Do Not Play By The Google’s Rules: SEO vs. Creativity

Content creation is time-consuming and complicated unless you are an expert like Ryan Holiday or Neil Patel. They could write an enlightening and search engine optimized (SEO) 2000+ words blog post within 1-2 hours.

Could you do that? I really can’t even imagine. It usually takes more than 2-3 days for me to come up with a 1500+ article.

However, I still take it as a great achievement because I have not written more than 20 article yet. If I couldn’t finish a piece within few hours by my 200th blog post, then there is a critical issue with my wring. At that point, I might give up blogging.

Are great content creators writing for search engines? Yes, and No. They know how to write their story while optimizing for the search engines too. I believe that skill comes with the experience they got along the road.

Almost all the articles on NeilPatel.com are 4000+ words. He can do that on any topic, and he knows how to execute that properly.

Why did he write such lengthy articles? Yes, of course for SEO purposes. Even if it is really a long article, his voice is there. Flow is there. We can read effortlessly.

Longer posts usually perform better on every level-Neil Patel

But, as a beginner, writing is not an easy task for me. I even struggle to write my best 500 words on any topic. SEO makes writing even harder because everybody is talking about the SEO solid writing and how it helps us to become a successful blogger.

When I wanted to write about something, I have some extra work to do before start writing. I should determine my keyword/phrase for my article (low competitive and long tail keywords are better) and write around that keyword.

Right after I selected the keyword, I feel like, my hands are tied. All the ideas I had in my mind are gone. My whole story is gone.

Then I write like a machine because, I have to consider so many things such as inserting the keyword into post title, subheadings, throughout the post, meta description, and as many places as possible. You all have done this at some point in your blogging career no?

Some bloggers are targeting more than one keyword in a single blog post. I don’t know how they do that but, I’m pretty sure that they must be the experts in their niches and blogging.

I’m just talking about the keywords. There are many other branches of SEO. Honestly, I don’t even understand most of the things.

Don’t take me wrong; I never say that SEO is just worthless, time-consuming and creativity killer practice. I’m learning small SEO tricks every day, and you should learn too.

What is the point of playing with SEO too much if  I lose the fun of writing and it kills my voice? It may be because I knew nothing about the SEO or grab the snake from a wrong position.

So, I had to choose between content creation and SEO. I picked content creation. It is more important than worrying too much about SEO for nothing at this point.

Apple or Tesla might not worry about the SEO. They are huge, and among the most valuable brands in the world. They attract customers by the greatness of their brand.

If somebody wants to buy an iPhone or Tesla Model 3, I don’t think SEO or Google play any role in there. People just go to the website and place the order.

Yes, I know. That doesn’t work for us. We are tiny, and Google/SEO help us to bring our content to the people.

My blog is still a nothing in the blogosphere. I may be the one who should worry about SEO more than anyone but, I gave up on SEO already.

Sometimes, it feels like we are working for Google as slaves. I don’t want to play by the Google’s rules anymore. They are changing their algorithms (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird) all the time, and what if one day our blogs get penalized by Google? Violation of Google’s rules may happen unintentionally no?.

Depending entirely on Google may be a bad idea. We should rely on our content, our creativity, and our knowledge.

This may not be the best idea for all bloggers out there but, It is for absolute beginners because I know how difficult to find my inner voice when SEO clown is starring at me.

SEO For Absolute Beginners

seo for absolute beginners daglega

If you really believe that you should be practicing SEO from the day one, well, follow these fundamental steps and you’ll be able to write with no stress at all.

Do not search keywords even before you start writing. Give priority to the writing, not to the SEO.

Find a topic, open your word processing app ( I use Scrivener), and just write anything comes to your mind. Find your inner voice and expose your story. Enjoy the writing.

Keyword Research

After you finished the first draft, do your keyword research, if you want it so badly. Extract a keyword (you’ll see it eventually) from the first draft and do not even think about two keywords for the same post.

What would you do if selected keyword/phrase is a highly competitive one? Do not worry. Use it and move to editing step.

You gonna have to modify your article according to that keyword but, it is OK. You’ve already done with your first draft. Your story is already there. Nothing to worry about now. You have to edit the crappy first draft anyway.

For this article, my keyword would be “SEO.” Isn’t it obvious? My guess is, SEO is a high or medium competitive keyword, and I’m not going to see if it is correct or not.

Yes I know, this article might not even get a chance to come to the Google’s 100th page with that keyword but I’m OK with that. Hitting the “Publish” button has the most thrill. Not this scary SEO stuff.

The Best SEO Plugin For WordPress

Install this fantastic plugin called “Yoast SEO” through WordPress dashboard. If you do not know how to set up the plugin, find this very detailed and step by step guide from Yoast SEO itself.

The beginner’s guide to Yoast SEO

This plugin not just optimizes your content. It works throughout the site. That is the beauty of it. The free version is more than enough. Do not buy the premium version. It’ll complicate the things even more for beginners.

