Lindsey Miller describes herself as the “lead guide” on her site Content Journey. It’s a title that fits her perfectly. And for those builders who are looking to guide their clients, or perhaps, themselves when selling their own product or service, this episode is filled with tips, insights and conversation that will help anyone from the beginner to a seasoned Woo biz owner.
A Chat with Lindsey:
Jonathan and Bob talk with Lindsey about:
- What her company Content Journey does and why did she label herself as the lead guide
- How does she perceive content and do most clients agree on the importance
- Clients and how they think when it comes to their sites, internal and external content
- The challenge of letting a client who thinks they have great content know that it really does need work
- When does a client know that the writing is focusing on what it needs to
- The idea stage when it comes to clients and how to help them
- How to guide clients to work within your own processes
- The importance of content via the product page in WooCommerce
- What should Woo agencies and those selling WooCommerce plugins, etc be thinking about when it comes to their own content
- When you look at performance and advise clients on traffic, etc. how can that be balanced between their expectations and what is really happening
- How important is the “about page” to Woo builders, specifically product builders
- What someone should do if they haven’t been writing for awhile and need to get unstuck
Connect with Lindsey
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Jonathan: Welcome to Do the Woo, episode 144. Bob, how are you?
Bob: I'm doing really good. And how about yourself?
Jonathan: I am fantastic. The smoke is mostly cleared at least for a day or two.
Bob: Oh yeah. We haven't got any blowing yet this way, but hey, there's still time, unfortunately.
Jonathan: There is time. But the air conditioning is continuing to work well.
Jonathan: I can't complain.
Bob: That's all that matters.
Jonathan: We have, you've lined up another fantastic guest today, Bob. I'm quite excited. We have Lindsey Miller joining us. Lindsey, say hello.
Lindsey: Hi everybody.
Jonathan: Lindsey is the lead guide at Content Journey and she is no stranger to the WordPress space. Lindsey, we actually first met back at The Div in Oklahoma City about a decade or so ago. And it was this really interesting nonprofit that was focused on tech and innovation in Oklahoma. Would you tell us how you do the Woo and kind of walk us through your journey, pun not intended, but it kind of works from where you started in WordPress up to Content Journey.
Lindsey: Yeah, absolutely. I think my first foray into WordPress was I was dating this guy named Cory Miller and I had a political consulting business at the time and he was like, "You need a blog." And I didn't believe him but eventually I created Call Time blog and started writing about politics and how to fundraise because that's what I did most of the time back then. And it actually worked. I did the thing and there's a whole great story of how I had 15 blog posts written that I'd never published because I was scared. And it actually got that guy Cory to start talking about just clicking publish a really long time ago, which has kind of come around again lately because I ended up marrying the guy. Shut down the blog eventually. Kept the guy. But really saw the value of posting what you know to the world and helping people using WordPress.
And got started with The Div, which we were teaching kids to code. Got involved in code.org that way. Now it's part of Oklahoma's public reschool resource center. It's still lives and breathes.
Lindsey: Even though it doesn't have the name anymore, our ideas are still there, impacting kids across our state and the WordPress bug didn't go away. I stayed involved in the community and the space. Ended up working for Liquid Web for a little while in the product space and brought the first managed WooCommerce product to the space. And so I've had a lot of experience there as well and then created Content Journey and still focusing on WordPress in a different way. But that's kind of me in a nutshell for you all if no one knows about my background.
Jonathan: Tell us what Content Journey is. You're the lead guide at Content Journey, what does that mean? What do you guys do?
Lindsey: Yeah, so I like lead guide because I feel like where it comes with SEO or content for business owners or store owners is it's all really confusing. And so, because I'm also I'm not off the scales on the intelligence or IQ charts, I have a way of putting things where we can all understand it, which means I can understand it. If I can understand it, I can explain it to people and it gets rid of that mystery. I think, as I talk to people like, oh yeah, I know I need SEO. I know I need content, but I just pay this person to do it and I don't know what any of it means. And so I don't like how that feels, where someone's paying somebody else for thousands of dollars a month and they don't really know what any of it is. And so I guide people through that process and make sure they understand what is happening and why and take away some of the mystery and the complications.
