I’ve heard it time and time again from small business owners all over the country. They feel guilty about their blogs, that they're not updating them as much as they know they should. For whatever reason when you ask a business owner to write they feel the weight of the world come crashing down on them. I am here to tell you it doesn’t have to be that way. And that you are not alone.
One item that I should point out before we get started is the importance that Google places on updated content. If your digital studio did their job when they built your site then they probably registered you with Google’s Webmaster Tools. I won’t get into specifics about the tools they provide there but I will point out that Google asks for a site map in a format that gives the URL for a page, the date it was last edited/published, and the frequency that the page changes.
Google also uses technology that allows them to “crawl” a site. When Google crawls a site it basically is trying to make a table of contents for the site that it can store. This allows Google to store information about your site so that if someone searches for terms you have written about your site will be sent as part of the Search Results. If you want to learn more Matt Cutts has a great video where he covers Crawling and Indexing
So, we now know that based on the frequency of your posts and their relevance to search terms you will be ranked accordingly. But we still have this little issue of writers block… so we know it’s important to update your site content but can’t.
I studied English in college at James Madison University (Go Dukes!). As part of that I took a Creative Writing course (as all good English majors should). My professor used to have this way with words. Anyway, he coined the term Brain Vomit. Now say what you will about it being gross and there are other ways of saying the same thing (brain storm, mind map, etc) but out of all of the things I learned at JMU this is one of the top things that stuck with me.
So, for those of you not fortunate enough to have taken that class, let me introduce you to Brain Vomit. The premise is that you sit down for a set duration and just write everything that comes to mind. So I may choose a subject like photography and just start writing:
light, lighting, reflectors, camera, f-stop, aperture, lenses, weddings, inspirational people, inspiration, nature, kids, lightroom, photoshop, touchups, models, night time images, basics, events, on camera flash, backup systems
That was what I came up with in 30 seconds imagine what you can do in 5-10 minutes. Now, you may look at that and say big deal, but I look at that and say I just came up with ideas for 20+ blog posts on photography (feel free to steal them by the way). You could write a blog post on your favorite lens, people that inspire you, photographers that inspire you, places that inspire you, photographing nature, photographing kids, teaching kids to take pictures, macro photography in nature, preparing to shoot a wedding, essential equipment for shooting a wedding, the brand of camera system you shoot and why, etc, etc.
The key to this is to remove your filter. Yes, someone else has written some of the subjects we initially came up with. But that does not matter. You are going to put your own spin on it and give your opinion. And, you are going to notice that after a while you will start to rank higher and higher in the Search Engine Results. You’ll also notice that your traffic will begin to increase. In the beginning there will be 3 people reading your blog (slight exaggeration) but as you start to show some consistency, and spend some time promoting the site (we’ll cover this soon in a blog post) your following will increase and so will your traffic. People will see that you know what you are talking about. You will establish yourself as an expert in a specific topic and when the time comes, hopefully, they will hire you for the job.
I hope you are enjoying these posts as much as I am enjoying writing them. Make sure to leave a comment with any questions or comments.