Vanessa Hicks On Everything You Need To Know About Blogging in 2021
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Everything You Need To Know About Blogging in 2021 With Vanessa Hicks

February 15, 2021

Vanessa Hicks joins me on this episode of the Power in Purpose podcast and is here to tell you why and how you blogging can be your most effective marketing strategy of 2021.

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Do you really need to have a blog? I know you have asked this question for yourself and for others … and the answer is YES, you do! Vanessa Hicks is a blogging and SEO expert, and she's here to tell you why and how blogging can be your most effective marketing strategy of 2021.

Vanessa is a destination wedding and portrait photographer, wife, mother, and military family who has moved her business 4 times in 6 years.

Yes, you read that right! And I know you're wondering … “how did she do it successfully?”

Spoiler alert: she has mastered blogging and SEO. And she is going to talk about all of that on today’s episode of The Power in Purpose Podcast.

This episode is part of our ongoing marketing series.

To see previous episodes and current episodes, click here.

She doesn’t want you to blog with just words, but with strategy. Don’t waste your time doing things you don’t need to–and instead, learn what you should be focusing on when it comes to blogging with a strategy in 2021.

Do you really need to have a blog? I know you have asked this question for yourself and for others … and the answer is YES, you do! Vanessa Hicks is a blogging and SEO expert, and she's here to tell you why and how blogging can be your most effective marketing strategy of 2021.

On this episode with blogging and SEO expert Vanessa Hicks:

  • Why blogging is an effective marketing strategy for 2021 and how YOU can be more strategic about blogging this year. 
  • The blogging mistakes you might be making that diminish results. 
  • How you can master blogging; even if you aren’t a good writer or don’t have a lot of time to put toward it. 
  • Two actions you can take TODAY to get started!

Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of The Power in Purpose Podcast. I want to know — what was your biggest takeaway? Head to my Instagram to join the conversation!

Candice Coppola (Host)

Do you really need to have a blog? I know you've asked this question before of yourself and others and the answer is yes.

Candice Coppola (Host)

My guest on today's episode of the Power and Purpose podcast is Vanessa Hick's. And as she describes it, blogging and SEO is an unsexy topic. But I have to tell you, we're going to sex it up in today's episode, make it sexy and appealing for you, because Vanessa and myself want you to start blogging more in your business to increase your visibility. But we don't want you to just blog for the sake of writing words and publishing. We want you to do it with strategy.

Candice Coppola (Host)

And this episode is all about how you can blog in twenty, twenty one with more strategy so you can attract more of your ideal customers.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Welcome back to the Power in Purpose podcast, it's me, your host, Candice, and my guest on today's episode of the show is Miss Vanessa Hick's. She's a friend of mine. She's also somebody I am coaching right now. So it feels so great to get one of the women in my mastermind on this show. You know, Vanessa Hicks, she's a destination wedding and portrait photographer, a Navy wife and a Navy veteran, the mother to two beautiful daughters and a bonus mom.

Candice Coppola (Host)

And she has moved her business four times in six years. Let me repeat that, Vanessa, a wedding photographer and portrait photographer, has moved her business four times in six years. Now, anybody who has moved their business before knows it's not easy. And for you listening who have never done this before, I'm sure you're wondering how can she do that so many times and continue to have a booked out calendar year after year, even before she moves to the next destination, her calendar is practically booked out with customers in the new location she's moving to.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Well, spoiler alert, it's what we're talking about today. Vanessa is a blogging and SEO expert, and she is dropping so much knowledge in today's episode about how you can blog with more strategy this year. She doesn't want you to just type up fun little words and throw some images and click publish. She wants you to develop a strategy that will help you to book out your calendar and attract more of your ideal clients. You're going to learn what her strategy is.

Candice Coppola (Host)

You're going to get insight on what results she's achieved besides moving her business four times in six years and having a booked out calendar. What results she's seen from being consistent with blogging, why it's an effective marketing strategy this year, what mistakes you are making that diminish your results? We're going to go into all of that and some steps that you can take to be more strategic about blogging this year. Vanessa and I, we don't want you to waste your time doing things.

Candice Coppola (Host)

We want you to maximize your time. And in order for you to maximize the power of SEO and blogging, you got to have a strategy. Sister, you knew that, though. You know that you need a strategy. You're going to get it in today's episode, plus so much more.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Thanks to our sponsors for sponsoring today's episode of the Power and Purpose podcast, listen, we couldn't produce the show without our sponsors, so thank you. Now let's get into my interview with Vanessa Hick's.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Vanessa, welcome to the show.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Thank you so much for having me. Candice, I'm so excited to be here.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Oh, my gosh, I get to have you all your time for one hour and pick your brain about blogging and SEO guys. I've been mentoring Vanessa for about six months now, would you say? And we've just gotten to know each other so well. And in the intro I just mentioned how like we're on the same plane in life, like we had the same values.