Yoast SEO plugin will remind you to make the significant optimizations and improvements in your,

  • Title tag
  • Meta description
  • Alt text for images
  • Permalink structure
  • Headings (H1-H6 tags)
  • Internal links

After practicing these necessary optimizations with several blog posts, you will be able to do it within 15-20 minutes. Don’t spend too much time on fixing all the issues.

Yoast could say “The focus keyword not appears in subheadings” but, you should not sneak the keyword into subheadings just for SEO if it does not make any sense.

See how Yoast SEO plugin worked for this article itself. It says I should not link out to a page with same focus keyword. Do I have to remove the link to Yoast SEO guide above? I don’t think so because I don’t want to compromise the quality of my article over SEO.

Yoast SEO plugin for blog post

Social Media vs. SEO

You bear all this burden as you want to rank your blog higher on Google and attract viewers. But Google is not the only way to bring traffic to your blog.

We should not underestimate the enormous potential of social media regards to traffic. With a few years of experience as a freelance social media strategist, I knew the power of social media and used that power to bring potential customers to my clients’ websites.

You do not have to use all the social media platforms. Being active on all platforms is impossible unless you have a company or a team to manage your social profiles.

So, stick to a maximum of three social media platforms. Engage with people and promote the blog.

Pinterest vs. SEO

Why Pinterest? You know what, Pinterest is not just a social media. It is primarily a search engine with unique features. People use it to search, curate and consume content.

I’m not saying, appear on Pinterest’s first page is easy but, it is easier than Google’s first page for sure.

You won’t believe if I said, I know a few bloggers who attract thousands of views/sales coming specifically from Pinterest.

They don’t even care about Google’s rules; they, however, manage to appear on Pinterest’s first page. I also couldn’t believe until they show me their Analytics reports.

SEO tips for beginners Pinterest keyword search

When I searched “SEO tips for beginners” on Pinterest, gorgeous Raelyn Tan‘s post appeared on the top row of the first page. So, I asked her to show us how this post brings traffic to her blog. 267 website visits from this post alone.

Isn’t that enough you to understand the power of Pinterest?

SEO tips for beginners high ranking Pinterest post

So, give Pinterest a chance while you are considering the social media platforms suit for your blog. You will not regret.

Creating content for Pinterest based on your articles is much more comfortable and fun. It is like taking a break from writing or doing a hobby.

Canva is a great free web app to create posts for the Pinterest. Working on SEO stuff does not feel like that unless you are an SEO enthusiast.

As I mentioned in the beginning, 1500+ words mean 2-3 days of endless work for me. Giving up on SEO has already changed that because I completed this article within 24 hours with much less effort. I feel like I’m writing now.

I think SEO is not the only or best practice. If it restricts you from producing your creative content, in my perspective, SEO has no value at all.

Even the least optimized content can bring traffic if you could manage to post your original work. What do you think? Is it a bad idea to give up on Google and SEO?

Photo by Eddy Klaus on Unsplash

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2018-05-13T15:01:12+00:00

About the Author:

I’m fascinated by Social Media Marketing, Freelancing, and Latest Tech. I have worked with global brands and leaders as a Social Media Strategist. In my writing, I want to share my professional experiences.

18 Comments

  1. Raelyn 14/03/2018 at 7:29 PM - Reply

    Thanks for the mention! 🙂

    • Nirodha Abayalath 15/03/2018 at 12:35 AM - Reply

      Hey Raelyn,

      Thank you very much for the help. Without your Pinterest analytics, my post could be an incomplete one. So, thanks again.

  2. Sosi's Mom 15/03/2018 at 7:03 PM - Reply

    Great read! It seems there are so many opinions and ideas on how to get SEO to benefit your site.

    • Nirodha Abayalath 15/03/2018 at 8:15 PM - Reply

      Hey,

      I’m glad you like it. Yes, of course, there are so many benefits of SEO but, SEO is not the only way.

      Thank you very much for the comment.

  3. Moss 16/03/2018 at 6:36 PM - Reply

    Hi Nirodha,

    I actually read your comment on Jane Sheena’s blog, savvybloggingtips. Then I decided to check you out on your site. Iove the title of your post “don’t play by Google rules.” It is fascinating and the fact that you mentioned that you’re done playing by their rules because of constant change in Google’s algorithm is quite understandable.

    I’m fact, Google recently implemented it’s mobile indexing strategy where mobile version is now preferred over desktop version. This move puts many marketers in dilemma because they have to figure out how to optimize for both mobile and desktop.

    Seach algorithm changes with each passing day, so I can understand why you wrote this article. I’m impressed.

    Thanks a lot!

    • Nirodha Abayalath 17/03/2018 at 11:55 AM - Reply

      Hey Moss,

      First, I’m glad you liked it. I didn’t even think that commenting on others’ blogs have such potential to bring people to my blog. That is a fantastic method to grow our community no?

