For over two years we were paying members of the popular publication match site Two Bright Lights. We had heard great reviews and terrible reviews of them and figured for the $160/year was worth trying. Both years we were involved we submitted a ton of work.
Weddings & engagements are our specialty. So, we submitted to a TON of publications. We tried one exclusive publication at a time, tons at once, and even the new open gallery submission. From our experience, we didn’t really like any of the options. That’s what lead us to dropping the service last month. Here’s a few reasons why we dropped it:
- Publications are overwhelmed- Most of the time we never even got a response from publications, not even the smaller ones. Think of how many people use this site. It put our odds way lower in getting noticed. We’ve had a ton more luck sending to publications on our own because they’re more likely to monitor their emails.
- The only publications we were hearing back from were very small. Most didn’t have a social media following or even a well established blog.
- While we’re so thankful for those smaller publications, they often didn’t make a dent in our SEO efforts or provide a return on social media. Really, it came down to us getting another badge for our website.
- We were getting frustrated & disappointed with slow responses. Often, we’d have an incredible wedding submitted and it would sit for months, even a year before it was automatically released. Not getting a response on our hard work was so frustrating.
What we don’t want to do to you though is only give you the negative side of things. We did have a couple positive experiences too. In fact, our biggest win there came the week before we ended our subscription. Out of all the shoots we submitted a huge regional magazine chose to publish our wedding editorial in their Summer/Fall issue!!! This was a huge win and got us a 2 page spread!
While we did have mild success with Two Bright Lights, we decided it wasn’t worth paying for it. For us, it was more of a disappointing hassle in the long run. Instead, we’ll be submitting our work to publications individually. We’re choosing to save our hard earned money and put it towards a better marketing tool!
We hope that our experience, which may wildly differ from other people’s, will help you make an informed decision.
Katie & Alec
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