Alright, so I’ve been putting this off for a while. I’m not quite sure why, but I will put it off no longer. So If you’re reading this, your likely thinking the same thing I would be. “What’s the ONE Thing?!” Well, to keep it simple… Blogging.
For those of you confused how blogging can create freedom, it’s understandable. How can essentially keeping a personal journal possibly help me find freedom. Well it does a lot more than that, but we’ll keep it simple for now. As many of you have heard, on the internet, “content is king.” However, so few truly understand how powerful this is. Creating content is important in so many ways, but here’s a few just so you can understand.
Search Engine Optimization or (SEO)
Many “experts” out there have been throwing this term around in hopes that it will make you scared that no one will find you unless you pay them hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month. This simply isn’t true. Search engine optimization can indeed be a complicated task to fulfill. If you’re trying to make your brand new website hit number one on Google, absolutely. However, this shouldn’t be the goal. Just like a quick fast loss solution doesn’t work in the long run, neither does paying someone tons of money you may not have to put you on top for search results.
What is SEO
Search Engine Optimization is the manipulation of your online content in order to help search engines (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) move your content to the top of their search results. We try to do so in order to have our site seen by a larger audience and hopefully gain more prospects. With increased prospects, we then hope to convert some into customers, which results in profit. Finally, increased profits result in more freedom. Now, you may think that these companies may be upset that you’re trying to cheat the system. Well, you’d be half correct. Companies like Google want to bring the most relevant content to their users to keep their product high quality. So if you’re site provides that, you should naturally move upward in the results. However there are other techniques that can be used and these are what search engines are not a fan of.
Black Hat, Grey Hat, or White Hat
So, when it comes to SEO for your website, there are three methods to do so:
- black Hat;
- grey Hat; and
- white hat
Black Hat SEO is never the way to go. If a search engine finds out you’ve been using black hat techniques, you will become blacklisted and moved to the end of their search results. Black hat techniques are when you try to use the algorithms of a search engine against itself to promote your page to the top of the list regardless of the quality of your content. Such things as paying for back links on sites irrelevant to your own, spamming of unrelated keywords, hidden links, and others are all considered black hat and should always be avoided. If you do plan to hire an SEO expert, be sure to ask the method of SEO they are using and to confirm it is not black hat, as this will not do irreparable damage to your website. Google has improved their algorithms to seek out this type of behavior and black these types of site more readily.
Grey Hat SEO is what the majority of SEO experts you pay will do for your website. So when working on SEO you can either focus on the search engine (and its algorithms) or users. Black hat is focused only on exploiting the search engine’s algorithms and not at all on the people using them. Grey hat is a less risky move. Essentially, you are indeed providing [high] quality content, however you may be slightly abusive of the loop holes found in a search engine’s algorithm. This allows you to exploit them without the immediate threat of being blacklisted. However, the reason this method is still risky is that search engines like Google are constantly improving their results by working on new algorithms to track abusive SEO work. So you could be No. 1 in the search results one day and the next, Google releases a new algorithm and you shoot down to the bottom page. If you’re looking for quick growth, this method does work, but it’ll cost you—a lot.
Additionally, SEO experts leave out an important part about their business. Some believe they can sign a 6 month contract with an SEO company and after 6 months they’ll have reached the top and will stay there. Wrong! Do to the methods used, this technique works only under constant maintenance. Once you stop paying them, you’ll see your listing slowly fall from the top as competitors out rank you.
Now, depending on how much money the leads generated by your SEO you’re getting, this may be a perfectly viable option. But for those who are just starting off, and getting their feet wet in the business world, you may be draining your account for no good reason. So what can you possibly do to move to the top and stay on top?
This is where White Hat SEO comes in to play. White hat SEO isn’t really a “technique” per-say. This is simply building a website with high quality content that is continually updated and revised. By doing so, over time, you naturally have more keywords, more relevant subjects, more links added to your site. Additionally, with superior content, it is likely to be shared. Once shared you begin to gain quality back links making your site the go to place for whatever niche or category you’ve designed. This doesn’t mean you can’t do keyword research to help promote your site. In fact, it’s just the opposite. As long as your keywords are relevant to your site, search engines like Google appreciate that you are trying to share good content with those who want to read it by matching the words they’d likely search for when looking for the content you provide.
