Rest in Peace, SEO


Search Engine Optimization as we know it is terminally ill, and experts have predicted that by mid-2014, it will have been laid to rest. Does that mean we don’t need to optimize our sites? Not at all. We still need to practice good on-page optimization, but the most important thing bloggers can do to rank well is to reduce off-site SEO efforts and spend our time creating quality content.

As we go through the list of things we need to do to Penguin-and-Panda-proof a website, the next item on Google’s list of things that make a quality site asks, “Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?”

Remember, the new trend in SEO is to “forget about SEO.” And the way we do that, is by replacing old-school SEO tactics with high-quality content. I’ve always focused on providing original, relevant, and quality content on this blog. And guess what? None of the Google updates have affected my traffic. Not farmer. Not Panda. And not Penguin. And I don’t fear any future Google crack-downs.

Why? Because today’s SEO tip is to ensure your site is written by someone who is enthusiastic about the topic and ensure your content isn’t shallow.

So, basically today’s topic is how to create compelling content that is relevant to your audience, fresh, authoritative, and has some meat on its bones.

The problem with most of the sites that got “Google-slapped” by the recent algorithm updates is that they either contained unedited PLR (private label rights) content, had poor-quality outsourced material created for cheap, scraped content from other sites (duplicate content), or were just full of ads and links with no real content at all. Those are the types of sites Google wants to sandbox.

This is GREAT news for us, because real websites with real content will start to rise in the search engine results. The key to ranking well in the search engines is to become an authority blogger. Pick your blog’s topic, and write with authority. Consistently. That’s it. It’s very simple – not always easy, but simple.

Here are some tips for becoming an authority blogger:

  1. Be passionate about your topic. Enthusiasm is one of the key components Google is looking for in content.
  2. Post consistently. Write new blog content at least once per week (but the more often, the better). Try to publish your posts at about the same time of day, and if you don’t blog every day, post on the same day(s) each week so readers will know when to check for new content.
  3. Be real. Transparency is important to grow an online following. You must be honest and open on your blog. Let people get to know you as a person. Be easy to contact.
  4. Make your site easy for your readers. Use clear navigation. Have a well-designed site. Simplify your category structure – it’s best to use a limited number of broad categories and use tags for more specific searches. A blog that dozens of categories strewn down the sidebar appears overwhelming to readers. Here’s a post I wrote on how to make your site easy for your readers.
  5. Be generous. Give away your best stuff for free. Always think of ways to add value to your blog posts. Include actionable takeaways that your readers can easily implement.
  6. Keep up with (and inform your readers of) the trends in your topic. Be a student, but be an authority. One of the best ways to become an authority blogger is to keep learning about your topic. The more you know, the more you have to share with others. And the more interesting and relevant content you share, the larger your audience will become.

If you keep these six tips in mind as you build your blog, you won’t ever have to fear past or future Google updates because your site will be the type of quality site Google is looking for.


63 Types of Content to Create for Your Blog

antique typewriter

Since we typically share content ideas on Thursday is Words Day, today I’m posting a list of 63 Types of Content to Create for Your Blog

If you’ve ever struggled with the “What, oh, what shall I blog about?” syndrome, this post will get you started with ideas. Over the next several weeks (or possibly months), we’ll take the items on this list (a few per week) and go into detail about how to use them and where to find good examples and, if applicable, how-to create the content. But for today, I’m just sharing the entire list of 63 types of content to create for your blog – add your own content ideas in the comments so we can go through them in detail in future posts, too:

  1. Images
  2. Man on the Street interviews
  3. A “day in the life” of ___
  4. Rants
  5. Story – the story of your business or your life (or someone else’s story)
  6. Industry trends
  7. Glossary of terms
  8. Product unveiling (video or text with images)
  9. Animated GIFs
  10. Competition analysis
  11. eBooks/PDF reports
  12. Comics and/or cartoons
  13. RSS feed compilations
  14. Livestreaming video
  15. Ads
  16. Embedded tweets
  17. Tutorials (illustrated guides and/or videos)
  18. Event info – reporting, take-aways, etc.
  19. Social media updates
  20. Infographics
  21. Interactive content (Think: Tournament brackets, etc.)
  22. Competitions
  23. Memes
  24. Music videos
  25. Polls
  26. About Us pages (if you think these are boring, take a look at Pixar’s about us.
  27. Controversial content
  28. Collaborative content
  29. Trivia/Factoids
  30. Data graphics (different than infographics)
  31. Humor
  32. Podcasts
  33. Quote collections
  34. Scavenger hunts
  35. Video
  36. Portfolios
  37. Regular old b-flat blog posts (they really don’t have to be boring, though)
  38. Slideshow presentations
  39. User-generated content
  40. Reviews
  41. Guest posts
  42. Contests
  43. Mini-courses (series of posts)
  44. Curated content
  45. Success stories
  46. Reviews
  47. Survey data
  48. Mega lists
  49. Webinars
  50. How-to’s
  51. Testimonials
  52. Articles
  53. FAQs or Q&A’s
  54. White papers
  55. Interviews
  56. Facts and Stats
  57. Interviews
  58. News stories
  59. Case studies
  60. Roundups
  61. Multi-media
  62. Cross-platform
  63. Riddles or Quizzes

There you have it – 63 types of content for your blog. Next Thursday, we’ll start marching down the list so you’ll know exactly how to get the best use out of each of these types of blog content.

17 Blog Content Brainstorming Resources

What Should I Blog About?

If you’re staring at the blinking cursor in your blog’s new post screen, wondering, “What, oh what, should I blog about?” then cheer up! Here are 20 resources to help get those blog brainstorming juices flowing. Grab a notebook and pen and jot down ideas as you research these resources. Continue reading →

What Makes Content Compelling?

young cat peering around edge of computer screen

We’ve all heard it before — if you want readers to return to your blog and bring friends, then write compelling content. So, how do we do that exactly? What makes content compelling?

Continue reading →