HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
Several actors asked me business of acting questions on set when I first started working as a professional actor.
After repeating those same business of acting answers multiple times, I realized I needed a place to send actors to see those answers in order to save time. That's when I decided to start this blog.
Then something unexpected happened.
Some of my blog posts started ranking on the first page of Google (second only to Backstage articles) even though I wasn't an SEO expert. I realized this was a great way to get more exposure as an actor, plus start generating passive income.
Have you considered starting an acting blog? Why should actors blog anyway?
I avoided the blogging craze for years, but I've since learned how insanely important it is for my acting career.
We live in a digital world that we can no longer avoid, but most actors are making the mistake of posting their thoughts and content only on social media--platforms they do not own.
In this post, we'll discuss a few ways blogging can help your acting career and change your future.
People, including casting directors and producers, are researching you online. I've directly heard a handful of very reputable casting directors say so. Let's give them something good to find.
Disclosure: the Weebly links in this blog post are referral links, which means at no additional cost to you, I receive financial credit towards my account if you use my link and make a purchase. However, I still highly recommend Weebly whether you use my link or not. It's the company I used to easily build this blog and site.
1. GET POTENTIAL CASTING OPPORTUNITIES FROM YOUR ACTING BLOG
When you want to know more about someone nowadays, what do you do? Look them up online! Why should you assume that's any different for someone wanting to know about you?
Casting director Marci Liroff (who casts for Spielberg by the way) has such a great quote about this in her article on Backstage:
"I know firsthand that producers, studios, and networks can and do go through your social media. As an actor, when you get hired you are entering into a partnership with the filmmaking team. On a television show, the producers and network are beholden to their advertisers, and they need to make sure that the people involved with their show don’t have skeletons in their online closets."
But let's not assume that the research stops at social media. If anything, they're most likely getting to your social media accounts via a Google search, which means you need hits on Google from your website.
Do you even know what pops up online if you Google your name?
When you start a blog, a majority of search engine results for your name will come from your website and blog content, creating a professional and polished online presentation.
I used Weebly to build this site and blog because of their easy drag-and-drop system. However, you don't need to just blog about your acting. In fact, I recommend against that because it will bore your audience to tears.
While it's ok to mention your booked gigs, you should really focus your blog on a particular niche, even if it isn't related to acting.
If you blog about one of your special skills, for example, that can turn into a really great marketing opportunity if casting directors are looking for an actor with that skill.
Let's say a casting director has narrowed down a role to five potential actors that they've pitched to the director and producers.
If they need an actor with a particular special skill and they see that you are the only actor with a ton of videos and blog posts online showing off that skill, who do you think they'll cast? The actor that looks like a pro or one who just simply has it listed on their resume?
Your niche doesn't need to focus on a special skill, though. It could simply be a hobby, like beekeeping. Ultimately, having a niched blog with make you look like a well-rounded actor, and therefore more interesting and memorable.
Additionally, what if a casting director is personally interested in your blog's niche, such as beekeeping or gardening?
They may randomly find you online and relate to you outside of acting in a way that builds a foundation of trust (assuming your content is valuable).
2. BLOGGING AS A SIDE HUSTLE FOR ACTORS
Holy smokes, people are making a crap ton of money blogging!
I resisted blogs for a long time. I truly assumed it was only mom bloggers talking about stuff that didn't relate to me. However, blogging has become a legitimate source of income, especially if you create your own digital products.
Please know that it takes time to build up the minimum amount of page views required to really make money with ad income, sponsored posts, or affiliate posts.
However, I'm also currently beta testing a course where I teach you the seven streams of income every actor should try, with five of them being passive, that do not require large traffic numbers.
Ultimately, you need your blog posts to start ranking on Google now and years from now. If your blog focuses on a particular topic, it makes it much easier to rank.
If you like the way my blog looks, check out Weebly. They make it super easy for me to utilize SEO to help me rank on the first page of Google, even though I'm not an SEO expert.
The key to getting started is publishing niche content that people are actually searching for, which you can find with a free tool like Ubersuggest. Simply type in a word or phrase that applies to a niche you may want to blog about this year.
Ranking will put you in front of your best fans, which opens up the door for income and casting opportunities. I've been easily building my blog on Weebly over the last year, and it started ranking on Google.
I didn't hire anyone for SEO or purchase any Google Ads, and I'm not an expert at either anyway. I simply started.
3. BUILD YOUR FANS AND FOLLOWERS WITH AN ACTING BLOG
Aren't you aggravated at the number of social media stars and athletes hopping over into film and television without legitimate acting coaching? I mean we've been working our butts off to get coaching, auditions, and bookings!
But you know why they're able to do it? One word: fans.
Studios and streaming platforms are interested in casting people that are easier to market or already have a fanbase that they know will tune in to watch.
Fans mean less money in the production company's marketing budget and more money in everyone's pockets which makes projects more successful. It also proves that you're a sure thing since people are already attracted to you.
There's a major caveat here: you cannot keep building your fanbase only on social media.
It's not enough to add 500 followers to your Facebook page anymore because you do not own that platform. You can lose those fans at any time for a number of reasons.
I can't express to you how important a loyal fanbase is these days. Even if you become an A-lister, you need to move your fans off of social media and onto an email list. You cannot do this with Gmail!
Think of your favorite famous actor. If they wanted to write a book, the first question a book agent will ask them is, "How big is your list?" What they're referring to is an email list. Guess what that actor with millions of fans is probably going to answer? "Zero."
If you want ultimate control over your career, you need to safely interact with your fans outside of social media, and the best way to do that is an email list. The best way to grow that email list is by starting a blog, or at the very least have your own site. You can still grow an email list without being famous!
Your niche blog will help you attract your best fans and give you legal ownership of your reader relationship and content, whereas social media companies maintain the rights to your profile followers and the content you post!
Weebly makes integrating your social media really easy. They offer Facebook and Twitter share options at the end of each post so your readers can market the post for you.
If starting an email list sounds overwhelming and confusing, I explain how to do it in this course. You can also join my email list to see and example of how I connect with my followers via email.
Additionally, you can embed code which allows you to keep your traffic on site by embedding a YouTube video or Facebook post directly into your blog.
This will both increase your video views while keeping your visitors on your site longer to help your search engine rankings.
Lastly, Weebly is constantly getting feedback from their customers and updating their platform with cool tools. I just found this new Survey button that allows me to easily engage and interact with my readers without sending them to a separate survey site.
My favorite platform for building a blog is, you guessed it, Weebly. Their customer service chat reps are amazing and hilarious!
They also offer their customers a forum where you can search the Q&A from other Weebly users and support staff. You can also make suggestions or vote on suggestions. Weebly has been great about letting us know if they're even considering the idea or have started taking action on it.
Have you already started a blog? Comment and feel free to share. If you haven't, what's stopping you? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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HEY ACTOR BOSS,
I'm a screen actor and certified goals coach focused on helping other screen actors that are not yet a household name achieve their most urgent goal.