At some point in your blogging journey, you’re going to learn a little (or a lot) about SEO.
Search Engine Optimization.
In fact, it’s the largest portion of the Blog Simple Framework.
I’m not the biggest fan of SEO.
It can be very tedious depending on how you approach it.
So I try to keep it as simple as possible and I suggest you do the same.
Not to dive into the weeds but I’ll give you a quick synopsis of SEO.
What Is SEO?
Do you know when you go to Google, search for something, and see some results?
SEO is the practice of trying to get on the front page of Google (and other search engines) so you can get at the top of those results.
There are a number of factors that go into ranking highly in Google.
SEO is the act of trying to apply all of those things to your blog.
It should go without saying that EVERYBODY wants to get to the top of those results.
Whatever idea you have for your blog now, imagine 100s or 1000s of other people just like you sitting at home eyeing that top spot.
That’s what makes SEO a pain in the ass.
So how does Google decide who ranks at the top and who ranks at the bottom?
They have over 200 different search criteria that they go through and nobody knows what all 200 are.
There are guesses.
All people can really do is implement best practices and hope for the best.
And once you get to the top you have to do work to stay at the top.
Here is one of my blogs at its height of traffic. 839,260 pageviews in a single month, mostly driven by Google.
When Google changed their algorithm the site was no longer #1 for many big keywords so traffic drop by over 60%.
That’s why SEO can be very tedious if you decide to dive into it.
I only do it because I teach a course on it (it’s in the Mighty Tiny SEO), but in practice, I like to take it easy.
I focus on targeting specific audiences with really great content. I do some very basic SEO things that you would do anyways and then I let things take care of themselves.
And the result?
I rank #1 across a ton of different keywords on a number of different sites.
There was a time where I was ranking #1 for keto diet and was bringing in 2.7 MILLION pageviews just on that search term alone.
But that was the past.
Now I try to rank for more specific keywords.
Keywords that I know the specific audience I’m targeting are searching for and the reason why I do this is that I like money and this is why I focus on silos.
Let me explain.
I like aquascaping. If you don’t know what that is it’s basically creating gardens in your freshwater aquarium.
Here’s a quick video showcasing a beautiful aquascape:
It’s a wonderful hobby.
It’s also an expensive one.
It’s one of those hobbies where you could buy everything on Amazon if you wanted, but you don’t.
Because you want to go to a company that specializes in aquascaping gear and materials because they know the hobby better.
They can provide you with better things because their focus is 100% on a specific audience and they know the desires and needs of the audience.
Because they know these things they get to craft an experience that Amazon just can’t match.
For example, I shop almost exclusively at BucePlant because they specialize in this stuff and therefore I trust them.
And that means something.
It doesn’t mean they will grow as big as Amazon, but they don’t need to.
They get to make money doing what they love because they serve a specific audience.
And for me, that’s the best way to make money today.
Remember that whole follow your passion discussion we had? It’s possible as long as you are targeting the right audience that spends money.
So what does this mean for your blog?
It means that you have to keep in mind that you’re competing with 1000s upon 1000s of different sites. Not just regular bloggers like yourself, but big ass brands as well.
So how do you do stuff better than them?
Let’s Get Specific
You get really specific with who you want to help.
We can actually look at one of my sites as an example. Let’s take a look at Bogoten.
Bogoten is a blog about your home. It covers home decor, cleaning, and organization.
Each of these topics on their own is HUGE. These are the main blog categories but we call them Silos.
There is no possible way that Marybeth (the main writer) or myself could even consider writing across all of those categories and do a great job to compete with the bigger sites that do the same.
So what can we do?
We can get very specific about a topic in one of those categories.
Bedroom decor for example. Bedroom decor falls under Home decor. So it’s a silo within a silo (sub-silo or micro-silo).
Instead of going wide with home decor, why not spend time going deep with bedroom decor so that we can provide the best experience possible for anyone interested in bedroom decor?
Remember, your audience is trying to see if your blog is going to be a resource for them and it’s hard to be that with just one post on bedroom decor.
So what we do is look at all of the things that we can talk about within bedroom decor and we write about those things.
Now, does this mean that we will stick with bedroom decor forever?
Of course not!
Eventually, we will move onto the next silo or micro-silo in this case.
It might be kitchen decor or living room decor or bathroom decor or garage organization.
As time goes on we will continue to bounce to new silos within the site and building them out until we are happy with the resources that they provide.
Along the way, our audience will grow because we cater to specific people and provide them with the best experience.
I’m just scraping the surface of our blog strategy and SEO. There really is no way I could go in-depth into everything that we do in a guide like this and this is a pretty thorough guide!
Now that you understand the silos there is another question that you should be asking.
How will this make me the money that I want?
And that’s the perfect question. So let’s answer it.