Raise your hand if you’ve NEVER seen Sex in the City.
Okay, maybe one or two of you. But, if you are anything like me, that period between 1998 and 2004 had me setting my alarm each week so I wouldn’t miss a single episode of Carrie Bradshaw’s life in action. At first, I simply enjoyed the comedy as this diverse bunch of friends tackled modern social issues against a backdrop of friendship and romantic interludes.
I was probably into the second series before my attention changed and I began to focus on the main character’s approach to making a living … she was a Blogger … a practice still in its infancy at the time (1998 was the first year to see a blog on a traditional news site). I couldn’t get my head around how someone could make a living sharing their diary online, but as she stepped out onto the New York streets each week on point and showcasing Manolo Blahnik or Christian Dior, I began to see the possibilities of making a good living working online and without being a slave to the 9-5.
I wanted to do the same. But life got in the way. I had two young kids, a business to run and I’d just signed on to a 4-year course to study natural health. The idea of writing my own blog and monetizing it was pushed onto a back burner.
Let’s fast forward to 2013. My husband, Jon, had died at the back end of 2011 and for a year I’d been wandering around in a daze going through the motions of daily routine and trying to find some meaning in life. I had given up my work when he’d become ill and was kicking my heels looking for a project to occupy my mind.
I returned to the idea of writing a blog.
Now everyone likes a good story … you only need to look at the success of people like Russell Brunson, Steve Larson, Dean Graziosi and Tony Robbins to know that’s true.
And I had lots of stories to tell. This was going to be my meal ticket. A way to make a living in just an hour a day writing content and posting it online. I jumped onto WordPress, bought a domain name, opened an affiliate account with Amazon, and started to write.
ZIP, ZILCH, NADA! …No-one came.
Typing my site name into Google, I scrolled through 20 pages of search results and still couldn’t find my site. It wasn’t surprising no-one else could either.
I wanted to monetize my blog but to stand a chance of succeeding, I would need to come up with a plan to get myself seen.
And that’s when I discovered the minefield that is SEO (or search engine optimization).
Now these days many internet gurus are saying that SEO is no longer important, and I want to believe them so I can avoid getting pulled into this particular rabbit hole, but SEO is not just about increasing visibility in search engines such as Google.
In addition to enabling organic search, SEO is important to:
- Build Trust and Credibility
- Give a better user experience
- Increase engagement, traffic and conversions
- Impact the buying cycle–helping customers do their research
- Force web administrators to keep their website up to date
- Help with monitoring long term strategy
- Help you dominate the organic search game by driving you onto page one of the searches.
If you want to foster a strong brand, stay ahead of the trends and have a way to quantify your reach, SEO is still a beneficial addition to your marketing strategy.
But if you want to create a platform to sell your own product or affiliate product through blogging, expertise in SEO is essential, or you’ll fall dead in the water.