond that, you want people to find your website! People find your website when they go to a search engine and your page comes up! Simple as that!

The goal of a website should be to have well written text to attract search engines; and because people RARELY change the text on their website, having a blog where you update content on a consistent basis is a lightning rod for search engines.

Well written and consistent are the two important phrases! Well written means that there is text woven into your blog posts that includes the terms people are searching for in your industry. Also using descriptive terms that link you to other people, places and things that people are searching for adds to the value.

So, why aren’t people coming up on page one of search engines?

Because they aren’t writing consistently, they are not “feeding” the search engines and they typically aren’t using text that search engines are looking for.

What the Wedding Ghost does is write weekly blog posts for wedding, event and hospitality professionals. I have 30+ years in food and beverage, catering and wedding planning and events. I’ve worked in flower shops, bridal salons and spent time with dozens of event professionals learning about what they do and how they do it. I understand what makes good content and can write about what you do as well as tips and trends.

Weekly blogs are at least 300 words and include popular search terms for your industry, long tail key words (longer phrases people search). It should include backlinks wherever applicable (links to venues, colleagues and products) to help connect you when people search those businesses. I build a story around your Real Weddings / Events, write about your team, awards, client reviews, tips, trends to brand you as an expert in your field, in your market.

Then, I rename any photos included in the blog post to add terms search engines are looking for; I upload the blog posts and images to your blog platform, add hyperlinks and tags behind the scenes.

The typical blogger, in addition to coming up with content ideas, will spend 1 ½ – 3 hours writing, editing and posting blogs.   Quite often after this huge investment in time they still miss the mark by not using enough text, any words people are searching for, or rely on photos with no searchable information connected to it.

You would blog if you could invest the time, but you can’t, so you don’t blog and prospective clients can’t find you in their searches…

Wedding Ghost is looking to change this for you and blog for you, just like you would, with your voice if you had the time.

What makes good blogging?

Good blogging has two distinct parts… Good content and search ability.

Good content is anything that your prospective clients, fellow wedding and event professionals and the press might find interesting. It can range from Real Weddings and Events, to helpful tips on whatever service you might provide, talking about trends in your area of expertise to “Top 10” lists that readers might find helpful.

Keep Calm - Wedding Ghost - Blogger - Wedding Blogger - Freelance Writer - Mark Kingsdorf -

What engages the clients in your target market? Are your wedding couples looking for a unique experience or a fun interesting location?

A few weeks ago, I spent the day at our local zoo – while this might not seem like anything that applies to a guy who is a ghost writer for wedding and event professionals; you’d be 1000% wrong.

The zoo has some fun, interesting options for something like a rehearsal dinner; imagine your family and friends enjoying dinner in a space overlooking a lawn filled with giraffe, zebra and elephants. How about bringing two families together with a scavenger hunt after dinner?

The zoo was decorated for Christmas and filled with beautiful Christmas trees; each area had a business as a sponsor. Some were small businesses and others large corporations; some were adorned with pretty decorations and others included amazing branding for their business.

Christmas Trees - Blog - Tampa Zoo - Wedding Ghost - blogger

Imagine blogging about your company being part of a charitable event or fundraiser and connecting with prospective clients with similar interests.

The second part of a good blog is search ability; does the blog post include words that people are searching for?

Being able to tell the same story about the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo helps you get catalogued in search engines when anyone is searching those terms; whether it is for leisure, or planning a wedding or event. Think of the plusses if you already do weddings and events there, or want to get on their radar. Including words like Tampa Bay Wedding (insert profession – planning, photography, floral design, film making, etc.) all help to get your business found on the internet.

Blogging about your team donating decorations to support the Tampa Lowry Park Zoo along with Tampa International Airport, Panera Bread, Aloft Hotel Tampa links your business to things in your region people are searching for regardless of the reason.

Knowing how to weave a story about you and your company that is interesting, engages prospective clients and has terms that people are searching for will increase your visibility with clients and on the internet.

 

The truth about photos and blogging!

In reading wedding websites and blogs of wedding and event professionals across the country I see the same mistakes over and over again.

The first, is that busy professionals rely heavily on pretty pictures! Great pictures of your work whether you are a wedding planner, floral designer, photographer or make wedding cakes are just that; pretty pictures.

Yes, they showcase your work… when they are used correctly.

But, search engines DO NOT READ IMAGES… there, I said it!

If the search engine can’t read it, it can’t index your content or site and it can’t read embedded text on a photo either.

So how do you use images and have search engines find your blog?

Start by renaming your images, use key words including your business name, the PHOTOGRAPHER’S name (always give credit where credit is due), a location, region and what the photo is about.

Clients aren’t searching XYZphotography002.jpg so don’t expect that they will find you, search engines won’t either.

Try something like:     Suzie’s Planning – Aruba wedding planner – beach wedding ceremony

Additionally, when you upload your content to your blog portal you’ll typically see a fill in labeled ‘ALT TAGS’. This is a space for you to use the key words you used to rename your photo but to also go more in-depth.  Adding in terms like destination wedding planner, sunset wedding ceremony, tropical wedding, etc.

