008: Niching down with Sara Dunn

In episode eight of Women in WP, we talk to Sara Dunn, web developer and SEO expert about going from generalist to specialist and all that goes along with it.


About Sara: Sara Dunn is founder and project lead at 11Web, a marketing agency offering WordPress website design and SEO. In 2018, she started a specialized business that offers SEO specifically for the wedding industry at SaraDoesSEO.com. She posts videos documenting her journey to niche down, become a recognized expert in her field, and do better work in less time at sara-dunn.com.

Find Sara: Website | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram

Women in WP | WordPress Podcast
Women in WP | WordPress Podcast
008: Niching down with Sara Dunn
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Show Notes

Places, people, and things discussed in this episode:

  • Custom Post Types – You can extend the amount of post types you have if you want to break things down into smaller categories. For example, if you want to have a section on Books.
  • Instagram – Big place to find people in the wedding industry.
  • Optimizing for Keywords – (also known as keyword research) is the act of researching, analyzing and selecting the best keywords to target to drive qualified traffic from search engines to your website.

Transcript

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Women in WP, a bimonthly podcast about women who blog, design, develop and more in the WordPress community.

Amy Masson:

Welcome to episode eight of Women in WP. I’m Amy Masson.

Tracy Apps:

I’m Tracy Apps.

Angela Bowman:

I’m Angela Bowman.

Amy Masson:

And our guest today is Sara Dunn, who runs a small remote agency building WordPress websites for clients. And she does SEO’s specifically for clients in the wedding industry. Welcome Sara.

Sara Dunn:

Hi women of WP. Thanks for having me on.

Tracy Apps:

We’re so glad to have you.

Amy Masson:

So excited you’re here. So the first question we ask all our guests is what was your path, your journey to WordPress?

Sara Dunn:

I love this question and it’s fun to hear everyone else’s journey because I feel like a lot of times it’s very similar. I am a refugee from another industry. I actually taught myself to code in junior high and I grew up in a family of computer programmers. So my parents met in college in computer science school and fell in love feeding cards into the old computer, they tell me. And I was convinced I was not going to work in technology. So I actually got an international business degree and started a wine importing company. And the most fun that I had at that company was actually making the website for it. So shortly after, someone I knew needed a website and I wasn’t really in love with what I was doing day to day so I jumped on it and I was like, “Let me figure it out. I made one, I taught myself to code, this WordPress thing can’t be that hard”.

Sara Dunn:

And so it took a lot of that struggle and figuring out, but I really loved every minute of figuring it out and Googling for every answer. And so after that, I got my project up and that person told someone else that I knew how to make websites. And it became a hobby and a little bit of a side hustle when I realized people would pay me for it. And eventually I had to decide if I was going to make websites full time and I decided to do that about six years ago. So that is my journey to WordPress.

Amy Masson:

Oh, that’s amazing.

Tracy Apps:

I wonder. So, you do all of these things, you focus on SEO and you taught yourself to code, as you do, right. What’s the breakdown of how much technical stuff do you do? How much SEO stuff you do and et cetera?

Sara Dunn:

Oh, these days it’s all very different. So when I started the business, it was literally me with a cell phone and a laptop going like, “I’ll make you a website. Will you pay me a hundred dollars? That would be swell”. It was just me, so I did sales, I did maintenance. I usually found a stock theme that I could customize for the client, eventually I learned enough to figure out a little bit more about how to maybe alter that theme a little bit in Photoshop or CSS to show them how customized it was. And then I would customize it myself for the client. To start with, I was figuring out everything and I quickly realized that I wasn’t the greatest designer or the greatest developer. So I’ve slowly brought on freelancers and other people to my team that can help me to do some of those things better.

Sara Dunn:

So I have a dedicated graphic designer who works with me, my small agency, and then we now sub out more complicated DEV work. So these days I would say business looks a lot different than it did on day one. I actually don’t do a lot of the actual website work for our clients beyond the strategy and the SEO for them, and I’d lead the project. But so these days I would say I’m doing SEO specifically, probably 50% of my time and the rest of the time I’m project managing, I’m answering emails, I’m making new sales, I’m writing content. My job has changed a lot and I’m always kind of looking for the new thing and finding the shiny object.

