Episode 20 – Blogging in 2021

Dylan: Hello, and welcome to the SEO for photographers podcast. You're hearing from Dylan and Corey from fuel. Your photos today is episode 20, and we're going to be talking about content marketing in 2021. So let's hear your thoughts, Corey.

Corey: Yeah, dude, I feel like we've had like a hundred episodes and also like we've had five episodes.

Dylan: I agree. It feels like a project we just started, but we're pretty deep in this

Corey: now. Okay, so content marketing. It's funny because I've, I've recently started talking about content marketing instead of blogging, because I'm just so tired of what most people consider blogging. I don't know. I mean, I guess the word itself is what do you think of when you think of blogging?

Let's let's start there. Interesting. Yeah,

Dylan: I mean, I have two thoughts. I have. My general idea of blogging that outside of the photography world, that is like, I used to follow a lot of blogs and they might be multimedia. Blogs might be Tumblr, might be people just sharing their thoughts, like the old live journal days or something.

With photography, I was introduced to the concept of blogging through people sharing like 50 image blog posts from a session with their clients, with like, Two sentences to intro that shoot. And those sentences were always the same. Like these clients were Epic. There is a horn in the background.

I'll try to pull that out and post we so much Oh my God. Happening

Corey: so bad. It's sad to the flavor of this podcast.

Dylan: Exactly. So yeah, like this blogging. Phenomenon was kind of just how people shared work before social media was huge. Like they didn't have Instagram as a place to share their client work as they're putting it out.

So, yeah, I mean, I remember following hundreds of photographers. I had Google reader and every day I would check it and I would see like, Oh, here's this new Jasmine star blog post, or whoever was hot at the time. And that's kind of how people thought they should market their photography businesses. And it led to a lot of common, I guess now they're at this point, myths that you should blog often and things like that.

So,

Corey: man, that's interesting that you, the way you describe it, I'm glad I asked what you think of, because the way you're describing it, there helps me to think through what's the difference between blogging and content marketing besides just terminology? I actually, I think there. Really is a difference here.

And I was thinking about this recently, thinking about the difference between content marketing and writing in general, like if I'm writing a book, that's going to be, you know, I'm aiming to be New York times bestseller or whether, if I'm writing a personal blog post or whatever, like, what is.

Content all that's content. What is content marketing? I think the difference is that in content marketing, the purpose behind the writing is, is some sort of I wouldn't even say an action. It's really monetary, right? Like it's going to ultimately Lee serve some sort of a agenda. Yeah. So I'm, if I'm content marketing with.

If I'm creating a piece of content that serves an audience that attracts people to click and come to my website and then purchase something from my website or, and then hire me to complete a service that's content marketing. Whereas enemy, like you could say the same thing about writing a book, like the goal is to get someone to buy the book book, I guess.

Yeah. That's a different thing, I think. Yeah. As you're giving the content for free in order to get. Thing something in exchange, whether it's a monetary value or something else, really, but even like, so, so thinking about like people who were bloggers, the idea is I would almost consider blogging the way that we're talking about it.

There to be more like an art form. It's like the purpose isn't. To create something that will make me money necessarily it's to create something that I use to express myself, to share my feelings, my thoughts, my updates online. And then, and people did definitely make money on some of these blogs where they're sharing recipes and they get so much traffic that they can turn on ads and then they can monetize it.

Yeah. So then is it content marketing? If you're getting people to your website and they there's ads turned on, what do you think? Yeah,

Dylan: I think there's still a clear distinction between content that is solely created for that monetary gain and content that's created. Like, if you really love sharing, like your food ideas with the world, even like your photography I still follow some photographers that.

Yes, they do make money with their craft, but you can tell that there's like this genuine passion and they're doing it as an art form and they want to share that with the world. And I think there's a, there, I think there's a distinction there. Yeah,

Corey: it's hard. Okay. So, so if that's the case. Yeah. Hmm.

Trying to think through how I want to ask this, but basically I want to get into should you. Blog if your only goal is to drive traffic. In other words, like if I hate, hate writing, don't want to create any resources for anyone. I don't want to share updates and write things about my clients. I hate all of that.

I just want to, if I'm a photographer, I just want to go take pictures. Should you do it anyway? Gosh,

Dylan: that's a good question. Yeah. I mean that, I feel like that's a common response that we get from people that want to kind of do content marketing, but they hate all of those things. Yeah. That's, that's I'm not sure.

'cause

Corey: like, why, why do they want to do content marketing? That's what I'm trying to get out here. Are they doing it because they, they need more clients and they've heard that if they publish content, they'll get more clients.

Dylan: I think that's pretty common. I think that's like a common thought process that they, they don't want to do any of those tasks on their own.

They want more inquiries in their inbox. And they've been told that if they blog or create that content, they'll get that. But, ah, it's hard. I, I think that when you, when you don't have the. Motivations to actually be creating content that helps people, or I think you'll go into like different ideas behind creating content later.

But depending on your motivation, I think that it might lead to just content. That's not really useful or doesn't serve a purpose and then it, in the end, won't actually get you where you want to go. Like if your, if your heart isn't behind the content, you're not going to be creating things that actually drive meaningful traffic and inquiries that are.

