The WordPress Photography Podcast
The WordPress Photography Podcast
Episode 86 - How Chuck Norris Hired Me with Kylee Ann Maughan


Kylee Ann Maughan

Kylee started Kylee Ann Photography 8 years ago and has since grown from a one-woman amateur show to a full associate team. After a year of teaching Intro to Photography at the local technical college, she discovered that helping other entrepreneurs create thriving businesses is what fires her up! She hosts semi-annual Kylee Ann Sleepovers all over the US, speak at conferences and teach online courses.

Joke of the day:

Ever since buying a digital camera, I can only think of its positive points. There aren’t any negatives.

Tweet This

What we discuss:

  • How Kylee Booked Chuck Norris for the Day with A WordPress Blog
  • Why Kylee switched to ShowIt for her main website, and how she could have kept with WordPress as a solution.
  • Build A Successful Marketing Strategy through Consistent Blogging

Where to find Kylee:

Referenced Links:


Transcription was done by Temi.com which means it's an AI generated transcript. The transcript may contain spelling, grammar, and other errors, and is not a substitute for watching the video.

Scott: Ever since buying a digital camera, I can only think of its positive points. There aren’t any negatives. Welcome to episode 86 my name is Scott Wyden Kivowitz and I'm joined by my guest Kylee Ann. Welcome Kylee. I'm a, we've been trying to get you on so I'm glad you're on.

Kylee: Yes, I'm so glad. I'm sorry it took so long, but I don't think this works out best for both of us, so it should be fine.

Scott: Yeah, it does. Um, so Kylee started Kylee and photography eight years ago and has since grown from a one woman amateur show to a four associate team, which is really, really fantastic. After a year of teaching intro to photography at a local technical college, she discovered that helping other ex entrepreneurs create thriving businesses is what fires her up. She hosted semi-annual Kylee and fleet covers all over a, the u s speaks at conferences and teaches on blind courtship courses. Hi. Can't speak today. Um, so how do you like the new joke intro? I'm going to be toying around with doing these for the seasons. Season four of the podcast. A jokes like this, like the one you just heard are quite cheesy. And I think that, uh, when you talk about business and marketing and things like that, we need to lighten the mood with a good cheesy jokes on time. So if I want to hear what, what you as listeners think of the, the joke, uh, introduction and if you think we should stick with it, uh, if you have an idea for a joke just tweeted at us at emotionally and I will, uh, do my best to include it in one of the episodes. So, uh, Kylee, um, what is going on with you because, uh, while we've, we both been quite busy lately, so I'm, I want to know what's going on in your world.

Kylee: Well, while you are redoing your studio, my studio was getting finished, so I have been building a home the last year and we actually moved into it just this last month and I got to build a backyard studio. So it's just a little house. That's where I am right now in my backyard. And I shoot brands out here and I record podcasts out here. And it's been so much fun.

Scott: So you say it's a little house, is it, um, literally a house or is it like one of those sheds that looks like a house that you,

Kylee: it's not technically a house. It's like a miniature version of my house though. It has a bathroom, it has electricity, it has heating AC. So it's, I mean it's like kind of like a, you know, those like small air beam, it doesn't have a shower. So I feel like it could be an airbnb without a shower.

Scott: You can always do an out and outdoor should I work? Um, so, uh, you made it match your house, like fighting, roofing, all that stuff. It all matches.

Kylee: It all matches except for, it's called the bluff store studio. So the doors pink, my husband wouldn't let us paint the front door pink to match it. So besides that, it's completely like an identical mini house of my, my first Lee Frat House. So it's been fun.

Scott: So did you put in any garage style doors to bring in big items or is it just normal door, you know, to,

Kylee: no, so we have really tall, I guess for the Youtube people you can see this. We have really tall windows. Oh yeah, you're out the back. So it's like a whole wall of windows on that side. And then over here it's just a big white wall, 13 feet, no outlets, which is the best because we hate photoshopping out heads. So, and then I have a pink wall. I'm, if you can't tell pink's kind of my color. So lots of pink going on in here. It's been good

Scott: just to geek out on, on, uh, you know, home studio is a bit, uh, what did you do for your floor? Speaking of, uh, water dropping on the floor?