Candice Coppola (Host)

We think the same we're on the same trajectory. So it's just been such a light having you in my life for the last six months.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

I don't know how I would be able to make it the last six months without you. I feel like you were just like the missing piece to my puzzle of my journey to expand and evolve. And she's kind of stuck with me, guys. So I mean, she's saying all these nice things, but she's a little stuck with me and she just doesn't even realize that yet.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

That's OK. I think you might be stuck with me and I don't know which one is worse. So I guess we'll have to find out. But listen, you are one of the first people I wanted to interview for this marketing series because you are an expert in what you say, quote unquote, is the unsexy topic of blogging and SEO. And I know our listeners right now are listening. They know they need to blog. They have procrastinated on this forever.

Candice Coppola (Host)

And you and I are going to whip them into shape and teach them why blogging is an effective marketing strategy when you have strategy behind it. So this is your wheelhouse. You are the expert. You are the tastemaker here. And quite honestly, it's because you've had no other choice but to figure this out because you can move your business right. It's six times in four years or four times in six years, four times in six years.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

That's that wonderful military life. But yes, four times in the last six years to various different markets as well.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Yeah. So you've really had to get creative in your marketing strategy. And so one of my first questions for you, I want to sort of set the stage here. I want to talk about results first, because I know when people hear your story of why you're so passionate about this and the results you've gotten from it, they're going to be hooked. They're going to be like, OK, I get it, I need to do this. So my first question for you is, what results have you seen from being consistent with blogging since you opened your business like six, seven years ago?

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

So one of the biggest results that I've seen and obviously, as I mentioned, where military families so we've moved my business four times in the last six years. And so a lot of times as creative entrepreneurs, we get settled, we have referrals, we have, you know, anything like that. And I don't have that luxury of having things like referrals and consistency in return clients or anything like that, because every two years it's up to a new location.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

And so when I realized that this was going to be my journey as an entrepreneur, I understood that while there's power in social media and things like that, that I needed to be everywhere. And one of the places that most creative entrepreneurs are not is on Google, the most powerful platform out there. And so when I really started to hone in on keywords and blogging things of that nature, I saw the traffic that was constantly being driven to my website, in turn booking clients for myself before I got to any of my new locations, being able to actually be a destination photographer instead of just claiming to be one, because people would find my blogs that were keyword for Colorado, that were keyword for New York, that were keyword for other locations.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

And so as I've continued to grow and expand on talking about blogging and the fact and the question I actually want to ask your audience is that we spend so much time. Social media is incredible. I love Instagram. That's where my jam is. But we spend so much time on these platforms that one we do not own and to the lifespan of the content that we put on our social media channels. For example, the lifespan of an Instagram post is forty eight hours.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

It lives, quote unquote for forty eight hours where the lifespan of a blog post is seven hundred days plus seven hundred days. And so as I just looked at my analytics for the month, I'm still getting very large traffic that is bringing in clients and bringing in inquiries on a blog post I wrote five years ago. And so for me it's it's seeing the stats and the amount of traffic that I drive to my website. It is not a website that I just created, spent all that time, money and effort doing, and then we're not driving organically any traffic to our website, which means you have this beautiful website out there that no one can find. And so for me, staying relevant, no matter where I'm at, by understanding keywords, by being able to afford market, it has been the most beneficial to me, to the core of me building my business and rebuilding it each and every time I move.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Yeah, it's so interesting. I think your story just perfectly encapsulates the power behind creating content in your own house and how that content can remain viral for such a long period of time. I love that stat that the average lifespan of an Instagram post is forty eight hours, but the average lifespan of a blog post is over seven hundred days. So I know that through your strategies that you've developed with blogging and SEO, you're able to move to a new destination and already have a booked out calendar before you get there.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Absolutely. And that really hones in on, you know, people there's someone out there that is blogging right now and they're like, I'm not seeing any traffic. Well, you can actually blog to just blog, just like you can post on social media to post on social media. But most people don't understand what their end game is when it comes. What am I trying to create and then create the content in the right season? For example, we're recording this in January.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

So if I'm speaking to like the photographers out there right now, a lot of you guys just got done maybe with Christmas sessions and all of that as well. And I have all this content that you're wanting to go on and blog, but why would you blog that right now? No one's looking up Christmas sessions right now in January when they're going to start looking that up in the summer. And so what are the topics that people are looking up right now by looking on things like Google Trends and such?

