Is blogging worth it? If you’re a regular blogger and have created a habit out of it, you will be creating posts at least 2-3 times a week. Lets say you blog 3 times a week and 50 weeks of the year. That’s 150 posts each year on your blog assuming 2 weeks of the year you decide not to bother and take a nice holiday in the Bahamas! So for each year you blog your website is growing by 150 posts. If you blog every day then it will be considerable more but let’s stick to this number to keep things simple.
As your site gains more authority with Google your posts should pop up on the search engines results more frequently. Also, if you begin to gain a following, you will have people sharing your posts and linking to them which again will bring in a small trickle of visitors which should grow with time. That’s a big IF of course and you need to be blogging about something which people are obviously interested in, and in a way which is enjoyable to read. Blogging about something in which you are interested in is the easiest way to do this.
Much of what people blog about is completely for themselves and is in no way geared to someday set them free of their jobs or make them a million. However if this is our intention, or at least if it is a long term benefit of blogging – to eventually replace your income, then we should take stock of whether blogging is really worth our valuable time.
Targeting keywords in your blog is definitely a good idea. I wouldn’t recommend writing a whole load of articles titled “money making online” and then stuffing a load of spammy affiliate links in the copy (I tried it!). Google is far to savvy to fall for that one and you have no chance of ranking either such a highly competitive keyword combination or a crappy site full of affiliate links and no real content. What you should be doing is going for the long tail. You can write your own titles with a long tail or you can pick them out from some previous keyword research. See finding long tail keywords. The reason you should do this is because we want our articles to rank on Google.
If over 3 years of writing, (and from the example above that’s 150 pages a year), we will have 450 pages of content on Google. If each one of those receives a visit a day from Google then we should have a source of free traffic from Google of 450 visits a day (based on 1 visit a day from each article). In reality some will do better than others but this would be a modest way to view all that blogging in terms of traffic. If we have written all those articles and not thought about our content or titles, they are likely not to rank at all and simply be lost in the millions of other blogs out there that no-one ever sees.
Take for example this title. “Is blogging worth it?” This is a keyword targeted article. Before I started it I did some keyword research around blogging and this came up. Is blogging worth it only brings up 10 monthly searches which is very low. However it is also a relatively easy term to rank for in Google (or so I hope)! By the time Google indexes this page I will hopefully pick up a visit or two from the free listings whenever someone types in this title. This strategy is far better than simply creating random titles or even trying to compete with much more competitive keyword combinations and them never seeing the light of day on Google.
Another tactic which should help see your articles rank is to create a long tail keyword combination of your own. The Google Keyword Planner is not definitive and people put new searches into the search engine every day. Google can’t list every one of them in the planner and some of them are unique. By creating long tail keyword titles to your articles, you are becoming unique in your content creation and will find unique visits through Google provided they, or something similar are searched for, and that there is little or no competition for those keyword combinations.
As a site grows in domain age, size and incoming links, Google indexes its content further up the search engine as it becomes an ‘authority’. Huge sites like Wikipedia and BBC for example only have to create some content to have it rank at or near the top of Google. They can choose any topic and no matter how competitive they will rank for even the short-tail keywords. How does this concern us the ‘small fish’ blog writers who have only a tiny site authority? What this means for us is that if we continue to create content our site authority grows. It may not grow as fast as the large companies who have teams of people building their site, but it will have an effect in the long run. As our authority grows so will our presence on the web. Our articles will gain a greater standing compared to other newer and less well established blog writers. This in turn will help boost our traffic.
Blogging for the sake of a quick buck surely isn’t going to be worth the time? Saying that though I have made the odd affiliate sale in my early blogging days on hubpages.com. However it didn’t continue because my faith in the affiliate business dwindled and therefore so did my sales. When your belief goes then so does your activity and when that goes so do your results. It is important to keep your belief high as a blogger to keep yourself going (See ‘Why belief is so important for affiliate marketers‘). Studies have shown that writing is very good for you and if only for a health point of view it is clearly beneficial. However if your only reason to blog is to make money then you need to prepare yourself for the long haul. Choose something you enjoy writing about and focus on your activity rather than your results. I built several sites which were keyword targeted and wrote about all manner of crap in the vain hope of making money out of affiliate products. Where are they now? Lost in the black hole of affiliate marketers blogs, never to be seen again!