I have blogged here regularly in the past, I could easily see blogging was a pretty great idea, especially to generate new content for a site you want to start ranking well. I still think blogging is an excellent method to add content to a site, we have seen the benefit of content with SoloSEO.com, and our rankings. However, I was also pretty shocked to discover some unexpected results from blogging, which I kind of feel need to be addressed.
Others have discussed the time commitment required to keep a good blog going, such as adding a good post once a week, well written, and contributing something worth reading. This is definitely the case, and I personally think blogging is even more difficult for the small business owner. Owning your own business, let alone two or three, means you have a number of hats you need to wear to keep the business running. Small business owners have to be the marketing, HR, accounting, sales and maintenance departments all at once. Allocating time to manage a blog, although important, may not be the best use of your time. It really depends on the type of business being run, and just how much revenue is hope to be gained from online leads and sales. If online sales will never contribute more than 25% of total revenue, I would suggest not spending to much time on it. If more then 25% is or hopefully will be from online leads and sales, then working on content is a good strategic use of time. In this case, my suggestion would be to keep posts pretty short, a paragraph or two, and focus them on the company, products, policies, and vision of the company, etc. I good history of the company and how it came to be, can also be good reading and provide clients with a good feeling about the business. Blogging like this makes it pretty easy to write something quickly, as business owners are well versed in these areas, and are virtually assured to use keywords which relate well to what a business is and does, which in turn helps rankings for keywords potential clients are using when the search.
There are other results of blogging which I never imagined. Over the last few years I have attended PubCon and SMX. They are great shows, and I have a great time learning, but the last show kind of freaked me out. I was just moving along through the show, headed to another session, when I was stopped by a few people who kindly informed me they liked some of the stuff I had put up on our blog. I had never been stopped abruptly like that before, expect maybe a Highway Patrolman. It was very nice of these folks to stop, it was very nice of them to be nice, whether they really felt this way about our blog or not, but I was kind of mystified by it all… Everyone needs to understand before they start a blog that putting your stuff online, and attaching your name to it means your content will be there for a very long time, if not forever, and you might actually become “known” in the industry are attempting to succeed within. There are those on this earth who crave attention, and desire to be in the public eye. I am sure you know a few, there are some obvious examples in the SEO industry. However, I am not one of these people. For me personally, any notoriety at all is not a good thing, positive or negative. I would rather sneak through life leaving as little a mark as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be educated, successful in business, I want to be a good dad and husband, but I would rather accomplish these things without anyone else outside of my close circle really knowing or caring.
My personal goals include contributing to the public good, help as many people as I can, through business, through sharing expertise, through any method possible, but I want to be able to do it as anonymously as possible. The thought of being recognized out on the street, by anyone, for any reason, is very, very unsettling, I want no part of it. So, if you are like me, and are attempting to go through life as quietly as possible, I would suggest not blogging, or at least not blogging with your name attached to it. Instead blog as a company staff member, or use a stage name, “SEO Stan,” “Golfing Joe,” or something like that, so you can remain nameless.
The experience at the show has really reduced my desire to blog, which is too bad… I want to share stuff I have learned, I want our site to grow and continue to rank better, and blogging is an excellent way to get that done, but I don’t want any notoriety for it. Kind of a weird place to be… When was the last time you listened to a nameless face offering advice? I am not sure how to get that done at this point, but I am working on figuring it out, when I do, I will let you know, until then I guess I blog as me.
All this being said, content really is king for sites attempting to rank well for a long period of time, and blogging is a great way to get the content up there, it just isn’t as painless as I had originally thought, or hoped it would be. To avoid the spotlight, perhaps we could just spend time on improving or expounding on the products pages and descriptions, as well as on pages about the company, product quality, guarantee policies, new products, goals for the company, etc., rather than just blogging this new content. The topics for new pages to add to a business site are endless.
Ultimately, if you want to get your name out there and be recognized as an expert in the field, then blogging is a great way to do it. If you don’t, that’s fine too, but content still needs to be created for your site, either don’t attach your name to it, or just focus on pimping out your web pages, with superior, unique content as no author’s name is required.
Oh, one last thing… If our paths happen to cross in the future at any of the upcoming shows, just ignore me completely. I would really appreciate it. 🙂
I hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July holiday.