The Right Blog at the Right Time – 1 Year SEO 2.0
Yes, it's already one year. One year has gone since I started this blog, SEO 2.0. I feel like looking back and analyzing.
- Was it worth it?
- Am I where I expected to be in one years time a year ago?
- Did I reach my goals?
- Does blogging make sense for SEO, business and on a personal level?
- Does SEO 2.0 exist or was it only a fad?
Certainly SEO 2.0 was the right blog at the right time. SEO 2.0 was in the air, it was overdue. You could smell it. Someone needed to make it public, make it known. Obviously it was me. So here I am.
This week I reached 900+ subscribers (920 to be exact) after a huge jump of almost 100 in one day after this post was published. As unreliable as the Feedburner subscriber stats might be it seems not bad for a part time blogger in a rather small niche like SEO/social media/meta-blogging. OK, you see yourself it's not small, a SEO-only blog has a small audience but not my blog which covers SEO 2.0, a far broader topic.
I still remember the joy of having
- my first 100 subscribers
- my first 25 friends on StumbleUpon (now I have 100+ friends and 600+ fans)
- my first posts submitted to SU.
- my first front page appearance on Sphinn (that one was really hard!)
- my first buried story on Digg ;-)
Isn't it melancholic?
To be honest the blog still has the same level of traffic a a year ago, I had thousands back then and I have thousands now. Or rather I have them from time to time and most of the time I have hundreds. As I have turned my back on Google, I was so tired (and still am) of SEO 1.0 that I did not optimize SEO 2.0 much at all. So my traffic last month was still only 8% from Google. The biggest difference is my posting frequency. In the first 6 weeks I posted 3 times as often as now. On the other hand my posts were far less valuable then.
The reason to blog is probably to feel at home on the web. So ironically not the homepage is your home online but your blog. I really feel at home on the web now. I mean I don't feel like this is only a screen I stare at the whole day and a random array of billions of web pages. The contrary is the case, it's like having a house in the hills at the coast and people can see you from afar. Am I getting poetic again? ;-)
So a blog can make your working environment more friendly. This is of course a two edged sword. The more time you spend online the less time you have to meet real people etc. You know the deal. So let's lay aside the emotional chatter.
OK, you want the hard facts instead? You want the ROI? You want to see the money? Tad Chef is not John Chow, I won't show you cheques or earnings. I do have blog related earnings though. Direct and indirect.
Direct blog earnings include:
- Ad revenue
- Guest blogging
- Regular paid blogger jobs
Indirect blog earnings are
- SEO clients I got via the blog
- SEO clients I got due to my blog readers and social media friends
Here you already notice the ROI of blogging which is not measurable in $ or other numbers. I have been invited to the SES due to my blogging and social media activity. I could convince a prospective SEO client of mine to set up a blog and I am still writing daily for it. One big client was referred to me another blogger "I met" virtually during my blogging and social media endeavours.
In fact I found out that the SEO/social media/meta-blogging community is the single friendliest, most helpful, tolerant and cosmopolitan crowd whatsoever.
What did not work?
- Being friends with everybody, some people you have to refuse to have ties with
- Earning money with affiliate banners and text ads, almost no affiliate sales this way
- Getting thousands of visitors regularly, only hundreds
- Becoming independent from Google completely
- Ranking at #1 for SEO worldwide, at least i rank in the top 50 for seo blog by now ;-)
What would I do differently if I would start a new blog today?
- I would choose a different topic. SEO is a too small niche and even if you call it 2.0 many people will still assume that you do evil SEO spam.
- I'd aim at having 70/30 traffic or even 50/50 social media and other sources vs Google traffic.
- I'd sell something related to the blog topic.
In fact I plan to do just that. Selling advertising or affiliate products on a non-A-list blog which nonetheless is a high quality blog is difficult: It's too good for Adsense (Adsense gets only clicked if your content is crap) and not important enough to get the big advertisers.
So other bloggers sell WordPress themes, ebooks, consulting services (OK, I do too in a way) or they offer paid reviews. So yes, now that I have your attention I want to sell you something! Indeed I blogging and social media proved to as much fun as expected, thus I want to do even more blogging and social media. I can't do more than what I do now without getting paid more directly for it though.
So I want to offer to my readers what they really need:
- Links and traffic
- Know How
There are a few proven online business models to offer just that:
- Web directories
- Premium content
What do you need and which medium would you prefer to get it?