Jonathan: I think it's fair to say that for most folks, they would agree that content, quote unquote, is important. Can you kind of unpack that a bit for us? When you think about content, what does that mean to you? And start with that. What does it mean to you? And where's that coming from? Why do people agree that it's important?
Lindsey: Yeah. I think there's a couple of different ways that we use content now. We say, "I'm a content creator," which could be, I'm Bob and I create lots of podcasts and videos and tutorials or I am a content creator on TikTok or Instagram, where there's these people out there and they consider themselves content creators. From my perspective, when I think about it, if you have a WordPress or a Woo site, is you're creating content that are helping qualify your leads.
I guess there's one part. Bringing leads to your site. People who are going to buy your products or services and then better qualifying them, which means do they have questions that they need answers? Can you answer it for your content? Whenever they click that link to book a call or they click the buy button that they already know what they're getting into. And it's just overall being helpful and showing somebody why you are the product or service that they want. And that's how I come about it is being helpful and knowledgeable, informational content creation.
Jonathan: I love reading Seth Godin and read This is Marketing last year and I'm reading The Practice right now. And one of the things I really like about it is this kind of focus on service. If you're writing for an audience, if you're writing for them, it's okay, what problem can you solve for them? What magic can you bring to them? And at least in my experience so far, and I'm curious for your thoughts on the range of folks you work with, in my experience, when people tend to get stuck, it often is because they're looking too much inward on, oh, I got to do this. What do I have to do? Versus saying, "Hey, how can I provide value to the people that I'm choosing to serve?"
Jonathan: What do you find? For the clients that work really well with you, how are they thinking about content?
Lindsey: Yeah. When we first start working with somebody, I think that's their problem is they say, "What do I write?" Or, "How do I write it so that it actually works?" And they just feel stumped. What we do is whenever we talk to someone, we go, "What are the questions you get when you talk to a new customer or a new lead? What are the questions you hear most often?" And that's our first pieces of the content that we're creating. And so to us, because we're coming in from the outside, it can feel so obvious. And then they just need someone to help guide them through that process and ask the right questions. And then it makes their job easier.
We have a mental health facility that we work with, for example. And so they get calls all the time and they're not a good fit for them for whatever reason. And so one of the first things we did was beef up their FAQs and do blog posts that answered their most frequent questions. And all of a sudden their call volume went down but they were better, higher qualified leads for them.
Jonathan: I like that. One of the things that I've always personally wrestled with is this question of do I write it myself? Versus do I work with someone else? How do you tend to think about that? It can be a really difficult decision, especially letting go of something. I don't think it's right or wrong, there's different ways to approach it. How do you tend to think about that?
Lindsey: I have one person in mind that I currently work with where for them it's anyone else is going to write it, it's really not good enough. And so they're not a great fit for us. And so we helped figure that out and help them in the ways that we can, where it's not writing. But I think as with anything, if we are entrepreneurs or if we're owners of our business, there are some things we just have to let go. To me, for Content Journey, one of our first goals is to really know the brand voice in as best as we can so that we can be part of the team so it feels seamless so that no one knows that we're actually the ones writing the content. That is a goal we come in with.
I would say, if you're looking for a writer, make sure they can represent your brand voice in the way that you want it to. And if it's 90%, a good solid A, then you can let go of it. And be, it's good enough. It's not going to be probably a 150%. It's not going to be getting extra bonus points, potentially if it's not you aren't the one writing it but it can be one of those things that as long as it represents your brand in the way you want it to, you might have to let go of some of that control in that space.
Bob: I was just going to ask, how do you advise, let's say I'm somebody that designs Woo sites and I work with a lot of clients. How do you approach it yourself and advise them to approach our client when their client thinks their writing is really good and they know in their heart that it really sucks or you know in your heart that really sucks. How do you nicely bring up that in the conversation and say, "We need to look at this." There's got to be something, I'm sure it's case by case.