Kylee: Yes, it's a light laminate, just like a light cream color, which is super nice because it's really good for flat lays, but then it's really light, so it doesn't like to strike. I used to have a gray in my home studio and so it was a little darker, so I liked that. It's like a light laminate. It's good. And I've caught or rugs all over too. Good.

Scott: Good. Yeah. So when I, uh, as everybody heard in the last episode of last season have last season, uh, I had a flood in my home studio, so I had to Redo my, my, uh, my entire home studio, the walls, the floor, got rid of carpet and I now have a vinyl laminate that is gray. It's like sort of like that dirty gray, so, oh, nice. It's beautiful. It, you can't really tell when it's dirty, unfortunately. That's Kinda Nice though, right? Yeah, I guess. Um, but, uh, it has this texture. It feels like wood. It's cool. It's fun. Yeah. So, um, anyway. Okay. So today, uh, we are going to be talking about something that, uh, I think is going to be really interesting to different topics that I definitely wanted to get to the first of which as a karate students, I'm very excited for this topic. Um, you booked Chuck Norris, or shall I say, uh, Chuck Norris booked you because Chuck Norris does everything, right? Yeah.

Kylee: Yes. So this was probably one of the most surreal moments in my career. It's one of my favorite stories cause it's one of those like, no, you didn't like, this is a joke. You know, it's like your joke in the beginning, like all the Chuck Norris Jokes, the dad jokes, there's just a joke for everything. But like, no, really, Chuck Norris booked me. So yeah, I'm excited to get into this too because I think it's a fun story, but also like good, like life lesson on blogging. So, yeah.

Scott: Yup. Bayless, let's get into it.

Kylee: Okay. So, um, I have been blogging backstory. I've been blogging since 2013 three times a week. Now it's a little bit more because when you start book or when you start blogging three times a week for six years, then you get busier and busier and busier. So now we're blogging five or seven times a week just to keep up with the content. Obviously I have a big team now, so we have to blog all of that work. So when I started blogging, um, the goal was to boost my SEO. So that's why I chose a wordpress blog, because wordpress, not only is it super customizable and easy to use, I mean easy is kind of a relative term because I feel like probably a lot of people think it's the worst thing ever. But once you get used to it, it's the easiest thing to use.

Kylee: It's easy to customize, it's easy to change. But I wanted to use wordpress for the Plugin SEO Yoast, it's like been the biggest help in learning SEO for me. So I started blogging, I started using SEO Yoast, is that what it's called? Yeah, I think it's Yoast SEO, but it's okay. Yes. Y'All says, yeah. Okay. Yes. SEO. And um, it was telling me like what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong for SEO. And that's kind of how I got into, um, getting my name to the top of Google. So for those of you who don't know a lot about SEO, it's basically like getting your organic. Like when people search organically on Google, they find you. So I started blogging three times a week in 2011 in January and six months later I had boosted to the number one spot for our local area. So fast forward a few years, Chuck Norris came to town, which was a big deal, like people were lining up.

Kylee: Chuck Norris came to town and apparently had not booked. Decided like, Oh last minute we need a photographer to follow us on this tour. And I was actually in Salt Lake in the airport leaving on a trip to California and I get this text that's like, hey, check Norris needs a photographer for day. Are you available? We found you on Google. And of course I'm like, oh shoot, do I get off this plane? Like what do I do? And also instantly I'm like, yeah, Technora definitely wants to book me and my photographer next to me. She was actually there taking me to the airport. I was like, that is definitely a scam. Like Chuck Norris doesn't want to. I am like totally like, yeah, chuck Norris was the bully. What are you talking about? And she's like, this isn't a skim. You need to like not reply. And so I said, how fast can you get back to Logan? And she went and got in my minivan, drove as fast as she could because she was supposed to be started working in an hour. And um, she got there, ran there, was like a huge line. So she had a park like a mile away run with her camera and then she spent the rest of the day photographing Chuck Norris. So that's our story.