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

And again, I'm speaking to wedding photographers or wedding people in the wedding industry engagement season. So instead of focusing maybe on what you just did, you should be creating content in this season for engagement couples. So as I move my business so much, I look and I strategize with the trends of what's going on right now. But then also the keywords. I may think I know a keyword or what I want to rank for until I do the research and I see no one looks that up.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

So why would I create content that no one is looking up? And so that for my strategy, that's how I'm able to again, get that content out there before I even move, let that run through Google's algorithm and all that and and build my way up so people can find me even when I'm not there. Oh, yeah.

Candice Coppola (Host)

This is such a good point. And I want to talk about some of the mistakes that we make and some of the strategies we should implement. A few questions later. But I would love for you to just tell our listeners why blogging is an effective marketing strategy for twenty twenty one. They've heard about why they need to blog since they opened up their business. Right. And they probably have done it a few times. Didn't get a lot of results.

Candice Coppola (Host)

We're going to talk about that too, what mistakes they're making and stuff. But when we look at this year, this unique year, we're coming through a pandemic. We're still in it. A lot of creative entrepreneurs, no matter what industry they fallen, have seen a hard year in twenty twenty. And they're looking to really find places to show up where their audience is. They're looking to consolidate their efforts to looking for less overwhelmed, more ease.

Candice Coppola (Host)

They're obviously looking to generate more business, but not just any kind of business. They're ideal customers. So how can blogging be one of those magic tools in their toolbox for this year, specifically considering all the things that we've gone through over the last 12 months?

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Well, I am glad that you brought that up, because I know some people obviously shy away with what's going on in the world. And we do have to take that into consideration. Again, as I mentioned, not doubting anybody on social media. I love social media, but we just got off of a almost two months of not being able to be found via hashtags. Right. In the throughout the years we've seen Instagram, social media go down.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Right. Things happen, but it'll go down and the overwhelm and the noise that is going on currently. And I have to assume that it will continue to go on, which means that a lot of us are deleting the app like it is ruining your mental health and you just don't want to be on it. Now, if that is happening to us as entrepreneurs, it is absolutely happening to your average client. So if they're getting off of social media or limiting their time on social media, where are they going to go?

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Where are they going to go to find you? They're going to go to Google. That that's the. Place where we found people to begin with, right, they're going to Google to look for an answer to their problem and the question that most of them are asking is trying to find a wedding vendor. They're looking at how to book their wedding, how to do all of these things. And because they're limiting their time on social media, they're going on to Google.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

And by typing in something like San Diego wedding photographer right there, their question is that they're looking for a San Diego wedding photographer. And if you are not blogging or keyword and you just launched your website and never went back and made any updates or didn't strategically do it, they can't find you. Right. And so I think in twenty, twenty one and again, I, I saw it throughout last year especially I think the stats on my website was higher than maybe any year.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

And that's because I think people are limiting their social media take. And the fact that we just went through that month or so without being found on hashtags, not working with and for everybody out there we own as long as you pay your domain fee every year we own our website that is free advertising and we're spending so much time on a platform that we do not own. They could turn off hashtags tomorrow again. Right. And in all, your eggs are in that basket now.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

How are people going to find you?

Candice Coppola (Host)

Yeah, that's a great point. I definitely agree that there are a lot of people, myself included, who are trying to limit social media, who find themselves disengaged with social media, especially specific platforms. I would say Facebook for me, I just changed my bio like, hey, I don't hang out here anymore, so don't friend request me because you're never going to get in. There's nothing to see here, right? I think so many people are just trying to create communities elsewhere and are also looking for information elsewhere.

Candice Coppola (Host)

And our natural habit, whenever we have a question, is to go to Google. Right. Our first inclination is, well, let me Google it. And blogging really helps you to maintain current and fresh status on Google. So I would love for you to just explain why consistently creating content through a blog helps you not only to ring for other keywords, but ring for some of the biggest keywords you want to ring for overall. So when it comes to Google and how they scan and analyze and do all of that, it is by updated content.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

So let's say you have a website and there will be a listener out there is like as I am getting people that inquire on my website. Well, yes, but are they finding you organically? So if you have to post a link to your website on your Instagram bio or Facebook bio or anything like that, and they click that link and they come to your website, you have driven that traffic to your website, right? Instead of they go to Google, they're searching for someone they don't know that they're trying to search for you and then they find you.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

That is organic search. And so when it comes to that, if you are not creating consistent content, if you're not updating your website, Google is going to think that your website isn't active. You're not really driving a lot of monthly organic traffic. I'm not seeing any updates. You're not updating your what? Your copy, your pictures, nothing. So then when you try to start blogging, when you try to do something, you know, Google's waiting.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

