One question that I end up answering often is whether or not blogging still work? I generally counter with define “works?” If you’re looking at a way to market a service or product, sure, it helps. If you’re looking become stinking rich off of the various means of monetizing your websites or blogs, again, eventually, yes, some funds can be earned. The problem is that like most things worth doing in life, keeping a site on task and in Google’s radar is a lot of work. Hate to break it to you, but posting a blog with tons of content you find entertaining isn’t a viable business model. This is not to say that there aren’t exceptions. Dooce.com, ShoeMoney.com, there are others as well. But one should understand that this is the long way through Kansas and there is an easier way.
Write what you know – the product site
Even if you’re blogging to simply help with the marketing or a product or service, stick to what you know surrounding this field and/or industry. For example, let’s say that you own a failing candy store. Then one day you stumble across Butch Bakery. You read with interest about their idea, yet note that they appear to be very localized in where they can deliver. You have a plan — pitch guy friendly chocolate concepts to men frustrated by holidays like Valentines Day, etc. Best of all, you can go national thanks to flat rate shipping and the candy having a longer shelf life. Now to get the word out.
By creating a blog on your site, you can instantly begin attracting readers by picking a fight with Cupid. You know, that clown in diapers that has been making the lives of boyfriends and husbands a living hell for countless years now. You then share this cynical post on the popular sharing sites like Reddit, Digg, among others. Traffic starts pouring in. Fantastic. You’ve begun to generate some buzz. You’re halfway there. While this move helped to get Google’s eyes on you a little bit, with the inclusion of your sitemap.
Because this is a product site with a non-traditional flair we’re working with, SEO isn’t going to be a killer move for candy catered toward bitter men. Sure, you can do great SEO for candy catering women on Valentines Day. But for guys, you got to be willing to be edgy and plan on no one looking for you. This means you come to them.
Write what you know – the how-to site
With a how-to site, it’s a completely different type of thing. We’re talking about capturing what people are already searching for. So if I am searching for “How to change a light bulb”, then that is essentially how I would want to title my article. It’s also wise to use this same phrase within the article at least once. In this post, you’ll want to concentrate on providing specifics of why someone might want to do this, how to find the replacement and of course, the instructions on how to make the light bulb change a reality.
The final and perhaps biggest piece to this puzzle. Stop using your blog title as the page title! Seriously, this always kills me. Despite the fact that SEO isn’t as hardcore as it used to be, Google really needs to see that you’re page appears to the spider as:
How to change a light bulb – Website Name
Based on my experience, I have split tested many, many different approaches over the years and the above is a killer fit. It works if done consistently and when using the formula above over a length of time. This being said, I hate to say it, but unless Google recognizes you as a light bulb guru, you will be needing to post some serious quality content on lightbulbs before you really start seeing the fruits of your labor. So plan on filling up that light bulb category with some compelling, how-to articles on selecting the right sizes, hard to locate models, etc.
What you do Dot com
Lastly, if at all possible, having what your site is about in the domain name is a huge boon to your efforts. If your selling candy, having candy in your domain is going to help a LOT. But even if you’re selling gummy bears and your site has candy in the domain, you can still work on building up a strong, reliable reputation as an expert to allow both your readers and Google, to recognize your expertise.
Yes, there are some other factors I am not listing here. I could go on all day if I had the time. But what I have listed above will provide you with a good place to start from. After all, it’s the content, that get your stuff in front of readers. Not merely how well you can SEO the hell out of it.