Sunday, March 20, 2011

A blog post about blogging

I hope you're noticing my evocative and enticing use of key words in the headline to this post. Blog. Blogging. Oh, whoops, there they are again.

So I missed the SEO session at the Aussie Bloggers Conference. You could hardly tell, could you, given how unobtrusively (blog) my keywords are placed (blogging). I'd had every intention to go. It's an area of internet writing about which I know surprisingly little, given I've been writing online for about five years now. I had professional reasons for being keen.

But, as always, I got seduced by the stories instead.

I confess that the My Blog, My Story session was not one that leapt out at me from the program with a 'pick me' sign on its forehead. I confess that I thought 'Meh'. Just a little.

I was wrong. I learned so much from that session. I learned about the power of community. I learned about the pluses and minuses of blogging raw. I learned about boundaries in blogging - and how they sometimes turn into six-feet-high walls due to circumstances. I learned that one of the greatest things about blogging specifically and the online community in general is its ability to give a voice to those who are often not heard. I learned that a computer can become a lifeline.

So to My Three Ring Circus, Lori at Random Ramblings of a Stay at Home Mum, Magneto Bold Too, Karen at Miscellaneous Mum, Carly at Tune Into Radio Carly, Kim at FrogPondsRock*, a huge thank you.

The story is at the heart of everything. Write the story and the SEO will look after itself. (And blog, blogger, blogging, just in case and because ignoring the experts is foolhardy).

{image: via - please let me know if it is yours}
*if the bloggers name is not mentioned on their blog, I haven't mentioned it here.


  1. Great post, I am with you that the story rules! I have no real knowledge of SEO and often wonder if I ought to investigate but enough people come to my blog just because... so why bother hey? I am not a business.

    Cheers Mich x

  2. I was in that session too, and can't tell you how suddenly glad that the conference was sponsored by Kleenex!

  3. I was moderating the SEO session so didn't get to hear these stories and I know I missed out! You did a fabulous job of moderating the blog community session BTW!

  4. yep, almost 5 years of blogging and absolutely no knowledge of SEO except what it stood for but still not knowing what it actually meant and I've done pretty well! twitter was telling me that the tears were flowing in the other room!


  5. Blogging still does my head in. I am caught between telling stories and trying to find people to read them. This session sounds amazing. Kleenex were a very wise choice for sponsor, as Cate points out.

  6. I was torn too - feeling the need to go along to the SEO discussion was strong as I am such a novice when it comes to this part of blogging. But then I came back to hear the end of Carley's story (which I didn't know) and then Lori's (which sadly I did) and spent the whole time sniffling and wishing I'd been there to hear more of these inspirational blog stories!

    The thing I'm learning about bogging, and writing as a whole is that EVERYONE has a story to tell, and we're all the better people for listening.

    Finally, it was SO LOVELY meeting you on Saturday - a highlight in fact for me!

  7. Sounds great, Allison. Thanks for posting about the conference. Will there be more? Please...!


  8. Okay - showing my ignorance... What is a SEO? :-0

  9. I really loved the session you moderated as well, it was one of my very favourites. I keep agonising over trying to increase my traffic but I have only ever done it through the story - sometimes I take a look back and think I compromised good story telling for the sake of trying to be 'more interesting' and increase linkbacks, etc. It's a slippery slope to writing like someone's reading over your shoulder if you do it that way! But I think in the end there's no need for SEO for me. I have to just keep up the genuine stories.

    Madmother: SEO = Search Engine Optimisation ;)

  10. Thanks, Al, great reminder post. So sorry I missed that session (let's not mention the whole conference.)

    The computer as lifeline, the incredible heart of the community of bloggers, and blogging as story are all very familiar to me.

    Blogging helped save me once, and some of those people you listened to were part of that very personal experience for me.

    They taught me that telling my story was a road back to myself, and for that I am forever grateful.

    Now, if only they could include some SEO tips in their blogs, my life would be complete...

  11. I 'ghost' blog for businesses where I have to care about SEO... but in that case, that's one of the REASONS for blogging. Get the key terms out there, change the content regularly and get found by Google (and then sell something!).

    And yet still I focus on the story, my point, so much more than the SEO. Without, good (or even great) content you won't get people back anyway.

  12. I will write a post about using SEO if you like? It isn't that hard.

    To me blogging is about community and if you have developed a good community you dont really need to worry about SEO because your blog will give back to you in ways that are quite unexpected.

