Today I am joined by a previous client and a great friend of mine, Lucy Bekker. Now, if you haven’t heard of Lucy before, Lucy helps female business coaches to turn their podcast into SEO blog posts, not just transcribing or summarizing them, but proper, hard-working blog posts. She’s an absolute wizard when it comes to SEO. And today we talk a little bit about that. We talk about podcast blogs, content creation, but we also talk about how Lucy got into business in the first place, and what her journey has looked like along the way. We also talk about some of her biggest challenges, some of her biggest achievements, and all the lessons that she’s learned along the way.
Tune in to the episode here:
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Elley: Get ready to fall in love with Lucy. Her personality is so infectious, her laugh is infectious, and her smile is infectious. I cannot wait for you to listen to this episode. So, I need to stop rambling and just dive straight in. Lucy, welcome to the podcast! I’ve already told you I’m very excited to have you on but welcome! I cannot wait to dive into this conversation.
Lucy: Oh, exciting. They don’t know that we’ve already been talking for like 10 minutes but yeah, yeah.
Elley: Yeah. Talking about how the year has just like flown by and currently at the time of recording we’re at like, what? This side of February so pretty crazy how quickly this year has gone.
Lucy: I try not to think about it. Like “oh shit, it’s already Tuesday and February.” It’s fine. Fine.
Elley: Fine. We’re okay.
So, today I wanted to have another amazing guest on. Another inspiring female entrepreneur and today we have Lucy. So, Lucy, let’s scroll all the way back to when you first started your business. If you could share with our listeners a bit about how you got into your business, but also what made you want to start a business in the first place.
Lucy: I write blogs for businesses, right? So, it kind of started when I did an internship at university. I’m actually a politics major. And as part of my internship, we had to run a blog about our time overseas. And then, obviously, I started getting targeted ads about how to make a business on a blog. And I was like, “holy shit, people do this? Awesome! People can make money off this?”
So, I started my first little travel blog, and it was really cute. I think I just deleted the domain because the site is never seen. Anyway, it kind of developed from there because you can run a blog as a business, or you can write blogs for businesses, doing actual content marketing. So, I kind of started that travel blog and then I started another one. Then I thought, I kind of want to be an actual writer.
Carl, my husband, went away for like three days and he came back. I’m like “Surprise! I’m a business owner.” That was a year and a bit ago at the end of 2018. I bought the domain two days before New Year’s and was like “surprise!” It wasn’t this big thing. But it was definitely a journey from being at Uni and realizing that people can make money online, which is awesome. And then by the time I finished my degree, I remember visiting home and we were up there visiting people and everyone spoke about work and hated their jobs. Everybody would say, “Oh my gosh, I can’t wait for the weekend. Blah, blah, blah, I hate my job.” Which made me think, oh my god, everyone hates their lives. I’m just finishing at Uni and starting to apply for jobs in politics and I remember thinking, “I can’t do this,” just looking around the table. People hated their jobs even though they just finished uni.
In my last semester, I had this really cool sociology teacher. And we were talking about the future of business in New Zealand and the future economy and all that stuff. And he said that, in general, people don’t get a happy work-life balance until they’re about 50. And you know what, I said, “Fuck that. I want to be happy.”
Elley: We need to think about the fact that you don’t really get to achieve that like work life like balance, which is all that everyone strives for. I’m like, 50 years old. No, thank you! That’s why I always hate when people say that you have to go to school, go to university, then get a shitty job and work your way up. And then hopefully at age 75, you can retire. I would like to retire at 50 and just a life of luxury. Like, I don’t want to achieve work-life balance when I’m at the end of my career.
Like once your kids have moved out, then you can do whatever you want? Oh my god. Like no, sorry. It’s not happening. Glad we’re on the same page.
Lucy: I know. And by then Carl was already a personal trainer. So, he had incredible work-life balance anyway, because he trained in the morning and then it had the whole day off. He trained a few people at night and already had that kind of balance.
Elley: That’s such a fun start to your business. Getting into it after having the travel blog and kind of easing your way in. Then just being like, “Well, okay, I’m a business owner.”
So, I wonder if we can look at that stage of you going full time in your business? I know you said that you were a business owner now but were you working your day job then? And then down the track when you went full time and quit your day job, what was that part of your business journey like? What did it look like when you went full time? How did it feel?
Lucy: So we’re talking, gosh, like October. It was this crazy time to finish my job. I had my 25th birthday. Then I told myself and now everything is gonna be amazing. But it wasn’t and that’s okay.
We’re still in the aftermath of that.
So, I had a part-time job most of last year. And I had a lot of people around me who thought my leap into entrepreneurship with a part-time job was awesome. My mother-in-law had to work in a health shop before she started her business and was working retail while she was building her business up. So, I had all these really positive people saying, “You just make it work,” right?
And I think if it means that you can keep investing and growing your business without going insane, it’s not a bad thing to have a part-time business. I got paid really well in my part-time job and I only worked about 16 hours a week and the rest of my time I could do whatever I wanted to do. So, it’s kind of like you’re not failing, if it means that you can invest. You know, pay your rent and not go crazy. If you can’t pay your rent then it’s not the time to quit your part-time job. Do what you need to do.
