Wouldn’t it be nice if people flocked to your website without you having to do much at all? Okay, well, to be honest, you’d still have to write, but wouldn’t it be great if you could spend less time on the marketing of your blog and more time on that whole writing thing?
One of the most coveted things in all of marketing (not the only thing but definitely in the top three) is to be on the first page of a Google search. Ask anyone marketing their business, website, blog, or doohickie for sale (it’s a technical term) online, and that’s what they want.
Because most people never make it to page two of a Google search. I do – sometimes I make it to page six or seven, but I’m weird, and I know the good stuff isn’t always on page one.
If you can get to page one without paying any money, and let’s face it, sex blogs and smutty writers aren’t allowed to advertise in most places, you’ve guaranteed yourself some views on your website.
How do I know?
Because through some weird alchemy of the Google gods (as well as the Bing and Yahoo! gods), I receive over 100 new visitors a day just from search engine results. What they do once they get here – subscribe to something, read more posts, buy a book, whatevs – well, that’s on me. A clean website that’s easy to navigate and organized fairly well practically invites people in.
But first, you have to get found in the search engine. Some of you are hoping for a secret formula that works in 30 days or less. Well, give it up, y’all. It doesn’t work that way.
Although I didn’t set out to be on the first page of some search engine results, I can tell you what got me here. And none of it is quick or easy.
Decide what you want to be found for
First, you need to have an idea or two about the purpose of your blog. Me? I’m sort of all over the place – online marketing, masturbation, BDSM, erotica. That’s a lot, right? Other than the marketing stuff (like the post you’re reading right now) everything else has one common theme – kink, submission, D/s, BDSM, kinky fuckery.
Experiment with your blogging for a while until you find the topic that fits. Is it the writing process? Is it free smutty reads? Is it inspirational and aspirational? Is it pure, raw, hot-as-hell sex? Is it all of the above? The longer you blog, the easier it is to see where your blogging passion lies. Once you find your groove, you’ll become known for certain topics, and you’ll be amazed at what search terms people will use to find your blog.
My personal favorite is when someone searches “kinky fuckery” and gets to me.
Understand the basics of SEO
If you’re thinking, “S-E-what the fuck?” hold on a second. SEO stands for search engine optimization. These are the things you can do to help the search engine gods and their mysterious algorithms rank you higher and better – and for the right thing.
A few tricks will, over time, help:
- Use subheadings in your blog posts (when it makes sense) and format that them in Heading 2 or Heading 3.
- Pay attention to the search terms people use to find you. You won’t see Google search terms (they did away with that ability a few years ago) but Bing and Yahoo! results still show. Depending on how your website is set up, you may be able to see this in your website’s dashboard. Focus on the search terms that work with your given topic.
- Don’t go overboard on using those search terms. In marketing, we call those “keywords” and if you’re going to use them, make sure they fit well in your writing. A few keyword best practices include using them in the title of your post and in the subheadings, as well as including them throughout the piece. But it has to read naturally. If it doesn’t, you’ve produced crap and angered the search engine gods (they can and will drop your search ranking for keyword stuffing).
This is the advice that makes the impatient among you crazy. Blog consistently. Your idea of consistently and my idea of consistently will be drastically different. I blog four to seven times a week, every week. Rarely do I take time off. For you, a consistent schedule may be once or twice a week. That part doesn’t matter. But whatever it is, keep it up.
Writing an epic 3000 word post one week, taking a month off, writing ten 300 word posts, and then taking six months does not build search engine recognition. The gods want new, fresh content on a consistent basis. Pick a schedule and stick with it.
Write for other people
This isn’t my pie-in-the-sky advice about writing for your audience. I’ve already told you that. Nope, I mean guest blog, find other websites who will let you write for them (paid or not), and make sure you include a link back to your website – either in a bio or within the piece.
The search engine gods love links back from another website to your own. This means that you’re being “recommended” (digitally speaking) by another website. If that other website has a high rank themselves, it’s like getting a power-up or extra credit or the 11th chicken nugget when you only ordered 10.
But…there’s always a but, right?
Do not write for just anyone and don’t write just anything. Make sure it’s a website that fits your brand, ideal audience, and voice. Make sure you add something of value. I offer guest blog spots on the site, and I’m picky about letting people post. They can’t just send me any old thing. It has to fit with my readers. Because yes, I’m giving them link love but they have to offer my readers something good in return.
Why does it matter? Because I won’t stake my own reputation on crappy writing, and the blogging world is smaller than you realize. Consistently offer up crap to other sites, and you’ll quickly find yourself with no one willing to play host.
Give it time
Here’s the part no one wants to hear, but it’s the truth. Give yourself time. I’ve been blogging since 2012, and I’ve been self-hosted since 2013. It’s only in the past three months that I’m gaining a wider audience through search engine results.
And frankly, none of those results matter if I don’t capture people’s attention and get them to come back again. Which is why writing to get a higher rank on a search engine is a bad idea.
Write for the people. Write because you have a story to tell. Write because something inside of you compels you to.
But please, for the love of all that is smutty and yummy, do not write for search engine results.
The views from searches will come – slowly, in a trickle. Watch those terms people are using. See if they fit with what you want to write. Write more stuff like that. Give people something good to read, and after enough time, you’ll move up until you’re on page one of a search engine.
What’s funny (to me) is that by the time you get there, it won’t matter quite as much. You’ll know who your audience is, and while everyone is welcome, you’ll write for those readers – not because you care about being number one.
Okay, over to you! Have you been blogging for a while and noticed any changes in the amount of people who come to you from a search engine? Do you do anything specific to help your own rankings? Let us know in the comments below!
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Great advice Kayla! I remember putting up my first website (about 10 years ago) and then searching myself a year later to see if my site came up at all. I think I showed up on page 15 or something. I’m also one of those people that will read searches beyond page one or two.
I kept at it and kept posting and broadened my reach and posted what I love . . . photography. When I search myself now, I am the first five to six pages. It’s an awesome feeling!
I agree, it is an amazing feeling. Perseverance is everything in today’s very loud, very crowded online world.
Well, I changed to a blog about two months ago and I remember starting all the way down on Alexa at around the 25,000,000 point – thinking omg… this was such a bad idea. Having said that, Sumo Me (recommended by you!) is awesome and I’m now getting free FREE free mailing list signups and much more traffic. I’m back in the global top million and I’m a happy girl.
Now I just want to find a sex toy retailer to work with – but that’s not as easy as it sounds LOL. It’s hard work this blogging stuff, right? But thanks for the awesome tips <3
Blogging can easily be a full-time job! And that’s a great reminder – for anyone who goes from a WP or Blogger account to self-hosted, there is a definite dip at first. I remember wondering the same thing – if I had made a big mistake. But, like you, all is well now. 🙂
You’re not alone! Sometimes I end up on page 7 or 8.. and if I’m really stubborn, 22, 23… 😉
Another tip Kayla. Find some other sites that are similar to yours and put the url into a tool like SEMrush. You get a few searches for free everyday and that will tell you the top keywords they rank for too. This will give you ideas on what other articles to right about / keywords to use.
Good idea! I’ve heard of tools like that – and was even a beta tester for one – but never really got the hang of it. Definitely something to try out. 🙂