Salt Lake SEO Blogs – Lessons From my Competitors
On Friday I wrote an article reviewing the top ten SEO blogs that appeared on Google for the key phrase “salt lake city SEO.”
It was interesting because I was writing in real time. I did the search, clicked on the sites and wrote my article.
As you may recall none of them stood out. They suffered from boring content, lack of updates and no sense of community. Clearly there are some lessons to be learned.
Today I want to talk about those lessons. The analogy that came to mind for me is a blog is like a seed. Millions of blogs have been started, but far fewer grow and develop an audience. What’s the difference between a successful blog and one that never grows? It could be money or talent or inspiration. I believe it’s much simpler than that.
A blog seed gets planted in fertile ground with plenty of good ideas and intentions. A lot of work goes into setting up a blog…choosing the layout, the name and even the blogging format. So I know the intention is there. That blog seed needs water to grow and that water is content. It’s your writing, your podcast, your video or your photos. Feed that seed with the water of good content. Write down your ideas so you can come back and expand on them later. I like Google Docs because I can type in ideas anywhere and come back to them when I’m ready to write. As an expert in the field you’re writing about you have a unique perspective on your subject matter. That’s where to start. That’s where your blog will “find its voice.” Then you can expand later on.
Now that your seedling blog has started growing, it needs to put down roots. Those roots come from links which will drive traffic and search engine results. You don’t have to be a spam artist or link whore to get those roots to start growing. Just by properly inserting links into your articles you can get links back! You’ll want to use these ten sites to get links. Tell your friends on Facebook that you’re blogging just to get sympathy traffic. Follow blogs in your topic area to see what they’re doing, get ideas and leave a comment. Those roots will grow, but it will take time. Just like a plant doesn’t grow overnight, neither does a blog. There is little instant gratification in blogging.
When your little blog is firmly rooted with links and after you water it with content and the plant fills out with branches and leaves full of content then you’ll start to see fruit – the audience. You want to encourage the audience to leave comments, join your email list, buy your product, fan your Facebook page or whatever your goal is…but you don’t want to do it in a slimy or salesy way. Make sure your comments are turned on. Write posts that encourage feedback or questions. Answer those questions in the comment section. If you have comment moderation turned on, make sure to approve them quickly. The easiest way to engage your audience is to thank them for commenting. Andy Sernovitz loves that strategy and it’s so simple.
So you know I follow my own advice, let me share with you a recent encounter I had. I did a search on Facebook for Internet marketing and subscribed to a group I thought looked interesting. A blog post popped up that looked interesting, so I read it. I commented on the Facebook page and later linked to it in an article I wrote. Do you know what that blogger did? He thanked me. He sent me a personal email to thank me for my comment. Then he made an excellent suggestion on how to grow my business. What a brilliant strategy! I’m so impressed, I’ve adopted the strategy myself. Thank you Mark!
If you think of your blog like a seed that needs content, traffic and community to grow and flourish, it becomes easier to stay motivated and focused. At the center of it all is content. I’m betting the question you’re thinking is, “How often should I post, Nigel?” That answer really depends on you, but the more you post good content is the faster your blog will grow. My goal for this site is to post at least once a day. Some blogs post more than that, but they have full-time bloggers to do it. I know there will come a time when I can’t post an original 1000 word article every day.
I have a strategy for that. I’ve created two “features” for this site that will allow me to make short posts. One is “Blogger Quick Tips.” When I find something interesting, cool or useful in relation to blogging, I write about it. I even designed a custom image so I save time searching for one. The other is the “Notable News.” I learned with my real estate blog that I’m not CNN. Your job as a blogger is not to be a newshound, but to offer your experience and perspective on your subject matter which sometimes will be in the news. With the Notable News feature I can link to something newsworthy and quickly add my two cents There may be some days where I post a few original articles or maybe none. Either way I have a system in place to produce seven interesting, subject relevant, keyword optimized articles per week.
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