Lindsey: It is. I think it's important to just have a really strong back and forth partnership with your clients first, so that if there are tough conversations that need to happen, that you can. Our core value at Content Journey is we care. We care about ourselves. We care about our own families. We care about each other. We care about our clients and their success. And so sometimes that means that you have to say, "Your website is really ugly." Or, "Your writing isn't that great." And say it in a nice way. But hopefully that relationship already exists in such a way that you can give that type of feedback.
I feel like if I had a client that I was constantly criticizing all of their aspects of their business, if I said also, "Your writing is bad," they may not listen to me. And so I think it's built on a foundation of trust, back and forth first off and knowing that if you are that agency, that your clients know that you really want them to succeed. And if you have to have those tough conversations, it's for the right reasons not just because we want to be know it alls on everything.
Jonathan: I was reading Seth Godin's The Practice this morning and one of the ideas that came out of that and imagine situations like that is it's okay if you really just want to write for yourself, if your goal though, is to write for your audience, then you have to be willing to sort of focus on them. It's like, hey, maybe I don't have the experience, the tools that I need yet to be able to serve my audience effectively. But I'd say in general, if a client, if there's a situation where their writing is really not that great by focusing on, hey, how can we do more to serve the customer, the end user in this situation? Then that's where you want to focus the conversations. Do we know if this piece is working? Is it helping anyone? If it is, I don't really care if I like their style or not, if it's getting the job done. But if it's not, then that's where the opportunity comes in to say, "Rather than writing for ourselves, what can we do to more effectively serve the audience that we're trying to provide value to?"
Lindsey: Yeah, absolutely. I think you have two different approaches. One is, and this is when we actually do internally now is sometimes we say, "Okay, we're not going to write it for you, but we'll edit." We choose the keywords. We do the research, we're doing the strategy piece, they write them and then we come on the backend and we do all of the editorial piece. We make sure that it's optimized correctly and that sentence structures are there and readability is good.
Secondly, what I would suggest is look at the data. We go in every month and we send reports to all of our clients and we say, "Hey, these pieces of content aren't working. These are. We may need to make adjustments." And we try to be really open and honest with that. I would say to any of your audience, do the same thing. Look at the data. If their content doesn't perform as well as yours, then show that to them and suggest changes and go with that.
Jonathan: One of the more eye opening experiences I had last year, I ran the woocommerce.com blog for a quarter. All the content that we published, I was responsible for sort of guiding through. And I had one of the things that I thought worked really well because we had a team of writers and a team of editors and we had content that was already kind of in the queue. And then there were things that I wanted to see come into it. And it was really empowering experience to focus on this process of all right, we know we have good writers and editors and I could focus on coming up with concepts and ideas that all right, we want a series that's focused on this. And also a piece focused on this and go to the writers with the ideas. Hey, this is what we want to convey.
Jonathan: And it was interesting to me because it worked really well, even as like each piece was a little bit different than how I would've done it. They took different approaches yet the heart of the idea was still there.
And so I found that to be a really empowering way to think about it, where it's as an entrepreneur, as a builder in a situation where it's, hey, it's more important for you to focus on the ideas that you want to convey and then in my experience, it was letting go of the execution. It's hey, as long as the core of the idea is there, let the individual writer bring their own way of approaching it. And I found that to be A, the job got done because oftentimes that's where the blocker can come in. It's, oh sure, maybe you could get it better but still you got to click publish at the end of the day and get it done. Anyway, I'm curious, is that a typical way that you'll work with folks is let them focus on the idea stage of it?
Lindsey: For us, we really kind of help come up with the ideas. And obviously we listen to their ideas as well because we're doing it from an SEO perspective. What are the questions that their potential audience is asking? And then we need to create the content that answers those questions. But they do validate that. Sometimes we have like fun things that come in.