It's waiting to see, are you going to be consistent? The more consistent you are at it, the more that it is going to push you up in the rankings. And so some of us have these websites that Google is deeming to be idle and it's not active. So I'm sure I'm going to continue to push you down on the bottom of the barrel because I don't see anybody organically coming to your site. And so the important thing is and blogging is the quickest way, obviously, to show Google that I'm being consistent, that there is constant traffic, there's consistency coming to my website.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Whenever you know you're doing it once a week, three times a week, whatever it may be, Google can expect that. And then it is going to do its own, you know, analyzing and it's going to continue to drive traffic to your site when someone goes on Google to look for the answer to their question. Blogging is the quickest way to do that.

Candice Coppola (Host)

You're right. I mean, who wants to keep creating pages on your website to keep updating and refreshing it? Right. So every time you create new content, you create something new or you update something old to republish or just updated in general. Add new information. Google sends its robots over to your website. Right. And it starts crawling and trying to see what's different. And it's Google's job to serve to its users the most relevant information that they're searching for.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Right. So when you're able to update your website and you're able to blog and updated more, Google sees you as an active participant and it sees you as an expert or authority in keywords. And it's going to keep moving you to the front of the line showing your you URL when somebody is typing in something and you have content, answers, information to serve. And you're right, the missing piece of this puzzle is to create content and a blog which makes it so much easier and do that consistently.

Candice Coppola (Host)

I love that you've taught that lesson to our listeners because I feel like most people don't get that part of this this equation, and that's because they're not thinking about the strategy. Exactly there. I've seen them all right, where there's blog posts or you're blogging, but there's again, there's no end strategy. You haven't really chosen a key word. So then again, or when you start to analyze your websites and see what your website is actually ranking for, you're like, oh, crap, that's not what I wanted to write for.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

I'm not trying to rank for this. I'm trying to write for this. But you haven't put any strategy in starting off. Maybe you haven't even research that keyword to begin with. You may think you want to rank for something, but at the end of the day, that's not what people are looking up. And for us as creatives, I think that's why blogging, I say, is the unsexy topic because it is hard to take a step back and see what our clients or potential clients are looking at.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

For example, on some keyword research that I've done for a recent client, she just didn't understand why the keywords and keywords she was putting portrait, she was a portrait photographer, family, maternity, things like that. And I had to explain. So I was like, look, no one is looking up portrait. They're not. When I think our average client, when we when we get out of our lingo is looking for when you think a portrait, the probably of Sears or J.C. Penney that like like a studio there, maybe mixing the terms where they were actually just looking up family photographer or whatever it may be.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

So having to analyze those keywords and understanding and having strategies, she could have continued on blogging and using portrait as a keyword and no one was going to look it up. You know, she had great content, beautiful photos. She was going to drive the traffic to her website that she wanted to do. Does that make sense? It does.

Candice Coppola (Host)

And I think you're teeing up my next question for you, which is what mistakes are we making with blogging that diminish our results? It sounds like one of the first mistakes that we're making is we're not thinking like our customers and thinking about their knowledge in the in the area of what we do and how they would describe what they're looking for.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Right, absolutely.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

I think that is one of the biggest mistakes that we're making. The second biggest mistake that we're making is that we're not being consistent when it comes to blogging. So someone's going to listen to this. My hope is that they're going to get hyped up and want to go blog or it's the beginning of the year. So they're going to want to do that. They're going to knock out a couple of blogs, are going to publish them all at the same time.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

They're going to be like, yes, I'm a boss woman or boss man because I did it. And then life's going to happen. The business is going to happen and they're not going to continue with it. And then I go, Vanessa sent a blog and I did blog. Yeah, but you didn't blog consistently. So one of the things that we're not doing, the mistakes that we're making is we're not putting it into our workflow. We think our job ends once we've delivered the product, but now we're not showcasing the product or we are showing it on a platform where then the lifespan of that was done in forty eight hours.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

And then the third thing that we're not doing is that we're only blogging our work mainly to just sell, sell, sell, sell, sell. When we forget that we are experts, we are sitting on a wealth of knowledge. And again, as a photographer, but I'm talking about across the board, if there's a wedding planner in here in front of your wedding planner, wedding florist, you guys know all the things. And if we step out and create content that we know people are looking up like, did you know that there's 80 plus versions of Red Roses?

