About 10 years ago before blogging was big I decided to start a blog. I was running a media agency at the time and I knew that I needed to understand blogging so I thought I might as well just start writing one. I had a couple of months at home after the birth of my first baby and to keep myself busy when she was sleeping I took up this challenge. I did a blogging course and started blogging about weddings, which seemed to be the most relevant topic having just got married!
The blog was called Little Miss Wedding (which has since been taken over by someone else) and within a year I had over 25,000 unique visitors a month with some blog posts getting over 3000 monthly visits. I ranked no 1 for UK Wedding Blog, had 5000 Twitter followers without having to do a huge amount to get to that point, and I was ranked one of the 10 top UK wedding bloggers by Cision PR! I remember blogging just a couple of times a week and sharing my content on Twitter. I start to gain traction and build relationships within the wedding community. It was fun and it was easy.
10 years later and blogging is not what it was back then. Google has changed its algorithm many times over. Huge numbers of people are blogging now (apparently one in 7 – a stat I heard today) and there is a lot of rehashed content out there.
SEO is not what it was. I had a basic understanding of SEO back then and it got me a long way. Things have massively changed. I kick myself a bit that I let that blog go.
I have been thinking a lot about writing content recently and have been putting it off because of the mammoth task that it has become.
Blogging for SEO is a big thing – you have to write such long posts (at least 1500 words apparently), you need to include video, you need to fiddle around with Yoast SEO and put in the target keyword and metadata. Then it still never gives you the go-ahead that what you have done is 100% SEO perfect! It takes so much time. And that is what puts people off. It put me off. We all have little time and money so we have to be super focused on what is going to deliver for us.
But I have come to love blogging again. In May I decided that I wouldn’t blog for SEO, I would just blog because I wanted to share my thoughts on marketing, the things I love doing every day, the conversations that I have with suppliers, the questions that I answer for my clients. I want to show people that I am the expert in my field, that I know what I am talking about and that I absolutely love it. It’s been such a wonderful thing to just start creating content because I genuinely want to and not for ‘SEO’ reasons, which quite frankly can feel soulless at times.
Don’t get me wrong I fully understand the power of SEO, my little dabble with Little Miss Wedding showed me that the right blog post could generate thousands of visits. However SEO is a long game and it takes a long time to build up authority, content, and to get your rankings where you want them to be. I see so many potential clients just writing SEO content in the hope that they are going to get traction – it’s going to take a long time if you’re doing nothing else. For big companies with big budgets and teams of people, it all makes sense. I get that. For someone like me its much more about building relationships with people, recommendations and referrals. SEO is there, but it’s just one of many things that make up the marketing mix.
My closing thoughts are: could you write content for your audience that you love writing that would help them with their problems and that would answer their questions rather than feeling that you have to do this massive piece of SEO content?
Since I have taken up this little challenge in May of 12 mins of content writing every day I have really enjoyed it. I have got back into writing and remembered that once you do it regularly it’s actually much less daunting than it seems.
I am writing to you, to share what I know with you. I’m not writing for Google and SEO. One day I will be rewarded for it but in the meantime, that’s not my concern. I have regular, valuable content to share with my audience both here and on social media. And the more that it’s read and the more that it’s shared the better the sign to Google which is just an added benefit.
I challenge you to do the same, even if its just 12 mins a week.
PS I will still optimise this post and use Yoast SEO, but I am changing the focus from writing for SEO to writing because I love it, and funnily enough because I love it I have managed to knock out nearly 900 words in just over 15 mins.