For example, we work with a financial institution and Patrick Rollins tweeted something about In the Heights, the song where it was NAVI is going, can you retire on this? With the lottery and all this sort of thing. And so Patrick broke it down. And I was like, what a great idea. And so I pitched it to the financial institution. It didn't have necessarily SEO value but it had cultural relevance. And so we did this really cool post where we tied together In the Heights with Patrick's tweet and what they're doing for their community. And they loved it. It made them so happy. And so there's a little bit of give and take there.
What you're saying though about letting go of some of these process, as long as the idea is there, I think that's relevant in so many parts of our lives. I am president of the board of an organization called Free Mom Hugs. And we hired an executive director last year. She's wonderful. She's lovely. She is not Lindsey Miller. And so we had this growing pain and we talk about this publicly so she wouldn't be shocked if she heard this someday, but where we agreed on the destination, but she was doing it differently than me and I had some serious frustrations for several months. And it wasn't until I realized, hold on a second, she's ending up at the same place that I want her to be and she's doing it differently and I need to let go. And once I did, because I did trust her and I liked her and I knew she was going to do a good job just to get there, no matter how she did it, my life improved, her life improved, the organization improved. And so I think we can take that lesson in lots of aspects.
Jonathan: Yes. I agree. And it's interesting knowing where to let go on something. I used to work at a big agency called XWP back in the day and we did all of this enterprise development and we successfully let go of some aspects of writing and at one point we were doing a redesign of the site and we let another agency do the development for the site, which seemed to make sense. And it was terrible. It was really poorly done. It was okay. It was good enough. However, given our standards and given the type of work that we did, it's the engineers on the team just couldn't deal with it. It's like, why are they doing this? Why are they doing that? It could be so much better.
Ultimately they did decide, okay, we're going to let go of the design. We're going to let go of the other things but we will do our own development on it because this is part of our core value. Normally that'd be a bad piece of advice for folks. But if it's important, other than that thing though, let the rest go. And for most folks, if writing's not part of your this is the thing that you do, then focus on what actually needs to get done and figure out a way to get it done. Don't get held up in that process. That's at least what painful experiences have taught me.
Bob: I’m going through a similar experience, although not just on content, but the redesign and rebrand of Do the Woo. In a nutshell, I have learned in the process of hiring an agency to do this my rethinking of what I hold onto and when I let go. There was one particular instance where the direction I had been going in some of the backend, well, their toolset shifted that. In turn, I needed to either start over or let go. And being on the customer end of things, I decided the latter. Because I trust their knowledge and expertise.
Jonathan: I've seen some interesting ideas here in tension. First, there's this idea of it's the destination that matters. As a builder, as an entrepreneur in situations, be clear on where you want to go and then let go of the steps in between. That really resonates with me. On the other hand, when it comes to writing and I'm curious, Lindsey, for your thoughts on this with SEO, there's also this degree to which it's the process that matters and disconnecting somewhat from the outcomes. Because it's the destination, if you will, is I want perfect SEO. And yet there's so much about this that you can't control.
Even as you're letting go and maybe you're working with someone else, you're empowering your team to do it. There's this degree to which you can't control the outcome. You might get frustrated for instance, you're a couple months in, why aren't I seeing the magic of that destination of perfect SEO that I'm after? How do you think about that? In a situation where there's only limited control, how do you think about that? And how do you guide the folks that you work with to think about sticking to that process?
Lindsey: I think there is so much education that goes into this. I think for the most part, I have clients that are coming from other agencies that haven't gotten the formation they wanted, not just results but they're just confused on what they're even paying for, which is why I combined SEO and content. Because it feels better when we see output. We're doing stuff behind the scenes, we're doing these technical things but they're now also getting content that goes with that, which makes it feel better for people and also works more effectively. But I think there's part of that is educating from the very beginning, we're going to start this process and it will work. We all know it works, creating content on your site. No matter if you're doing it specifically for SEO or not, clicking publish works but how long does it take? And so we just kind of talk through that from the very beginning.
