Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 10 years and 197 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.
A simple rule that sums up most of this post: “write what you know and what everyone else is thinking but hasn’t said yet, but don’t give away the gold”. A blog is a great asset, but can create liabilities if you don’t approach it properly.
Blogging really isn’t easy. Well, it *is* easy to spew a bunch of mindless bullsh*t onto a page and expect that a bunch of unemployed zombies will find some entertainment value in it. What *isn’t* easy is developing value-added material that vistors will find genuinely helpful and valuable to their personal needs.
To make things even more difficult, there is a delicate balance between creating good informational blog posts and being a straight up fool giving away information that is of extremely high value for a relatively short period of time (algo loopholes, niche opportunities, arbitrage opportunities, etc.). This is a dilemma that has faced folks long before blogs in the SEO/ webmaster forums as well. Since I was lucky enough to be taught by folks with an “abundance mentality”, I try hard to keep one myself, but sometimes a post just DOESN’T justify the link value (would a stock broker that knew the value of a link post his best information?).
Knowing what to blog is difficult. I’ve went through several phases myself, but what seems the most useful to me is aggregated lists of quality information to use as reference points when I need them. When I asked people to introduce themselves, many of them mentioned that the Mr. Ploppy SEM Tool lists were part of what kept folks coming back. I have to agree that they are extremely useful, and the intent of creating those lists was not entirely altruistic. I knew that they would be a valuable resource for ME to reference as well. The point is that they are valuable because I spent time to research and build lists of what I thought was good. Anyone could do a search and compile lists. It was quite time consuming, but it has been very worthwhile both in terms of traffic, and having effective personal reference points.
With lots of new folks entering the blogosphere all the time, I think it’s worth noting some things to keep you from making mistakes that some of us have made in the past.
- What you know
- A specific niche topic
- How to balance user experience and good search rankings
- How to improve your website
- How to improve rankings with long term strategy
- Applications of marketing to SEO
- Emerging SE trends
- Speculation of SE updates
- The state of the SEM space
- Your personal insights on whitepapers
- Non-bias reviews of web technology vendors
Don’t blog about…
- someone else’s idea without asking that someone’s permission
- an unsavory story you heard 3rd hand
- brand new techniques that aren’t talked about on panel sessions yet
- an array of specific niches
- how bad other SEO’s techniques are
- sites that quality control engineers will torch an hour after reading your post
- how great the affiliate garbage you’re hawking is
I think Barry and Rand both have some nice opinions on the topic, but I couldn’t seem to find either of their posts when I dug for them (I hate when I forget to bookmark stuff right). Special thanks to Jason for his questions and discussion on the topic.