New bloggers often face this difficult question. When they stumble onto the world of blogging and thereafter the world of SEO, it all seems a complete random mess. On one hand, if you don’t write on your website, there isn’t anything to link to when you do a guest post on some other website, and on the other hand, you can write for days on end on your own website and still not get a hint of traffic sunlight.
In this post, I am going to delve into that concept. What should you do? Should you focus on your own blog when you start your blogosphere journey or should you focus on branding yourself when you start? This post is going to have several personal anecdotes as well as examples from the blogosphere to help you decide on this question.
My first blog was one called TechSavvy and as you can guess, it was focused on tech. I was getting a good start when I realized I didn’t have time to write about the fast-moving world of tech. I needed something that was more perennial and also something that I had a good knowledge of.
It was SEO, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
And, I started my blog WinSavvy. If you check out my website, you will see that it contains only nine published posts, as of writing this (soon to be ten). This is because, burdened by my life as a student of Law and Company Secretaryship, I get little to no time to write.
As such, I needed to be very methodical about the ways I employed in my blog. After hours of reading about numerous bloggers’ case studies and the Pareto Principle’s application (80/20 Principle), I came to a conclusion. But before I get to it, let me talk about some blogs to better illustrate my point.
Brian Dean of Backlinko makes over a million dollars yearly. It should be noted that Backlinko has something about 55 posts to date. It has been 5 years since Backlinko started and it has garnered an astounding number of viewership (4m visitors and 11m page views as of February 2017).
How was this possible?
Well, Brian Dean posted content at a very minimal rate on his website, but what he did spend his time into, is using and experimenting with several SEO techniques to get an abnormally huge number of backlinks.
Still, it should be noted that his blog receives far less traffic when compared to mammoth sites like Shoutmeloud.
But, here’s another twist!
Even with far lesser viewership, Brian Dean makes much more than Shoutmeloud founder Harsh Agarwal. This is because where Harsh earns with affiliate marketing and sponsored content, Brian Dean steers clear of that. Brian focuses his earnings on getting customers to his own tutorials – SEO That Works and FirstPageVideos.
He also earns a lot by working as an SEO consultant for small businesses worldwide.
This case study was proof of how lesser content on your site may not bar you from earning more.
Let’s dive into another example.
Minuca Elena Analysis
Minuca Elenca is a freelance writer who writes expert roundups for websites looking to increase their traffic. Now I had already said in my post on how to make a blog post go viral, that roundup posts work like a charm. In fact, anyone can do that form of post. But what she does is that she gets paid to do that on other websites.
Now let’s take a look at her website. You will find that she rarely blogs on her website, with her latest post being on September 2, 2017. But she still does generate backlinks to her website whilst getting a good amount of money, doesn’t she?
So, Should You Focus on Guest Posts or Not?
Well, these two examples weren’t to make you believe that writing for your own blog is not necessary.
It just depends…. on you.
Blogging on your own website can be necessary to build exposure and gain backlinks if that is your niche. Websites like Mashable and TechCrunch were established through tirelessly posting at an abnormal rate of 8-16 posts daily.
What I am saying is that there is an easy way and a hard way.
Guest blogging is a great way to gain exposure. But if you blog about the latest Android stuff, then you need content on your website to link to. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get your SEO game to top-notch. Marketers like Jeff Bullas, and Neil Patel earn crazy amounts by mixing both guest posting and writing on their own blogs in their SEO game.
I would say, if you are just starting out, focus on writing top-notch content on your own website. This content should preferably be comprehensive around 4000+ words. The internet is filled with information. Every kid with an internet connection can blog, thanks to Google’s free Blogspot platform.
So, you will hardly be able to make a dent, if you write small, uninspiring content. Aim to write 10x better than your competitors. Then you got to market it. There are several SEO strategies but if you want to gain exposure, then guest posting is the best way.
Start small. Every website with an Alexa rank of less than 1 million is your target. Try to get your post published on several blogs as you slowly scale up.
This will serve two purposes-
- One is that small-scale sites will not be as picky with your content as sites with an Alexa Rank of less than 50,000.
- Also, these sites will help you gain experience on how to write and what to write.
If you are in a fast-moving niche, then to avoid hard work, you can work smartly.
Well, try list posts. List posts are extremely shareable and linked to.
Some great topics could be, for example, “200 Gadgets Frequent Travellers Love Taking With Them” or “101 Ways You Could Spend Time with Your Dog”.
Keep in mind, when you write list posts, that your list is going to get shared only if it is the best there is. Have you ever been on a long bridge and wondered what was the 3rd longest bridge?
I guess not.
This is because humans have an affinity to be more attracted to the best. And this applies even to content.
I suggested you incorporate list posts if you are in a fast-moving niche because they slow down the pace at which you have to write in your blog. If you started reviewing every gadget under the sun, then trust me – you are going to end up burnt out; unless you have a team of writers.
With the pause on your own writing, you can focus on writing for other blogs and this will help you push your blog higher.
I hope I have cleared your doubts. If you have any other questions, connect with me on Twitter.