Tracy Apps:

And you say that your role has changed a lot, but from being a person that also has a wide skillset of things and have worked with people that don’t have that experience, you’re better suited to be able to know the possibilities. And I think that’s really great. You still end up using those skills, even if it is just that you can talk to a developer.

Sara Dunn:

Totally, right. I feel happy when I talk to [Matt 00:04:55] and I’m like, “I think this would really make the most sense as a custom post type, what do you think?” You try to use as much jargon as I can and make sure he knows that I’ve thought through things a little bit about the struggle he’s going to have with what I’m asking for. I definitely can appreciate having taken the time to learn at a very basic level, quite a lot of different things.

Tracy Apps:

Absolutely.

Angela Bowman:

And I was curious about you’re [nicheing 00:05:22] down. I hear that a lot, that that’s a good thing to do. But I imagine it takes some courage too, because when you’re that all purpose, then you’re like, “But I have all these clients and I can meet so many people’s needs”. I think there must be a fear, at least I project a fear onto that of, “But if I niche down that’s less”.

Sara Dunn:

Yes.

Angela Bowman:

And so talk to us about, it seems like that’s been really good for you. And so what is the benefit of that?

Sara Dunn:

So I would say that nicheing down has been a big part of my business journey over probably almost three years now. So I was about three years into my agency, I was doing mostly small local business work. I didn’t know a WordPress community existed. I was just out hustling here in Southwest Michigan, talking to anyone I could, going to all the chamber meetings, just trying to make as many connections as possible, which was great. But then I also felt like I was really coming up against a ceiling. How much could I really charge just working here? How much could I really charge and how would I be compared in my work if we were trying to do everything? We were doing e-commerce websites, we were doing lead generation websites, I was trying to do social media management and graphic design.

Sara Dunn:

And so it really was to a place about three years in, I was feeling really frustrated that we weren’t particularly experts at anything. And that had been kind of a great thing when I first got started, being able to figure out a lot of things and offer a lot of services just to figure out what was working. But I reached a certain level of frustration where I just felt like I couldn’t grow or do more just doing what I already was doing.

Sara Dunn:

So I stumbled on this idea of specialization. It’s really funny now when I look back, I realized I was asking questions about specialization on Carrie Dils’s podcast, OfficeHours, when it was still live. So this was at least three years ago, I didn’t even realize I was interested in it for that long, but it was about two years ago that I said, “I really got to figure this out. I love the idea of being an expert at something really specific. And I don’t know what that specific thing is, but I want to figure out what it is because I really could see how that could help you market and find the right clients and understand where you needed to be marketing and in what way”.

Sara Dunn:

I had no understanding of my target client whatsoever. It was literally like, “Do you need a website and do you have a wallet?, and then we will do it”, which is not a strong market position to have. So I was like, “I got a niche down”, but I really had no clue. And you’re right, I had a lot of fear about it too because when you think about nicheing down, when you’re doing that means you’re turning down a lot of work that doesn’t fit within whatever parameters you’ve decided are your niche.

Sara Dunn:

So I was afraid of turning down work. I was afraid of choosing the wrong thing. I was afraid that I would go down a path for a long time and waste a lot of time, but eventually I thought about it for so long and wasn’t getting anywhere. And I actually decided to start vlogging about it. So recording a weekly video and putting it on YouTube, just saying, “Here’s what I’m thinking, here’s what I’m trying to do. And is anyone else going through this? If anyone watches this and feels like me, please raise your hand because I am shriveling over here trying to figure this out all by myself”.

Sara Dunn:

It was weird. I felt like it was some sort of generalist island, either people were happy being generalists or they were already specialized and I didn’t know how to get over to where they were. So I was like, “Okay, I got to find some other people that feel like I do”. And thankfully through that process of weekly vlogging, I made a lot of connections with people who felt similarly, encouraged me, tried to point me in the right direction. Unfortunately it took months and months of weekly vlogging. So I think I must have like 20 vlogs or so where I’m just going, “Here’s something else I tried, to try to figure out my specialty”.