      Yes, of course, it is annoying how Google behaves but, I’m pretty sure that they do all these for better results and performance. The most important thing is we should learn how to get the advantage of their hard work.

      My point in here is, as an absolute beginner, we have to spend a lot (time and other resources) for optimization purposes not for creating content. According to my experience, not producing enough content can do more significant damage than not optimizing for search engines.

      And finally, your blog, MOSS MEDIA, has excellent content and I’ve already added few articles to my reading list.

      Thanks again.

  4. Jan Zac 17/03/2018 at 10:30 PM - Reply

    Hello ,

    I saw your tweets and thought I will check your website. Have to say it looks very good!
    I’m also interested in this topic and have recently started my journey as young entrepreneur.

    I’m also looking for the ways on how to promote my website. I have tried AdSense and Facebok Ads, however it is getting very expensive. Was thinking about starting using analytics. Do you recommend it?
    Can you recommend something what works best for you?

    I also want to improve SEO of my website. Would appreciate, if you can have a quick look at my website and give me an advice what I should improve: http://janzac.com/
    (Recently I have added a new page about FutureNet and the way how users can make money on this social networking portal.)

    I have subscribed to your newsletter. 🙂

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    P.S.
    Maybe I will add link to your website on my website and you will add link to my website on your website? It will improve SEO of our websites, right? What do you think?

    Regards
    Jan Zac

    • Nirodha Abayalath 18/03/2018 at 12:39 PM - Reply

      Hey Zac,

      First, I couldn’t even understand that this comment is a spam or not. However, I decided to approve your comment even without removing the link to your website.

      I should say that I’m not very much into SEO tricks. I focus on creating valuable content.

      However, both paid and free methods are useful for promoting your business.

      Thank you very much for stopping by.

  5. Naveen Sharma 27/03/2018 at 10:15 AM - Reply

    Hi Nirodha,

    Very interesting read. I read a number of articles that make it seem like SEO is everything and all writing is meant to support SEO rather than other way round.

    Your article puts everything in its right place and tells us what to do to prevent the tendency of the tail wagging the dog.

    Thanks for sharing the thoughts with us. Have a great week ahead!

    -Naveen

    • Nirodha Abayalath 27/03/2018 at 6:19 PM - Reply

      Hi Naveen,

      Thank you very much for stopping by.

      SEO is not everything for me but, I know most of the bloggers think that SEO is the everything. That is why I decided to write this.

      Sometimes, if we wanted to express our pure insight about well established and broadly accepted things, we don’t say that out loud because we fear. But, your comment helps me to write more and more.

      So, thanks again.

  6. Darleen Prangue 27/03/2018 at 11:33 AM - Reply

    Excelllent job man nice article about seo writing tips pls tell more about social media vs seo and yoast seo plugin

    • Nirodha Abayalath 27/03/2018 at 6:10 PM - Reply

      Hey Darleen,

      I’m glad you liked it. Yes, of course, this post is not enough. There are so much more to tell.
      Don’t worry; I will definitely consider your request for my next few articles.

      Thank you very much.

  7. cityceilings 29/03/2018 at 5:52 PM - Reply

    Hi, very nice article keep it up the good work Wonderful!! Thank you for posting an informative blog. Your posts are more interesting and informative

  8. Darleen Prangue 31/03/2018 at 10:00 AM - Reply

    Nice writing tips, In your URL there’s a mistake by ” content ” to ” contetnt “. Nice tips thank you! I am sure they will help in SEO too!

    • Nirodha Abayalath 01/04/2018 at 11:55 PM - Reply

      Hey Darleen,

      Thank you very much for showing me that URL mistake. I fixed it. As a beginner, every tiny thing matters. So, thanks again.

  9. Melos Ajvazi 31/03/2018 at 3:57 PM - Reply

    Hey there Nirodha,

    This is one of the greatest articles I run through today. You seem to have included all what’s needed to say for this topic.

    However, I have to say my piece. Each of the platforms you mentioned here, has it’s power that the other one has. For example, Pinterest is mostly targetted for a female audience, SEO is for everyone (lol depends on the keyword type), however, now it takes more time than it used for websites to rank.

    Again, great post, keep up the great work.

    Cheers,

    Melos

    • Nirodha Abayalath 04/04/2018 at 12:42 PM - Reply

      Hey Melos,

      First thank you very much for stopping by and leave a comment. Yes, of course, I agree with you. All the platforms have their unique qualities as I’ve mentioned in the post.

      I just wanna highlight that caring too much about SEO, suppress our creativity. It may not be the case for a real genius and expert in their niche, but for me, it is happening.

      So, I thought, this may happen to other newbies like me. That is why I wrote this in the first place. Talking about the SEO, different platforms and tools was not my priority.

      Thanks again. This kind of comments meant a lot to me sir.

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