So How Does Blogging Help with SEO
Blogging is simply the best method to increase the quantity and quality of content on your website. Sites like WordPress.org (which this site is built on) and Blogger.com have made setting one up so simple to set one up as well that anyone can do it. So what’s stopping you?
Reputation is extremely important when it comes to business. What others say about you can make or break a sale, a connection, etc. Additionally, what they don’t say about you has a similar effect. So what does blogging have to do with reputation? Well simply put, “…issues that gain attention also gain presumed importance… if people fail to direct their attention to a topic, they presume that it must be of relatively little importance.” This quote from Robert Cialdini‘s book Pre-Suasion emphasizes an important concept. With out attention you really have no reputation. You’re a ghost.
By blogging you are putting a piece of yourself out there that can gain attention. With this attention, a perception of importance arises and you have the opportunity to share yourself and all your glory. The more content you create within the topic you are covering, the more often you will appear on someone’s screen. By gaining this attention your level of importance will slowly rise. As it does, you can build a community of those who come to you for knowledge on your subject. In fact, it becomes your subject.
Now the work doesn’t end after hitting “Publish,” but it does make it much easier the more times that button is hit. So reading more books may expand your mind, but sharing that knowledge in a blog expands your visibility. And when that visibility is connected with knowledge you share your reputation will build for being “that guy,” known within your community.
Confidence in Action
One other field I noticed the creation of content (i.e. blogging) can help, is in the building of confidence. In Napoleon Hill’s great book, Think and Grow Rich, he discusses the theory of Auto-Suggestion. This is a psychological term that basically says, the more you tell yourself something, the more you believe it. The more you begin to believe whatever it is that you are telling yourself it becomes ingrained into your subconscious mind. Once there, the magic really begins to happen. Your subconscious mind—the ego—is very frail and so it feels the need to defend itself through action. So by telling yourself over and over again that you are rich, your mind will begin forcing you to take action to see that this is so.
Blogging, if done habitually, I believe can do the same thing. I’m sure as you’re reading this you can hear yourself talk in your mind, as do I as I am typing this. Here I am essentially talking to myself about what I know and sharing it with you. By continuing to write blog posts I will begin to convince myself of two things: I am a blogger and I know what I am talking about. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t meant to lie to yourself, it’s simply meant to trick the brain into believing something so powerfully that in turn, it forces you to take action to ensure that it is.
Now, this is all my opinion and I am going to put it to the test, however I hope that this can help you too.
How Blogging Can Set You Free
So as you can see, by continually blogging you can help yourself naturally increase your website’s ranking, build your reputation, and potentially make you more confident in yourself. Now what more reason do you need to begin? Oh right, money! So having a reputable name, easily found content on the Web, and the confidence in yourself as an expert in your field, you now have the audience and mindset to make an income. There is much more on how this is possible, but I’ll leave that for a later post. For now, start blogging!
So Why Now?
So why have I just now decided to make blogging a priority? Well, I have become a voracious reader over the past two years, however I haven’t always implemented everything that I’ve consumed. Many books have discussed the importance of blogging and content creation, but I just hadn’t taken it seriously enough. After a road trip to Nashville, I relistened to Gary Vaynerchuk‘s Crush It! for the tenth time and tried to let it sink in a little bit deeper. Then I recently finished another book from MentorBox (more on this later) and I realized I needed to catch up on the other books I’ve been purchasing. Since I’m currently building another online business—SeerNova Comics—I decided a good book to read next would be KaChing by Joel Comm. This is entirely about making money online. After a few chapters in I put the book down for a minute and began writing this article. That’s basically it!
So if you have any questions or comments on anything mentioned in the article or in general, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. and if you found anything in here useful to you and think it can help others, please share with the icons below.