SEO Blogging 101: The Basics
Blogs: Almost everyone follows a blog of some kind. You can find blogs these days covering thousands of interests, and their popularity only continues to grow.
In today’s society, blogs are important, and provide a creative outlet to people all over the world. Really, with a computer and the inclination, anyone can blog. No fancy camera equipment, no need for makeup or video editing skills, all you need are fingers and a keyboard. However, while it is easy to pick up blogging, developing strong blogging skills is still important.
Topics we will cover in this article about SEO Blogging:
- Blogging is Important, but Not Understood
- Blogging is Important in an Automated World
- Become A Better Blogger By Reading
- Anyone Can Learn How to Blog
- Professional Blogging
- Why Schools Need to Teach Blogging
- Blogging and SEO Skills
- Professional Blogging i.e. SEO Copywriting
- Where Blogging is Headed
This generation is using blogging as a way to share their voice. People build their entire careers around blogging. In other words, it’s a valuable skill to have, which begs the question, why isn’t it taught in school?
When there are so many opportunities available thanks to blogging, why does only a small fraction of this generation blog? In this article, we’re going to superficially cover blogging.
Blogging is Important, but Not Understood
The term blogging is confusing: Admittedly, blogging is not widely understood. There are still plenty of people out in the world who don’t even know what internet marketing or SEO even is. That’s fine, but often people who say they are bloggers for a living are looked upon with confusion.
Some would even go as far as to assume that means professional bloggers are unemployed and trying futilely to make a career out of a hobby. Often, professional bloggers will use different terminology to avoid such criticism.
“I’m a freelancer.”
“A professional writer.”
The thing is, blogging should have better recognition than it does. It’s a major part of millions of people’s lives, and people should take it more seriously. One day, though, within a few years, it likely will be.
Blogging is Important in an Automated World
With each passing year, we are drawing closer and closer to automation taking over many jobs. When that time comes (and some of you reading this today could very well live long enough to see it come) the most valuable skills out there will be ones where automation would be impossible, such as creative skills.
Still, it’s easy to be skeptical and wonder if this all just some speculative fiction author’s pipe dream. Here’s some facts, though.
The job market is changing: It’s suspected that numerous basic jobs are going to start disappearing within the next decade. In fact, it’s already happening. Some factories have automated assembly processes that used to be performed by humans, and soon more aspects of factory work will become automated. A machine can keep working when a human can’t and doesn’t need payment or benefits.
Suffice to say, a machine is a cheaper and more efficient employee for the factory. With automated car technology advancing at lightning speeds, some cab drivers will find themselves out of work. Once AI and robotics become more advanced, soon even surgeries could be performed by machines.
Automation in the workforce is no longer a question of “if” as much as it is a question of “when.” Hard skills such as these are the first on the proverbial chopping block.
With that said, soft skills like music, design, and writing can’t be feasibly replaced by machines. While an AI might eventually be trained to emulate certain writing styles or paint pictures, it will take a long time before it can write a book better than War and Peace or paint something to rival The Starry Night.
It might never be able to do that. In either case, creative skills will become indispensable, and one creative skill anyone can pick up is blogging.
Become A Better Blogger By Reading
Blogging is writing about a specific thing: Blogs are everywhere. Want to learn the latest news? Instead of a newspaper, people read news blogs. Business owners want to increase their SEO rank?
They hire a blogger to write SEO content for them. Fans of a movie, book, or comic want information on the next big part of their preferred franchise? There are blogs dedicated to that, too, both professional and run by fans.
The point is, reading blogs is an average part of our lives. They provide us with information of all kinds and are constantly growing in popularity.
Anyone Can Learn How to Blog
Blogging is easily accessible, and helps people stay sharp in their writing and editing skills while simultaneously allowing them to share their creativity with the world.
Blogging is easy: What’s even better is that blogging is relatively short writing, often only a few hundred words long. Furthermore, for any future writers, blogging is a simplified, scaled down version of the process of publishing and distribution.
The latter of these two skills is of the utmost importance since they’ll want the public to see their creative work. Soft skilled work will be highly valuable to an automated future, but it won’t do this generation much good if no one sees what they have to say. How will future generations learn these writing and editing skills? Or publishing and distribution skills? How will they find their target audience?
This is where teaching blogs in school comes into play. With so many future job opportunities in this field, we should have a workforce trained and ready when blogging becomes one of the most valuable skills.
What if some children don’t want to be bloggers when they grow up? It’s an understandable concern, but students don’t all become scientists when they grow up and we still teach science.
Even if it’s not a career path they’re interested in, it’s still a useful skill. In addition, as with other subjects, blogging teaches other skills along the way which can be applicable to life. E-mails are an absolute necessity in the business world, and blogging will help give them strong writing abilities to make their e-mails better.
