So You Want To Start A Big SEO Blog?

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Many SEOs have dreams of hitting it big in the SEO blogosphere. So where do you start? Is it better to be unique or better to be consistent with trends? Is it better to start the conversation or write about what people are already talking about? Without thinking too much into it, my split-second brain says that both are important. One is about being found and the other is about being relevant. But what does the data say?

Exhibit #1: Major SEO Blogs

The following are on the AdAge Power 150 list, so let’s just call these “big SEO blogs.”

What do you notice about all of these?

Most of the “best” sites are big, primarily because of content generation. The biggest sites, in most cases, have plenty of writers (usually employees or guest bloggers) to contribute content. You’ll see a lot of news and agency sites on the list. That’s not saying that you can’t be a one man SEO blogging show and get recognition, but it’s definitely more difficult.

A Cross-Section of Headlines

Headlines from these top SEO blogs create an interesting visualization of 5 recent post titles (Wordle) taken during a period of “lull” in the SEO world – no major algorithm updates, scandals, etc:

What do you notice about the frequency and word patterns from the headlines? It seems that everyone’s talking about the same things: Google, Search, and Social.

Even with many writers, SEO blogs as a whole are churning out the kind of content you’d expect from SEO blogs: mostly news, a lot of opinion, with some strategy and tactical stuff mixed in. Seems pretty straightforward, right?

The Reality of SEO Blogging

Having just finished my time at a reputable agency with plenty of bloggers and plenty of content, I can say that building a solid SEO blog isn’t as easy as it looks on paper. It’s not easy to coordinate writers, topics, deadlines, formatting posts, dealing with comments, promotion, etc.

More than anything, consist quality is the killer secret. None of the top SEO blogs became huge overnight, but they gradually worked their way into peoples’ RSS streams with quality content and great promotion on a consistent basis. Nine women can’t make a baby in a month.

If you can find ways to streamline some of the many responsibilities that come along with running a large blog, then success may come more easily, but I’m sure if you asked Danny Sullivan, Aaron Wall, Ann Smarty, or any of the other editorial curators behind these blogs, they’d tell you to keep your day job.

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Scott Cowley
Scott Cowley is an SEO consultant by night, marketing PhD student by day. He was previously head of SEO at ZAGG and SEO manager at... Read Full Bio
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