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

I didn't know that. Right. There's a blog topic where the questions that as a planner, you get asked over and over and over again and you get tired of typing that email up. When they ask that question, you could be creating a blog post about that while also showcasing your work. And someone could stumble upon you not even knowing that they're looking for you because they went on to Google to ask the same question. So we are just blogging our work when we're not, again, creating content that could be answering these potential clients questions.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

And that content is what people is looking at. That content is content that you can continue to be creating. When I mentioned that there was a blog that is still generating traffic after five years, it was I was answering a question that I normally get over and over again, something as simple as examples of a wedding timeline. Right. And so that is another thing that we are not the mistakes that we're making is that we're only blogging our work and not blogging these types of questions.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

There's content that will drive traffic to your website for years and years.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So we want our listeners to put themselves in their customers shoes and think about what is my ideal customer searching on Google that I can help them with and show up. And a search result for right so doing thinking through the questions that they are typically asking or might have and like you said, a good place to start is to think through all the questions your inquiries typically have during the sales process and use those as a basis to create content.

Candice Coppola (Host)

If anything, you can always direct somebody to hey, listen, I actually wrote a whole article about this click here. You can go and read my thoughts and opinions on it. I'd love to hear your feedback. And instead of having to type of those responses all the time, you can send people to your knowledge base and leverage that knowledge base to attract your customers. I think the mistakes you mentioned are really important, especially the workflow, which takes me to this question.

Candice Coppola (Host)

What if somebody listening wants to blog more? They really do. They see the value. They see your success with it and the success that your students are having with it right now. But they feel like it takes too much time or they're not a good writer. What would you say to them?

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

The first thing that I would say to them now you've written you've gone over the first hump of, OK, I actually do have content that I can write about.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

That's the first time. Secondly, I say to just start right now, there is technical aspects. And if we talked about it, this is when this when it comes on sexy, right? All text inch, one inch to nag's and all of those things when it starts to become sexy. And I'm not going to talk about that at this point, but to just create it into your workflow.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

One of the best things for my business that I found and I do it in my personal life too, is I bache my calendar. Tuesdays right now are my days of blogging. Right. I don't have any calls going on or anything like that. But Tuesdays are the days that I blog. So I sit, I get up and I know that today will knock out a few blogs. Someone's out there. Even as I got kids, I got little ones running around teaching them and then break it apart.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Right. You start off, maybe do an hour in the morning and 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes at lunch, 30 minutes at dinner or something around those times. And then also, what will make it not as overwhelming is that you create a schedule that you know right now you can stick to. So, again, all the people that are going to get excited, don't jump to say I'm going to blog five times a week. But are you actually going to be consistent at that or is that going to hurt you in the end?

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Commit to once a week and then next month, do two times a week, work your way up as you put this into your workflow? But I encourage you to just start, because here's the amazing thing about blogging and Seo. Remember I told you the lifespan of this blog once you start to understand the more technical terms of things and maybe you want to go back and repurpose your content, refresh it or anything like that, it's what you can do that there's no penalties.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

There is no. Oh, no. I was going to jump down on the algorithm. Nothing like that. We can go back and fix all the technical, unsexy parts of it. But if you are so concerned about having your blog perfect, you're never going to block. Right. And so I encourage you to just start and then I also encourage you to write like you talk. I know it's hard to see it, but like I am the person that smiles with my whole face.

I use 18 exclamation points. If my English writer teacher could see me now, right, they'd be like, no, but it's my this is my brand. Your blog is also part of your your brand. It's your marketing. So you should be talking and blogging as you speak, as you are. Right. There's again, it's not the best maybe for professional, but in terms of technicality, no, you probably shouldn't use eighteen exclamation points.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

I put this in my blog. I want my reader to not only be informed but to be entertained, to enjoy, to stay on my blog. And now we're also building that no like trust in my blog. They're seeing the beautiful work they're seeing if it's an education or a tip blog. They're saying she's an expert and oh, did she just throw in an office? Give now, I like her right into the no like trust factor that when it comes to selling, this is so important.

Candice Coppola (Host)

I love that you're encouraging our listeners to carve out the time if you want to do this and you really want to leverage the power of blogging and SEO. And I can fully attest to everything that Vanessa said. My business would not have grown in twelve years without it and my current business, my education business would not be where it is without it. The podcast wouldn't be where it is without it. So if you're convinced that this is something you want to do, Vanessa gives you a great tip.

Candice Coppola (Host)

You actually need to commit to it and set aside time to not be distracted and try to focus. And she's also right. You've got to get over it being perfect. You're not writing for The New York Times and also to a lot of the rules we grew up with in high school and college about writing, they actually don't apply anymore. All those rules, those grammar rules, there's a lot of things that just no longer apply. So don't feel like you need to sit there and deliver, you know, some Random House novel that's perfectly edited and ready to be published.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Vanessa's right. Strip away perfection. Talk in your own voice, develop your own writing personality. And I will say just a tag on to all of her fantastic advice, something I always say, which is action brings clarity. So if you feel like you suck at writing fair, you probably do OK. But if you choose not to write, you will always stay in that place. So you have an opportunity to flex your muscles, lecture pen, get your keyboard warmed up and step into your voice and become a better writer, a better communicator, a better storyteller.