Sara Dunn:

So bless anyone who watched those, but eventually I did. I landed on doing SEO for the wedding industry. And it was kind of a chance thing where I met a wedding planner who needed help with the work. And I really, really loved it. And she immediately was like, “Can I refer you to someone else?”, and I was like, “Yeah, I guess so”. And so that’s where I landed over a year ago now. So, that’s been that journey.

Tracy Apps:

So when you started nicheing down, do you approach projects differently? Do you approach SEO differently? What are the changes, without giving all of the secrets away obviously?

Sara Dunn:

I have no secrets other than doing the right work and doing it the right way. And what’s really cool about doing this for a very specific market is that I look at this type of website now every single day. And not only do I look at my clients’ websites, but I spend a lot of time analyzing their competition who is doing really well. And I’m able to identify trends in ways that I don’t think would be possible if I was doing a website for a landscaper one day and SEO for a dentist. And then I was doing an email newsletter for an accounting firm. You just never get the depth of knowledge about a certain industry, the way their customer buys, the way their customer shops, and also where those clients hang out and get their information.

Sara Dunn:

So it’s fascinating to be able to do this kind of work and really zero in on what the process is for this type of client specifically. That’s what’s really cool about it for me.

Amy Masson:

That’s really interesting. You said you had a client that was a wedding planner, was that the only thing that guided you to the wedding industry or was there more to it?

Sara Dunn:

It’s funny, I’ve always loved weddings, I don’t know, hopeless romantic perhaps. But I remember shortly before I made the decision to work in the wedding industry, I was with my husband, we were at a wedding of great friends of ours and having an amazing time. And we were sitting there at the ceremony and I looked at him and I said, “I love weddings. I want to work in the wedding industry someday”. And it did not connect in my brain.

Sara Dunn:

My brain was like, “Someday, I’m going to stop doing this website stuff and I want to find a way to work in the wedding industry. I don’t know how”. I didn’t make that connection, that this was an industry I already fascinated in and could maybe do some marketing for. It really took that encounter with the wedding planner that I met in Chicago and doing that project before it was like, “Duh, how did I miss this? This is an industry that I love”.

Sara Dunn:

I remember spending hours when I was planning my own wedding, looking through wedding websites and just really enjoying that type of content. So it all just kind of aligned for me finally at the right moment. And what’s funny is I wish that there was a real process for how I had identified my specialization, people ask me now, “I’m interested in this specializing thing. So how did you decide and how do I know is what’s the right path for me?”, and I’m like, “I don’t have an A, B, C, D for you of where to go to figure that out. I think at some level, when you do the type of work, you really like, it’ll dawn on you that maybe you should try to look for more work like that, but that’s the best I got”. So. It’s been a little bit crazy.

Tracy Apps:

I think that’s a really key statement there because especially once you start. I notice the difference between when I create something that I care about and actually have an interest in versus things that I just do. And that whole mindset of, “Oh, you just work for now and you have fun when you retire”. That’s not the case anymore. Do what you love. So, that’s really great. Is most of your clients all word of mouth?

Sara Dunn:

So no, which is actually a shift from when I was doing all sorts of local work. So I pretty much relied on word of mouth when I was just a local generalist web agency. I got my clients by going to the chamber, going to Business Networking International, and just trying to get that word of mouth referral and make sure that someone said, “Hey, I know this person, this person has a website. I know Sara does websites”. That was what I needed because there wasn’t a lot of other way to get that local work other than maybe some local SEO. But now that I’m specialized in the wedding industry, it’s been really fun for me to find out that I can look for where these types of clients are actually getting their information and make sure that I’m there. So in addition to word of mouth, I’ve been able to write some really specific articles on my own specialized website.

Sara Dunn:

So I am getting a lot of clients through Google searches, which makes sense. I would hope if I was doing SEO, they would find me through Google as well.

Tracy Apps:

One would think, yes.

Angela Bowman:

I would hope so. But also I was able to work with a wedding focused PR agency. So I found a specialist publicist who only works in weddings and she and I worked together for about six months and she put me everywhere. So I did tons of guest blogging, guest podcasting and some speaking arrangements. And it was just a really cool opportunity to make sure that I was where people were looking. And I never would’ve been able to do that if I was working with all sorts of industry. So finding me there, finding me on [inaudible 00:16:00], it’s really been all over the place and then social media a lot more than it used to be as well, because I know that this market is really big on Instagram.