Worthwhile man. I

Corey: w I want to get behind that. So I know that's what I want to believe. The problem is this weird kind of paradox or, or paradigm or dichotomy, whatever it is. I don't know what the word I'm trying to find here. Why

Dylan: is it the bad

Corey: content works exactly. It's that? It's exactly. I don't can follow a formula, right?

A piece of content. Let's say I'm wedding photographer and I. Just follow the process that we lay out in our course for how to write a venue guide as an example, I don't have to care that much about it. I don't have to even do it that well in a lot of markets, I just publish it and I can get trafficked.

Yeah. So true. And like your, your, your, you have a couple of examples that, like, for example, that big surplus before you fixed it, or the wedding dress post or. For sure. Like some of that stuff ranks and drives traffic probably even get you inquiries. And I like the big search is a good example. I'm sure it was getting an inquiry as well before you fixed the content.

Oh, totally. So you do it anyway, even though like

Dylan: exactly. I mean, my, my personal take is that I've, I've seen much like a huge increase in the quality of the inquiries I'm getting. After fixing the quality of the content. Yep. Yes. I was getting increased before and of course I was getting traffic, but I think it was pretty transparent when people, if they actually read the page, they were like, this, this doesn't sound like it was written.

I don't know, by a person. It was yeah, it, I think it, it does matter. And I think I, I I'm at the point where I kind of want to do a refresh on my entire site and make sure that the. The quality of the content is up to the standards that I want to to hold myself to and read it.

Corey: That's a good point.

Like, what you just said is that there are standards that you want to hold yourself to. And in my mind, this is one of the keys. Is that your content that you publish online represents you. Exactly. It is your w if you put your name on it, that's your thoughts? That's your brand. That's your. That's the way that people perceive you online.

And one of the things I think about traffic that like, why, why do content marketing in 2021? One of them is thought leadership equals more opportunity. And so I like to think, okay, if I'm writing about let's just keep with your big Sur example. Sure actually, let's, let's go with the wedding dress example.

Right? So if I'm going to write a post about types of wedding dresses, if I'm looking to create opportunities as a thought leader, that content has to be something that I would be proud for. Let's say, top dress manufacturers to read and say, this guy gets it. Yep. If that's not the case, if, if you couldn't find.

An expert who would read your post and say, yes, that's an interesting opinion. Then you're not a thought leader. Exactly. It doesn't have to be that. It's like, yes, this person is brilliant. They come up with an idea that no one's ever said before. It has to be, yes, that's refreshing. This person understands, I agree or disagree or whatever, but it has to be like it.

If we look at the dress example in the form that I saw at last, it's just a list. Oh, yeah, there's no heart in it. Anyone who looks at it would say a robot could write this, which brings me to the whole thing of AI writing, which kind of got me on this whole kick in the first place. Like how, how do I make sure that I'm creating high quality content?

So I'm testing a tool is called conversion.ai. It's an, an AI writer it's using the typical there's a bunch of tools out there that are similar. I think they all, yeah. Based on CPT three or whatever it is. Yeah. Underlying neural technology is it's freakishly good at doing certain things. Sure. I thought going into it cause I've tested some in the past.

I thought, you know, best case scenario, it's going to spit out some gibberish that could sort of pass for decent writing. It's better than that. It's to the point where yeah. You can write a full blog post that if you read it, the worst case scenario is you would think it was written by. Like a middle-schooler or something, you know, someone interested doesn't necessarily connect ideas.

Well, but they can still present thoughts. It's, it's sophisticated too, to the extent where like a lot of people are writing articles with it, full articles and just pressing publish, and those articles are ranking at the top of competitive searches. Yeah. But I mean, if. If I read, if I really read it, I think that didn't help me at all.

Didn't do anything completely. And so, I mean, like in that case, you're not a thought leader anymore and you're not creating opportunity for yourself anymore. Anyway, a couple other thoughts on ideas of why you should do content marketing more traffic means more opportunity. So in this case, it's more like a shotgun approach, a game of odds, right?

If I put out. If I get enough people to my site, eventually one of the people who sees it is going to connect with me in some way or buy something from me or something like that. Right. So there, there is some validity in just getting more people to see it. Maybe you don't know why someone needs to discover you yet until that person discovers you.

And so, like, I think that's an interesting thought is the more people I get this in front of the more people have a chance of connecting with me. Continent has the ability to make an impact. And it's, I don't know. I, I love and hate that kind of phrasing because one part of me is very stoic and I don't know the right philosophical word, but I lean towards this idea.

Like nothing matters ultimately. Okay too, too, too philosophical for this podcast. But the idea is that there are specific impacts that content has the opportunity to make. And I think that it's, that's a good thing to strive for. So for example, I can help influence decision-making. If I'm doing a comparison between two tools, for example, I am helping some other person who's reading, make a decision that they're trying to make about which tool to buy.

