I’ve thought about writing this post for a while, but something always held me back. Even this morning I debated whether I should post it. It’s difficult writing something from the heart! In the end I decided this has to be said. It’s too important…especially because this topic is a heated subject among wedding bloggers. The problem is many of us STILL can’t figure out why there seems to be such a communication breakdown with regard to exclusive publishing.
Is it a lack of information provided on our part? Does the definition need to be spelled out better in our submissions guidelines? Or is all of that a waste of time because, well…people are always going to break rules because they can?
I like to think of myself as a positive, “give people the benefit of doubt” kind of person. So rather than assume they’re just trying to work the system without a care to what it does to our publication or their relationship with us, I’m going to pretend that photographers and vendors just don’t know the policy.
And with that, no worries…I’m here to explain it.
First I’d like to share why I’m bringing this topic up. Recently we featured a wonderfully creative styled shoot that did really well – and is still doing well – with traffic and reader interest. In addition…the photographers, stylists and other vendors who worked on the shoot seemed beyond thrilled with the exposure. However, just a couple of days ago we discovered the shoot was submitted and featured on a non-exclusive blog less than a month after we featured it.
Yup, this is a serious no-no. Of course the first thought that ran through my mind was,
“Why would the photographers do that…didn’t they read our Exclusivity Policy?”
Whatever the reason…my sincerest feeling is that it’s wrong and it completely sucks when it happens to you!
There…now that we have that out in the open, let’s move on!
Assuming this violation is simply lack of knowledge, basically if a wedding or shoot is published by an Exclusive blog, it means that limitations have been placed on the submission from being featured anywhere else. Most exclusive blogs call for a waiting period of at least six months, but some require a year before the photographer or vendor can submit or have the work published anywhere else.
To me these are pretty basic rules when it comes to publishing. But you’d be surprised how often this rule gets broken.
You might be asking, “What’s the big deal? Why can’t people submit to as many places as they want, it’s their work?” Well, they can. But if they want their worked featured on an Exclusive blog with the targeted clientele or high traffic they are looking for, they have to abide by the blog’s policies and blogs set these “Exclusive Policies” for good reasons.
Here are a few reasons why…
Imagine you purchased five of your favorite magazines and three of them had the exact same content, with only the layout and some designs different. Would you be disappointed? I’m guessing you would. I’m also guessing you would put the other two magazines with original content on a higher pedal stool for having something different, right? The same is true for blogs. None of us want to have the same content as any of our fellow bloggers, as much as we like each other. And because readers generally don’t follow just one blog, our readers would prefer not to see the same content on several blogs either.
Image by La Maisondannag
Now let’s examine how it might negatively affect a photographer or vendor if their work is featured in multiple places. Yep, that’s right…having your work featured in too many places CAN be a negative. Most people would think the opposite. But that’s not true for pretty much the same reason as listed above…no one wants to see content they’ve already seen. So while you may think you’re promoting yourself resourcefully by getting the same content featured across multiple blogs, you might actually be hurting your reputation with readers, potential clients and especially blog owners if you happen to go against their exclusivity policy.
With all of this, wouldn’t it be better to just follow a blog’s policy? Most bloggers have it spelled out in their submissions guidelines. But if they don’t, the easiest, most beneficial method for you to make sure you’re following their rules is to simply ask. Not doing so may cost you the opportunity to be featured by them again. And no one wants that, right?
All in all the best way for you as a photographer or vendor to gain as much exposure for your work is to do your research, submit to a blog with the style, traffic and following that matches what you’re looking for and always, always follow their rules. Yes, it is your work we are featuring…but it is our coveted, painstakingly developed network of faithful readers you are trying to reach. We love your work and want to share it with as many people as we can. We only ask that your respect our policies.
Seems like a fair trade, right?
Thanks for stopping by!