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.

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 He speaks and writes frequently about social media and digital marketing.
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  • Jude Harrison

    Well, as someone who is still finding their way in the world of SEO blogging, I’d certainly agree that the process isn’t quick. While I would never expect instant results or a readership to rival SEJ or SEObythesea, I do try to write my articles as if they are being read by a large following.

    The real challenge is finding your niche; I think I am gradually getting there!

    Thanks for an interesting read.

  • Moosa Hemani

    Great post Scott!

    Creating a ‘BIG Blog’
    is not a kid game it needs dedication, interest and consistency (not only in SEO
    but In any niche) as far as the SEO is concern in particular then it’s not only
    dedication and interest you have to live and breathe SEO and you should create
    killer content every single day! (This is really tough)

    But if you get what it takes then the prestige is yours!

    • online coupons

       Am agreed with you moosa. SEO is not so easy now after updation in Google Panda algorithm. Now you have to post only original, informative, fresh and unique content. Its a constant hard working task now, you need to keep working constantly, but if you do that once,surely you will get the fruit 🙂

    • online coupons

       Am agreed with you moosa. SEO is not so easy now after updation in Google Panda algorithm. Now you have to post only original, informative, fresh and unique content. Its a constant hard working task now, you need to keep working constantly, but if you do that once,surely you will get the fruit 🙂

  • Nick Stamoulis

    Some good points here! No blog, SEO related or otherwise, is going to be a huge hit right out of the gate. It takes time to build up a reputation as a valuable resource, gain loyal readers, attract the attention of other bloggers and so forth. If you’re looking for a fast ego boost, starting a blog is not the way to go.

  • Melissa Fach

    I think that many of the smaller blogs have fantastic information and tips. I do read the well-known blogs, but I also enjoy the smaller blogs as well. Everyone has a different view on things and the differing views help us see things from so many different perspectives. These perspectives are crucial for growth. 

    • Basati

      It is very important weather your blog is small or big it must have a good and original content. 

    • Basati

      It is very important weather your blog is small or big it must have a good and original content. 

  • alessio

    Hi Scott, wrong link for SEOptimise. 😉

    • Scott Cowley

      Thanks Alessio. I’ll get that changed.

    • Ann Smarty

      Fixed! Thanks

  • Stevenson patrick

    You have a great list of SE blog.
    Love reading it and learning new things 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Content is certainly king in the world of blog.
    Making it interesting is really needed!

  • John Gregory

    Good post, I will have to say I enjoed reading this, it is true that to become a big blog, website, you will need some good experience and to know what you are doing, it’s not a kid’s game.

  • kfir azran

    I find that 80 % of the SEO blogs out there are just a big content recyclers. i think it’s better to post once in 2 weeks than trying to be a BBC reported and post “SEO breaking news” everyday.    if you do not giving new ideas …personally just don’t blog that much.
    Even few of the big guys out there are doing it …no mention names of course 😉

    • Scott Cowley

      Thanks Kfir. It’s really hard to have breaking news every day in the SEO industry and I think it’s better for a new blogger to write only when they have something meaningful to say, unless they’re trying to become a news source. Writing just for the sake of content ends up hurting because the content quality is never good enough to share or get links.

      • B2cjewels002

        Yes kfir azran. Most of the times many people how have their seo blog or services are just rewrite the content. Rather than this one can quality posts in your blogs and that to be first tested. Google panda is might be the answer for all this duplicate things. i also feel that updating new information in IT marketing is also can be the SEO tips for your blog. Like now a days people are using mobile for searches and Google keyword tool add this section in their advance option. People will get the strategy from this one line information in your blog.   

  • pthosting

    SEO is changing so fast but most of the old rules still stand out form all the rest. If you do the basics to start out and build really good content and get nice natural links you will do well. Having a web site and then a blog to go with it will really help. You can build content on the blog and push links to your own site. You can also trade links from your blog and get links to your web site.

  • Matthge

    I would imagine one way to quickly gain a folowing when starting a new blog would be to have guest bloggers who already have a good following themselves

  • Mike Glover

    Consistency is key here I think.  That and quality.  I try make about one SEO post a week on my blog.  I try to make that post the most relevent and well written post I can.  I also try and write it so that the majority of people (my target audience of small business owners) can and will read it in terms that they understand.  I try to do that while putting out good information about the SEO industry.  Granted that’s easier said than done sometimes, but IMHO it’s paramount to building a good reputaiton and readership.  It’s also important so that you can begin to gain the “industry professional’s” buy-in and concurrence.  That in my opinion is tougher than anything else we do as bloggers (esp. SEO bloggers).  Writing an SEO blog and then putting it out their on Twitter and LinkedIn for every SEO in the world to read it and then either shred or appluad it.

    Most of them are pretty cool though.  Encouraging, supportive and willing to provide sound, sage advice, either in the comments or if asked, in an email.

  • B2cjewels002

    yes i do agree with this. Content is might be the back bone of a web site. Content gives detail information to visitors and also for search engine like Google; they can cash it as an ideal website.  

  • Emarketinb Guide

    Informative points! Like others, I’m also running my SEO blog and like others: it’s taking much time to build the reputation and returning users.

    Well, at-least, I’m on the right path!

  • Afrin

    This is a wonderful article.I want to know more .This is really helpful.