Scott: So, um, do you know, do you know what, um, blog content that he, that he or his team was looking at, uh, when they found you on Google and, and decided to call you or text you?

Kylee: Yeah, so it definitely wasn't romantic wedding photographer that he was looking at. Um, but I think that, I think that he just starts Logan, Utah photographer. And since we had blogs so consistently with that keyword or keywords around there and kind of optimize our blog for the, that keyword, um, we were the first phone call and I don't think he really was looking for a specific style. Obviously, that's the great thing about SEO is like, he's not really looking for a style or like their ENL chuck Norris photographer. He's not googling, um, those kinds of things. He's googling his location, which I think is awesome because if we can all get to the top of Google for our locations, the doors are open for some opportunities.

Scott: Yeah. I, I don't know what the statistic is, uh, any more. I used to know a few years ago, but like it was like the first spot, it was like 60% more chances to get a click, then the second, which was like 30% in the, you know, so, um, if you can get the first spot, there's a, there's more chances for, for a lot more leads and a lot more clients. A end as you found out even more notable clients, like somebody like Chuck Norris, um, who, you know, you don't want to mess with Chuck Norris when he says, when he's come through my phone, you know, counting my photos, you'll go take his photos. Right,

Kylee: exactly. Like, even if you have to get off the plane, if that's your only option.

Scott: Yeah. Um, so, okay. So that's great. You know, um, I, I kind of geek out on that a little bit because first photography, business, wordpress, but then martial arts as a martial arts student, somebody who actually has martial arts clients, um, you know, awesome. Yeah. So that's, that's, that's fun. Um, okay, so let's talk about, uh, something that comes up a lot. Uh, I see it a lot in Cory potters, a few of your photo's group people wanting to switch from wordpress or Squarespace to show it or, and you switched your website to show it, but your blog is on wordpress. And, uh, I know why your blog isn't wordpress could show it doesn't offer a blog. They offer wordpress as the blog, but I want to hear from you, uh, why you switched to show it, what your main reasons were and how that could be addressed on the wordpress side. Not to, you know, convince you to come back to the wordpress to the dark side. But, um, more just to educate people who are thinking about the switch, you know, uh, do you really have to go through that process or he can, can you just do it with wordpress? So, um, what was your main reasons for switching to show it?

Kylee: Okay, so there's a couple of reasons. So first of all, if you've ever been to show at United Conference, that is their main conference. I'm actually speaking at it this year on building an associate team, so that'll be fun. But great. Um, the people at show United are just like really awesome down to Earth, amazing people. And when I go to this conference, you just kind of feel like a family. Like everybody hugs. It's like a thing and I'm not really a touchy person, but you just feel like you like have your family. So I went to this conference, learned about show it. Um, and initially I had a short website in a wordpress website but years and years ago when I first was on show it like in the beginning when they weren't combined and I realized I gave up my show at site and I went solely to work press because it was more beneficial and having two websites wasn't really working cause you don't need a website and a blog, you can do a web site and a blog together.

Kylee: So I use wordpress solely for years and years and years and had a website and then when show it combined with wordpress I was like match made in heaven because I loved, I know why you're going to explain that you can do this another way but I love that you can build a website with drag and drop like features, adding your fonts, all these things that were a little more complicated when I was trying to customize the theme, like I got pretty good at like learning code, like little snippets of code and stuff like that. But when I wanted to like add a font, it like just depended on the theme or if I wanted to move things around or make things full size, each thing was different and I didn't know how to like create something with drag and drop.

Scott: Yeah. So one of the advantages of the show it a page builder is that it's cr, it's a grid list system, which is something that, um, as far as I'm aware of, only two page builders in on the wordpress side have this capability. Uh, there is, there are advantages to this is that you're not limited to sort of a grid, which is basically columns. You're not, you're not limited to, to a bunch of columns. The disadvantage though is that photographers a, once they start messing around with the grid list system, they could, they could potentially make their website look really bad. You know, you start, it's like, it's like a photographer trying to make their marketing materials in Photoshop when they're, they're good at photography when they suck at making marketing and they're suck at graphic design, you know. So, um, the same thing could happen if you start, uh, trying to overdo things when you're not a hundred percent comfortable in a grid list system. So, uh, but with that said, if you look at some of the grid list designs that is available for show it from places like tonic site shop, they're amazing. They're, they're gorgeous. Um, but again, it could be done in wordpress. So I'll get back to that, uh, anything else before we, uh, that you wanted to share about this.