Elley: I actually recorded a podcast episode on that saying it’s really important that when you are in that stage to be smart about it. You should stay in a part-time job and say that I’m gonna wait until I am making enough from the business to go full time because as much as it’s so exciting to go full time, it’s also a pretty big step. To take the actual leap is like “Holy shit. Now everything is on me.”
Lucy: Especially like being married. It was suddenly on both of us. Like it’s like this affects me as well, you know?
I always called my part-time business my side hustle. But in terms of going full time, my goal was to be full time by the end of last year. I got to August I was like, “Well, shit, I’m not going to do it by myself.” I was continuing the same way, which is when I started looking for a coach. But honestly, in the months leading up to that, in June or July, I’d get to work and drink 10 cups of coffee. Then I remember sitting at the computer and thinking there’s only so much coffee you can drink before you realize you absolutely hate what you do. That’s when I decided it might be time to pull up my socks and just do it. So, yeah, I was pretty lucky, obviously having a job I could put the money away. Then I said that “I’m just gonna do it,” and then you just make it.
Elley: Exactly and there’s nothing like a situation where you go, “Holy shit, I’m clearly unhappy in this job I clearly want to go full time in my business.” And people sit around and go “oh, and I gotta wait for the right time.” The right time does not exist, so taking the leap before you’re ready is actually taking the leap when you’re ready because you’re never gonna be ready. No one’s ever ready to do it.
Lucy: Yeah, and I have a terrible tendency of just like doing things and then figuring it out later. I make the decision like “Oh, it will work out.” Whatever, you just put yourself up against the wall and then you do it, you know?
Elley: Light that fire under your ass. Now, you’re like “Oh shit. Now I have to really go do it because it’s all on me. I have no job.”
I want to switch things up a bit. I want to talk a little bit about your zone of genius because as you mentioned before, you are a content writer. We all know that a big part of running a business is putting out free valuable content for our audiences. That’s how we nurture our audience, how we convert leads from a cold audience to a paid audience, and from to clients and customers. So, I wanted to talk a little bit about content creation, content writing, but more specifically about SEO because I know that some of the ladies that listen to the podcast are new to this. They might be podcasting or maybe they have a blog, but they’re new to the idea of content writing. I wondered if you could give those people some tips that want to know where to start, let’s say, specifically with a blog? Where do they need to start when it comes to starting a blog and making sure that they’re actually putting some effort into SEO?
Lucy: All content starts about the same. We have to ask your audience what they need. It’s answering questions and that way if you have a bit of an audience, doing keyword research on Google and Pinterest is usually where you should start. By figuring out what questions people are asking and then answering in a way that people are asking.
So, you can’t just say this is an interesting topic, and not do the research. If people aren’t actually asking in that way, they’re never going to find you. So, learning how to do keyword research is really important. You have to speak to the person and make it for people. It still has to be something that people need or that they actually are interested in.
And then, I think on top of that is being niched down enough. I only just niched down again, and I’ve been told for like a year and a half now to niche down more. It’s good to have really specific topics like one big topic in the middle that’s like really long, like a 3000-word blog post and then little posts that go off it. And it’s really important to link things, as it makes things a bit easier. So, having a niche and then it might feel like you’re gonna run out of content, but you can have really similar posts and it’s going to help Google understand what your website’s all about.
Elley: What’s it called?
Lucy: Latent Semantic Indexing. So, it’s really similar keywords. It’s really important to have more than one keyword; you have to connect everything.
Elley: So, for those people who want a recap, who were like “Shit, what?” You’ll want to niche down and use keyword research through Pinterest and Google Keywords.
Lucy: I have a blog post on how to access Google Keywords because it usually wants to make you pay but I have a way to get around that for free.
Elley: Lucy’s website is linked in the show notes. So, keywords, making sure that you niche down. Also not only speaking to a specific audience, like you said, but actually using the phrases and answering the questions in the way that they’re actually asking the questions not just coming up with.
I’m curious to know if someone has a podcast like me or they want to start a podcast, but they’ve heard that they need to have a blog alongside that. I’d love your opinion on that. I know there’s a lot of people that say you should, there’s a lot of people that say you shouldn’t. I just want to know, what’s your honest truth. Do you think you should have a blog besides a podcast?
Lucy: Obviously I’m a little bit biased is that it’s My name currently. I mean, there are a lot of positives for having that written content because there’s a lot of people that don’t listen to podcast like, I know they’re blowing up and stuff, but there will be a lot of people in your audience who just want the stuff and I want to read the stuff. Yeah. Yeah. So I am obviously biased. But I still think that written content still really important both for SEO and your audience. And so you’re, it’s more coming the other way. So it’s not for people listening to the podcast that needed it’s for people that are coming into your audience, and they kind of want to try before they buy. Yeah. And so they want to read it without having to listen to the whole podcast and see, yeah, people are in a hurry and they don’t care like so you’re missing out on this huge chunk of people that don’t have time or don’t want to listen, they just want the information. Definitely, especially coming from Pinterest, because if you are blogging, you need Pinterest basically like, just don’t find any of us on there. Like you need to look into Pinterest. It’s amazing. So many people still don’t understand how incredible it is. It’s just so much passive traffic and it’s amazing. But if people come in from Pinterest, and it’s a podcast instead of a blog post your bounce rates gonna go way up.
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