Candice Coppola (Host)

But that will never happen for you. Just reading books and listening to podcast episodes and taking courses. You actually have to do the thing and the more you do it. The easier it becomes, even with workflows, right, Vanessa, when you started blogging and really adding this to your workflow, there was probably a huge learning curve for you.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Oh, absolutely. I mean, it's funny because as I was sharing that one particular post that is so driving traffic, there's so much wrong with it. You guys, the URL slug has numbers and it is way too long and it breaks every single rule. But there was enough content and again, even the keywords and I didn't even know what I was doing. Right. Which goes into you may not understand all the things that I'm saying in terms of keyword research and all that, but copy the minute that you write some, then Google will analyze keywords in general, which means that you're already keyword and you may not know that your keyword or maybe is not even the keywords that you want to write for.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

But it is it's already doing that. And so but the benefit, like I said, is that I've been able to go back and republish those blogs, spice them up a little bit, add new photos, all of those things as well, and add on the things that I've learned, like old tags like H1 and H2 headers, all of those things I was able to go back and adjust and the longevity, the lifespan of it continues on.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Yeah, it's so true. You know, to use an example from my own business, I wrote a blog post last year at the beginning of twenty twenty, calling it like the top ten books female entrepreneurs need to read in 2020. Do you know what I did at the beginning of this year? I just changed twenty twenty to twenty, twenty one and I republished it and so now it rings for twenty, twenty one instead of twenty twenty. So like just little tiny tweaks sometimes to make it more relevant or to bring it up to date and current can just give you like a whole new lease on any content that you've already published.

Candice Coppola (Host)

I love repurposing content. It's like one of my favorite little secret tricks that I wish more people knew about how easy it is to write like cornerstone blog posts that are always relevant no matter when somebody would read it and then just update it like every year to put a new timestamp on it.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

I mean, and it's funny that you say that is because, I mean, you've been in this industry. I mean, you're a goober here. But even being the guru, no one is creating brand new things. Three hundred and sixty five days and no one should, you know, but you find these topics that you're good at and then you go on repurpose. A lot of times we're saying the same stuff over and over again in a very different way.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Yes. That is a good entrepreneur. That is a good business person because you're not wasting your energy trying to create 365 days, four years, every day brand new content. That is just not doable.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Yeah, it's preach it, sister. I mean, honestly, I don't have the energy or the stamina for that, but it took me a little while to understand that I didn't have to publish an original thought every single day. And so one takeaway I hope our listeners have in this episode is that you don't have to do that. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. You don't have to be writing a completely original work. Of course, you don't want to copy somebody.

Candice Coppola (Host)

And that might be a whole nother episode of As I can speak for plagiarise so many times, your girl included, you don't want to plagiarize, but you don't have to have like this. We want to dispel the myth that you have to create something from absolutely nothing every single time. So one of my final questions now that we've sort of laid the groundwork about results and why our listeners should be blogging and what mistakes were making that diminish our results, and then also what we would say to somebody who wants to do it, but has all the excuses, the normal excuses.

Candice Coppola (Host)

I want you to tell us what are some steps we should be taking to be more strategic this year? We talked a little bit about key wording, but what else do you have to add?

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

So in terms of being strategic, I would essentially create almost an editorial calendar. I love editorial calendars. I love thinking ahead. So like I said right now, for all the wedding pros out there, we are an engagement season. So why would you write or blog or share content for the winter right now? Right. So understanding the seasons that we're in, not necessarily actually weather seasons, but seasons in your industry start off their right, create that type of content.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

They may feel like you're going to get a little bit behind because we're already in the in it. And that's fine. Or maybe you even want to blog right now about the next content, the next season. That's coming up. That spring stuff that is coming up right now. Right. And so create content as you plan things out. What's coming. That's right. What's coming up down the pipeline? That should be the content you start to create now so it can start going through the Google rhythm and all.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

That's when people start to look that up. You populate up.