Angela Bowman:

So I make sure that I’m really active there. That’s where they all are. I’m not as active on other platforms, which is fine because I know where the target client is already hanging out. So I’ve got a lot of business coming in different directions with which is different and new. And I like that a lot.

Amy Masson:

I want to go back to what you were saying about how specializing has allowed you to really learn so much more about your industry, that you’re able to do more for your clients and I love that. One question I would have is when you’re working with clients in the wedding industry, have you had an incident where somebody, a competitor of your client, has come to you and said, “Hey, I want you to do for me what you did for them”. And if so, how did you handle such a situation?

Sara Dunn:

That’s a question I’ve gotten a lot about specializing, especially in SEO when there’s only so many ranking spaces on the first page of Google. It’s something that I don’t run into a lot because my clients are locally based. So I tend to do local SEO for them. I’m optimizing them to be found for wedding planner in whatever city they work in, or local terms to where they are. So it’s not as prominent as you might think, just because I’ve worked with 40 businesses in the wedding industry. Most of the time they don’t compete. When they do, it’s something that I definitely transparently talk about with the client, but a lot of my projects are one off. So I’m doing a lot of audits and training sessions and the client is actually often carrying out the work of the SEO.

Sara Dunn:

So I consider the fact that I am arming everyone with the same skills and where they take it. And if they do the work is really on them in a lot of cases. And that’s only different for me, if I’m doing an ongoing project with someone who’s optimizing for very specific keywords, I tend not to take another client if I do have someone at that level, but it really doesn’t come up very often.

Amy Masson:

Well, that’s really interesting. I hadn’t considered that it’s all within certain cities or locals, so that does make a difference. I’ve had a few incidents where people have come to me and say, “Hey, I keep seeing this guy everywhere and you were the one that did it. Can you do the same for me?”, and I would say, “No”. Because I just felt like it was a conflict, at least in the same city or if you’re doing national, then it’s a different ballgame altogether.

Sara Dunn:

Yeah. I think it’s definitely something you have to talk through and just think about what feels good for your integrity. And if the client has been really loyal to you and helped you out a lot, you might give them a little bit more preference than you might give someone else. And I think you get to choose that because you’re a business owner and it’s your business. And one of the reasons you do it is to have control of who you work with and how those things work.

Angela Bowman:

So I teach an SEO class, [crosstalk 00:19:07] it’s three hours. One part is where I just talk about, what is SEO and how do you create that really great content that can rank? And then the second part is all the lovers, buttons, dials, you can pull with the Yoast SEO plugins. The first part is very conceptual, the second part is very technical SEO. And in that first part though, the reason I started teaching that, even though I didn’t feel like I was an SEO expert, someone needed to explain to people what content, how to write it. That you can’t rank for things that people aren’t searching for, that you need to have the words on your site that people are searching for. Because they’re not going to find you if you, if they don’t have that.

Angela Bowman:

But the biggest challenge I see in trying to convey all this to people is writing is hard and it takes a lot of effort. You have to look at your ROI, your return on investment. If I’m going to put this many hours into developing this content, am I going to get back what I put into it? And so in working, I mean, this is a general SEO question, but I’d love to hear from your words, working with your niche, what advice do you give to people on writing and how long of content they should write and how much they should write and are they able to do it practically speaking?

Sara Dunn:

Yes. Well, that’s totally something I hear all the time, especially because most of the people I work with now are very creative. So they got into wedding planning or photography because they’re visually very creative, but they don’t particularly like anything technical. And a lot of them don’t like writing. So it’s always like, “Oh, do I really have to create content to rank on Google and to do SEO?”. And the answer is almost always yes. Unless you’re in a very uncompetitive of market, you do need to be creating content on a regular basis. So what’s great though, is I’m able to look at a lot of Google analytics results and we see that traffic doesn’t just come from Google when you create a blog post, especially in this industry, I see it time and time again, when someone writes a blog post and they share it on social media, we always see a huge spike in their traffic for the day.

