Wedding Blogs and ExclusivityWednesday, July 29, 2009
As the wedding blogging industry becomes more competitive, more and more blogs are requesting exclusivity to the photos and content you provide for them. Some are even going as far as to request that you provide them the content first before even posting to your own blog or website.
From the business perspective of the blogger, I get it. They are trying to grow their blog as a business and need original content in order to keep readers coming back and to keep advertisers (and their advertising dollars) happy. I really don't think there is anything wrong with agreeing to some of the exclusive terms that wedding blogs request.
That said, before you agree to anything, be sure to think through each request critically. After all, you run a business, too. It is perfectly acceptable for you to say "hey, I really want to help you out, but what's in it for me?". The answer, "exposure on the best wedding blog in the world" is not enough.
There is only one thing in the wedding industry that never lies: the math. So, take the numbers into consideration when you're making your decision as to where to publish your content:
If you are providing content to a blog in order to gain exposure and drive traffic to your site, then it's important to monitor the actual click-throughs that particular wedding blog is sending your way. Do not depend on the numbers the wedding blog provides you (if they do), be sure to have your own metrics in place so you can see the unbiased results for yourself. Google Analytics is free to use and easily allows you to track which sites are sending you traffic and from which specific blog posts or pages.
Be very careful not to fall into the 'bigger is better' mindset. Just because one wedding blog may receive more unique visitors than another wedding blog doesn't necessarily mean it will generate as much traffic or exposure for you. There are several wedding blogs that are smaller in numbers but have a fiercely loyal following. Several wedding photographers have shared that these smaller blogs actually generate more traffic for them than some of the larger ones.
At the end of the day, you have to put your business first (Sean Low has a good post about this here). If a wedding blog's business model is dependent on other people for their content because they're not producing original content of their own, that is not your problem. If giving a blog exclusivity to YOUR work is going to hurt your business rather than help it, then don't do it.