Candice Coppola (Host)

So that's so, so smart. Keep going.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

And so and if you're stuck with what to blog right now, maybe that's kind of hard for you. It's hard to analyze what's coming up in the pipeline, like, say, you know, twenty twenty is coming in. Twenty, twenty one right now. I don't know what's coming up. Then I encourage you to grab a piece of paper right now and you have five questions that you are constantly asked over and over and over again. You do.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

There's no excuses. You do write those down. And I want those to be your very first five blog posts that you create moving forward. And then and I know where I stand on social media with here's the great thing, guys, for those that have these same excuses, but about showing up on social media, then you take bits of the content that you blogged. And guess what? That's an Instagram caption, right? And then you lead them to your blog and then you wait a few weeks, you take the second tip that you gave and you put it on your Instagram and you lead them to your blog.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

So when I talk about repurposing content, this is across the board.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

But I would say again, to just start so grab a piece of paper. What are the five questions? And maybe maybe you're brand new and you don't know what your clients are going to ask, then I want you to write five things that you want your potential clients to know, whatever it may be. Yeah, that's a really good. And then I want you to blog that, because I promise you, someone's looking that up, right? So if you are brand new and don't know what your plans are going to ask, then write five questions.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

And even if you are a season, maybe that's something that you didn't think about. What are five questions or five tips that you want your potential clients to know and then blog that and then create that content? So those would be maybe some of the next steps. And then for my photographers out there, I would say that maybe an expert or whatever, and you have a whole bunch of images and sessions and now you're you're stuck because you don't even know where to start.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

I would encourage you to go and pick just one or two of them. It doesn't have to be your last it's your favorite sessions that you have and love. It ruffled some feathers, but I'm going to kind of say this to hopefully use it for some of you guys. I do not believe that you should blog this for photographers every session, every wedding, every anything like that. Why? Because as I mentioned to you, your blog is your marketing.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

So we all know that not every single wedding that we have photographed fits our brand. And after almost seven years in this industry, I've never had anybody come to me and say, hey, Vanessa, why was I not on your blog post? They don't care. They care about the customer service that I gave them. And then I delivered their beautiful images. So if you're sitting on a stack of ideas or a stack of sessions or weddings, know that you do not have to blog them all.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Yeah, that's really good advice. I love these action steps you've given, it's actually was going to be my next question, but you've answered it already. You're one step ahead, which I love. So I guess my final question to you about blogging and steps that our listeners can take is how can they get in touch with you about this? Because you are the authority. And I know that there are some people listening who are like, I'm down.

Candice Coppola (Host)

I'm going to try to blog once a week, which I think, don't you agree, is like a good benchmark to start try to get consistent. If you can pump out for a month, once a week, you're good.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Well, absolutely, I think that that is a great starting off point and that is the best way to start creating a habit of doing it.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Yeah, I agree. So how can our listeners connect with you? And also, you have an incredible resource that you've launched that demystifies all of this, that bakes and strategy text if they need to know. So they don't have to piece together 15 different YouTube videos or God forbid, fall on somebody's blog and it's outdated information. So tell our listeners how they can connect with you outside the show and what resources you have to help them.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Absolutely. Well, again, obviously, someone's going to think they've been downing Instagram. I'm not a problem, but that is where I live. I absolutely love it. So feel free to hop in the dorms and let me know that you listen to this podcast the first way. I do have a free education group on Facebook. If you look up Vanessa Hick's education community, I hang out there as well in the show, knows there's going to be a link to a blogging checklist.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Right. And so in this checklist, there's going to be multiple things obviously is going to talk about. The importance of blogging is going to be some terminology answering to the definitions, to some things you may not know. And just, hey, there's my there's my blog. Have X, Y, Z. So make sure you download that check list is free. And then depending on when you're listening to this, I am launching a blogging strategy course where we're going to dive deep into not only how to write a blog, but the strategy behind it.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

I'm going to show you how to research your keywords to see if this is an actual keyword that people look up by looking at the monthly traffic that it gets. We're going to see how we're going to stop our competitors. You want to know why this person continues to get booked? Let's check out the keywords and what is driving traffic to their site. And then we're going to come up with a strategic plan of understanding what I should blog, when I should blog it.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

And then again, knowing that we've got the great keywords that per Google shows us how many people look this up a lot so we can get into that algorithm.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Oh, my God, I love it. This is an incredible, incredible resource. Bonanza has poured six years, seven years of knowledge into this. She's moved four times during that whole process and has a booked out calendar before she touches down to her next destination where she and her family moved to. That, to me, is evidence, proof of product here.

Candice Coppola (Host)

If she is able to book out her calendar before she packs one box to go along on her journey and her next destination being booked out calendar in that destination, she knows her stuff and she's telling you the truth. The reason for this is because she consistently creates content in her own house and she doesn't just consistently create she does it strategically with that destination in mind, with her ideal customers in mind. She does all the research, builds the strategy and then launches the content.

