Beyond SEO: Content Creation With A Pulse
In the spirit of “fuck blogging”—the name of one of our most recent blog posts (Hint: It’s about writing what works for you, in a way that’s meaningful to you, and how, by way of osmosis or confluence or coincidence, your post will most likely be meaningful to someone else. Perhaps even a whole mess of someone elses.)—we’re taking the tiny, mandolin-sized ship that is our darling content creation company and pointing its bow in a slightly different direction.
OK, so instead of continuing to fit hexagonal pegs into round holes by writing blog posts about trending topics we don’t give a shit about, we’re going to go back, way back, to journaling. You know, that thing you’re supposed to do to help distill feelings about the milkman or your best friend or your neighbor’s dad. We’re gonna do that. Only no lock and key.
Of course, we know that current SEO practices say it’s hawt right now to become THE authority in your area of expertise. And that there’s, like, totally no better way to start showing up on the first page of Google than writing what everyone else is writing about only in a slightly different way.
BUT. We’re fucking writers. We run a small business fueled by damn good creative writing and we are poets, and those two things buttress one another. And so top on our list of priorities is contributing to the cream of fine writing out there—not the thigh-deep slush pile driven solely by SEO—even if it means taking a hit initially. We’re reinstating our right to be affective as opposed to simply effective.
As far as lead generation goes, this might be an epic fail. But you know what, I also bet it won’t be. While this journal thing isn’t anything novel, in our ever-burgeoning world of online content creation (errr… content commodification), this new direction feels fresh to us. Less mill-like. More from-the-heart.
Because we’re not marketers, nor do we intend to be. We are writers.
The SEO trends we’ve been seeing are a huge sidestep from the antiquated days of keyword stuffing (cue clapping soundbite). They're helping to move us, the vast Oz-land of the internet and the people puppeting from behind its blue-screen curtain, in the direction of more authentic, rich, and useful content. Nevertheless, there are the loopholes. Instead of keyword stuffing in order to move up the Google search ranks, we are creating mounds of (mostly) un-erasable regurgitated content whose sole intention is to get you to click through, scan, stay awhile, and so on down the worm hole until you spray about the person or buy the product or share the link sitting right there, at the tips of your touch pad-worn fingers, waiting.
Yes, this is marketing. But good marketing doesn’t necessarily equate to being an “authority on a subject.” For the large part, this kind of content creation strategy is not actually helping to build the best field or depth of online content possible. In fact it can’t, because its motive is different. Its motive is: how can I repackage what’s trending so that people will like me, follow me, consume me? That's fine, it’s part of the way of our world. But it’s not the beast we’re after.
Admittedly, from here moving forward, our blog journal will incorporate specific SEO tactics, including the folding in of select long-tail keywords, links, and other things. From a business standpoint, we’d be idiots not to practice some form of SEO. But as far as topics and subject matter and direction, those will be distilled from our experiences—our failures and our triumphs as writers and business owners and humans.