As a professional blogger who talks about blogging, I get asked fairly often questions related to search engine optimization. Too often, it seems that these bloggers get too immersed into the inane tactics of SEO that they lose sight of the big picture.
Search engine optimization is an important field. There is a lot to know and, no doubt, it serves a function. But, let’s jump over to my side of the fence for just a moment. My position is simple.
Forget about search engine optimization.
Before I get clobbered by all the SEO people out there, let me elaborate. :)
Write for people, not search engine spiders.
I have managed to do pretty well as a blogger. I make my living at it, in fact. But, it has been pretty rare that I actually had search going through my mind when I wrote a post. I have all but ignored SEO and it doesn’t seem to have had a huge negative impact for me.
Blogging is a SOCIAL business. My recommendation is to write posts designed to help, provoke or inspire your reader. If you provide enough value, you’ll get people spreading your link across other blogs. You’ll go viral on Twitter. You’ll get people Digging your posts. In other words, if you write so as to provide maximum value to the READER, the message will spread through social media.
That’s your incoming link juice.
If your focus is on helping, provoking or inspiring your reader, search will more or less take care of itself. The SEO skills necessary for good blogging are simple basics and there is really no strong need to go beyond the basics. Those basics are:
- Use smart permalinks. Rewrite your “slug” so as to put targeted keywords into your URL.
- Use the Google XML Sitemap plug-in.
- Use a few search keywords in both your headline and your post, but never lose sight of the fact that you write for people first.
- Divide your post with headers (H1, H2, H3) tags and put relevant keywords into those headers. Primarily, though, the headers are designed to break the post up and allow for quick scanning by the reader.
- Use ALT tags on your images.
- Use All-in-One SEO Pack for WordPress and optimize your blog’s title. I’d recommend putting some tightly targeted keywords into your blog title.
The most important thing in my eyes, though, is simply to post a lot. Blogs are already ADORED by the search engines. If those spiders see routine fresh content, they’ll LOVE you.
So, sure, I got into some SEO 101 stuff there. In my eyes, though, it really doesn’t need to get more complicated than this. Your blog will never take off if people don’t like it. Period.
So, if you’re not publishing to your blog often enough because you’re letting SEO concerns turn you into a paralyzed perfectionist, stop that right now. Make your post interesting and publish it.
Write for people. Not search engines.
Do you agree with me? Have I stepped on any toes by saying that I think SEO is overblown for bloggers? If so, please comment below as I’ve love to hear from you.
David Risley is a professional blogger who generates a six figure income every year as a blogger. Having gotten his start as a tech blogger, today his emphasis is on showing other bloggers how to turn their passion into a solid, profitable business. Follow his blog at David Risley dot com. You can follow him on Twitter to keep up with his day-to-day updates.