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Blogging - what's the point and how do I get started?
Episode 85th May 2022 • Wedding Pros who are ready to grow - with Becca Pountney • Becca Pountney
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Today I'm talking about why blogging is still an important marketing tactic for your wedding business!

I am going to be sharing why I think blogging matters for wedding business owners and venues just like you and I'm also going to be sharing some top tips to help make the whole process easier for you to get going with.

If you or your venue would be interested in a more in-depth 2 hour interactive blogging workshop with me, just get in touch!

Email: becca@beccapountney.com

Want to meet other likeminded wedding pro's so that you can share ideas, network and help each other out? Then why not go ahead and join my free Wedding Pro community over on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/weddingprosreadytogrow/


Find out more about how I can help you grow your wedding business over on my website or Instagram page:

www.beccapountney.com

www.instagram.com/beccapountney

Transcripts

Becca:

When I mention blogging, some of you are going to say it

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all feels like too much work, kind of complicated, and you might even

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think what on earth is the point.

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Well, if that's you, then I encourage you to keep on listening.

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As in today's episode, I'm going to be sharing why I think blogging still

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matters in your wedding business or.

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And I'm going to share my tips with you to make it all so much simpler.

Becca:

I'm Becca Pountney, wedding, business, marketing, expert, speaker, and blogger.

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And you're listening to the wedding pros who are ready to grow podcast.

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I'm here to share with you actionable tips, strategies, and real life

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examples to help you take your wedding business to the next level.

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If you are an ambitious wedding business owner that wants to take your passion

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and use it to build a profitable, sustainable business, doing what

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you love, then you're in the right.

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Let's get going with today's episode.

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When it comes to blogging, I'm probably a little bit biased as since 2016,

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I've run my own award-winning wedding blog, vicinity, weddings, and I've

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taught blogging workshops to venues and wedding pros up and down the country.

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But let me start by showing you my five reasons that I believe blogging is still

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something you really should be paying attention to in your wedding business or.

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There are two main ways that you could be blogging in your business, either

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on your own website or as a guest blog on other people's websites or

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wedding blogs, like Vicinity weddings.

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In today's episode, we're going to be mostly focusing on your own website and

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the benefits to your wedding or venue by putting blog posts on your website.

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Now for star, I don't really like the word blogging.

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I think it makes it sound like it's something really complicated that

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we've really got to understand really it's just adding content or articles

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to your website on a regular basis.

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So stop worrying about the word blogging, and let's just think about

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what it really is practically, which is updating your website regularly.

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So reason number one, why blogging matters is for SEO.

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Google doesn't really like static websites.

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So you go all out, you make your wedding business or wedding venue

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website, and it's all looking great.

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And what often happens is we spend a lot of time making the

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website and then it just sits there for the next couple of years.

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We don't often update it.

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Perhaps we might update it with extra images or change our prices,

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but we're not regularly updating it.

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Now Google doesn't like this, as I just said, it likes to see the

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websites are still active, is going to help you in the search.

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If you're regularly adding new content and changing things on your website.

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Now we don't have loads of time.

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Do we to do that all of the time on all of the content, and this is where

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blogging can really help you, because if you add new articles to a page on

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your website every single month, or even once every quarter, you're automatically

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telling Google, look, I still exist.

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I'm updating, I've got fresh content.

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I'm still relevant to people.

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So make sure I'm being found in the search.

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So that's the first reason is it's a way.

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Add things regularly to your website, so that Google keeps on finding

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you and knowing that your relevant.

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The second reason blogging can make a massive difference in your

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business is because it can help you be found for multiple search terms.

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Now, again, when you first build your website, you'll probably if you've

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worked on SEO and if you haven't, we'll get a podcast episode on it

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soon, you're probably going to have some keywords you want to be found

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for, for example, you might want to be found for Hampshire wedding, DJ.

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Or Hampshire wedding photographer or Yorkshire wedding florist, and maybe

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your whole website has been built around those keywords that, you know,

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people are searching for to find you.

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However, there may be other more niche keywords that you also want to be

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found for, perhaps the names of venues, perhaps the types of work that you do,

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perhaps articles about how to pick a florist that you want to be found for.

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Now when you blog, you can write articles about these things so that people can find

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you on Google for different search terms.

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So for example, if you write a blog all about, uh, the perfect wedding

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florist for X venue, and you write all about how you've worked at that

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venue, maybe review the venue add pictures of your work at that venue.

