You can blog without SEO, but the results are better if you do.
Is it possible to start blogging without SEO in mind? Yes, but I wouldn’t recommend it. After all, the cheapest, easiest way to get traffic to blog posts is organic search traffic.
If you’re looking to just blog for fun, it’s easy to not worry about optimizing for SEO. But, even if you’re not looking to make a fortune from blogging, there are some things about SEO that you should consider.
Does My Content Answer a Question?
One of the common reasons that bloggers will not bother with SEO is that having to focus on keywords can be stifling to creativity. I have struggled in the past with this, wanting to write about a certain topic, but being unable to find keyword phrases to focus on in that post. However, even if you aren’t looking to rank #1 on Google for some phrase you still have to ask yourself one question. Does what I’m writing answer a question?
After all, with voice search becoming a normal activity, many searchers are starting searches as a complete question. They aren’t just typing in two or three words anymore much of the time. Yes, some of these questions won’t show much in terms of search volume, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t being asked in some form or another.
Whether you are focused on SEO or not, keyword research is still helpful. After all, any help you can get from search engines is helpful. If your post answers some question that someone may have, then think of how someone may ask that question. Work those potential questions into your content. This will help people who are thinking along the same lines as you find your blog post.
Can I Succeed in Blogging With Social Media Alone?
One reason some bloggers would rather ignore SEO is that many social media platforms make it easy to blog without a website. I’ve seen many Instagram blogs pop up recently, much in the way that they have in the past on Tumblr, Linkedin, and others. Heck, so many people in content marketing today seem to use Medium as their main site.
Don’t rely on social media as a blogging platform, though. Yes, the existence of hashtags seem to give you an easy marketing tactic for getting your new content read right away. Remember that while search engine algorithms change often, social media algorithms change even more often.
The best way to use social media for blogging is to drop breadcrumbs that lead your followers back to a page you control. That means having a blog website, even if it’s a free one like on Blogger, WordPress, or Weebly. Having a blog, even if it’s really just an extension of your social media presence, gives you an edge of professionalism and stability.
Also, don’t underestimate the power of SEO in getting Facebook pages, Pinterest pins, and other social media content to rank! Using the high domain authorities of social networks can actually work in your SEO, even if indirectly. Also, optimizing your content for social media search engines gives you an additional edge.
Can I Blog Successfully With Only an Email List?
Is it possible to drive huge amounts of traffic to a blog with just an email list? Can you actually use an email list to drive more readers to your blog than you’ll ever get from a search engine? Yes, email marketing is a good way to keep consistent viewership coming back to your site.
Making a killer newsletter every week or even every month can have great results. A lot of people get the best leads through sharing tips and links to great resources. But, don’t completely rely on an email list. Yes, email is one of the most guaranteed ways to get traffic, if you do it right. But, it can take a long time to build a list that converts into solid readership.
Sure, you can blog without SEO. But, whatever you do, don’t ever rely on just social media or just mailing lists. The search engines can be your best friend. Also, having content that follows SEO best practices helps you succeed on not just blog posts, but in keeping all of your content relevant.
It’s just like the old cliche says about not putting all of your eggs in one basket. Sure, you may get more hits every month from your mailing list or your Instagram feed. But, if you at least keep SEO in mind as you create your content, it will be easier to identify what works and what doesn’t much more easily.