From a strategic standpoint and this is something that all of your listeners can implement as well because it's nothing super top secret. Typically, whenever I come in on a new client, I'm going after really easy keywords to gain so that they can see some uptick. It may not be the 30,000 visits of some of the higher, more valuable keywords but we go after questions or we go after a longer tail stuff where there is a lower difficulty level so that psychologically our clients are seeing some movement.
And so I think that is, again, I don't think it's unique, but I think it's an important part of our process so that they do feel a little bit better. And then as we were talking about letting go of stuff, I have our process pretty tightly controlled as much as it can because once we go through setting up a strategy, we have people who write the brief and it sort of what do I want this piece of content to look like? What questions is it answering? What is it addressing? And so that goes out to our writers very deliberately. And then we have a content director who has a PhD. She is amazing on editorial. And then we also have a quality control. Every piece of content touches four or five people's hands because I want it to be the best it can be. As far as I'm telling everyone else to let go but then I hold some of our stuff really tight. And so, controlling it a great deal.
Jonathan: Well, part of the way that you're doing that though, is to set processes up that aren't dependent on you. Where it's like, you take the thing that you care about as the entrepreneur and say, "Okay, I care about this so I'm going to put the work up front into creating a process so that I can have confidence in the outcome and then I can let it go." Again, and that's the key. For the things that you care about, for the things that matter to the problems that you're trying to solve, you stick with them and figure out a way to remove yourself as the dependency. If you're thinking longer term.
And it's been interesting watching, in our space, we get to see these companies of one and smaller teams and all these interesting acquisitions, et cetera. And it's just important to continue to ask questions of where do I provide the most value right now? And if there are things that, I'm going to continue doing this. I don't let this one go. But oftentimes there's a lot of other things around that you can let go of and actually increase the value that you're trying to provide to the folks that you're serving.
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And now back to the show.
Bob: Again, I can really relate to what you said Lindsey. Going back to me working with that agency, I am not expecting them to let go as they have a process in place that relies on everything I share with them. As builders, they need to build that trust so clients don’t randomly hold on to ideas that are better changed. But anyway, it has been quite a learning experience for me.
Now, let’s flip over on the Woo side of things and just because I know you've had some experience working content in Woo stores, and I've always heard this. This is constantly talked about around the product descriptions. You have these specific pieces that touch on Woo and the importance of that. And I think some product, they just, they grab. I remember reading something about somebody was just, it was horrendous because they were basically grabbing the product description from the company they were buying the product and just replicating it and just dropping it right in there. And they weren't even thinking of their customers themselves. Why don't you tell us a little bit about your experience around that part of it?
Lindsey: Yeah. Especially when we do keyword research, it's really surprising that if we optimize product pages or even product descriptions, that they have their own SEO value. Everyone knows, Cory and I both talk about this a lot. We sign NDAs with all of our clients but if they talk about us, then we can talk about them is kind of our rule of thumb. Vida Bars or thevidabars.com, so it's a shampoo and conditioner for curly hair and they are not on WooCommerce now, although they will be eventually but they are on WordPress. And doing the keyword research for their products, there was so much value in just looking for specific types of shampoo. Shampoo bar for dry scalp. And so we can talk about that in a blog post but if you just talk about that on the product page for that specific bar, it brings a decent amount of traffic in and of itself.
Lindsey: Whereas if it gets buried in something or gets added to a blog post, it may not have as much value. And so we went through and just made sure we're lining all of that up really specifically with those product descriptions. And we're seeing it pay off already.
Jonathan: That's a great example. I was looking for something that a writer I know had come up with this concept and I was searching for it. And I was hoping to just find a one page that's about that concept that I could reference. And instead I was finding blog posts talking about that concept. And it's like, I just want the one pager. And that was the equivalent of send me to the product page, which in theory and probably in practice as well, would be a much better. If you had the product page at the top, not only is and it's well optimized, it's got the content, the descriptions are there and they can buy it.
Lindsey: That last part is important. And they can buy it. We are in eCommerce, right.
Jonathan: Which is about folks thinking about what problem you're solving. It's not just saying, "Okay, we need a blog and we need a bunch of content on it." Right. Well, if you're a store, one of the beautiful things about WordPress and WooCommerce is this ability to blur those lines between content and commerce. And I can see there being a lot of opportunity for that.