That's, that's useful for that person. Like there's an actual person who has a problem and I'm helping them solve it. That's interesting. So yet decision-making solving problems and then it can educate and inspire. I'm working on a post right now about ways for kids to make money and I can't help, but think.

There's some kid who's going to read this post who will become an entrepreneur and then become an inventor and write some piece of software or create some product. That's going to have some drastic impact on millions of people as they read this article. Yeah. That's pretty beautiful. I don't know if that's going to happen.

Sure. But there's the potential for it. If I'm creating content for the right reason. Yeah. That's amazing. That'll never happen with a robot writing. I shouldn't say that will never happen. That could happen still.

Dylan: It's sad that that could happen, but yeah. Anyway. Yeah, no, that's amazing. How would you say, like, can you, can you bring these thoughts into the photography world?

Like if you're just a average photographer, not really like trying to look to educate other photographers, but like with the content that is typically used to Attracted to clients. Do you still think these theories really like pertain to that situation? Or like how can they leverage these

Corey: ideas? I, I do think that's possible.

I think it requires a way of thinking slightly differently and I think there's different levels here. So surface level impact is basically helping people make a decision. If I write a post about wedding venues, I can help people. Avoid the pain that they will have by choosing the wrong wedding venue.

And I know that I've been to that wedding venue and it's terrible. You don't choose that one. Here's some better options. Like I'm helping in that way potentially a deeper level, depending on if you think there is depths to love, like meaning, then let's say that you write, I have an article that is 21 date night ideas for pregnant couples or something along those lines.

Well, okay. So let's say you take something like that and bring it into the wedding world. You're generally working with couples. If you're doing weddings, I would think, I don't think you can marry yourself yet. Can you some States probably, maybe that could be more than two in some States, but anyway, you're working with people who are partners, right.

And your ability to create content that strengthens relationships and. Helps people to have a more meaningful marriage or partnership. There's a ton of potential there, right? Yeah. Does that necessarily the lead to bookings? I think if done, if done with enough intention and for the right amount of time.

Yes, it will. I'm sure. Because I think that people still crave, realness and connection. And if I'm creating this kind of content that shows that I deeply care about the same things that they care about, they trust me that I get them. So as a photographer, what do you want more than someone who gets you to photograph the moments that you will then look back at later to understand yourself?

I don't think people really think this deep on this for the most part, but I think that they're instinctually or subconsciously thinking these things.

Dylan: Oh, totally. And I think. I mean, I think that the social media is kind of taught us that too, like the more you put out, like your hobbies and personal life and all those details, like the more, the people that, that resonates with will come to you as clients, potential clients.

Yeah, I think so. But yeah, I mean, I, ideas I'm thinking of her, like we're seeing this already in like the elopement space, but taking like conservation ideas and all of those things and kind of incorporating that material on your blog. Potentially going to help the environment and, and attract clients that are into those ideas or clients that didn't think about those before might have a better understanding of how they should treat the environment around the planning of their mentor or whatever.

Yeah. It's pretty

Corey: interesting. I think that, I don't know. It's really hard for me because I can easily go to either extreme of like this balance of impact versus practicality. I don't know. I still feel like there's plenty of pieces of content. I would write that don't have this kind of deep utility where, or meaning or something, but they're still, they still can make me money.

Yeah. That's like, that's a valid reason that's impact, right? Yeah. I don't know. Sorry, I'm going off topic here, I guess, but it's just think about it. This episode is just Dylan and I talking about content. So hopefully you're along for the ride and enjoying it.

Dylan: I think in our notes, we, we had that idea of like topics versus keywords.

How did, how does that, like, had you look at it through this framework of your new idea in content marketing?

Corey: I think my thinking right now is that we need to have a good idea first, something that the world needs. And whenever we figure out this idea that the world needs, we need to do our research around.

How does the world search for these things? Where, where are people in the world before they need this thing? What kinds of problems are they facing that would take them to search engines? And how can I. How can I place my content there? Which doesn't really sound like I just described keyword research, but that's how I think of it.

It's it's literally first I think about what would someone type in keyword research is just confirmation that people actually type it that way. Yep. So, I mean, I, as I think through go back to my example of date nights. For pregnant couples. That's a, that's an idea that I had that I think is worth putting out there.

There's, there's some decent articles, but I thought I had some interesting ideas that were maybe a little bit more, more interesting or more helpful or more unique that would actually have like, you know, be meaningful to a pregnant couple, not just made up to follow some content template. And so need to get that out there.

But now I need to figure out how are people searching? What, what problems do they have that would get them here? Because there are some people who go out there and directly search date night ideas for pregnant couples, right. But there's also people who type it in a million different ways because they have the same problem.

The problem, the root problem here is that my relationship with my significant other is changing drastically. And I want to. Take advantage of the special time that we have now, even though we may be limited in some of the things that we can do. Sure. That's the real problem here? Like why would I go in search date night ideas for pregnant couples?

Like either it's because of the limitation of being pregnant or it's because of the limited time together at the end. Right. I found when I was doing the research for that particular post, is that. Most people, the intents that I could find with the phrasing of the questions and other things like that, what they were really trying to figure out was one last date before the baby arrived.