Candice Coppola (Host)

And I think it's worth noting that you do it in advance like you understand when you need to be ranking so that you can fill your calendar. So that's all part of the strategy here, too. You have to check out this course. It is incredible. I'm so proud of her for putting this out there. She is going to help thousands of entrepreneurs book more business. And quite frankly, I don't want you to miss out on that. I want you to be one of those people.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Trust me. You need to be one of those people. And yes, I'm a Vanessa Hicks hype woman, and I don't care. I'm very proud of it.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

So I'm like sitting here almost in tears right now and sweat because I'm now I'm nervous and honored. I know that feeling. Trust me, I know that feeling. Well, Vanessa, listen, it has been so great to spend the last forty minutes picking your brain on this subject. I want to thank you so much for coming here and sharing your knowledge.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

I want to acknowledge, too, that you have this free checklist. Please go and download it. It's in the show notes. And this is going to explain some of the terms and some of the instances that Vanessa mentioned on the show that we just, quite frankly, don't have time to go over in detail. That's why she has this checklist for you, plus a lot of other stuff to get you set up. So make sure you go and download and listen.

Candice Coppola (Host)

You shouldn't have to do this alone and figure this out by yourself. I guarantee you that hasn't gotten you anywhere to start. So go to Vanessa's website, sign up for the waitlist for a course or sign up for her course if it is still active for you to purchase and use her expertise to help you figure this out. Take the shortcut. You need it. Vanessa, you know I love you so much. I'm so grateful for you. Thanks for coming on the show.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Thank you so much for having me, Candice. And thank you for everything that you've done for me throughout this journey. I couldn't do it without you.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Oh, I love your girlfriend. We'll talk to you next time.

Vanessa Hicks (Guest & Blogging Expert)

Talk to you next time. Bye.

Candice Coppola (Host)

I want to thank Vanessa for being such a great guest on today's episode of the show. Don't you all just love Vanessa? She has so much energy. I adore her. We live on the same plane in life. We have the same values, the same beliefs, the same energy. And I just absolutely adore her. And I'm so grateful that she came on the show to share more of her knowledge about how you can blog strategically in this year.

Candice Coppola (Host)

I know that she is motivated you to get your proverbial shit together and start blogging for your business. I've been blogging consistently when I own my wedding planning and design company for 12 years. We blogged consistently, and I have to tell you, it was in large part the reason why we're number one on Google while we always got inquiries, the best customers, because we always were creating content and we did it with a strategy. Same can be said about this podcast and my coaching business, my education business that I have at Kinescope Dotcom.

Candice Coppola (Host)

I blog consistently and with strategy and every single day I am so fortunate to gain a new listener, make a new connection, land a new sale helps someone. So I hope and I actually know that this episode has empowered you to get it together and start blogging with a strategy this year. Now don't forget to go and download Vanessa's blogging checklist. All of that has been linked inside of the show. Notes for this episode, just go to Power and Purpose podcast dot com and you can grab all those resources.

Candice Coppola (Host)

I also want to encourage you to sign up for her course. If you're feeling like you need some support around this and you want to learn more. Her course is the mom Dotcom. It was created for you to help you do this and create a strategy for blogging and SEO in your business. Now, we're also hosting a clubhouse room on Thursday at 2:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. So here's the deal. I want you to join us on clubhouse, 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Candice Coppola (Host)

We're going to continue this conversation there. I'm sure you might have a question or two that popped up in listening to this episode. We want to get those questions answered. So come and join Vanessa and I inside clubhouse where we can get your questions answered. And also you can meet some of the listeners of the show, meet some new people, and let's just continue the conversation. If you don't have the clubhouse app, you got to find yourself an invitation.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Sadly, I don't have any. Otherwise I'd send you one. But you've got to find yourself an invitation. Network your butt off. Get out there. Post on Facebook, go on Instagram, ask your business. We got an invitation for me. Get on this app. It's an audio app where we can have real live conversations about things and so much wonderful stuff is happening on clubhouse right now, which is why we're doing these weekly clubhouse rooms after we release an episode.

Candice Coppola (Host)

So I will see all of you guys, I hope, inside our clubhouse room, 2:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. It'll be about an hour. And I want to encourage you come up on stage, ask some questions, get some clarity, talk with me and Vanessa. We cannot wait to see you there. And as always, I'm here to remind you that there's so much power in your purpose until next time.

Candice Coppola (Host)

Thanks so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the Power and Purpose podcast.

Candice Coppola (Host)

If you enjoy the show, be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode and consider leaving a review. Head over to Power and Purpose podcast Dotcom to access all of the resources and links mentioned in today's episode. That's Power and Purpose podcast Dotcom. I'll see you next time.

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