Kylee: So then I also love that I could build a blog site now with the new, the new show it you can build the blog site with your show it so you can make it all plug in, which I loved that it integrated. And then I also loved just, yeah, the templates and everything were so pretty through their show at store, through tonic, through a lot of different designers. And then I also love that. Um,

Scott: okay.

Kylee: Hold on. My sister, this one in window making faces. Okay. She's dropping off her children. Okay. Okay. Let me think.

Scott: What was I saying? You also like,

Kylee: Oh yes. Um, I also love that I can easily like add pages, kind of like wordpress, but I could add pages and copy the same design and just like restart a new page and, um, just I feel like duplicating things and copying and pasting things was so much easier as far as like the design side of things.

Scott: Okay. Um, so let's start in the beginning, um, with, well first of all, do you remember what theme and Eh, you were that you were using when on wordpress side before you decided to switch to show it had a curious yeah.

Kylee: Oh, I used, uh, there were three themes that I kinda three thing companies I rotated through. Angie makes blue chick and restored three 60, I think it was what it was called. Yup. Um, so they're kind of like girly sites if you've ever looked at up. I like early things, so that's like the places I could find stuff that matched that brand.

Scott: Okay. Um, so, uh, if I, if I recall correctly and none of those have a page builder option, um, now here's the funding. The Fun thing with wordpress is wordpress now. Now as of, uh, I think it was right after Christmas, so right after December, 2018. Right? Yeah. Um, uh, it's so weird to think about that and we're already getting close to this again, but, um, so, so in December they came out with what caught what the code name was, was called Gutenberg. It's basically an brand new visual editor and

Kylee: Oh yeah, wordpress

Scott: now has the page builder built in. Um, oh, it's a grid integrated system, but there are actually some extensions that, uh, can actually make it grid list if you wanted it to be grid lists. But, um, you can actually do full page builder designs, including with templates so that you could save and reuse them on other pages, uh, all built into wordpress. You could even do it without, without added plugins now, but you could add plugins to make it, to enhance it. So if this, if your conversion was, you know, over a year ago or less than a year ago, rather, you know, um, that alone you could be doing what you're doing now. Right? Um, just it's grid versus grid list, but there's also a plugin that very popular, uh, page builder plugin called [inaudible] and this plugin, which it's, uh, there's a bunch of different page builder plugins that have been popular over the years.

Scott: Visual composer, which uh, I'm not personally a fan of, but it's quite popular. Divvy, which is probably the most popular page builder plugin available. Beaver builder, which is a very, very popular for developers. And then element or which is a really overcome a lot of the others and it's giant and it's now being used by a lot of web designers and Elementor added a grid list option into their, oh, you can either do it grid or grid lists with a, basically you would drop in an element, you drop in let's say a contact form and you'd go into the settings and you would just check off if you want it to be absolute positioning or basically free flow, like where you can put it, where you want it. Um, so now let's say for people thinking, okay, I want to go to show it because I have complete control over the design where I want things to be. Uh, now that, that, that option is there with wordpress, whether you do it with the built in page builder that called the block editor or you do it with fucking like elementary.

Kylee: So can you find themes specifically like for Elementor that help you, like with design aspects?

