When Blogging, Ignore SEO

SEO is not dead.

That sentiment has been making it’s way around the Web for years. SEO is alive and well. However, I’m in the blogging game and while there is a strong connection between blogging and SEO, I no longer think SEO should be the main focus or even one of the main focuses of blogging efforts.

It’s probably obvious that I’m also not of the camp that states that blogging is dead. Blogging is a great strategy and just because SEO is not a main focus of blogging anymore I’m still advocating blogging for a other, more important reasons.

Blogging is About List Building

You can call it various things. I’ve called a list by a few different names myself. Blogging is about building a list of potential or current customers.

It’s called a list, an audience, followers, or anything else that defines a group of people that have opted in to your business. They have given you attention by purchasing from you, subscribing to your updates or have made a mental note that your company exists.

The age old marketing methodology is that:

The money is in the list.

This doesn’t change with blogging or any other marketing effort. It’s all about building a list or an audience or followers. You want to find the list that your business can profit from while providing valuable services or goods.

Profit is the goal of all business and business activities and that includes blogging. The way to achieve that profit, the best way, with blogging is to focus on building a list.

Company or Business Blog

When people come to me asking about starting a company blog they often mention SEO. They inquire about how to optimize posts for Google and how to develop a blogging strategy that brings visitors from Google and other search engines.

What I tell prospective clients and current clients is that SEO is part of a blogging strategy, but it’s a small part.

What I recommend to prospects and what we work on at Ghost Blog Writers for current clients is list building. We work to create an ongoing commentary that attracts profitable customers to a business. The goal of the blog is to drive profit and the best way to do that is to bring attention to the business while focusing on list building.

The list can be an email list, RSS feed subscribers, buyers and a few other channels of subscribers including social media channels.

The main way to acquire people for a list with a blog is to have current customers and site visitors read posts and share with their peers. This can be done with social media or even email. People do still email links to their peers. It actually happens all the time. Word of mouth is a great way for interest in a blog and a business to spread.

SEO is also a part of this discovery. The more posts a company has the better the chance is for people to discover the posts.

I like to focus more on the sharing aspect, though.

Creating the list is the key to a successful blog. Perhaps the foremost person in blogging even thinks so.

Guest Blogging

Guest posting is another area where prospective clients mention SEO.

Yes, there are some benefits of posting on another blog and creating links back to your site. That is not the main attraction of guest posting, however.

What is better about guest posting is providing great content for a site owner and in return getting to expose yourself and your brand to their audience. As you work to build your own blogging list and audience, it’s necessary to expose yourself to your target audiene. One way to do this is to offer guest content for someone else’s audience.

I write about country music often and I like to think of guest posting in terms of new country artists.

When new artists arrive on the scene, they are in need of an audience (or list of customers). One way new artists build their audience is to arrange guest appearances on tour with bigger acts. As the opening act, new artists can expose themselves to an established audience of people that might become fans.

The reason the established acts offer opening spots is to provide more entertainment to their audience (list, fans, followers, etc.).

Guest blogging is much the same. As a new blogger, you want to build your audience and one way to do this is to expose yourself to an established audience.

It’s not really about link building. You don’t even have to include links in your guest post. Just leave your brand name or even your name as the author. Even offer to have any links be no-follow links.

Guest blogging is about exposure and list building.

Next Steps

Blog strategy starts with the goal of profit. The way to achieve profit is to build a list.

Focus your blogging strategy on building a list of email subscribers, RSS feed subscribers, etc.

The list is where the most value is for your blogging efforts.

SEO matters, but it’s not the focus.

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