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I know I should blog, but…

We’re big proponents of blogging.  Regularly posting new content on your site is a great way to rank better in the search engines, and a blog is almost always the best way to do it.

In short, the more pages you have that Google knows about (in their “index”), the more likely that one of your pages/posts will come up when someone does a search.  If you blog consistently, you should see something like this when viewing your “index status” in Google Webmaster Tools.

index-status

While most everyone agrees with the above ideas, it’s not always that easy.  Blogging takes time and effort, so we hear quite a few excuses.  Here are a few:

“I don’t have time to blog”

A year ago I read a post on Lifehacker that changed my way of thinking.  It essentially says that “I don’t have time” isn’t valid; the issue is that “it’s not a priority”.  This can apply to many things in your life:

  • “I don’t have time to go to the gym” really means “Getting in shape isn’t a priority”.
  • “I don’t have time to hang out with my kids” really means “Hanging out with my kids isn’t a priority”.

You get the idea.  We don’t really “have time” to blog either, but we know that it’s important for our business so we make it a priority.

“People will copy my posts”

Yep, they will.  If you get popular, lots of them will.  Chasing them down will simply waste time that you could spend writing other content.  Once you’re established, Google will know that you’re the original author and you’ll get the bulk of the credit in the search results.

You should also set up Google Authorship for your blog to further enforce that you are the original author of your posts and the “RSS” features inside of the WordPress SEO plugin will get you some backlinks from many of the copycats.  My posts over at Google Earth Blog often get copied on dozens of other sites, but I don’t worry about it.  Instead, I spend my time working on great content for the days ahead and enjoy having thousands of daily readers.

“The site isn’t done yet”

While you certainly want to present a clean and polished experience, your website will never be “done”.  Get it to point where it’s good enough, start blogging, and then keep improving it along the way.

“I need to add this other crazy SEO tool first”

While SEO is always evolving, the basic direction has been the same for years — Google wants to see high-quality unique content.  While implementing things such as Authorship can be beneficial, at the end of the day the content is the most important piece.  We’ve had clients that will spend weeks fine-tuning their meta tags and robots.txt files, but can never seem to find the time to post.

“WordPress SEO is still showing yellow lights”

We love the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin.  It has a lot of nice features to help tighten up the SEO on your site, and is a solid addition to most WordPress sites.

One feature it has is a “page analysis score”, which will calculate how solid it thinks your SEO is on a particular page, based on keywords that you plug in.  It can be useful, but way too often I see people that get hung up on trying to get it perfect (as indicated by a green light) on every post.  It’s certainly a neat feature, but it’s far from perfect.  Write your post, make sure it’s well-formatted and readable, and then move on to the next one.  Spending time turning all of those lights green is almost certainly not worth the effort.

“This $99 tool will get me TONS of traffic”

There are lot of shady SEO tools out there.  There are some legit tools as well, but it’s hard to know what’s real and what isn’t.  With Google’s latest updates targeting weak in-bound links, I’d be very wary of any tool that promises fast results.

If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, go drop $99/month on a moz.com Pro subscription, as their tools and insight can be amazingly helpful.

Get writing

With all of that said, go write!  You don’t even have to publish anything today — simply the act of creating a draft post can do wonders for you.  As I’m sitting here now I’ve written four drafts posts for a few different sites.  The posts will get finished up and posted later, but having those already 80% done will make life SO much easier when it’s time to publish.

If you’re still having a hard time getting rolling, try getting together with some fellow bloggers and knocking out some posts as a group.  You don’t necessarily work on the same entries, but just being in a room where the focus is on blogging can really help.  A few weeks ago I went down to the 8BIT office for a morning like that and it was very productive.  Between the 11 of us we wrote a total of 32 blog entries in an hour.

Set a goal for yourself (blog weekly, blog 3x/week, etc), then go spend a few minutes and get a draft or two started to help make that goal stand up.

About the Author

Mickey Mellen

Co-Founder and Technical Director

View Mickey's Profile

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