Sara Dunn:

So it’s really creating a lot of traffic and visitors. You’re reminding people that you exist, they’re able to return to your website and see some of your other messaging. So there are a lot of values to creating content that goes beyond just for Search Engine Optimization. So those are things that I try to encourage them about all the benefits of content creation, not just the, “Well, if you put it up there maybe two years from now, Google will rank it really high and it will bring you traffic”. That’s not really exciting for anybody. The good thing about the wedding industry is as far as length of content, it’s not crazy competitive. So I always laugh because I’m like, “Well, at least you aren’t writing about SEO, where what you’re competing against is 2000 words long. You’ve gotten an advantage, all you need to do is probably about 500 words and that significantly more than your competitors are writing”.

Sara Dunn:

And that in a general SEO sense is just something to keep in mind about content creation. You have to look at what you’re up against and realize that you need to create something that’s better. And how much work is that going to take? If you’re lucky, it’s not very much because maybe it’s a question that hasn’t been answered very well on the internet yet. And there still are some of those questions out there and hopefully what you’re competing against, isn’t crazy high quality, and you can really bring something unique to it and serve the audience better with the content you create. I love that you asked this because this is one of the advantages of specializing that I’ve found. So I heard so many times, “I don’t want to blog, I don’t want to write, can you write for me?”. And I heard it so many times.

Sara Dunn:

I said, “I need to figure out how I can offer a blog writing service, because this is something that clients are looking me in the eye and asking for. So this must be something I can sell”. So actually just this month, I’m launching a blog for use subscription for the wedding industry only, where we write two wedding recap blog posts for them a month and then every quarter, a longer educational content piece. And I know it’s exactly what they need and I’ve got a worksheet that they fill out and then we’re able to create the content for them for an affordable price, because I know the output that we need to create and it’s going to be fairly repetitive, even though the events are all different.

Angela Bowman:

Will you be interviewing them to get their unique voice in there? So it’s not just generic, just their voice, their take, their personality?

Sara Dunn:

Definitely. Yes. Especially in the onboarding. So we’ll get together some information about what they usually sound like, how professional they like to sound versus playful and fun. And then after that we’ll have that worksheet and we’ll be able to translate that brand voice into the right kind of content. And thankfully it doesn’t have to be crazy long or necessarily super creative to still stand out. So I think they’re going to get great value for what we’ve been able to charge.

Angela Bowman:

That’s fabulous.

Tracy Apps:

Dealing with, especially dealing with creative people, what do you say… Cause I am a creative person as well, but what do you say when people say like, “Well, my service is this knowledge, so if I’m putting that out on the internet in a blog for free, how do I benefit from that?”. What do you say to those kinds of comments?

Sara Dunn:

I think that’s a fabulous question. And thankfully I haven’t run into that a lot where people have actually felt like withholding information as trade secrets. It’s more, when I explain to someone how much knowledge they can convey to their potential clients and how much experience and expertise they can show through creating that content, that really tends to make sense. And in an industry where, someone plans their wedding and decides the next week, they’re starting a business as a wedding planner.

Sara Dunn:

Most of my clients are the more established planners that have been around five to 10 years. And so they know a lot of things that someone that’s just it last week, doesn’t have a clue about. And they need to find a way to impress that upon people that visit their site or get a referral or hear about them. It needs to be really clear because in this market, unfortunately, the barrier to entry is very low, actually a lot like creating online services, creating websites, doing online work for clients, you can just like I did, decide that you’re going to make a business out of it and start offering services to clients.

Sara Dunn:

And in the same way, now that I’ve been doing this for six years, you guys have all done this for a long time. We need to be able to show how we know more than someone that made their first website last week. So content is a great way to do that, whether it’s written or video or podcast or any sort of media.

Amy Masson:

And Tracy to add on to that, I’ve had that question from people, “Well, I don’t want to put that out there because somebody’s going to steal it”. And I say, “Well, everybody knows how to mow the lawn, but lawn services have not gone out of business”, because just because you know how to do it doesn’t mean you’re going to take the time and you’re going to want to do it. Which also [crosstalk 00:27:00]

Tracy Apps:

I like that analogy.

Amy Masson:

Which leads me to your comment about content creation and how I love that you found this opening. People need content, I can write content in this and created a way to create value for your clients and more income for you because I also see that from my own clients that the content creation tends to be a sticking point and I’m pairing them with writers. But you having that specific industry knowledge really gave you a leg up in that area.