Bob: And that's interesting because I was thinking how many times I've searched for something and I'm not necessarily, well, I may be searching for a review. I may be searching for a specific I want to buy this product, where's someplace that has this? And that mix that comes up at the top there between if I want to buy the product. If it's a bunch of reviews, I just get discouraged. Like Jonathan just said, I don't need you to tell me about the damn product. I'm at the point where I want the product and that's what I'm searching for right now.
It almost seems like you could learn from some of those reviews or learn from some of that content, some of the keywords for your product. Not that you want to do research that way. But it is a mix off in the results and getting it up there. Because I feel like some that I've talked to in the past don't feel like it's almost like they have that mentality that, yeah. I've got to write about it in my blog. It doesn't really going to matter what specifics I put in my product description because it's not really paid attention to. But it's just the opposite.
Lindsey: All that content is still indexable by Google. And I think there's probably something eventually that's going to come in with Google putting their own shopping stuff above our WooCommerce products. I think there's probably something to watch out for as that keeps moving and as they keep wanting to own the eCommerce aspect. I don't know that it necessarily plays too heavily right now in some of the things I've seen anecdotally but I think it's something we need to be aware of going forward as they try to capture that market in their own space.
Jonathan: Let's talk about the builders for a bit here. Let's take agencies, for instance that are doing eCommerce for clients. For the agency themself, what guidance would you offer about how they should think about content? If you're a service provider, freelancer, micro agency, big agency, how do you think agency folks, those service providers should be thinking about content for themselves?
For instance, one thing you could say, "Okay, well maybe you're a service provider. You have a website that has a description and no content." That's your baseline, but if you wanted to attract your own clients or better serve your own clients, how should they think about content?
Lindsey: I think it's a great question. I have two agencies that I work for now and create content for them. That's for one of them, we do blog posts, we do lead magnets and we do email. And for them it's showcasing their expertise in the space. They do a lot of eCommerce stuff. It's not just WooCommerce specific but we want people to know whenever they come to them, that they can solve their eCommerce problems. And so we create the content that showcases that we put it out on social media. That if somebody has either heard their name in conversation or a friend referred them or they're Googling, that they can go in and just kind of have this cursory knowledge of, okay yeah, this person knows the things because they're talking about stuff that I should probably know or be aware of in my space.
And so I think that's one angle. Is that just, I know I look everybody up now before I spend money with them, especially when it's a WooCommerce store. If I'm going to spend $30,000 with you and it's my livelihood, if this website doesn't work, I don't make sales then I'm going to make sure that I'm choosing the best one. And so I think we do that through our websites and we do that through that content. If I were an agency, I would definitely think about how do I showcase my expertise to anyone that comes to this site so they know I'm the one that they need to spend their money with?
Jonathan: And I think it's worth adding too that one of the things, a trap you could get caught into is this idea in the agency space that it's not successful if it doesn't have a lot of traffic, which is just not true at all. I'd rather see you have 10 excellent blog posts that only have a couple of dozen views each and those views turn into clients. When someone goes to your site and they see those things, you might not have a bunch of traffic but they see that expertise demonstrated. And that can be one of those sirens, at least in my experience where it's like, oh, I got to get lots of traffic on this or it's just not working.
If you wrote it for the right audience, even if you had to share it with them directly yourself, it's just a powerful way of putting yourself out there, putting your ideas out there and demonstrating the expertise. I'm curious, when you look at performance and you're advising clients on things like traffic, et cetera, how do you balance that? What they're expecting versus and what's happening, whether it matches or not.
Lindsey: Great question. I'm not going to say the agency name, although we might be releasing a case study in a couple of months, we've kind of been talking about it. But when I first started working with them last year, their organic traffic was pretty much nonexistent. And so we're coming up on, I think, 10 or 11 months now and the traffic itself, it's increased for sure. I think it's been maybe an 18 to 25% increase almost every month. It's done really well, but I was like, it's not as big as some of my others. It's like, I have some clients where we've increased their organic by 900% in 12 months. But this agency is just not as much. And so I kind of had this inkling in the back of my head, oh gosh, this isn't going well. It's been some uptick but not enough.