Scott: Yes. So element or has their own starter theme, just call I think it's called element or hello and but element or works with any theme that you want. Uh, and they have, they have a template system built in. So the free version has a bunch of templates and then the paid version gives you templates for like full site designs. So, um, and then of course there's, there's people who just like, um, like Melissa Love people who sell designs for element or for other page builders, stuff like that. Oh Wow. Yeah. So, and, and there's the ability that you could create a page and literally just copy paste or duplicate to another. Um, another page just like you can show it. Yeah. One thing that we're pressed does not have, which wordpress does have WordCamps these conferences, but they're not just for photographers. You know, they're, they're for anybody using wordpress from developers to designers to end users, uh, where show at United, he show he does have show at United. Um, so that is the big difference is the community is, is, um, not as tight as it, uh, in the wordpress side because it is. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so that's a big advantage. If you're a photographer who wants, um, that tight community built around your website and what your website does for you, then, you know, maybe show it is oh, direction to go versus wordpress. But if, you know, there's pros and cons to everything, of course.

Kylee: So does Elementor cost extra money like monthly, or is it a one time fee?

Scott: So element, or there's a free version, which is actually very powerful for a free plugin, and then there is a paid plugin that you can pay annually to get, and there's different levels of it, um, to get additional features and things like that. Uh, and it's not expensive, actually. I think, uh, I think it's like a hundred dollars a year or something like that. So it's not, not that's bad. Yeah, that's not bad. Um, and we'll see that an image of the, we're also coming out with our own stuff, um, including a, an entire, uh, turnkey photography website platform, um, built around, uh, the block editor. So we're going on something, uh, equally as easy and powerful as show it very soon. Um, awesome. Yeah, that's really cool. Um, let's see if we can squeeze in, uh, this last topic that I wanted to, um, uh, bring up.

Scott: And in the beginning of this discussion we talked about how Chuck Norris found you through your blogging. Um, could you dive a little deeper into how, uh, how you, how you got consistent and, and what the strategy was and, and um, how you, how you keep up with it. Like I used to be as consistent as you on my own personal photography site. Um, these days it's becoming harder and harder, but, um, I'm curious how you, how you wind up being able to do it. And you know, the strategy besides just the FTO, which you talked about? Of course.

Kylee: Yes. So I think that the key to having great SEO and having um, it, the blog actually working for you is to be consistent. I think that if you blog like once a year or every six months or like you blog one like one month consistently and then you drop off for six months, it's just not even really working for you as a tool because it's not doing what it needs to do to like push you to stop the Google and stuff like that. So I decided if I'm in a blog, it has to be consistent and I have to keep up with it. So in the beginning when I started blogging, you know, six years ago, three times a week, I didn't have like a ton of content. So I kind of made a pattern for myself. I would do like an educational type post one day on like on Monday, on Wednesdays I would do like a client feature and then on Fridays I'd do like a personal post so I could get at least one client a week.

Kylee: And if I could it I would go shoot like a neighbor or a friend. So I'm consistently showing up, posting, you know, client photos. And then the education ones weren't necessarily photography. Like for photographers it was like what to wear for family pictures, what you expect when you go to your session, location guides, stuff like that. Because my, at that time my market wasn't photographers, my market was clients. And what do clients want? What can I add value to their sessions? So having that consistent calendar helped me kind of figure out content and then, um, you know, be able to keep up with that schedule because if you're blogging clients three times a week, that gets hard, especially during the slower seasons or when you don't have enough content. But I think everyone can probably show one session a week. So I kept up with that.

Kylee: And now, um, my business says just like exploded from that, um, from SEO, from word of mouth. You know, once you grow like that you just grow and grow and grow and you don't stop growing. So now I actually don't do it all by myself. So every photographer that shoots the session has to write the blog posts, they have to write what the session was about and stuff. And then we have actually a member of our team that does all the collages, all the SEO, all the scheduling of the blog, and then she writes like the bright tips and the wedding tips and all those things for our brides. So I think once you get to a point where you're, you've, you know, blogged so much that it's working, you keep it up by outsourcing it.