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If people are searching Google for florist at X venue, Chances are

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that blog post is going to come up.

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Now, you won't be able to build your whole website around those keywords it's far

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too niche, but wouldn't it be great for someone to just find that blog post page

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and then book you off the back of it.

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So that's why adding these regular articles about different things with

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more specific keywords can be really helpful for helping you get found in

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Google for multiple search terms, not just those main keywords, which are

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going to point people to your homepage.

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The third reason why blogging or writing these articles is so helpful

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is because it positions you as an expert to your potential customers.

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Now, we all know that we need to be knowing, liking, and trusting

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people before we buy from them.

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And we're constantly trying to build that know like, and trust

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factor with our prospective couples so that they go ahead and book.

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Blog posts are a great way to show that you really know what you're talking about.

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Now, when we talk about blogging, we're not talking about writing a

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diary of what, what you're doing.

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We're talking about writing really helpful articles, which are going to

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help people in their wedding planning.

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Now if you've got some great resources on your website to help prospective

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couples in their wedding planning and in working with you, then

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that's a great way to show you know exactly what you're talking about.

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So for example, if you're a cake maker, perhaps you could have an article that

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you've written on your website about to how to choose what wedding cakes have.

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Size of guests numbers.

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I have no idea what size cake you need for 50 people or a hundred people.

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I've most couples don't either.

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So if you write an article, which is a really helpful guide for them,

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and you point them to it, when they contact you or you post it on your

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social media, it shows, you know exactly what you're talking about.

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And it positions you as the expert.

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The fourth reason why blogging is still so relevant to you and your wedding,

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business or venue is because it always gives you new content to share online.

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We all struggle sometimes with what we should be posting on our social media.

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And if that's you do go ahead and go back and listen to episode three,

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where I talk all about what you should be posting on your social

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media and give you loads of ideas.

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But blog posts are a great way to have new, fresh ideas

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to post to your social media.

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You're giving people another to come and visit your website too.

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When you're regularly writing articles, you can then turn

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that into social media posts.

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You can post about previous articles that you've written, which may be new

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audience members haven't seen yet.

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You can post extracts from your blog posts or point people to them.

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You've got new content that you can share on Pinterest, which is.

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Pinnable so it really helps your overall content and visibility strategy because

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you've got new content all the time.

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Now we want people to go to our website.

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Why?

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Because that's where people often buy from us.

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Social media is like the shop window, our websites like the inside of the shop.

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So we're always trying to attract people to go into our shop.

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Now, if someone's been following us for a while, they may have already gone to

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our website once and had a look around.

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If that content never changes, you're not giving people another reason to

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ever go back into your shop because they've already seen everything on offer.

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If you're writing these articles and writing new things that they're

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going to find helpful, you're basically enticing them back into

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your shop, back onto your website.

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So they've got a reason to buy from you.

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So it's a great way to get new content, to share online and

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to encourage people to click.

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And the fifth and final reason, I think articles and blog posts are great on

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your wedding business website or wedding venue website is it's a great way to

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build working relationships with other wedding, business owners and other venues.

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Also other wedding industry experts such as myself, because you've got

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a platform that they can write for.

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You can ask people, do you want to be featured on my website?

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I've got a blog on my website.

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I'd love to review you, or I'd love you to write an article for it.

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Perhaps I could review a wedding venue or perhaps I could ask Becca

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to write an article for my wedding blog so that she shares it on her

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social media it's a great way for you to build working relationships with

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different people, because you've got a.

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Give them otherwise.

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Yes, you can give them a shout out on social media, but you can't

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do anything much more than that.

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It also is a way to get around if you don't want to have lots and lots

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of different recommended suppliers listed on your website, where you

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can invite ones you want to, to write articles for your site, that you

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can then post and send your couples.

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So now, you know, that blogging really does matter.

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I'm going to share with you some really actionable tips to

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help make it easier for you.

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You may want to grab a pen for this bit, or if you're driving,

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maybe just mentally make a note.

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And as soon as you get home scribble some of these things down, or of course you

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can always go back and listen again, if you could put up with my voice that is.

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So the first thing is knowing exactly who you're speaking to.

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Hopefully, you know this already, hopefully you already have an ideal

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client profile in mind, but if you don't spend some time thinking about

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who your business is speaking to, who is it that you're trying to reach?

