Last night I saw where Kristy had linked to this post by Seth, where Seth points us to a list of 12 blogging mistakes you can make from SEOMoz. Seth proudly acknowledges that he breaks at least 7 of these rules, and closes his post with this pearl of wisdom:
I’m not writing to maximize my SEO or conversion or even my readership. I’m writing to do justice to the things I notice, to the ideas in my head and to the people who choose to read my work.
The interesting lesson: One way to work the system is to work the system. The other way is to refuse to work it.
Seth has found a blogging strategy that works wonderfully well for him. The problem is, it’s total crap for 99% of the rest of us.
Seth is blogging the way he wants to because he can afford to. He had a huge audience BEFORE he started blogging. That’s the key. He already had a large group of people that were actively devouring any content with his name on it. So when he launched his blog, it was an instant hit, and nearly a decade later it’s still going strong.
So does that mean that Seth’s interesting lesson has any relevance for you as a new blogger? Sure….assuming that you have 2 million people on your email list, or just sold your company to Yahoo!, or have already written several successful marketing books. And having a bald head helps, I guess.
Otherwise, you probably need to follow (or at least consider following) the blogging best practices that Seth so openly breaks. Because you aren’t Seth Godin.
Which takes me back to the reason for this post. Kristy’s right, millions of people all across the country AND world look up to Seth and treasure his advice on any topic. And they typically do so with good reason. But honestly, when Seth starts giving blogging advice, he’s typically outkicked his coverage.
Seth almost never adds pictures to his posts.
Seth doesn’t allow comments on his posts.
Seth pays little to no attention to SEO.
And Seth can proudly do all these things, because his name is Seth Godin. If his name was Bob Smith and he launched a marketing blog following his own blogging strategy, it would likely be a complete flop. It would be a blog full of short posts with some great marketing advice that no one would likely ever find, because Seth wasn’t following any of the rules for building an audience and making his content more discoverable.
Here’s another interesting lesson: It’s a helluva lot easier to move an existing audience to a new place than it is to build one from scratch.
If you are a blogger that’s trying to build an audience for your blog, then there’s certain things you need to do to help your cause:
You need to pay attention to your post titles.
You need to think about what keywords you’ll work into your title and post.
You need to focus on SEO.
You need to include relevant pictures in as many posts as possible.
You need to seriously consider letting readers comment on your blog.
You need to do these things because your name is NOT Seth Godin, and in this case, what works for his blog probably won’t work for yours.