When it comes to promoting what you’ve written, you’ll read much about SEO, or ‘search engine optimisation’ – the means by which your blog is at the top of the results whenever someone searches against key words in your particular field.
SEO has been pounced upon by every Tom, Dick and Harry looking to make a buck and barely a week goes by without the latest ‘guru’ promising to get you to the top of the tree with just a few magical tweaks of your website. Some of them, in fairness, will no doubt be very good at what they do but spend just long enough poring over SEO techniques and a simple truth will hopefully emerge from the part of your brain that governs priorities, as it did from mine.
‘First things first’.
Blogs are a little more demanding than the Field of Dreams. Building it so that they come isn’t the issue. Building it well enough so that they come back; there’s the trick.
Visitors to your fly fishing blog are mere transitory pleasures that count for nothing until you impress them enough to make a note of your blog and re-visit. This doesn’t take SEO, it takes good content: informative, funny, thought-provoking, challenging. Yes, go on then – insert your ironic Taunted By Waters-related punchline here…
Only when you have enough of that in place should you start delving into the myriad tweaks involved in advertising it.
Blogscapes said much the same thing recently, prompting me to post this, but the following quote is the one that really turned my own priorities around:
“That’s why I think that [my blog The Simple Dollar] took off. I didn’t spend my time focusing on SEO optimization or grumbling about how other blogs got all the breaks or judging my own success based on the subscribers and hits that other blogs got. I basically decided that it didn’t matter and really only thought about the content.
“That made all the difference in the world, and in my eyes, it is THE reason my blog became successful.
“Don’t worry about what others are doing. Don’t sweat the ‘perfection’ of your layout. Focusing in on that stuff just gets in the way of succeeding. Instead, focus on stuff other people want to read. That’s it, seriously – figuring that out and really applying it was my tipping point.” – blogger Trent Hamm