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What kind of couple are you wanting to reach out to?

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Don't turn around to me and say all couples all brides and grooms.

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I want to speak to everyone because speaking to everyone basically

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means you're speaking to nobody.

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So narrow it down.

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Think about the kind of person that you want to be speaking to.

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What kind of wedding are they going to be having?

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Are they going to be getting married in a Barn or in a luxury Manor

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house or are they going for a more boho theme or a vintage theme?

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What kind of jobs do they have?

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What kind of life stage do they are?

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Kind of get a really good picture in your mind about who your ideal customer

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is so that when you start thinking about writing these articles, writing

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these blogs, You can think about that person and think would whoever

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you want to name them, read this.

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So for example, if you decide that your ideal bride is called

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Anna, she works in London.

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She has a high paid corporate job.

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She's a high spend client, she hasn't got a huge amount of time.

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Uh, she wants to, uh, get married out in the countryside.

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Uh, but she does love thinking and looking at ideas for weddings.

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Well, what would you write?

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Interesting to Anna.

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Every time you write something, you need to think about Anna,

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and think, would she read this?

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Maybe it's ways to save time on your wedding planning.

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Maybe it's reasons to get married in the countryside, or maybe it's why

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you should book a wedding planner to save time on your wedding planning.

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I don't know who your ideal customer is, but give them a name.

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Work out what they're like.

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And every time you sit down to write an article or a blog post

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think, would that person be interested to click and read this?

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And if the answer's no, maybe think of a better idea.

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The second tip is going to answer the question that I know loads of

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you are going to be sitting there thinking, which is this, how on

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earth do I know what to write?

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No, one's interested in hearing from me.

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I don't know what to talk about.

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Help.

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I've got a few things to help you think this through.

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Now, the first thing to note is that a blog post is not a diary.

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If you've listened to my episode about the mistakes I made in my own business,

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you'll have heard me talking about this, how I thought it was a diary I had

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to update people on the wedding shows I'd been out or what we'd been doing.

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And to be honest, that's just incredibly boring.

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And no one wants to read that.

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So you don't need to write a diary.

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So it doesn't matter if you haven't got much going on in your business.

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Or if you're brand new to the wedding industry, what matters is,

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you know, what you're talking about and can show that you're the expert.

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So instead of thinking like a diary, what should we be thinking about?

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The best place to start is with frequently asked questions.

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Remember you're the expert at whatever it is that you do, and your couples

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are not, they get engaged and suddenly they're expected to become this

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wedding planner that understands cakes and flowers and venue styling and

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all sorts of different things, but they really don't know what they're

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doing and you can be there to help.

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So, what do you know that they don't?

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What questions do you get asked all the time in your business?

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We talked earlier about things like the size of the cake.

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Perhaps they ask how soon they should book something or how they choose someone

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or what questions they should ask when they're looking for a photographer.

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Perhaps, they're asking questions about practical aspects of the day, the timings,

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where people should sit at the top table.

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Um, how you change your name, how you actually resgister for marriage.

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I don't know what your ideal customers are asking you, but if you can work

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out what they're asking, well, that probably means lots and lots of other

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people are asking those questions too.

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And therefore it's well worth you writing an article to show that

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you're the expert in that subject.

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So just take one question at a time and turn that question into an article,

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so say for example, we say five ways to choose your wedding photographer,

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and then you can do a little intro, give your five ways for them to

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choose their wedding photographer.

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A little outro, obviously with some kind of call to action.

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If you're the photographer to book a consultation or book a call or whatever

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it is that you want them to do next, and that's your blog post done, you see

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it doesn't have to be that difficult.

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Now, the other great reason for doing these FAQ type blog posts is if people

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ask you the same questions all the time, you can start sending them these

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articles because they're already written either in response to their questions, or

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even before they even ask the questions to say, If you're wondering what size

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your wedding cake should be, or you're wondering, how to keep your flowers fresh.

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Then I've already written an article all about that, that you

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can save bookmark and read later.

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So frequently asked questions are the best place to start.

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The other thing that I know loads of you are probably sitting on and not

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doing a lot with are styled shoots.

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If you're new to the industry, a styled shoot is where lots and lots

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of different wedding business owners get together and create a photo

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shoot, uh, and so that they can all use the images for their own content.

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Maybe they can try and get it.

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But you could also use them in a blog post.