Sara Dunn:

Yeah. And we’re going to be able to roll some SEO into it and upload it to their website, so I think it’ll be good. The other thing that I’m excited about is that one of my hit projects right now or major focuses is on recurring revenue. Really, really believe in recurring revenue over one-off projects and having recurring maintenance on all of the website projects that we’ve done for the last four years or so has really given me a platform, a base level of income to make this big shift in my business. So I see the value of recurring income. One of the reasons I’m excited about this blogging service is, it’s going to be subscription based. So paying every month and receiving a certain number of blog posts written. So I’m excited about that and just the way that’s going to be structured for business.

Angela Bowman:

I think you have so much wisdom that you’ve gained in such a short period of time. And I think it’s because you trusted your instinct and you really went for it and I think there’s a lot of confidence that has to happen with that to just trust yourself and roll with it. And yeah, there is so much expertise in wisdom you’ve gained in a short period of time and I’m wondering, do you have inclinations to want to share this with other people? I listened to you and I’m like, “Gosh, I just want to talk to you for like an hour by myself and have you tell me what my niche should be?”. Do you present anywhere, do you attend meetups? In what ways do you share this hard earned knowledge with other people who maybe need to follow in your footsteps a little bit?

Sara Dunn:

Oh, that’s so funny. I mean, like I said, I don’t have a particular method for it that I was able to identify. So I would just be like, “Oh, well Angela, what kind of work do you like doing? And you’ll just know when you find it”, which is not an answer that places anybody. But I have certainly done some speaking at word camps. And I’m thinking about maybe pitching topics around specializing or becoming an expert in something really specific. Word camps are my favorite place to speak.

Sara Dunn:

And Michigan, thankfully, has a lot of them. A really strong WordPress community that I really appreciate. So I think maybe something along those lines might be coming up soon, as well os SEO focus talks, which I really haven’t been confident enough to give for a long time. I’m really confident talking to people that don’t know anything about SEO, but to think about standing in front of a room of people like Amy, who do really well with SEO and work on the internet on a day to day basis. I’ve been really nervous to do that, but I’m thinking about some possible topics related to using the Yoast plugin and maybe finally breaking out into some SEO focus speaking at word camps and meetups as well.

Angela Bowman:

I think you’d do great. I would listen to you on WordPress TV.

Sara Dunn:

Thank you.

Amy Masson:

I’ve spoken at a couple of word camps, but I’ve never had the opportunity to go speak to people outside of our industry about the things I do. I really think I would enjoy that more because I have a lot more knowledge than they do on that topic and I feel like I could give them a lot more value than I can give to people that are already doing this.

Sara Dunn:

Yeah. Have you ever thought about speaking at a place where your target customers are?

Amy Masson:

I have, but I haven’t been able to find the opportunity to get myself in there. Have you done that? And if so, how have you done that?

Sara Dunn:

So I’m working on doing it more. So one of the very first things I did in actually exploring my niche in the wedding industry was to find local groups that were full of wedding professionals.

Sara Dunn:

There was a really good one that someone pointed me toward that’s called Tuesdays Together and Chapters all over the country. So I offered to go and just present to the local Chapter. And I met a lot of people there that gave me some great feedback on how to move forward in the industry, so that was super useful. Also, a couple clients came out of that very small group. So I am definitely working towards speaking more in the wedding industry specifically, I’ve got a couple speaking gigs and webinars and I actually got my first paid speaking gig, which I’m super nervous about, but I thought that was really cool. So yeah, speaking is definitely coming up.

Amy Masson:

Are you at liberty to tell us more about this paid speaking gig? Or is that something you need to keep on the download for now?

Sara Dunn:

Oh, it’s just a local Chapter of the wedding industry professionals that’s in Chicago, they bring in a speaker every quarter. So I’m going be their third quarter speaker and it was something that came out of both a personal connection and the wedding PR agency I hired. So I guess I never thought I’d get paid to speak somewhere, but I think that’s kind of cool.

Amy Masson:

Wow. That is amazing.

Angela Bowman:

That is so fabulous.

Tracy Apps:

Yeah, it’s great.

