As a new blogger, you can easily (and quickly) become quite overwhelmed with trying to build your blog AND build your Pinterest and social media profiles.
The truth is that the latter could bring you some “trickle” traffic in the beginning but you will soon become chained to them.
What I mean is that once you see traffic coming from Facebook or Twitter, you prioritize making sure you are constantly sharing new and old blog posts on social media. Otherwise, your traffic disappears.
The better option for the long-term growth of your new blog is to simply focus on learning SEO.
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SEO Will Provide Long-Lasting Results
SEO isn't something Christian bloggers should stray away from. If your goal is to truly minister to those across the world and/or to generate consistent income, you must learn how SEO works and implement it on your site.
SEO doesn't start with choosing a keyword for a blog post. Yes, that is an important part of it, but SEO actually begins before the blog posts start going out. Laying a solid SEO foundation for your site will enable search engine crawlers to more easily index your content so that they can retrieve it when someone types something into that Google search box.
Learning SEO doesn't just mean getting the green light on Yoast (or RankMath). It means learning how to pick the right keywords and how to format your posts for search engine crawlers to easily read them.
I like to think of SEO as the ice cream and the other things (Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc) as the nuts and cherry.
Ice cream is the main ingredient. The nuts and cherry are extra (and less of) the main ingredient.
SEO is your ice cream!
Here are some reasons to focus on SEO over all other platforms until you start generating actual organic traffic….
1 – Pinterest is NOT What it Used to Be
Over the last year or so, Pinterest has been notoriously making constant changes. You wake up one day and they want you to do this. You wake up tomorrow and it is something else.
By the end of the month, you've spent more time trying to figure out what Pinterest wants you to do than actually doing anything productive for your blog.
More importantly, Pinterest finally came out and said they are changing the purpose of the platform. Their goal is to keep people on the platform instead of sending them away to other websites.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that means less traffic will be coming to your site – no matter how much you adhere to their “newest” dos/don'ts!
2 – SEO is Better for Long-Term Growth
Even when Pinterest was not being cray-cray, it didn't provide sustainable long-term growth potential. Yes, the more pins you added (continually making new pins for older posts), the more traffic you might get. But eventually, that traffic would plateau and remain constant (as long as you continued adding new pins).
With SEO, you basically set it and forget it. Once you publish a new post, you really only need to update it annually.
And for growth potential, it is even better! Why?
Because a single blog post will eventually rank on Page One of search results for MANY different keywords (search queries) over time.
Initially, it may be indexed for just 1-2 keywords, but each subsequent month the traffic will increase simply because more indexed keywords are leading to it.
3 – Social Platforms Are Not Search Engines
Social media is where people go to connect and also for entertainment purposes. They don't go there “looking” for specific things.
When you share a post on Facebook or Twitter, it is there and then it is gone. For the most part, if your followers aren't literally on the platform at the time you make the post, they won't see it.
Sure, they could go directly to your profile and scroll your posts, but unless you are famous, that won't happen much!
The amount of time you spend fretting over scheduling or sharing posts to social media can easily take up a chunk of your week. That is time you could be using to write more SEO-optimized content!
Also, social media platforms are flaky. You may remember a couple of years ago when Facebook decided to make drastic changes to its algorithm and now, you see less actual engagement on your Facebook page (unless you pay to play). Facebook and other social platforms are constantly updating and changing how they operate (as a 3rd party).
Pinterest is notorious for making changes that cause significant drops in referral traffic throughout the year. It is so bad that it is a “not-so-funny” blogging joke where we wake up and wonder if Pinterest is going to raise our blood pressure today!
Although Google and other search engines do periodically make updates to their algorithm, for the most part, these are minimally impactful to most Christian bloggers. While it is important to utilize Pinterest (and other social platforms) to generate traffic, you have a much higher return on the time you spend focusing on SEO.
4 – SEO Has a Wider Reach
When people are literally “looking” for something, they use search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc) to search for whatever it is.
Recent data indicates that people search on Google somewhere around 168 billion times each month. That number is just for Google and doesn't include searches using other search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, etc.
Pinterest, on the other hand, is currently seeing around 250 million searches per month. (Updated – This number is actually declining over the past year due to the changes Pinterest has made. Users are not liking the changes.)
As a Christian blogger, you have the ability to reach a LOT more people with your Christ-filled content when you optimize your content for Google and other search engines. Google is the number one search engine used across the globe but not everyone uses Pinterest.
SEO Really Does Matter!
SEO is the one thing you really need to invest time in learning. The more effort you put towards SEO on your site, the better the long-term growth will be for your ministry. SEO enables you to reach people across the planet on a more consistent basis.
If you are just getting started with SEO, the best place to start is with my free SEO Fundamentals for Christian Bloggers course. It spells out the basics of how it all works to help you get started.
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