But we talked two weeks ago and they said, they've started getting their first organic leads coming through the website because of the content we've created. And they are pumped. They're excited. That's why they wanted to do this mutual case study because they wanted to help me talk about what we've done for them. And I was thinking, I didn't tell them this, but I was oh my gosh, I thought you were going to fire me. And instead, they're really happy with what it is. I think that matters too. How do you measure it? Yeah, we didn't gain 900% for them, like we did for some others or for one other specifically but we have gained where they wanted us to and where they needed us to. It was smaller traffic but it was the right traffic, like what you said too. It was to the right audience and to the correct audience. And so that matters too. But also you're buying a shampoo bar for $20 or you're buying an eCommerce store for $20,000. That's a different type of traffic and a different type of purchase too.
Jonathan: For the service providers, what I'm hearing from you is this focus on demonstrating expertise. And to what we've just covered, it's not about the volume of traffic, it's the quality of it. And for an agency, for a service provider, all it takes is a couple of leads for you to see an exponential return on your investment in that space. On the other side, we have product businesses. For builders who are selling plugins, extensions, themes and or even just their own, straight up doing their own eCommerce stuff, how do you guide them to think about content? What's different? What's the same? Versus folks who are on the service side and it's tends to be that lower volume.
Lindsey: Yeah. I think there's a couple of different ways. I think what we've done in WordPress is we just try to be really helpful overall. I think that kind of sums up our community. And so I think for plugin owners and theme shops or whatever it happens to be, is thinking, how can I help our customer even if it doesn't directly relate to our product? Is there something that we can do to help educate or anything along those lines? And so that's typically how I think about content for them is how do they be a thought leader in this space that pertains even adjacently to what they're trying to sell? Because once people find someone they can trust, that's really trying to help them, especially in WordPress, they're going to keep coming back to that person, whether it be for new content to be educated or to purchase something.
Jonathan: I love that you said the our customer part because the implication is that you know who your customer is. In my experience with writing, that tends to be one of the areas where folks will struggle is this kind of scattershot, try a bunch of different things approach versus saying, "Okay, who exactly are you serving? And what problem are you solving for them? Write to that."
Lindsey: No one knows that, right Jonathan? And Bob, correct me if I'm wrong. Nobody knows that. We ask in our onboarding calls, it's like, "Have you done a persona exercise development?" And 95% are like, "Nope." And so we have sort of what we do when a client comes in. We have very large enterprise clients that are with us that have not done basic persona development. And so part of our onboarding is asking those questions and sort of creating that for them, without them knowing what we're doing. And it's a cheap, easy, fast way of doing it, even though it takes an hour or two but it helps us know exactly who we're writing to, even if the store owner or the agency or whoever doesn't know themselves.
Bob: Okay. I have one last thing I want to touch on before we go. And this is probably more on the product side than the agency side of doing service work. And this is my pet peeve. I've mentioned this. I think we have to drive this into their heads over and over again. What about that about page?
Lindsey: One loves about pages. I think here's my, I don't know, I should have find out what your pet peeve was before, Bob, but I love about pages. I think people look at them.
Bob: Yeah. And what is your recommendation to these builders who, I've gone to places, I'm going to buy this plugin. There's nothing about them except they say that we're a team of wonderful people that do wonderful things to the society and we stand around and sing kumbaya or something like that. And I'm like, well, that's really great but I still would like to know a little bit more about you. What kind of final tips on how to make your about page appealing? Because it's true. I want to know who I'm buying from a lot of times.