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Now you should be writing a blog post about every style

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shoot that you've been part of.

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It's great content.

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There should be some words that you can write to describe

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your part in the shoot as well.

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You make sure that you credit everyone that was involved of course,

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but it's a great way to get your style shoot onto your own website.

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Even if you weren't the shoot organizer, as long as.

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Bound by any, uh, magazine exclusive type things.

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So check with the shoe organizer before you do it.

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But if you've got styled shoots in your back catalog, that's

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another great place to start.

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Now.

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I would be naming the articles around the colors or the theming of the

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wedding shoot that you've done so that people can find you in Google.

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So look at the images you've created.

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Think what would people be searching for to find images like

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this and then call your blog.

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That's so styled shoots are great thing to add onto your.

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The other thing is to do reviews.

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So reviews of venues, reviews with other suppliers you've worked with

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or interviews and guest articles.

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So we already talked about guest articles, but just ask people you

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work with, whether you can interview them for your blog, whether you

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can, um, Write a review about them.

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If you've worked with them closely, ask them to give you some images.

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I love interviews because that's a really simple way that you can do an

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article without spending a lot of time.

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So if you set up some kind of Google form that you can send out to people

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that you work with, where they.

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All the answers to the questions ahead of time.

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Ask them to send you the imagery and their links.

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Then basically all you need to do is copy and paste that information into an article

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add their images, and it's ready to go.

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It's low effort, but it's also great for building relationships and

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they will often share it on their social media platforms as well.

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So interviews are a super quick way to get some articles and blog posts.

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Your website.

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So to recap, if you don't know what on earth to write, remember it's not a diary.

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You don't need to talk about yourself and what you've been doing.

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That's boring.

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Instead.

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Think about those frequently asked questions that you're asked all the

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time, look in your back catalog.

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If you've got style shoots, write reviews of venues or other suppliers you've

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worked with, or ask people to write guest articles, or like I said, the simplest

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way, get them to do an interview where you just need to copy and paste there anwers.

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Okay.

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My third tip is for you.

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If you just think, I really struggle with writing, this feels really hard.

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I'm not great with writing.

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I'd much rather be out there doing something creative rather than behind a

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desk and writing some kind of article.

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I'm not a writer.

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I'm not good enough.

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Well, I want to say to you, I believe you are absolutely good enough to

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get a blog post on your website, but I understand that not everyone

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is super confident with this.

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So if that's you, here's some things that might help you first up.

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Don't try and be a perfectionist.

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You're not trying to be a professional writer.

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You're just trying to get some really helpful information up onto

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your website to help your couples.

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See it that way.

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Think, is this going to be helpful for people?

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If it is it's worth me putting it down on paper.

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I often read my blog posts aloud.

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If I'm worried that my writing doesn't sound great, because if it's readable

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out loud and make sense, then you know, you're onto a winner or get someone else

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to proofread it or check it for you.

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If you're not confident in.

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Another thing that you can do, which I do sometimes is you can actually dictate your

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blog post into your phone or your laptop.

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So if you use a laptop and use word, there's a dictation button on there,

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little microphone, symbol, you can click that and you can just speak what's

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in your mind, what you want to write about, and it will type it for you.

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Obviously you need to go back through and edit it, but it will save you that

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time of sitting down at your computer and trying to put pen to paper.

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If you're better at just speaking and talking about things then dictate.

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You can also do that on your phone.

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If you've got an iPhone, uh, go into the notes app and again, on the keyboard,

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there's a little microphone symbol.

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You can just hit that microphone symbol and start talking into your

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phone and it will dictate it, copy and paste it, email it to yourself.

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And then you've got the start of a blog post.

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Often I do this.

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If ideas suddenly come to me and I want to get them down on paper

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quickly it's very fast to just open up your phone app, hit that microphone

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button and start speaking into it.

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So dictations another great.

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As we've already talked about, you can always get those guest articles or those

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interview posts, because then someone else is doing a lot of the writing for you.

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But it's sitting on your website, getting you the SEO benefits, showing

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that you have good connections and know what you're talking about.

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Or if you really think you don't have the time for this, but you

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can see it's important, then consider hiring someone to do it.

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I've got a great, uh, freelancer that works for me.

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She's amazing.

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I know she would, uh, have some space to take on other work.

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So do reach out to me.

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If you're looking for someone to write your blog post, but there's loads of

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people out there that you can write, you can ask to write your blog posts for you.

