The past two weeks I posted about SEO topics of Google Page Rank and using some older Best Practices when marketing your web site. I also want to give you a reminder of Rule #1 for blogging: Don’t forget your readers!
One way for a blog to move up the search listing is to focus on a few keyword phrases, then hammer on those phrases. As the posts accumulate, Google starts to see more relevance, and the Big G will reward that relevance. The keyword phrases start to add up, and internal links from posts with the same keyword phrases eventually will do their trick, and your pages start ot appear more often on search engine listings.
The down side is that readers like a little variety in what they read. They don’t want to read the same old thing day after day, week after week. Once they reach a point where they know what you are going to write, they stop visiting your blog, and they will move on to someone saying something a little differently.
The other part is from a writer’s perspective; I get bored with writing on a topic that becomes too narrow. When I write SEO articles as a freelance writer I can quickly lose interest in writing multiple variations of the same keyword phrase articles. It can become even worse when writing for your own blog and you are relying on your own self-discipline to sit down and write. It’s hard to be fresh and sound excited about you topic when you feel like your just restating what you’ve already written before. You need to spread your wings a bit and explore other areas in order to stay interested, and to engage your readers.
And that is the dilemma: Google love a one-trick pony. With the potential that Google has to send so much free traffic your way, it’s hard to ignore. But it is hard for an independent blogger to be able to take advantage of the long-tail potential of the internet. It doesn’t really matter how long the tail becomes if it is buried so far under all of the other tails that no one ever finds you. But if your tail becomes too short, you lose the interest off your readers.
The closest thing I have found for an answer to this dilemma is plan on growing slow. Focus on a narrower topic that you can keep coming back to, but mix in enough other content to keep your readers interested, and to grow that tail longer over time. Follow the best practices of SEO and blog marketing, but do it in a way that doesn’t leave your readers behind. After all, they are the ones that make it worth blogging. Without them, there is no reason to blog; you might as well just write in a diary. And with out readers, you certainly won’t make any money.
No matter how far off on different subjects we wander, it keeps coming back to solid content. Without that, you’ve got nothing.