Lindsey: I'm exactly the same. If I go to buy a product, I sometimes will go, okay, who am I? Especially in WordPress, I'm always who's behind this website? And I go and look at it. And if I don't see a name there or a face there, I don't even have to recognize them, I'm not going to buy the thing. I think people like to buy from people. We like to work with humans and we don't want to be tricked. And so yes, do the about page every single time. And I read a stat. It was a couple of months ago that essentially said about pages are the second or third most visited on any site. And after I started looking at that, it was true. If I look at my client's sites in my analytics every month, about pages or about our team are always amongst the highest visited on there.
I have a thing, it's tips for writing the perfect about us page. And so you start talking about what do the customers want to know who they're doing business with? What's your impact? What are your values? Who is it? And making sure that all of that aligns with those target customers, if you know who they are and how you're serving their needs. And so it's clear headlines, it's easy to navigate, it's speaking directly to your core values that are aligning with theirs. There's some backstory but I don't think there's a lot of backstory. It doesn't need to really bury.
Jonathan: The origin story.
Lindsey: Yeah. There's some of an origin story there but that's not really why they're there. They don't want to know that Lindsey Miller grew up in Oologah, Oklahoma on a cattle ranch and that's why she was going to create content for you. There's no value there. But what is it that I bring to the table that speaks directly to why they're looking at my about page? And so that's what we have to do. And I think, you look at some and the bios are 1,500 words. No one wants to read that much about me. They want to know how I'm going to solve their problems. And so I think the about page really has to speak to that very directly, not where I went to elementary school or even college, what my GPA was. None of that's important for the work that I do day to day. Does that sort of answer your question? I went on my own little tirade there.
Bob: Oh yeah. And I really wanted it to be the last emphasis because I swear, I've heard a lot of people say that exactly what you said. I've said it myself. And I say it on Twitter all the time. I went to this site and I didn't see an about page and they lost a sale or a potential sale because hey, just because. It was more of a reiteration of, as a final thought is to tell them to basically get off their butts and either do it themselves or have somebody else do it for them.
Jonathan: Bob, can we have a second final thought?
Bob: Yeah. You can have a second final thought.
Jonathan: First Lindsey, you've got me thinking that I'm going to have to look at my about page again. But last question, so if someone's thinking about writing, maybe they haven't done anything over the past year. They have the, ah, they should do some more writing. Where would you suggest folks start? How did they get that kind of unstuck?
Lindsey: Gosh. I think writers just have to write. I know that sounds really cliche but it's just making it a habit. The three things, there's three places right now where you can go and kind of help yourself get unstuck. One is Yoast just did their summer school, where they're talking about writing in several of their courses. That would be a place to go look.
Shameless plug, obviously Digital Marketing Kitchen. There's a Facebook group that Cory and Rebecca Gill run. And that's a great place to talk about writing and SEO and how that pertains. And then they started this thing in Post Status too of click publish where they're challenging each other to publish for 30 days in a row. Some people have done, oh, I'm going to publish every week or I'm going to publish every month but making it a habit. And so finding a community and setting a time on your calendar and just doing the work and then actually publishing it. Not like I did way back in the day with Call Time blog.
Bob: Well, all righty. Well, I knew this would be wonderful. Lindsey, you've been on my other podcasts. I think you've been on, I won't say how many other podcasts I've had, but I think you've been on two of the other podcasts, which is probably one of the records that you actually have come on different platforms and graced me with your presence.
Lindsey: It just goes to show, I'll follow you anywhere, Bob.
Bob: Yeah. Where can people, you've already talked about your website, but where can people connect with you if they want to reach out to you, website and social and all that good stuff?
Lindsey: Yeah. I'm pretty easy to find, contentjourney.com. I'm mostly on Twitter, @lindseymillerwp and then I'm trying to be better at Instagram, which is content.journey. And so you can watch me struggle to click publish over there myself.
Bob: Very cool. All righty, well, just like to give a quick thank you to our two pod friends that are supporting this particular episode, your yithemes.com. You heard from them earlier on. Their extensive collection of plugins and a modeeffect.com, an agency that will help you with a lot of your Woo needs. Do check out both of them and a final, big, big, thank you Lindsey for joining us today.
Lindsey: Thank you both for having me.
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