Sorry about that.
Way too much alliteration and enthusiasm for a title, but apparently, words and energy are big turn-ons for search engines. And most of us bloggers know that we’ve gotta show a little skin if we want to snag the biggies like Google and Ask Jeeves.
Before we go any farther, I’m not one of the 10,700,000 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts waiting to share the secret to making your blog the #1 hit on search engines. I don’t have a degree in coding, I don’t offer a limited-time-only webinar guaranteed to skyrocket your blog traffic into the stratosphere. I don’t even have pop-ups. I’m just a guy with a few theories about how Order is achieved in the Internet.
Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, you’ll be happy to hear that I haven’t made up researched 7,777 tips designed to dazzle you with my brilliance. There will be no scrolling-related injuries on my watch. No Ma’am. This is a safe place.
However, I would like to share a few tested strategies that will get your latest and greatest in front of future fans. Some may even make blogging a fun experience again. (Remember when blogging was fun?)
Be the answer to questions you’re interested in.
Imagine you’re me for a minute (hey- it’s not THAT bad. Besides, it’ll only be for a minute). You’ve just finished pouring your heart into an essay about the challenges of making it as a househusband in a housewife dominated market. You are a ridiculously slow writer so its 3AM, you’re bleary-eyed and the film of Pepsi residue on your teeth makes your tongue want to escape down your throat. For a moment, you savor your victory over the blank screen. But just for a moment, because now you need to see how your answer stacks up against the competition.
In this case, I chose “househusband” as the question (keyword) I wanted Google to link with my masterpiece, and the competition was fierce. Interesting articles extolled the virtues of afternoon naps (it’s a great perk, but not one of my top 5), faced the fact that our wives are embarrassed (I’ve been known to embarrass my wife, but for completely unrelated reasons), and argued that househusbands lose their independence when they rely on their wives for financial support (I can do whatever I want, so long as my chores are done. And I ask permission first). If I wanted my post to stand alongside these trendy articles, I would need to make a lot of revisions.
No way. My blog baby is beautiful just the way it is.
Be the answer to questions that people aren’t asking yet.
A typical approach to getting noticed by Google is to select a popular keyword (or phrase) that fits a particular post and then draw attention by making as much noise as possible. In the virtual world, this means asking friends and family to share with their friends and family on social media, convincing popular websites to include a link to your post (backlinks), and paying for advertising (i.e. Google AdWords, Outbrain.com, FaceBook Ads, Pinterest Promote, etc.).
These strategies absolutely fetch more exposure for those bloggers with an important message that big audiences would love to hear. But since I’m a humble blogger (don’t laugh, I’m really good at being humble), I should find a careful balance between making noise and converting my essay on the challenges of househusbanding into “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” –Shakespeare.
An alternative is to create a brand-new search term. Instead of trying to make myself more popular than the 856,000 other answers to the all-important househusband question, I can create an answer to a question that hasn’t been asked yet. (Philosophical aside: what kind of world do we live in that we need to have nearly a million answers to the househusband question?)
Amazingly, no one has ever told Google (or spellcheck) about the exciting study of househusbandology! It’s still so exciting, the urge to throw around exclamation points with reckless abandon is almost irresistible. I’m the first one to lay claim to this little corner of the internet. I bet this is how the actor portraying Neil Armstrong felt when he planted the flag in the NASA studio during the “moon landing.” Soon, whenever someone Googles househusbandology (again, no laughing, it could happen), they’re gonna be treated with front row access to my masterpiece.
Have you staked a claim to your corner of the internet yet?
Stop blogging for Google
I’ve spent a lot of time writing about what Google wants to see. But here’s the thing: Google is going to read your post. Regardless of what you write or how popular your post is, Goggle is one of your followers and Google will share your post (even if it’s buried beneath 856,000 others). However, Google won’t give you that comment from an actual person that makes you smile, or think, or strive to write better and more often.
That’s who I’m trying to connect with. People like you that have read all the way down to here (congrats) and still think you might be willing to come back for the next installment (sweet baby Jesus yes).
The monster search engines aren’t very good at connecting people like us. I have more luck finding you in specialized niches like the search bars of WordPress Reader and Pinterest. Finding you requires some effort. However, when I do discover your blog and get the chance to enjoy your writing/art/curation, it’s as exciting as, well, landing on the moon FOR REAL.
What’s your favorite way to find new blogs to enjoy?
Our virtual voices aren’t very loud, but we have powerful ideas and beautiful images to share. If we keep sharing what we’re passionate about, strive to find our place in the blogging community, and for the love of all that’s holy, STOP writing to impress Google, then we’re going to see our future fans become our virtual friends.
P.S. Dearest Google, when you read this, please know that I think you’re very special. I’m sure you’ll make a lucky blogger very happy someday. But it’s time we saw other people.
It’s not you, it’s me.