If You Don’t Like Blogging … Stop Blogging

There are many reasons why SEO consultants recommend that their clients create a blog for search engine rankings. However, if you are one of those clients (or have read this recommendation online) and are only blogging because of the potential SEO benefit then you really should reconsider this strategy.

Are You Losing Time and Money Blogging?

Why SEO’s recommend blogging
From purely a search engine optimization perspective, some of the reasons SEO consultants like blogs are because:

  • Blog content is easily syndicated via RSS.
  • Blogs provide an additional opportunity to be found in search results, specifically through blended search and vertical search results (a la Google Blog Search or Technorati)
  • Blog writing style and objectives are such that it’s easier to persuade business owners to link out to other sources (particularly other blogs) which can make it easier to gain recognition and catch attention from those likely to also “link out”.
  • At the least there are dozens (if not hundreds) of locations online to submit blog information for indexing and traditional link building opportunities.

Beyond SEO, there are broader online marketing benefits as well, such as being able to create a human voice for your business and providing the opportunity to connect to a more “media savvy” crowd. Bloggers are usually more in-tune with online channels designed to bring links and traffic and well received content will offer a greater chance that they will “move it forward” for you.

Blogging is more than installing WordPress and writing “Hello World!”
Remember that just having a blog on your website doesn’t guarantee success. You must work at writing good content (subject matter and presentation), getting into conversations, within and around your industry and expertise and share your experiences with others in the blogging environment.

Too often I see business owners who start a blog for SEO purposes and it just turns into a place for company announcements, keyword stuffed blog posts or links to other resources with no thought or consideration on why the link is even important. There are a lot of ways to kill your blog strategy before and after it’s up and running.

It is true that some people can succeed at blogging regardless of their passion for it but far more people cannot. If you are just blogging because you believe it’s the secret SEO ingredient most of your potential blog readers will be able to tell.

The title of this post DOES NOT INFER the following statement

If you are not getting results from blogging…stop blogging

I am not telling people – who want to blog but are just not getting results – to quit blogging because of that. If you are not getting the results that you want out blogging – RSS subscribers, links, search referrals etc – you most likely need to revisit your content and quite possibly your writing style.

There are many quality resources online for improving your blog writing and identifying more effective content for your blog. One of the first steps is simply to get honest reviews from people you respect and trust. When you’re first starting out, don’t wait for people to find you. Criticism, critique and honest evaluation, while sometimes hard to swallow, are critical to the development of a successful blogging strategy.

Cape Cod SEO only blogs 2 or 3 times a month – is that productive?
While I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity, your expectations have to be on a similar level to the effort you are willing to put in. In other words, I don’t expect to be the next ProBlogger or Lifehacker writing a couple posts a month but am (honestly) satisfied with the results that I have gotten.

That means that if I did want to become more recognizable or gain more readers, links etc, I would have to invest more effective time and energy into this blog. The same can be said for any other business owner’s blog as well.

Pick your SEO-centric content/link building strategy wisely
A blog is just one of many ways that a business can create content and generate inbound links as part of their SEO strategy but blogging is not the only way and it is certainly not a requirement.

What’s important for business owners looking to build content and links for search engine rankings is to create strategies that they (or someone on their team) will be most effective with.

If you truly want to leverage blogging for SEO and building your online marketing presence, it can be a great asset. But if you’re only blogging because an SEO consultant told you to – and not getting the results you want – you may want to think about what other options you have for achieving successful search engine rankings.


9 Responses to “If You Don’t Like Blogging … Stop Blogging”

  1. Barry Welford on March 15th, 2008 12:26 pm

    Yes, but … This could be seen as parallel to the statement, If you don’t like marketing, then stop marketing. You need to be dialoguing with your prospects and your customers. If not, you leave the field to the competition. Use other methods for that dialoguing if you wish, but blogging is far superior in ROI to any other method.

  2. Derek on March 15th, 2008 6:02 pm

    Barry – you bring up a good point about blogging objectives and it is appreciated. I did not identify/emphasize what you have indicated – as it relates to the value of blogging – and it is worth mentioning at the least.

    This post would assume blogging objectives have at least been discussed but I do believe there are website owners who fail to consider these larger objectives when blogging – as referenced in my thoughts on poor writing strategies and subject matter.

    If that is the fault of poorly defined expectations in development, that’s one thing – but if it’s truly because the author is just going through “the motions” for a particular strategic requirement, that’s quite another.

  3. Tad Chef on March 15th, 2008 8:30 pm

    Well, you don’t have to blog yourself. I offer several blogging services to clients. They range from killer headlines, blog boosting to ghostwriting services. Many people hire or pay bloggers.

  4. Martin Jamieson on March 15th, 2008 8:56 pm

    There’s a lot more to be gained from blogging than just SEO benefits… I know that’s just what you’re concentrating on in this article, but if the reason for stopping (or struggling through a bad strategy) is because you’re feeling that it’s a struggle and your focused predominately on SEO benefits, then I think the first step is really to have a deeper look at what your goals are.

    SEO benefits are generally long term focused, so someone not used to blogging, just working towards an SEO goal is naturally going to feel a bit disillusioned with it a after a few months of grinding away and not seeing bucket loads of riches tumble into their laps.

    If this is what’s happening, they need to start focusing on building relationships or other quantifiable goals that offer many more short-term, visible gains and the SEO benefits will come with time, without needing to take full focus.

    If they still want to stop (or persist with uninspired grinding)… as Tad said above, there are plenty of options to outsource some or all of your blogging needs, getting bored with it doesn’t mean your company needs to stop their blog strategy altogether.

    In saying that though – I do like your point about not trying to persist towards a goal using a strategy that’s not working. It’s not going to help achieve the goal and will waste your time and have you cursing the SEO who suggested it… I think that’s the main point you’re trying to make (and a good one), I just thought it might be a good idea to expand on the intervening step a little. Cheers.

  5. Derek on March 15th, 2008 9:46 pm

    Tad – Blogging services are always an option but it can open the door to other marketing/management related issues, at least that’s been my experience.

    That being said, you are a great blogger and getting great bloggers with proven experience and know-how to help build a blogging campaign is definitely a plus.

    Martin – Thanks very much for commenting and I appreciate the depth of the entry (not that I don’t appreciate any and all comments/entries :-)).

    Short term action plans that lead to long-term strategic goals are certainly essential. I wish I could give people some set of defined rules for when to intervene and when not to – but there are so many potential variables that make each situation (good or bad) unique that it’s pretty difficult.

  6. Gerard on March 17th, 2008 5:17 am

    Good points. I remember recommending to a couple of business owners to start a blog when they clearly didn’t have the skills and understanding to carry it through.

    The other thing I’d say is that if you’re not supremely disciplined, blogging can be an awful time-sink and distract you from profitable activities. It starts off being fun and new, then you find yourself unable to resist tracking your stats for the 50th time that day…

  7. Derek Edmond on March 17th, 2008 10:34 pm

    Good points Gerard. While stats are so important, they can also become horribly addicting (and a non-productive activity).

  8. David DuVal on March 21st, 2008 12:12 am

    I actually have tried to start a blog a few times, and found it was not for me (at least at the time). If you don’t enjoy doing something, and the reason you are doing it is for SEO, then I think it makes sense to reexamine your priorities.

  9. Professional SEO Company on May 6th, 2008 3:06 am

    Nice post.. i like your point of view..
    We all know that blogging is really important.. we can also earn money here from Google AdSense… In my opinion, adapting is the solution to the problem! Blogger must know how to find ways on how he or she can enjoy what he or she is doing.. make your blogging productive and fun..