And it was for the first baby. Interesting. So they wanted to make the last date that they had together as a couple without having kids special. And I never would have guessed that when I first had the idea. But it was the primary intent that I could find behind that search. So anyway, like what are the, what are the keywords that go along with that?

That's when you do get people, like literally just going to Google and searching date night ideas, pregnant wife, something like that. But I found a lot of other interesting, random things. People were typing. I should pull it up and I can actually just rattle some of them off. But actually I think I still have it up right here.

Yeah, I do. Okay. So. Fun activities for pregnant couples, things to do with pregnant wife, fun things to do while pregnant with husband activities, for pregnant couples fun dates while pregnant fun things for pregnant couples to do fluid for some of these that are interesting places to take pregnant wife anniversary ideas, while pregnant.

That's an interesting thing. Wow. Yeah. And, but like, I would have never tried to optimize for that. No fun things to do with pregnant girlfriend. I got a whole bunch of girlfriend, wife, and woman, like, they're just saying it . Yeah. Cute things to do for your pregnant girlfriend. It's so interesting. Like why would you phrase it that way?

But a whole bunch of people did. There's multiple cute showing up here. Wow. Anyways, so like for me, I would have never gone to SEMrush put in. Something about pregnant date nights and then looked at a list of all these keywords and try to work them in as H twos and make sure that I get those phrases in there.

If not at all, what I'm thinking of is what's the problem. Okay. The problem is they've got one more date together and they want to make it special. How do I give them that? So

Dylan: how do you balance giving them that, that perfect piece of content that solves their problem with also kind of satisfying an imperfect Google algorithm that.

Can be easily tricked by putting certain keywords in certain densities or certain spots in the content and

Corey: things like that. I mean, I think, yeah, you answered it with your question, like yeah. It's, it's a balance and it's, you still have to be intentional. I mean, sure. With, to me the, probably the number one way that I do that with formatting content is with my outline.

My outline is going to. Clearly show the relationship between topics that are part of the same topic. And, and they're going to clearly show that the content covered there's multiple angles or intense with my 21 date night ideas, the way I categorized it. Hey, this doesn't have a table of contents. I need to put one on here.

It has romantic date, night ideas, fun date, night ideas, dating and early pregnancy. Date night ideas for third trimester, getting ready for your baby together. Those were the big categories of this. And you know, now I might even go back and add under the romantic date night ideas. I might like add something that says cute in here on certain ones of these.

Right. Cause I saw that word showing a photo. Yeah. But like there's also. A lot of intentionality behind expected entities and common phrases. So in this case, this is an interesting thing that Dylan, you and I haven't really talked about that much, but with w w with expected entities, when it comes to a list post where there are already other lists, posts, ranking, I consider list items that are not even traditionally entities to be expected entities.

Does that make sense? Yeah, so, okay. For example, you can see that, but let me give you an example. When you're talking about date night ideas over and over and over on all the posts that I find go bowling showed up. Yep. What, why is bowling on the drive in movies? Also like some of these things I'm like never would have thought they would be on all of these lists, but on every single list they talk about bowling and they talk about drive in movies.

And so it's like. Even though I wouldn't necessarily have put bowling on a list of pregnant date night ideas. It does fit. You could go bowling while pregnant, as long as you're not like lifting really, really heavy bowling balls. So, you know, I, I think that that's important. Like you do need to look at what's currently ranking and what Google expects to be included on the topic.

What types of related content really. Prove that this content is thorough authoritative unique. Interesting. I think that it's it's we have to remember the engineers at Google are trying very, very hard. They, they're not perfect. They make a lot of mistakes, but they're trying to surface the best content.

Yeah. And if I continue to try to make the best content and their algorithms changes are always going to lean towards my content. I, that's not a hundred percent true, like in every single circumstance, but like you should trend in the same direction if your goal is create the best content. So sure. I, for me, maybe it's just because of my experience with looking at SERPs and search console for thousands of hours, but.

When I just write the content to solve the problem, it's automatically, already optimized. Yeah. In most cases, especially if I spend a little bit extra time on the outline, I will say that. Yep.

Dylan: Gosh. Yeah. Hm I'm I'm I'm thinking right now about just like some of those differences on what it takes to rank versus user experience. Have you come across situations where the content that really satisfies that user? Is absolutely not what Google's going to rank. Like they they're already ranking things that are just trashed for the user, but formatted properly.

Corey: Have I come across it? Probably, I can't think of any situations off the top of my head. Can you think of any I'm thinking of like,

Dylan: they're not drastic situations, but like the keyword that we, we don't even really try for, but SEO for photographers that doesn't always have the best. Content for the user.

I don't think

Corey: I interesting because like, in that case, the people who wrote the content, that's not necessarily the best for the user. I probably think that it is, that could be true. Yeah. Some of them I know they do, right. We know if you read this and follow these steps, you're going to go way off target, not on every single one of them, by the way.

But there are a few things that rank and you read them and you're like, Oh God, I hope they don't follow this advice. Yeah. But though people who wrote it probably don't. They wouldn't have written it if they thought that.

