Writing A Better Blog: Forget SEO, Focus on Content and Connection

In preparing to take the plunge, you might have started reading everything you can find about “How to Blog”. There is no end to the number of articles you can find on the internet that tells you about how to set up a blog and among those articles you will definitely come across many that will Search Engine Optimization or S.E.O.

Search Engine Optimization is a process whereby websites and blogs are configured in order to gain top ranking for search results on Google, Yahoo, Bing or any other search engine. It also involves promoting the site through back-linking or having the links of your blog or website posted on higher ranking websites and blogs.

What good S.E.O. is supposed to do is to give your website or blog high visibility in searches for key words contained in your blog capsdoc.com . If you target the right key words and manage to get into the top 10 of searches for those key words as well as the right back-links, the desired result should be a good amount of traffic or visits from people.

S.E.O., in itself, can be stifling. The search for the right key words and the right websites to link to will take some time and a lot of skillful analysis. But, if done right, it can be rewarding.

Fairly established and popular bloggers will not be too eager to admit it, but they do fret over S.E.O. and their visitor statistics.

Ever since I made the choice to create a blog, I have been learning more and more about the opportunities created by blogging. I’ve come to believe that almost any person, business, or organization can use a blog as a tool to reach their goal whether it is more knowledge, more money, or more influence. It’s interesting to note that all of these goals are often interrelated.

The value model of a blog promotes openness, curiosity, progress, collaboration, and most of the time, ethical practice. Because blogs are often monetized through means other than direct sales, the content of the blog has less reason to stray from its stated purpose. The global reach of the internet makes generating worthwhile revenue from ads feasible (I don’t think any other medium can reach as many viewers for less cash). A blog about computers can consistently deliver unbiased computer news and tips and not worry about having to sell a reader on buying their own product or a product of an affiliate. While this incentive will always exist, it will be their unbiased information that drives readers to their site, and targeted Google ads (Google will do the targeting work for the blogger) and sponsorship that create revenue.

But is ad revenue all that a blog will provide to its creator? What exactly is the value model? What does a blogger give and what does a blogger get? What does the blog provide to its readers and what do the readers provide for the blog? It’s here that I believe the most flexibility exists and the biggest change from classic models comes in. Let’s start from the beginning:

A blog must provide value that doesn’t have to be worth a person’s money. A blog must provide value that is worth a person’s time. You can call it an information product, but I like to look at it simply as “something that is worth someone spending five minutes looking at per day.” Even if you can provide something that will merit two minutes of a reader’s time (and none of their money) daily, you will receive a boatload in return.

What exactly is this “boatload” in return? Why should you blog? The benefits extend beyond money. Yes, I read somewhere that a blog with 100,000 views per month generate on average USD$75,000 per year. But I believe this should be seen as a way to make a greater objective sustainable.

In the past, television and printed news was measured by its ability to present the facts as plainly as possible. By suppressing the views of journalists, it was easier for the public to hear about events and form their own conclusions. While this practice definitely made for interesting dinner conversations, if a media house were to attempt such a thing today it would not hold the attention of viewers for very long. Put simply, the times have changed. People want to interact with commentators and hear the opinions of others as events unfold. Given the fact that people also have a tendency to listen more to those they agree with, it’s not surprising that bias is what helps ensure that news sites have regular readers.

If you take a look at how people respond to top news, the combination of sensationalism and in-depth analysis has proven to be an effective one. With the recent popularity of blogs and blogging, readers initially started turning to these writers to read both trending news and viewer comments. Different paradigms appealed to different individuals and the rest was history. Popular news sites and print news organizations have simply caught on to what draws readers in and started incorporating it into their own reporting.

While this state of events definitely has its good points, these relatively recent changes do have their negative aspects. For one thing, since objectivity doesn’t have the kind of value that it used to, most sites will try to trade on how quickly they can get the facts out. As a result, news outlets are often so busy trying to break the story first that they don’t always properly source their information and journalists can become unethical in their practices. What this means for “old-school” readers is that it’s a lot harder to receive lean and fact-based reporting. This might not matter much to you, but it’s something that can and does bother some people.

Bias in news reporting can also be a good thing. There are some writers who have a talent for helping you look at things from a different perspective. Though pretty much anybody can string together a few words it takes something more than that to really communicate with other people. Adding the internet and blogging to the equation has opened up lots of opportunities for these talented individuals. Embracing the human tendency to receive information and comment on it allows all kinds of individuals to experience the news together. Perhaps that explains the popularity of bias. It helps reveal personality.

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