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You can pay them per blog, post or per hour.

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Or if you don't want to go for professional blog writer, you just want

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someone that knows what they're doing.

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Why don't you ask around in your family, perhaps you've got a cousin that's

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a student and is looking for some extra cash and it can happily write

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down some blog, post ideas for you.

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If you give them the information, they'll happily put it together

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in an article, or they can do some research and write something.

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Perhaps it's just, you don't have time for the formatting.

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So you can pay someone again someone you know for a couple of hours to just

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take those interviews that we talked about earlier and format them on your

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website onto a blog page or an article page and get them onto there as well.

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So consider hiring someone if you really, really don't want to do it.

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If you can see the benefits, then try and take away that confidence

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issue and find a way to fix it.

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Whether that's taking away the perfectionism dictating it,

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using guest posts or hiring.

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Okay.

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The next question, I know that some of you are going to be asking is, well,

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how often should I be doing this?

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Because I'm super busy Becca and I don't have time to add loads

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of extra stuff into my business.

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I totally get it.

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I know that we're busy and this is where batching can really help it.

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Doesn't have to be that often.

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Okay.

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You need to think about your own time and how much you think you can manage.

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Now for some of you, you may have quite a lot of space and

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be able to manage once a week.

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For me, I don't think anymore that I would be able to manage that on a new website.

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It may be that it's much more manageable to you to just do once a month.

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Now, when you think about it, that's only 12 articles a year.

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If you get half of them as guest articles, that's actually only six articles

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a year for you to actually write.

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And that will be in your updating your website.

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Every single month, all the way through the year, you've got new

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content to share on social media.

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You got new things to talk about and you're showing you're the expert.

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So once a month, I think is a great amount.

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If you can manage more of that, amazing.

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If you can't even manage that, then go for once every two months,

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but try and do it once a month.

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Now as well as saying you're going to do it once a month.

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I think it's really helpful to make it like an episode.

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Think about like TV episodes.

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They always come out at the same time on the same day of the week and you know,

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to make an appointment to watch them well, unless you are going to do it on.

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Do the same with your blog posts.

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So if you decide you're going to blog once a month, consider doing it on the

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first Saturday of the month or on the first of every month, so that, you know,

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when your blog post needs to be done by, and you can set yourself a deadline.

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If you write out the date somewhere of all the blog posts

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you're going to do over the next.

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Write out the 1st of January, 1st of February, 1st of March or whatever

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you decide, and then start writing your ideas of each one next to them.

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You can start getting those blog posts done.

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Now, like I said, this is where batching can really help because

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you could maybe sit down for a day and write all six blog posts.

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So then it's done for the next six months.

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So you don't have to even think about it other than sharing it on social media.

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So try and be consistent with your strategy.

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I think once a month is absolutely fine.

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If you're a wedding business or wedding venue, Make sure that episodic though.

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So decide when you're going to release them the first of the

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month the first Saturday of the month, whatever it is for you.

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And then you can shout about it.

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Yay.

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It's the first of the month our new blog, post is out and this

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month it's all about X, Y, Z.

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So it's not about doing it all the time.

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It doesn't have to take loads of time.

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Just think 12 articles is a whole year's worth of content that you can

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use it's going to be good for your SEO is going to be good for your Pinterest

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going to be good for your social media.

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And it's going to be good for showing that, you know what you're talking.

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Okay.

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So we know who we're speaking to.

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We know what we're going to write.

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We know how we're going to do it, even if we're struggling and we know

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how often we're going to do it, we also know why we should be doing it.

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So I'm hoping you're now feeling fired up to get started.

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And I'm going to just share a couple of final tips before I finish.

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Tip number one, the most important part of any blog post.

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Is the title, the most important part of any blog post is the title.

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The title is what's going to make someone decide whether

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or not they read the article.

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The title is going to be, what's found first in Google.

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The title is going to be what you make on a graphic to put on Pinterest, to

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try and encourage people to click.

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The title needs to be enticing.

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It needs to be catchy.

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It needs to be clickable.

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Just think when you're scrolling through your own Facebook and you're looking for

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things to do, because you're just looking up and down this Facebook feed, you will

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see articles popping up all the time.

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Think about the ones that you actually stop on and click on.

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What makes you stop?

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What makes you click?

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What is it that you want to find out about?