Scott: Right. Yeah, that's good to do. Uh, you know, there, when I originally started this, this podcast, uh, I guess by the time that this episode airs is going to be about four years at this point, um, my cohost was Rachel who owned fotoskribe. Uh, and that's what she did. She, she was at a, a basically a ghost writer for photographers, which the company got acquired by shootout edit. Um, so, uh, it still exists. Um, so I completely agree that that uh, a great strategy, uh, the, you've got sort of this filler content, which is the, you know, the, this was this session and this was this wedding and you know, it's stuff that the, the pretty stuff that everybody's going to see and then you have the more strategic stuff, which is the how tos and the thing you know, what to wear and how to style and that stuff. Um, that is the stuff that's going to get you the leads more than the filler, the filler stuff. The filler is this there to fill. So,

Kylee: and it's evergreen content. So stuff that I blogged six years ago is still floating around Pinterest. I can reshare it with clients. I can send an emails. It's just like so valuable. Whereas that client stuff, it goes away after a week and you just posted the clients. So yeah, it's been, yeah, it's been great.

Scott: In fact, a strategy to potentially, I don't know if you do this, uh, now, but it's something to consider is um, SEO wise, you can actually edit the content that you posted five years ago and um, just modernize it a little bit, whether it's, you know, adding some new photos, changing some text, adding a new style, whatever, and then just change the date to now. And that is going to just help it go back up a little bit on Google because now Google is going to think it's new. Google likes the new content. Even though you're not changing the URL, you're not, you know, yapping, it's just gonna make it look fresh, not only to the people looking at it but to the so yes. Um, yeah. Um, and repenting, repenting of course. Yeah. Yeah. Um, that's something you get with wordpress, uh, by the way, and a plugin called WP to buffer pro. Make sure I put this in the show notes. Um, you can, uh, actually automate that completely. You can automate resharing your content through buffer to your social media, um, which is, which is a really nice thing. Um, so their thought was, you know, one thing you can't do and show it. Yeah. Yeah. Plugins are powerful. There's, you know, uh, you know, so, um, okay. Anything that you want to share before we close up the show?

Kylee: Um, I don't think so. Just I learned a lot about things. I mean, I know wordpress, I think there's a plugin for any everything. I'm like, Oh, I wish there was this, I searched for it and can find it. So I think, I guess my tip would be if you think wordpress is missing a feature, either ascot or search the plugins or annual fight that,

Scott: yeah, yeah. You can join the wordpress photography, uh, Facebook group that I started and asked there, there's a whole community is over 2000 people, uh, photographers that want to help other photographers do more with wordpress. So if anybody does have questions like that, you could email me direct. You can comment on this podcast episode, you can join the Facebook group and you'll get an answer that is for sure. Uh, so I want to thank you, Kylee for joining today. Uh, it's been, it's been a nice conversation. I, uh, was really looking forward to this one, so I'm glad we got it. That's fine.

Kylee: Thanks for having me. Yeah, that was super fun. So maybe if you get back to your blogging check, Norris will be in your town next week.

Scott: Yeah, yeah. Actually. So, um, eh, as a, just as a side note related to that, one of my big martial arts clients is actually a very big name in, in, in karate, just not like a movie star. Uh, but um, he actually is, um, there's a, there's a form of karate called Goji Guru, which was a Chinese and it's actually starting Okinawa with was, uh, brought to China. And then, uh, a guy from, it was in the u s military named Peter Urban. He went to China and he studied this. He was actually in China for the military. He studied, um, Goji Guru and then he came to the United States, started his own school. And my client, who is now, I think he's in his mid seventies, um, who still teaches, he was one of Peter Urban's first students. So the school that I attend, that I learned from, that I also photograph for, um, is four degrees from the original Okinawan style.

Kylee: That's amazing. That's cool. So, you know, some, some are martial arts where lt already.

Scott: Yeah, the, but, but it's the guys that you don't, it, you know, it's the guy you don't see. But, um, yeah, yeah. But anyway, it's on my website. Go to Scott wine.com and to search for a karate you'll see as a whole bunch of content with him and some of the other, um, karate guys. So, uh, you can find the show notes, uh, and where to find Kylee and to, uh, subscribe and we'll to places you can subscribe at imagely.com/podcast/ 86. Don't forget to subscribe to this show on apple podcast, stitcher, Spotify, Google play, wherever you listen to podcasts. We're there. So until next time.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu