When PageRank was killing me

When I started to learn how blogs worked I, like most other first time bloggers started to get a bit obsessed, obsessed with the little things. Things like Page Rank.

At one point I ran multiple browsers with a handful of addons that would do one thing in many different ways. What was that one thing? Well sadly all they did was track my Page Rank on my various websites. Sure they would show me some other stuff like back links, but all I cared about was the rank. I researched the rank of other sites, it was easy since these addons are always on. With a glance I could see the rank other every blog I visited.

I would do everything I could to get higher rankings because I was told that this was a major  factor in getting Google to like me. At the time traffic from Google was everything. Although it’s still important to blog traffic, there are many other ways to get the traffic you need. In fact traffic from these other sources are probably more valuable dollar wise than traffic from Google.

Here are some examples of things I have done online that sent traffic to my blogs.

1. Creating videos to put on YouTube and other video sharing sites. Linking back to my blogs.

2. Creating a podcast and putting it on Itunes.

3. Social Media sharing. Yes it does bring in some traffic.

4. Creating books to sell on Amazon Digital. With links back to my blogs.

I didn’t start having fun creating online content until I removed all the addons and stopped caring about Page Rank. You will never be successful in your blogging business until you can enjoy what you are sharing with the world.

Why Social Media is not a blogging platform

Over the past year or so I have watched many notable bloggers and wannabe bloggers switch the majority of their online content over to social media sites like Facebook and Google Plus in an effort to “Be where the people are.” I can see how for someone with a large following this can seem like the right thing to do. I mean if you have 200k+ followers on Facebook and your main website has only 30k visitors a month then Facebook seems like the logical choice. News flash! It’s not!

Here are the main reasons blogging should be done on a blogging platform like WordPress.org or at least on a website that you control.

1. Control of your own content. 

You may feel like you are in control of your content on Facebook/Google+ but the reality is they can remove anything you post at anytime for any reason. Now how is that a good deal for you? It’s not. Another thing they control that you don’t is who can see your content. Facebook in particular has tried to monetize everything on the site, that includes having content makers pay to boost the viewership of what they post, to people who are already following them. WTH!

2. Traffic flow.

Every time you post something to a social website you are giving them content for the visitors of their site. The people may be following you but who’s site did they visit? Not yours. Try to count how many times you have posted something on one social site and then shared the link on another social site. Essentially stealing your own fans from one site and having them look at something on another social site. Why not just have them go to your blog and read it there? If you had posted the content on your blog then shared the link on both sites you would be increasing your reach and stealing back that traffic to your site. It’s your content, you should get the most traffic from it. Right?

3. Post Scheduling.

This may or may not be a big deal to you but with a blog you can post your content when the urge hits you and it will be available for your fans to view at their leisure. That’s not always the case with social blogging. If I write a blog post at 3am and make it available on my site then my fans can visit my blog at anytime to read the latest post. If I post it to a social site it will most likely get lost in the endless feed of updates and my fans may never know that I posted something.

4. Offering more.

When you share content on social sites you are very limited by what extras you can share, usually its just a photo or a link to a site. But if your fans are viewing your content on your blog then they are already in your world and they can see any extras you would want them to see. Like other content you  have on your blog. Maybe an email sign up box or a free download you want them to have. No need to go anywhere else, it’s all in front of them.

Here is one last thing to consider about using social site as blogging platforms. If the company goes belly up or changes the deal then your content will be lost forever. All your hard work, wasted. On a blog that you control that content will stay online as long as you allow it to be there. A good example of this is YouTube from time to time will cancel a popular “YouTube star’s” account and all their videos will be removed or made invisible until they can fix what ever YouTube thought was worth shutting down the account for. This can take weeks or even months to rectify. How much money would you lose in that time frame if it was you?

If you do anything online you want to have control of every aspect of your business and you will never have that if someone else makes the decisions and can lock you out.