As I was busy getting married to Brad Cornelius, I had to put the topic on hold until today. So, I’ve changed the title a bit to reflect how I truly feel about my blog, “4 Ways Rhea’s Blog Could NOT Suck” rather than “4 Ways to Improve My Blog.” Yes, I think my blog sucks. No, I’m probably not going to take my own advice anytime soon. It’s difficult for me to justify optimizing my own blog. I feel like that’s time better spent working for my company, Modis Professional Staffing, chairing First Coast Surfrider, spending time with family and friends, or contributing to Search Engine Journal (something I haven’t done for months now!).
But, if I did take my own advice it would be…
- STOP BEING HYPOCRITICAL!
- HAVE A PLAN
- FOLLOW THROUGH
I spend hours each day telling businesses what to avoid and embrace. Why is it so difficult to apply that knowledge to my own dinky little blog? Fix canonicalization issues, fix the broken template, put the blog in the root folder (again), optimize the old URLs and start shuffling some link juice, site map and cohesive folder structures (…um, hello?), optimized 404 page, actually do something constructive with the robots.txt… The list goes on and on. I’m sure you’ve also seen half a dozen other areas for “improvement” just in the first minute of visiting.
So, why don’t I get off my butt and just do it Nike style? Well, I’m busy and it’s easy to make this a non-priority. However, I think this is also an issue of self-doubt. I worry that I don’t have all of the answers, so it’s easier to have none and accept failure than get a 98% knowing I wasn’t perfect. I could go into detail about why I have that philosophy, but I’d rather refrain from a thorough psycho-analysis of Rhea just before the holiday. Fortunately, recognizing you have a problem is the first step to recovery, right?
Any journey is much simpler with a clear road map to follow. Ideally, I’d establish goals for myself, have a time line, a calendar for posts, etc. Beyond the simple stuff I’d manage bigger projects that would expand the site beyond just a blog and into profitable venture territory. Sadly, fear and uncertainty paralyze me. I do better in a semi-structured environment where I can act alone, but with some push from above setting deadlines and saying, “yeah, you’re not crazy, that could actually work!”
Why are most people successful? I’m sure there are a few that fall into it by chance, others through brilliance or talent and others through connections (some because of all three). However, I would wager that the vast majority of successful people are such because they seized opportunities. They might not be the best person for the job, but they were ready, willing and able to get the job done while the better man was patiently waiting his turn. What good is an idea that’s never shared? Or an invention that never makes it past the drawing board? My father once said ideas should have a shelf life. I agree wholeheartedly. So, I need to stop coming up with really cool ideas that never make it past rough drafts and post-it notes. Sit down, commit and follow through!
(Edit: I just Googled “Follow Through” to confirm its spelling and found this post on follow through from Seth Godin that discusses the concept as a slippery slope. Good read.)
Once I figure out how to stop being hypocritical, I establish a plan and I learn to follow through, the last step is to follow-up! How many missed opportunities have there been because I didn’t take the time to market an idea, respond to a comment, answer an email or post a response? Not to mention the more notable forms of SEO follow-up like establishing some solid tracking, press releases, interviews and backlink solicitation and optimization?
Now that I’m thoroughly depressed, thanks Karl, I want to hear from others. So, I tag Carolyn Shelby (sporting a new template!), The SEO Chicks, David Mihm (looks like your last post was my previous tag! I expect a response before 2009), Dazzlin Donna (would love to hear some expert thoughts) and Mark Laymon.
I apologize if you already responded to this, I’ve been out of the loop lately.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and see ya at Pubcon!