Meet Vanessa Keen: webSMART’s Creator + Captain

By Karlie Herndon

Say Hello to the Brains Behind the webSMART Solution

Meet the Sun of the webSMART Solar System

Five minutes, and that’s pushing it.

Five minutes is all you’ll need to witness the passion, energy, and brilliance that led Vanessa Keen to create webSMART, the online marketing solution that small businesses need. This Carolina roller derby queen, turned Costa Rican entrepreneur, isn’t afraid to take SMART risks and pour her passion into helping others succeed. Whether she’s mentoring young women in the field of SEO, strapping on a spelunking headlamp, or coordinating impromptu beach clean-ups, Vanessa’s energy and zeal are second only to the spunk of her spirit animal: the Jack Russell Terrier.

Vanessa Puts the “Rock” in Rocket Fuel


Dive Buddy | Coconut Drinker | Boardsport Enthusiast | Roller Derby Granny

Vanessa Keen
Owner, Content + SEO Specialist
A go-getter from the start

Vanessa was born and raised in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. She learned to surf like a pro, and in her hot pink quad skates, she earned every inch of duct-tape that holds them intact now as a roller derby girl in Wilmington, North Carolina. Proving to herself and the world that she could write with the best of them, Vanessa earned an MA in English from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. There, she penned a thesis that examined resistance in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Blithedale Romance and Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. No one else could have found the fractured identity of Tyler Durden mirrored in an 1852 romance, but Vanessa has an eye for the unique and a penchant for the rhetorical.

Thirst for challenge

Her thirst for challenge only partially quenched in the literary trenches, Vanessa continued to wrangle the written word as a freelance writer, editor, and researcher, making a name for herself in the freelance community. Working with a wide range of clients, she honed her skills for communication, but she also discovered what it is that many businesses need: someone who has the power of language alongside a knowledge of online strategies, someone who can make quick but lasting impacts on potential clients.

Self empowerment

After years of working alongside her family in a surf shop on the shores of Myrtle Beach, Vanessa knew firsthand just how much time and work go into making a small business succeed. With her MA from UNCW and her SEO Specialization from UC Davis, she had all the tools she needed to keep the family business ahead of the competition in web-savvy marketing, but she knew that not all small businesses had an in-house marketing guru.

Supporting the underdog

Vanessa saw the need for education and web-design that won’t break the bank, a way for small businesses to keep up with the big competition without having to hire a full-time marketing specialist. Enter webSMART: a shiny new star in the small business galaxy, where affordable marketing and web-presence know-how is crucial to success. Vanessa’s brainchild has been growing steadily, helping small businesses make the best use of their time, energy, and budget to ensure that they are making the most of online tools and tactics.

Now, Vanessa captains the webSMART cruiser at full-speed ahead, and she’s always ready to meet new small business owners, share her insights, and build professional relationships that last. We’re thrilled to be on this journey with her through the changing currents of cyberspace. We hope you’ll reach out to meet our fearless leader.

Remember: five minutes. That’s all you’ll need to see just how brightly our star can shine.