    I enjoyed speaking on the my blog my story panel very much.

  13. The My Blog My Story session was amazing, just blew me away. So inspiring and the love in the room could be felt.

  14. The power of community! I love the way you phrased that. A voice to those not often heard, another clear point. When I first got online, back in 1999, I was mother to a newborn and so feeling the isolation. The web gave me a world where I was more than just a Mum, again.

    Blogs that are little windows into people are the ones I am always drawn too. Finding someone to relate to, to vicariously have new experiences through (the good and the bad) and grow as a person or just someone to laugh with over the daily occurences.

    Loving all the generous sharing from the attendees at #ausblogcon2011. :-)

  15. At the end of everything, there is only the written word, only the story. SEO is for professional websites, surely. Who cares how much through-traffic a site gets? It just makes it less appealing to live there, really. More than a way for a voice to be heard, the power of community via social media is only just being realised. The amazing way that the blogcom rallied in the face of both personal and widescale disaster never ceases to amaze and inspire me. x

  16. I'm still figuring out how important SEO is for a blog. I think it depends on the genre and goal. I write quite personally, so it probably isn't that important, but for blogs like Styling You or Planning with Kids, that intend to reach a particular audience looking for particular information, it's quite important.

    Having said that, the SEO presentation was very good. And as someone who manages websites for a living, I still learnt some things.

    And having said that, I would have liked to have seen all of the 'My Story' speakers too!

  17. That was my favourite session, too. Amazing stories. Amazing.

    So wonderful to meet you, Allison!

    (PS. does it work in the comments section? Blog. Blogging. Just in case. ;))

  18. My fave session too. I was entranced by the stories, and it proves yet again just how much blogging can do for a person's confidence and direction in life. Amazing stuff.


  19. For me, SEO is more important in some online writing spaces than others. Good SEO is in no way a substitute for good writing or an engaging story/presentation. I don't care how many relevant keywords are used, if the content is badly written, it is unlikely that I will return.

    I attended the SEO session and was disappointed that I had to choose between listening to the inspirational stories of the My Blog, My Story participants and gaining some practical information.

    So lovely to meet you at #AusBlogCon2011 Allison. :-)

  20. Nice blog post about blogging :)
    Whenever a client asks me about SEO and the best way to optimize their site I say, "It's simple. Write concise & relevant content on your site and the rest will take care of itself." LOL

  21. I made the same choice as you did and was very glad I did. So great to meet you, would have loved to carve up the dance floor to tragic 80's music with you too!

  22. and thank YOU for not booing me afterwards!

  23. It sounds like a great conference, but I'm interested that so many non-professional bloggers would be so focused on SEO. I would have loved 'My Blog, my Story,' since telling stories is what I try to do most of the time x

  24. Was so happy to meet you in real life. You are so beautiful and confident. xx

  25. I think I will now put the word blog in all my blog post titles.

    The my blog, my story was so much more than I thought it would be too.

    It was also lovely to meet you.

  26. Thanks so much :) It was nice to meet you at the conference.

  27. I was so glad I too saw this session. I discovered some wonderful bloggers. Shed a few tears in the process. Thanks for your story, in your blog.

  28. Would it be juvenile to chant:

    Story rules, SEO drools?

  29. One of my taglines to miscmum is the E.L Doctorow quote that ends "...there is only narrative". To me, storytelling is paramount to blogging. I'm turned down most things that have come my way because I've felt it would detract from that mantra.

    As I said on the day, I wasn't originally planning to talk about what I did as it is still painful, but I am glad I did now.

    You moderated your panel well, btw. Wish I'd sat in the middle, that looked easier, but oh well. Next time ;)

  30. I'm sure this is my one-hundredth comment wishing that I'd gotten in earlier to attend the AusBlogCon. But now I can see that by not attending, I'm absorbing all the "what I learnt at AusBlogCon" posts from the awesome bloggers who did apply in time. Always a silver lining methinks ;)

    That being said, I now want to see your hair. That was commented on a few times. Apparently, it's amazing! xx

  31. I recently posted in a forum "The day I understand SEO is they day they invent a car that doesn't use petrol, but dog pee"

    So, I just blog for the love it, just like what a blog is meant for :-)

    - tork
    Adelaide and South Australia blog


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