Blogging - ALT TAGS - SEO - Wedding Ghost - Wedding Blog - Mark Kingsdorf - Search Engine Optimization
Alt Tags give your images search terms for search engines to catalogue

Anything you think your typical clients are searching should be used and Key Words are typically more than one word they are often the series of words and search terms someone is using.

More on Search Terms, Key Words and Key Phrases to help your website and wedding blog Search Engine Optimization in upcoming blogs.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed give me a call to chat about how Wedding Ghost can help you with your wedding blog content, enhancing your SEO or refreshing content on your website to make it more search engine friendly.

 

 

 

Who are you?

Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time reading wedding blogs; planners, venues, caterers, bakers, you name it I’ve looked at their websites and blogs.

I’m truly astounded at the number of businesses who claim “we are the top (fill in your favorite service) in our area”, ‘we provide personalized service and treat your wedding just like it was our own wedding”, “our team will hold your hand step by step throughout the planning process”

WHO?

Wedding ghost - blogger - wedding blogger - weddings - wedding planner - Master Wedding Planner - wedding blog

Who are you? I’m not sure about you, but I really like buying things and doing business with people I know (and like). Do you like when my server tells you their name! I like when my doctor or the guy at the garage introduces themselves.

Your first introduction to a prospective client is your website and your blog… you want to introduce yourself to them, connect with them and you want them to feel like they know you and trust you.

Additionally, including things like your name, the name of your business, the service you provide and the area you work in helps people searching the internet know they have the right site and it helps search engines catalogue you. They can’t find you if you don’t tell them about you.

“Master Wedding Planner, Mark Kingsdorf, is the owner of Wedding Ghost a freelance writer and blogger based in St Petersburg Florida; Mark writes blog and website content for wedding planners and wedding and event professionals across the country.”

Immediately you know who I am, what my credentials are, the name of my business and what services I provide. There are lots of words related to my business that attract search engines. {freelance writer, blogger, Master Wedding Planner, wedding, event professionals} not to mention my name and the business name.

An “About Us” page on your website or using several blog posts to introduce yourself and your team is a great way to really allow prospective clients to get to know you; I mean REALLY get to know you. Ideally, you want them to see a glimpse into your ‘Authentic Self’ so they can connect with you on an emotional level.

I lost my mother in my late 20’s, after battling breast cancer for more than a decade, I never ceased to amaze me when a bride or a mom commented on this fact during the planning process or our first meeting. Sharing in my biography that I founded a charity wedding cake competition in Philadelphia, Let Them Eat Cake, for City of Hope Cancer Center engaged people (both clients and other wedding professionals) who had an emotional connection to this cause.

On a much lighter side, the blog post featuring our West Highland Terrier, Saphi, was probably one of the most comments on blogs in my career. It appears there are LOTS of dog lovers out there!

saphi

It can be accomplished is a short Q & A format; writing a portion of your text in third person allows you to occasionally reinforce your name (branding you as an expert) and the name of your business and position in the market. It also makes it easier to talk about yourself when you write in third person too!

I’ve included comments on my passion for travel, my love of pizza (OK, it might be a bit of an obsession), my background as a chef and passion for healthy cooking, Disney, Yelp!, pets and my husband Chuck.

I love the people that sharing myself has attracted to my business; whether it was couples and families when I owned The Queen of Hearts Wedding Consultants or wedding and event professionals since launching Wedding Ghost.

Let people into your world, tell them about you, your business and the key players they will likely meet when working with you…You’ll find you attract people who are already invested in building a relationship with you.

 

 

 

Spreading Christmas Cheer!

The Wedding Ghost is ready to spread a little Christmas cheer.

Christmas Present

If you are the 25th wedding or event professional, with an existing blog, to comment on this blog post with the name of your company and your blog / web address you will win…

A review of your last 6-8 blog posts (regardless of how infrequently you might currently blog); along with a written evaluation of the content, text, links and images.

The perfect gift for your business; just in time for engagement season and a $200.00 value!

If you have a blog, post on a fairly regular basis and just aren’t seeing any results in terms of your search engine ranking, site visits or traffic flow; this might just do the trick.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night.

 

Are you using your blog correctly?

Blog (bläɡ)

noun
a regularly updated website or web page, typically run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.

verb
add new material to or regularly update a blog.
“it’s over a week since I last blogged”

It’s that simple…. regularly updated website or webpage. Consistency is the key, blogging on a regular basis keeps people coming back to see what else you have to say.

The sentence used in the example “it’s over a week since I last blogged” is HUGE; if you only talked to your best friend every couple weeks, or worse once a year… would they take much interest in you?

Conversational and informal is the next piece; people want to feel like you are talking to them, you’re telling them a story directly relating to them.

Do you have prospective clients coming to you, talking to you like they know you, know all about your business and believe in your reputation? Have they read recent recommendations from previous clients and wedding professionals you work with?

Part of blogging is Search Engine Optimization; using the correct words, links and tags to drive traffic toward your website / blog so you can be found in search engines. But also using content that brands you as  the expert in your field, that educates your prospective clients and attracts the press; and opens up a conversation so people want to engage with you and find out more.