Dylan: Yeah. Or even just thinking about how, how it's formatted, like, is this a, a useful way to give people the overview of what SEO is and how to kind of start your SEO journey?

Like, I don't know, like, or even like, is the page experience great from a loading time and ads and I dunno all that stuff.

Corey: I do think that. I I'm thinking through other examples. One of the big ones is obviously whenever you have someone with lots of authority. Yep. That's a very popular brand in a niche that you're trying to rank in who basically just outsources content.

Sure. So my example of most recently, like the post about ways to make money for kids, I am up against sites like fricking NerdWallet. Exactly you can't outrank NerdWallet with when it comes to authority, like they're up in the eighties or nineties or something. And, you know, it's like, even though the content that they put out on this topic, I don't even know who's NerdWallet, by the way, I'm just throwing out an example, but it's something like that.

It's it's okay. Right. It's like, Yeah, the ideas are kind of the expected things that Google would look for. And you've got a paragraph for each, but it's like stock photos and it's like completely uninspired, but it follows the format. Yeah. It ranks because they have the authority exactly. A hundred percent.

But I don't know. I'm, I'm getting more, more into these thoughts of like, how is Google trying to prove authority when they don't look at links? Yeah. We actually talked about that recently and it seems like it might be a little different topic, but I think it's actually on topic for this, because remember the list I shared in the members group a few weeks ago, that was like if it was something, a specific algorithm update about, was it really views or was it I think so.

Yeah. It was

Dylan: either products or reviews. Yeah,

Corey: I think it was review. And so they were, they were giving a bulleted list of like, What kinds of things would prove that your content had a thorough review and where they were in the, the article where they were basically saying is we want to have authoritative content from experts that people trust.

How do we know that that, that it's authoritative and that it's thorough and that people would trust it. And they gave some examples, like. You know, do you thoroughly cover the features and compare it to other similar products? Do you, whatever, they had a whole bunch of examples of like how we would know that a piece of content does a good job reviewing something.

And I think if so my, my make money for kids posts, I'm gonna use that as an example, get here. If in that same set of guidelines about like, how would Google know this is thorough? Well, my mowing lawns slash yard work bullet point has mowing success stories, resources you'll need for starting a mowing business.

First steps to make money mowing lawns, bonus lawn care ideas for kids. And then it also has the attributes best for ages. And then I have 10 plus cost to start free to $200 equipment supplies needed rate per hour. Like that's, it's, it's so much more context than a paragraph under a heading it's all the stuff that you would expect.

It's like in the review, they want to see that you understand the feature set and that you understand how it compares to other similar products. And I think for me, if I'm thinking through ideas for kids to make money, how does mowing lawns compare to car washing it? Well, the way to compare it is what age is it best for?

How much does it cost to get started? What equipment do you need? How much is it? How much could you make per hour doing this? You know, how many people have been successful with this? Those are the, the, the comparison points. And so I feel like if I just write those things, I I'm hesitantly trusting that Google will figure out that this is more authoritative.

Yeah. I don't know. That's a theory. Very, very loose theory. It's

Dylan: I think it's a. I think I, I see where you're going with it and I, I hope that it works as well. Like it's what I want to think that Google,

Corey: I think it's what engineers at Google aspire to. Yep, exactly. I don't hesitate to. They've actually really got it across the board at all.

Yeah. And I mean, it's interesting to think through like how they. They try to measure that with machine learning. Right? So use quality evaluators, give them thousands of pages marked down attributes based on the quality of the human of quality evaluator, and then run those attributes against other content to try to find patterns that match that set and then refine like, yeah, that's interesting.

It's still their method of trying to scale this problem of determining authority. Exactly. It's billions and billions of pages. Yeah.

Dylan: I mean, I th I think if you continue putting out that sort of content, the traditional SEO framework of like, like, w will your link profile improve, if you have 15 of these articles that are that in depth, in that.

Perfectly nailed with the intent. I think so.

Corey: It has to over time, I think, right. I think

Dylan: so like five years down the road, will this site be successful?

Corey: I think so. I mean like 10, 10 new people in the next year or two are going to write articles that reference ways to make money for kids. And my article is going to be the new standard.

That they reference. Right? So my authority has to increase as more new people write content. Plus I have a good basis for outreach to say to all the people who have referenced those other articles, I've got something way better. And I think you'll agree if they care about their content and updating it, which I would say 90% probably don't, but there's 10% who will update their links.

And there's, you know, I'll get, I think that you don't. Approach someone like that and get anything other than eye roll, unless you're creating a literal best content.

Dylan: Yeah. Are you going to have any like strategy with YouTube videos or any other sort of media on that piece or on that topic? Or is it just the blog post itself?

Corey: It's a good question. I thought about several approaches to that. One of my thinking right now is that I will take the categories. So in this case I have 79 ideas. And they're broken into categories like services kits can offer waste for kids to make money online things kids can sell you know, make money with your hobbies, make money entertaining.

I wonder if I could even make a YouTube video for each one of those. That's literally just a, you know, go down the list of ideas and. Outline them with some stock footage or like some basic B roll footage in the background with a voiceover that kind of content does typically do pretty well in these spaces where they're like listicles and stuff.

