If you follow Momma Loves Money, you know that one of my streams of income is blogging. Specifically, this blog. Since I have been writing on here for over a year, I decided it was time to reflect on how I was doing. I took note of which posts did well and what they had in common. I also looked at which posts completely tanked, and what they had in common. One big thing that stood out to me was keyword research. My best posts did not have intensive keyword research. Before all the SEO experts jump down my throat, I’m not saying keyword research doesn’t have it’s place. It does. But, I am starting my 3rd year as a blogger and, for me, keyword research hinders my blog posts.
Keyword Research Kills my Creativity
For the last year, my writing process has gone as follows. Get an idea, find a keyword that relates, Google the crap out of it, check out the competition, the search volume, etc. Then, after an hour or two of that I finally begin to write. Once I start to write, I’m constantly checking my SEO plugin to see where I stand. I focus on structure, title tags, and all other holy SEO techniques. By the end of my writing, I haven’t really made my point, I’m bored out of my mind, and I’ve created a researched 8th grade paper. You know, those ones you dreaded writing.
It Takes the Passion out of my Words
I love writing because it is my form of expression. I can just dump all of the thoughts pinging around in my head, onto my keyboard. When I do keyword research, it makes me stop and think, instead of feel. I believe that good writing is made by feeling the passion of the writer come out in their words. Doing keyword research, for me, was like getting amped up to have sex, stopping to read a guide on the subject, and then trying to continue. It’s a mood killer.
It Creates too Much Focus
I don’t know about you, but when I have a specific keyword to focus on, I’m afraid to stray too far. If I don’t have a specific focus, I can let my writing develop as it would naturally. I can go where the words take me. This actually helps me to create better content and longer blog posts. As we know, content is king.
Social Media is Starting to Rule Blogging
I started to notice the difference between new blogs and older blogs. When you are new, you seem to have to focus on keywords and showing up in search results. As an older blog, you can just write amazing content, you post it on Facebook, Twitter, and others. This results in others reading it, sharing it, and all of the sudden you and ranking for keywords you never really thought about. Social media is becoming a HUGE part of SEO. This is my biggest issue. I’m not really that social of a person. So, my following is pretty limited.
Keyword Research is Still Important
I am not saying that every blogger needs to totally abandon keyword research. I am just saying that if you have had the struggles that I have, maybe you should try giving it up for a while. Write a few posts with just your passion and a spark of an idea and see how it does over time. Once you have written in a stream of consciousness style, go back and read your thoughts. Make sure it flows, makes sense and conveys an actual message completely. After all of that, think about the main subject of what you just wrote. Think of what kind of words you would type into the search engine to find this post. Use that to create a title. That’s it!