Why Schools Need to Teach Blogging
Schools need to teach blogging: Some might be tempted to point out how schools have English courses. Shouldn’t that be enough?
Unfortunately, no. Writing for a blog and writing academically are two completely different beasts. When you’re writing for academia, you’re following strict rules to get a point across in very specific manner. While learning good grammar in English class is a strong foundation for writing in general, the students will need to know how to write for a very different audience. Blogging doesn’t have to be about following a rulebook to a “T.”
Just look at this blog post. While it follows many basic grammatical rules, it certainly isn’t an academic piece. You could argue that blogging is even easier than academic writing, seeing as bloggers are allowed to break the rules to set a certain voice for the blog. They don’t have to, but they have that option.
Future bloggers need to be taught how to write for a certain audience, whether that audience is made up of millions of people, or just a few dozen.
Blogging Can Be Taught In The Classroom
Teaching Blogging: For example, it could be a research-based class where they study famous blogs and begin to emulate their style. Once they harness enough skill, maybe have the students collaborate to create a school blog.
Teach them SEO Copywriting: You could go from the angle of teaching the students SEO, and from there show them how to write larger blog posts based on that knowledge. This would be a great way for them to learn different technical skills with the computer, and how to let their blog be seen by a broader audience.
Teach the students the ethics of handling information, especially private information.
Show them how to make sure the information they post is as accurate as it can be. See how understandable their work is and give feedback on how they can improve it.
Ideally, a good blogging class would probably teach a combination of all of these. There isn’t going to be a shortage of material.
Blogging and SEO Skills
As we mentioned, some businesses want bloggers for more than just writing interesting content for their readers, but some businesses create blogs for their websites and products because it will help them feature more prominently in search engine results.
Smaller businesses thrive on search engine optimization, or SEO, to compete with other products and services. Even this post you’re reading right now is good for our website’s SEO.
Many students will pick up the skills they need for SEO writing while writing their blogs normally, but there are a few things which would need to be taught to help the students understand the full picture.
First is the matter of the H1 and the H2s. The H1 is effectively the title of the blog post. If you scroll to the top of this article, you’ll see the title “SEO Blogging 101.”
That’s an H1. After the H1, there is an intro paragraph which should give the basic premise of the article, as well as outlining the topics covered below. After that come the H2s. An H2 is similar to a subtitle, and precedes a paragraph discussing a certain part of the topic. For our website, an H2 might look like this:
Just like that. Underneath this H2, we would go on to talk about how Nozak Consulting is made up of SEO experts i.e. professional bloggers, researchers, devs, and marketers. First sentence or so following the H2 will introduce the main concept, and the rest of the paragraph will go into more detail about it.
Internal Links: The second matter to consider is that of internal links. Have you ever read a blog where one of the words links to another blog post over a tangentially related topic? Maybe they reference the title of another blog post and when you click on the title it takes you to that post? These are internal links.
Even blogs whose goal is not strictly improving SEO do this. No matter the motivation behind it, including internal links improves the SEO of a website, but the trick is making it feel natural. Effectively, don’t try to force it, but if the opportunity arises, take advantage of it.
Another way to include internal links is to have a part at the bottom of each blog which includes links to other blog posts you’ve written for the website.
This technique provides a bit more leeway since you don’t have to necessarily relate it to the topic at hand.
Internal linking is so important, we’ve dedicated an entire post to it.
Consider your voice: The third thing to consider is voice. For both SEO writing and blog writing, avoid using the passive voice. Instead of saying “The blog post is written by a writer,” say “A writer writes the blog post.” Not only is this more compelling to read, it often makes sentences less wordy.
There are some exceptions to passive voice rules, but they’re only used in certain instances.
Educational/informational blogging: Finally, the best kind of SEO writing is educational to the reader. Don’t write nonsense gibberish filled with keywords in a vain attempt to attract Google’s attention. It won’t work in the long-term. Write content people want to read.
Make it informative (of course, if you are building a landing page, you might want to make the writing persuasive). Students taught to write solid blog posts will already have an idea how to write for an audience and writing to the right audience should still be one of their main priorities.
Be sure to use a plugin to check your SEO copywriting, like Yoast.
What is the Future of Blogging?
As jobs become more automated, blogging will become even more valuable than it already is. We can take blogging skills for granted now, but soon that will no longer be an option. In the short term, blogging as early as academic school is going to become more normal.
Automation is coming, whether we like it or not. Some of us might not live to see it, but that doesn’t mean we should neglect laying the groundwork for future generations to be able to thrive with soft skills once hard skill jobs are gone.
Blogging skills are already useful, but soon they’ll be indispensable, and our children should be ready for when that time comes. Classes like these would help give them a voice, and a brighter future. Need professional content writers for your website?