I could see that doing well. I don't see me doing my typical YouTube talking head video for a way to make money for kids and kids being, I could get my kids in on it and. Like we could brainstorm together and talk about which ideas we liked the most. I think the ideal scenario would be, we try most of the ideas on the list and document as new blog posts and then do little vlog style updates on what we did and what worked.

And I mean, if I were trying to build a YouTube channel, this one piece of content could probably maintain my channel for a year. That's awesome. But I don't know. I don't know which. Direction. I would go with it. I'm going to start with just written content and then maybe add video to it.

Dylan: Cool.

Corey: Awesome.

Dylan: Yeah, I'm trying to think of what other questions we can ask about this.

Corey: Let's talk more about searcher intent because I've, I've been really trying to drill into the way that I think about searcher intent and I haven't asked you about it yet. I would like to hear your thoughts as, as an SEO we look at.

SERPs and we, we pretty intuitively understand the intent, I think. But what do you think if, if someone didn't understand, what kind of questions would you have them ask? What kind of observations would you have them make? What kind of, how can we poke at user intent? Searcher intent?

Dylan: Yeah, I think for me, it's all about.

Giving people kind of a framework of like where to look for clues. And w we talked a lot in our course about like the free clues that Google gives you as far as related keywords and image bubble links, and what what's included on the map, local results, things like that. But it, it's hard. I think, I think that you just have to.

A lot of people come in with the framework of individual keywords and not really grasping the idea of just topics. And so I think that that's first is the article example you were talking about with the, how to make money as a kid, that's a huge topic and that that has hundreds or thousands of different related keywords.

But really like you're not as. You're not thinking as much about the individual keyword, intense, like the difference between, should I start a lawn mowing business and how to make money as a kid. You're thinking how to best like you, you step back and put yourself in the shoes of the searcher. What is their main problem?

Like you talked about earlier and how can you create a guide that, that is well-rounded solves the broad topic, but also goes into detail on the small, smaller subtopics and. Specialties associated

Corey: with. Okay. So let's workshop an idea. So we used that winner actually. Let's, let's use it. Let's use that one because I have I've already, we'd done it so I can look at my list here, but let's see what you come up with off the top of your head.

Just a little test, your skills, Dylan. What just, if you had to guess, without even looking at the SERP, what do you think are the intents behind the search term? Ways to make money for kids.

Dylan: Yeah. I mean, I think it's going to be, there's probably going to be something about like lemonade stands.

There's probably gosh,

Corey: but what's the intent.

Dylan: Yeah. The intent behind it, the kid, the kid is looking for some extra money. Small amounts of money has some available time, probably has limited resources and is looking for like what I did best. Leverage that time and limited resources to make some extra, like, like lunch money kind of stuff.

Yeah. And so it's gosh, it's, it's probably okay. Just giving them the handful of like really basic ideas. It's going to be like, go mow your neighbor's lawn and babysit their children and stuff like that. I, I would assume it's just like a really, really jumbled mix of like, Top 10 lists and listicles.

Corey: Yeah. So I feel like that. Yeah. It's a really good example of like how to start thinking about intent. First of all, you make an assumption, my hypothesis. And that was, that was actually a really good one. Pretty spot on with what I've came up with my research. But from there we're going to do some more digging.

Right. We're going to dig and look at the Serbs and see what other alternative intents can we find. So I'm going to actually, I've got a bunch here, but I'm gonna ramble some of them off. Is that okay? Nice. Okay. So kids looking for ways to make money so they can buy something specific kids looking for jobs they can do over the summer.

Parents looking for ways to get their kids thinking about business ways for ways to make money at home online or in person they're like separate three separate things. Kids trying to earn between a hundred and $500 fast. There's a lot of specific questions about how to make 100, 200, 300, 500, whatever.

Kids looking at that X-Box money. Yep. Kids looking for age appropriate ways to make money. So everything they've seen is for older teens, this is especially popular for 11 to 13 year olds. So you'll see in all of the ways to make money for kids, you'll see a lot of suggested and related keywords for 11 to 13 year olds, 11 year olds and 13 year olds.

For some reason, 12 year olds. Just skip this. I don't know why, but I don't know why I saw that over and over and over again. But that was my assumption was that if they're searching specifically for 11 year olds, they don't want the little baby ways of making money. They can't quite do the teenage ways of making money.

They want something in between. Kids were inspired by other kid entrepreneurs on YouTube and decided to search for how they could make money. Assumption is that kids are at least five to six years old, but I think kid primarily refers to eight to 12 year olds and teenagers for 13 to 19 year olds under eight might be young kids.

All of these, that's an intent. I'm writing it in my intense area because I look for assumptions that are not stated in a query. Totally kids might have searched for how to make money fast or how to make money online or how to get free money, but been frustrated by things that require you to be 13 or have a credit card or create a website.

If general searches don't work, they might try searching for how can blink year olds make money as a specific amount of money. So that last one, not that one, but the one before about being frustrated. My, my assumption there, or my hypothesis was they first searched for just how to make money. That didn't work.