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What is it that makes it so catchy and appealing that you

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need to click to find out more?

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That is why the title is the most important.

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Once you've got that click, they're invested, then you're going to get

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them to read the rest of the article.

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But that click is the most important thing.

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If the title doesn't do anything to excite them, they will never click on it.

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And therefore they'll never read it.

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So remember, the title is the most important part.

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Think like your customer, think what they'd be interested to click on

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and think what you'd be interested to click on yourself and make it.

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The second tip for you.

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And this is a really important one is to make sure that

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your content is all original.

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Now, what I mean by that is if you guest blog for someone else, don't copy and

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paste it and put it on your website too.

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If Google sees the same wording in different places and you haven't done

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something technical to tell them why.

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And most of us don't have the time to do that.

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Google's going to see it as plagiarism.

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And if they think you're plagiarizing your own content or someone else's content,

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they're going to penalize you for that.

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So obviously Google just sees matching words and assumes this plagiarism.

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They don't know it's you both times.

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So if you are going to have an article somewhere else first and then

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put it on your website, make sure you've rewritten it enough so that it

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doesn't look like it's plagiarized.

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And it's not exactly the same article, whatever happens.

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Don't just copy and paste all the wording.

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The same is true if someone writes a guest article for you, just make

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sure it's original, make sure they haven't added it somewhere else.

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First, make sure that you are the original person getting it, or if it's been used

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somewhere before that it's been reworded enough so that it's not plagiarism.

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So it's really important to make sure all your content is.

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And well, we're talking about those legal things.

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Make sure if you're using images that you're using images, you're

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allowed to use please don't go to Google search and find images.

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That's copyright.

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You're not allowed to do it.

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You either need to ask permission from a photographer or someone, you know, to

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use their images and make sure you credit them, or you need to go to a rights free

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image site, something like Unsplash or Pixabay where you can use their images.

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On your blog posts.

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What you can't do is just go to Google search and add an image.

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And you can't just say credited from Pinterest, because that is

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also just stealing someone's work.

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If you do come across an image that you like on Pinterest or reach out to the

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original owner of the image and ask them.

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Would you be happy for me to add this to my blog post?

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If I credit you and can you send me the original file?

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Most of them will be happy to help, but obviously that's additional

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work for you, but please don't just go to Google and steal images.

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Now, the final thing that I need to share with you about these blog posts

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of these articles is once you've written them, please tell people about them.

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So often we put all the work into it.

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We write the article, we get the catchy headline, we've got the images.

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We're really happy with what we've done.

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We add it to our website and it just sits there and we don't tell anyone.

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If you've spent time doing this, you need to shout about it.

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Talk about it on Instagram, make a real about it.

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Make stories about it.

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Give people a reason to click on it.

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Talk about it on Facebook, post on LinkedIn, share it on Pinterest,

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email people and tell them about it.

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Email your potential brides and grooms and tell them about it.

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I don't know, shout about it.

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Absolutely everywhere and make sure people know that you've written

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it so they could go and read it.

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If they don't know about it, why they ever going to go and read?

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And don't forget when you've got a few of these blog posts under your belt.

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Then you can talk about the ones from a few weeks ago or a few months ago,

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and keep on resharing that content, the content is still relevant to your audience

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and new people might be seeing it.

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So you can talk about things that you wrote a year ago, two years ago,

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six months ago, and reshare them.

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If you never tell people to go and look at your content, people never will.

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So be confident and go out there and shout about.

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I hope you found that guide to blogging really, really helpful.

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Hopefully that's given you a real insight into why it's important

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and how to get started with it.

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Now I've thrown loads of information at you, but of course

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there's always more to learn.

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So if you do need more additional help reach out to me, or if you'd

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like to book me to run a workshop for your venue or for a group of

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your friends in the wedding industry just drop me a message on Instagram.

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Find me via my website and we can talk about running a two hour

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blogging workshop just for you to get you started in the meantime,

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hopefully you had a pen and paper.

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Hopefully you got some notes written down.

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And if you want to share your blog post so that I can have a look at

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them, drop me a message on Instagram.

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I'll see you next time.

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one thing I love about the wedding industry is the other amazing

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people you get to work with.

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If you want to meet like-minded wedding pros, just like you,

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then why not join my free.

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Wedding pros who are ready to come meet some new connections, hang out with

Becca:

me and hopefully learn some new things to just search for us on Facebook.

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