Amy Masson:

So I wanted to switch gears just a little bit and ask you, you and your husband have recently started a podcast and could you kind of go into how that came about and how that got started?

Sara Dunn:

Oh this question was unexpected. I’ve actually been hiding behind this a little bit because it wasn’t my idea. It was actually my husband’s idea. So he is actually really passionate about relationships and positive and intentional relationships, which is one of the things that I love about him. And he said to me about a year ago when we were having a really good in depth conversation about communication as a couple and budgeting, he was like, “We should start a podcast about this”.

Sara Dunn:

And I was just like, “No, I’m not getting on a microphone to give people relationship advice. I like you a lot, but I don’t think we’re special, are we?”. And so I just let that sink in for a long time and he kept bringing it back up and he kept bringing it back up and he wouldn’t let it go. And we actually had a couple friends of ours start asking us for advice. And he was like, “Look, we can do this”. So it was early this year, I think in January, we launched the podcast. I finally said yes and said, “You know what, let’s try it. Let’s podcast every week for six months and just see how it goes”. And so the Confident Couple’s Podcast is what we do now. We are releasing our eighth episode this week, I believe.

Sara Dunn:

And we’re just really enjoying the conversations and getting to think a little bit more intentionally about relationships and to encourage other people, especially young couples, newly-weds, to be more intentional in their relationships from the start.

Amy Masson:

And do you have an outline for what all your episodes, if you’re planning for six months, what they’re all going to be about and a schedule or you just wing it?

Sara Dunn:

So we actually, before we got started, I said, “This isn’t something that we’re going to just do a couple times when it feels convenient, if we’re going to do it, we need to commit to being consistent”. So one of the stipulations I gave him that I thought he would never reach, I said, “We need to come up with 50 episode ideas”. And if we can come up with 50 episode ideas, then maybe this is a realistic topic that could be a long term podcast.

Sara Dunn:

And so he started a shared note on his phone. I ended up thinking about it too and I got in on the note and I added some things and we came up with 50 ideas in just a couple months. So they’re not all scheduled out right now, but we do kind of look at the list and then schedule out the next five. And at this point we’ve gotten enough feedback about what people seem to be listening to and reacting to. We’re finding early on that the money conversations are really appealing to a lot of couples. So we just slotted in a couple more of those and we’ll be recording those and going live on Instagram during those recordings. So it’s been a fun experiment so far.

Amy Masson:

And I think it makes total sense that an SEO expert would demand consistency.

Sara Dunn:

That’s right.

Tracy Apps:

And content.

Angela Bowman:

And do you have a blog that goes with it? Do you do show notes or anything like that? Helpful links?

Sara Dunn:

Yes. Show notes for every episode, I would love to do more in depth writing about each episode, especially my SEO brain just sees a lot of advantages to that. Choosing a focus keyword and crafting some content that would help to attract more traffic. But the other thing I need to hold myself back from is making this a second job. I already feel like I run multiple businesses because I still have a lot of generalist website clients that we’re maintaining, plus I have an entirely separate website, brand, social media for all of my wedding SEO work. And now we’ve started Instagram separately for our podcast and a whole separate website. So I have to be really careful to hold myself back. I know the possibilities of what we could do and the type of website we could build, but I have to be really realistic with myself and my time and just make sure that I don’t over commit.

Amy Masson:

Well, speaking of time, we are running out of it. So before we go, can you tell all our listeners where they can find you online?

Sara Dunn:

Well, thank you. Yes, multiple places as we just talked about. So for anybody who’s in WordPress, I think probably the best place is sara-dun.com. That’s where I talk about nicheing down my agency and I would love to connect with anyone on Twitter. That’s where I talk about nerdy, geeky business stuff. And on Twitter, I am @Sara11D.

Amy Masson:

Awesome. Well thanks for being on today.

Sara Dunn:

Well thank you so much and thank you for what you’re doing with this. I think this is great for all of us women in WordPress and I really appreciate listening and being part of it.

Tracy Apps:

Thank you.

Angela Bowman:

I’m so inspired by what you’re doing. I just want to write down everything I do and make lists of what I like and don’t like, so thank you for sharing your enthusiasm.

Tracy Apps:

Thank you so much.

Speaker 1:

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