And that's when they added how to make money for kids. Kids have plenty of time to read the content, but often want to make at least some money really fast. Their goals are often shortsighted because they're looking for ideas that aren't outdated or ridiculous. Kids need more specific instructions or inspiration.

They often learn better from fewer words and more videos and pictures. They're searching Google because they didn't want to listen. Or because they want a list. They can skim, look at pictures and save it for later. Parents are searching because they need something to keep their kids busy. Parents are trying to find a way to teach their kids about money.

Parents want kids to have the things they want, but can't afford to buy it for them. Yeah. Like that was 17 different intents or observations. Awesome. And this is what I do for every piece of content I write. And like, I think some people write down two or three, but I don't think very many people write down 10, 12, 15, 20.

For every single piece of content. Okay. So yeah, I've got a bunch of those runs off, but I'm also going to give some of my thinking if that's what you think we have time. Yeah. So I wrote down a bunch of prompts that would hopefully get people to think the way that I think to come up with these 20 things per article or whatever.

So first one is what caused this person to perform the search. So what's the problem or question, which is often unstated. Did an external source potentially cause the curiosity. So were they watching a movie or did they see a billboard? Is there something that caused them to do the search? Is there a better way to ask this that the searcher didn't think of?

So what did they really mean? Is because Google will do that by the way, they'll say, okay, we've never seen one like that before, but we know what you mean and it's blank and they'll even change it. They'll say showing search results for some other phrase that was similar to what you said. Is part of the question implied, but not stated.

So a good example of this that we talked about earlier, best wedding dresses, but what's not stated is that they mean under $2,000, for sure how to get a free car. What they mean is from the government or whatever. Interesting. What is assumed about a person searching for this term? So gender age, income level location, owner of some item, relationship status Well, we assume that anyone who makes the search is automatically going to fit into a certain demographic.

And that's not always safe, but it's something they help you kind of go off of to make some more assumptions. What terms did they search for before this? And if they, if this search didn't work, how would they refine their search? Why did they come to Google instead of another source? What kind of results are they hoping or expecting to find.

How much time do they have to review the results and consume the content? Do they want to take action now or do they want to research for later? Are they looking for an expert opinion or are they looking for crowdsourced opinions? Like reviews? Does the information need to come from a certain year or be fresh to be relevant?

Are there specific entities that would, would be assumed to have an answer? Like do they expect to find the answer on the NFL website about player stats or something, or. Would they be totally fine with some random dude telling them? So those are those. You can even see the influence of those questions that I asked myself more intentionally.

When I came up with the 17 intents for this article, I was trying to see if they helped. And I think they did help me be a little bit more intentional about the way that I thought about the intent behind the query. That's

Dylan: amazing. I love that.

Corey: I mean, if you, if you through those questions and you find a person, like there's no way you don't write it in a way.

That uses the keywords that they would use that eventually, hopefully ranks

Dylan: agreed. I mean, I, and the example you brought up earlier, you were looking at your search console data, right. And seeing some terms that you didn't think of you can always go back and kind of massage the content because people are weird and like there's so many differences, like different parts of the country or world will.

Search for things in ways that you would never expect. But I do think you're right. Like if you, if you have content that well-researched, the overall topic is going to be so well covered, especially in the way that Google is going to understand it, once they parse out the meaning of the different sections and individual words and all of that.

So, yeah,

Corey: and I mean, like even. You know, as I, as I went through that process you know, I, I still, I wrote down common phrases, a hundred dollars, fast, 11 year old, easy, simple at-home teenager, online agent, summer, earn ideas, sell, and I'm making, I am checking back on my content afterwards and seeing if I included those words because it's kind of like I'm doing a manual Yost scan, right.

Where you put in a focus keyword, and then it tells you if you put it in these right places where I can just kind of do that with a quick skim. Or the expected entities in this case were things that all the lists had on them. So definitely still thinking through how to organize this in a way that is going to cover topics that can win featured snippets, for example.

So one other thing I will do is I will take. A piece of content. That's already ranking for ways for kids to make money and I'll go run it through SEMrush. And I'll go to the organic research tab and look at featured snippets. And I'll see what featured snippets are existing for keywords that this content ranks somewhere for.

And that will give me an idea of, so for example, I had a article that I'm writing about how to get free Starbucks. And I took one of the posts that was ranking at the top for that. And I ran it through SEMrush, looked at the featured snippets that existed for keywords where this article also ranked.

And there were a bunch of things I would have forgot. I would have not put in my article. Things like, yeah. How to get a free birthday drink at Starbucks. Nice. I was struggling to write about, you know, signing up for the rewards program and getting the birthday drink, but the way that. These certain keywords or phrased triggered a featured snippet.

And now I need to be a little bit more aware that I should write a featured snippet answer to that specific question. I don't know. It's just, it's interesting to think through, I'm still doing the SEO research on it, for sure. But it's just to make it more helpful.

Dylan: Exactly. That's that's amazing. I like that, that, that shift in thinking it's, it's not.

