It's quite ironic that I wrote a blog post about pushing my comfort zones in the summer and then I didn't blog for over two and a half months. When I did, I wrote a blog post last week where I was inspired to draw similarities between dating and SEO (yes, really) because you can't expect to get lucky on a first date if you want a long lasting relationship - you can read that here.*
Today I want to talk to you about what happened with my SEO rankings when I stopped blogging.
The reasons why blogging is good for business are vast, and I've even written a blog post with fifty two reasons (I originally wanted it to be ninety-nine reasons so I could make a pop culture reference)
So here's what happened. Bearing in mind I kept up with all other marketing activities, still launched two rounds of my SEO course Let's Get You Found i.e. directing traffic to my site.
Three major things happened:
- My traffic plummeted. I had stopped giving people much reason to visit my website and therefore felt disappointed when they weren't engaging with what I had to sell.
- My enquiries dropped. This could be down to the fact that I now have a Facebook group where people can ask questions and learn from me right there, but also I think it's because I wasn't giving them a reason to visit my site because I wasn't blogging. Whenever I blog I get messages which warms up my audience and then leads to enquiries.
- My keyword rankings went down the toilet. I've enjoyed being page one for my search terms for a little while now and I must admit I got cocky. Be ye not so silly. I am no longer on page one for many of my keyword phrases and it's going to take a while to get back there. Just because you've carved out a niche for yourself doesn't mean you get to stay at the top! Many competitors have emerged since I started this business, plus, of course, the competitors who were there before me, I need to keep that in mind always!
Now, I *could* have let the anxiety of this overwhelm me. However will I recover? What if people find out what a failure I am? I'm an SEO expert, I *should* be doing so much more. This was the perfect recipe for the panic attacks that used to frequent my life so much before. Indeed, the more I overthought about it, the less I wanted to blog. It's also the reason why I don't like to use the word 'should'. It adds unnecessary pressure which is unhelpful to all involved.
I'm really good at hitting myself round the head with a metaphorical sh*tty stick and this has only ever increased since becoming 100% self-employed four years. Luckily I have a great support structure in place thanks to a relaxation technique I've been learning for the past seven years and counting. With this practice, I have a personal mentor and a business mentor and a worldwide community who all remind me I'm doing just fine and to focus on solutions and gratitude. With their support I can stay accountable to what I want to achieve, which is quite a bit.
So why am I not just not hiding but actually blogging about it? Well it's because I care what happens to my site and it's SEO and I know you do too. That's why you're reading this. I see people complain about the fact that their traffic is rubbish but at the same time, they haven't made time to blog. They watch my free videos and go 'yeah but' and don't action them and still complain to me. I know this well because I've done it too! We all brush it off and push SEO to the bottom of our to-do list.
Perhaps the biggest shameful confession is this: I have over 116 unpublished blog posts and many more titles and topics to write about in my head, on various notebooks. I became stuck and didn't know where to start. I wasn't taking my own advice. My favourite excuse that I happily shared with people was "I'm a perfectionist". This is not an excuse. Perfectionism is socially acceptable procrastination.
I was so busy ignoring my own advice that my business suffered. Don't get me wrong, I've booked in some wonderful students on my Let's Get You Found course, and I've been busy streamlining my services ready into head into 2019 with a bang, but at the end of the day, I just had to start.
And now? My traffic is improving because of the blog posts, and I've already started to see changes in my rankings. I have more content for you to enjoy which makes you happy which makes me happy. I enjoy writing, and I intend to now write weekly.
So I call out to you - who's with me? Who's going to commit to blogging weekly again? We can always find reasons not to do something. It's never too late to pick up and focus on the longer-term health of your business. I know my life is made a lot easier when I just hit publish.
P.S. As much as I have mixed feelings about a motivational quote, I also think that I don't enjoy many of them because I don't identify with 95% of them. But then I've started creating a few on my Instagram this year and they seem to go down well. So I've made a few here - you may share them as you wish. If you don't, be like Thumper and don't say anything at all. #bemoreThumper
P.P.S. See what I did? I referred to other pieces of content on my website within a blog post - this is a good thing for SEO and that's just one of the tips I talk about in my SEO for beginners guide available here.