Blogging is Hard and Other Reasons to do it Anyway
It’s funny. I wrote the title for this post immediately after writing Friday’s post on Salt Lake SEO blogs. Why? After over two years of experience blogging hundreds of articles I know it can be hard to go out there every day, or every other day and publish interesting, quality writing.
When I first started writing my old real estate blog, I looked at my visitors as numbers. All I saw were my tracking stats. I didn’t get much feedback in the comment section and back then I didn’t even see the importance of comments. It seemed I was in a one way discussion with the Internet about real estate. Then I stopped. I can’t really remember why. Maybe I was busy at work or watching too much TV. After a week of no posts, I got an email asking if I was OK. Apparently I had a fan.
That was kind of a turning point because it made me realize those “numbers” I was so actively following were people who for some reason had taken an interest in what I was writing. Working a full time job as a marketing director, it was difficult to be consistent in publishing. When I first started blogging I rushed to create as much content as I could, but as my interest in the project waned due to familiarity, some hostility and life’s daily workload that rush to publish declined as well.
I eventually got to the point where I was writing three to five articles a week, more if I had the time. I shared my intent with the audience both as a way to keep me accountable and to set expectations for them. Once I did this, I could go on blogcations – vacations away from my blog. Then it became easier to stay motivated and write quality content.
As I started this blog, those lessons remain firmly entrenched. Ahh, experience.
For me it wasn’t surprising when a comment was posted yesterday from Joshua Steimle, who is with one of the companies I virtually “called out” in Friday’s article. He explained,
I agree the blog could use some help if the purpose of the blog were to create community, but that isn’t the purpose of the blog. The purpose of the blog is to make money by bringing in new clients. The blog would certainly do a better job of this if it did build a sense of community, which it could do by more frequent and interesting posts, but the problem is that I don’t need any more clients. I already have enough clients to keep me busy and produce a rather decent income. Plus I still get all sorts of requests, so I know if I lose a client or two I’ve got plenty lined up to take their place. All of this makes it hard to come up with the motivation to post on it frequently or put much effort into the posts. I wouldn’t post on it at all except that I feel a non-sensical need to keep it at least somewhat up to date, plus the posts allow me to give a little sip of link juice to my SEO clients.
So he agrees with my critique and offered an explanation. Thank you. However, all the reasons he gave are reasons to blog.
Community – People who feel part of your community are more likely to stay with you and not move to a competitor because of better pricing.
New clients – You can always use new clients. Surely a low profit or slow paying customer exists in your current client base? Upgrade or grow.
Link juice/SERPs – Definitely this. Search engine results are always changing and they skew to favor new material. If you’re not updating regularly that link juice and those search engine results will go away.
Those are all excuses. I know it and I think Joshua knows it. What the companies I reviewed don’t know is how successful a blog can really be or how long it takes to reach that level.
We’ve all heard of the super success stories on the web about bloggers. There’s Heather Armstrong at Dooce who I understand makes six figures a year from blogging. Julie Powell turned her blog into a book and then a movie that was released this year.
Most people are not starting a blog to find stardom, according to Jennifer McLean of Technorati. According to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 report, top reasons are self-expression and sharing expertise, followed by networking and gaining entry into the media world. Other reasons include activism, book publicity, personal satisfaction and to become known as an expert.
My real estate blog never generated the kind of traffic necessary to reach stardom, but that wasn’t my purpose. I wanted to share knowledge, develop a network and test SEO strategies. While I gained a lot of experience from that blog here are the top benefits I was able to get –
1. A small, but steady income through Adsense. Emphasize small.
2. A little bit of money through product sales. Emphasize little.
3. A quote in USA Today because of SEO positioning.
4. A counter point in a feature article designed for people I wanted to network with.
5. Numerous contacts in the real estate industry.
6. Jobs – both full time and consulting.
I know that blogs work and that’s why I do it even though the traffic is currently quite small. I know I can build this site and the other sites I’m working on into something that is profitable professionally. That’s why I’m blogging every day. That’s why I’m building my online social network. That’s why I will soon rank on the first page of Google for my targeted keywords. That’s my blog passion. Blogging is hard, but I do it anyway.
Contact SEO by Swaby
Salt Lake City, UT
Business Insight Correspondent for:
Archive by Month
- April 2016 (1)
- December 2014 (1)
- November 2014 (2)
- October 2014 (14)
- September 2014 (1)
- July 2014 (3)
- September 2013 (1)
- January 2013 (2)
- March 2012 (1)
- June 2011 (1)
- April 2011 (1)
- March 2011 (5)
- February 2011 (1)
- December 2010 (1)
- November 2010 (5)
- October 2010 (3)
- September 2010 (5)
- August 2010 (11)
- July 2010 (11)
- June 2010 (14)
- May 2010 (1)
- April 2010 (7)
- March 2010 (10)
- February 2010 (14)
- January 2010 (16)
- December 2009 (15)
- November 2009 (23)
- October 2009 (43)
- September 2009 (31)
- August 2009 (8)
Follow me on TwitterMy Tweets
- My Last Blog Post…Because Blogs Are Dead
- Facebook Has Replaced the Annual Christmas Letter
- I Just Broke up With foursquare
- Real Estate Online Marketing Class
- 5 WordPress Plugins You Must Have
- Do I Need a SEO Plugin?
- How to Choose a WordPress Plugin or Theme
- Real Estate Agents Should be Using Twitter Now!
- How to Build a Twitter Following Organically
- My Biggest Twitter Regret