Just to maximize traffic potential it's to actually build better content. Yeah. Yeah. That's huge. I dig it.

Well, I think, is that pretty much your thoughts on content marketing? 2021? I'm sure there's

Corey: more for now. I know we don't want to have a four hour episode,

Dylan: but that's a topic. That's a big topic.

Corey: Cool. Yeah, let's let's, you know, if you have questions about this kind of thing leaves comments on the, either on the post.

So if you go to fuel your photos.com/podcast, you can find episode 20 leave a comment there or join our Facebook group and ask questions in there. Cause we'd love to follow up with more conversations about content. I would at least think it could be really interesting, but sometimes it helps to have questions that.

Whenever I start talking like this, sometimes I get a little too theoretical and I would love to kind of bring it back down to earth with those questions, like, okay. But what about like, you did it earlier, you know, it's like, what about wedding photographers? How do they make an impact? Well, we can still do that.

When you think through, maybe we got to get a little creative with it or something, you know? So whatever, if you have hesitations, if you have like reasons that you don't think content marketing is right for you But maybe you still want to give it a try. You do think that your ideas are worth sharing.

You do think that you have things that could help people, but you just think it's going to be more challenging than you think let's, let's get creative and think through that. But I guess maybe something to end on a question for you, Dylan is something I've been struggling with a lot lately. What if.

What, if you don't want to do any of that, let's say you're a photographer. And I think we briefly touched on this earlier, but I want to kind of just ask what's the alternative. If I don't want to blog, I don't want to create content. I just want to do that shooting, but I still want to work on SEO. So taking it out of the content marketing realm for a minute.

Yeah. Is there still stuff you can do or is SEO only content marketing?

Dylan: Yeah. I mean, I, I would say that content marketing has become a huge part of SEO for photographers. And it's kind of not necessarily, I would almost say it's the backbone of most of the strategies that we teach in our course, just because I think 95% of the photographers we work with that have decent traffic from organic search.

They're getting that through content marketing, they're getting it through. Creating this sort of like useful information for potential clients. That's like the overwhelming approach. If you absolutely detested that and wanted to kind of hit it from a different side, I think you have to really build a strong personal brand.

I think you need to be getting your work featured in major publications, blogs things of that sort. So that you're building that authority building backlink authority. And that will allow you to become an, you could also be doing like in-person networking building that local authority with all of the vendors and other photographers and making it so like any, if anybody asks a local person like, Hey, I need, I need a wedding photographer that your name is the one that comes up.

Yeah. I mean, there's, there's other tactics to get like just main non blog pages to rank that I would go after. And there's photographers out there that have decent SEO that don't have any blog content. They're mostly going to be just getting traffic for their actual brand being searched, their, their name.

And so that that's possible for sure.

Corey: Yeah. I think that's a really good point. It's like, if you're not going to. Be a thought leader, then you need to be really damn good at photography and networking, like your client experience. Like these kinds of things. They're very tangible, offline stuff. If you, if you're not going to do content marketing at this point, I would say the way that you attack SEO is strictly through authority and local presence.

So. You probably need to have an address that's in a city that you're planning on serving.

Dylan: You probably need a physical studio

Corey: probably. And you need to exactly what Dylan said, your brand needs to become synonymous with the generic term. So if I say newborn photographer and Columbia, South Carolina, you really only think of one or two studios.

And you would just know anyone who's ever had to research newborn photographers is going to be like, Oh yeah, let me tell you. There's only a few. You need to look at it. Yep. Whenever your name becomes that. Okay. Now you're starting to be able to rank for things just because of your brand authority, your brands, you know, Google does start to trust that people are looking for you specifically.

So I wouldn't say SEO is worthless. The concepts of SEO. Spread pretty wide and have a lot of different applications, but I would agree with you. I think you said this, maybe the biggest opportunities for SEO for photographers are in content marketing.

Dylan: Yeah. I mean, I'll just leave like one piece of data.

Like I, I looked through a lot, we looked through a lot of sites search consoles through our work. And I'm thinking like the top 10 photographers that I've looked at their, their homepage probably wasn't even in the top 10, most trafficked websites from Google because they had that many different single or single blog posts out, ranking their homepage.

So yeah, that's those, those are the people that are really, really crushing it with. Traffic and inquiries.

Corey: Yeah. Thinking through like one example of someone who actually does have really strong brand authority and very well known in their market has been featured everywhere is also an educator in the space, has a site where they do rank for the main keywords where they're on page one, near the top for like their main city, specialty photographer, keywords, all the things that are winning as far as SEO.

But let me tell you something. They have one venue post for their city that gets five times more clicks than thing else, you know? So it's like, there's still, you have to be able to find where the volume is. What are, again, this goes back to something I said earlier, the people who you want to serve have problems before they even think about hiring a photographer.

If you can get in front of them, then. You might have a chance to do it before your competition does.

Dylan: Yeah. That's always been my strategy. I love it.

Corey: Cool. Well, it's been fun talking about this and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of questions or discussion people have on it and yeah, I guess we'll see you on the next episode.

Dylan: All right. Catch you all later.

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