“I dream of a world where I can blog without worrying about anything else”

-awesome bloggy friend

I’ve heard similar words several times over the years. Keep in mind, I offer SEO training, search engine marketing services, and search engine friendly blog designs. I’ve been doing this for a while now. It’s my bread and butter.

You’d expect me to promote the wonders of SEO to everyone and their grandmothers.

But I’m not.

Do you need SEO? Truth is, not everyone can benefit from SEO. And I’m not just referring to those who blog for fun.

Here’s the thing, search engine optimization, isn’t magic.

It all boils down to your goals and content.

Goals and Content and the type of Marketing that I Suggest

  1. If your goals are to impress brands and become a brand ambassador for products that fall in highly commercial industries: fitness, beauty, home decor, toys, kitchen appliances, etc, then I suggest SEO, email marketing and a social media tribe. Brands want to know that you’re not limited by your network.
  2. If your goals are to make income as an affiliate for Amazon, ClickBank, e-junkie, etc, for products meant for a large market, then I suggest to SEO your review posts. I also suggest building your social media tribe and email marketing.
  3. If your goals are to make income as an affiliate for Amazon, ClickBank, e-junkie, etc for high priced products or services that are meant for a very small specific market, then you need that same market to be your blog’s market and I would suggest guest posting, social media, and email marketing. I wouldn’t bother with SEO.
  4. If your goals are to increase your traffic to a blog that does not review products but does sell ad space, then I wouldn’t bother with SEO. I would suggest entertaining content, building your social media tribe, growing your feed subscribers and guest posting.
  5. If your goals are to increase traffic to a blog to better your rankings because you’re totally into having great rankings, then i suggest to focus on your content, be sure to supply content people are looking for, SEO your content so it’s relevant and you’re not hit with a high bounce rate, buy ad space from influential bloggers in your niche and build your social media tribe.
  6. If your goals are to build brand awareness of you as a brand or to sell your own services, then I suggest a strong SEO foundation for your blog, search engine optimized posts that speak specifically to your market’s needs, blogger outreach (Sverve has an affordable influencer marketing service) a social media tribe, email marketing, and guest posting.
  7. If you’re blogging for personal reasons you can tell marketing in general to kiss your rump.
  8. If you’re blogging to get a message out there, a message that would make the world a better place, I suggest SEO, email marketing, guest posting, and a social media tribe.

If your situation isn’t listed above, feel free to share your goals in the comments section with a bit of info about your blog, what kind of content you write, etc and I’ll give you my suggestion.

You’ll notice I mention Social Media Marketing and Email Marketing a lot. Multiple marketing strategies will increase your exposure.

Here are two real-life examples to drive home.

Example One:

A client with a Healthy Recipe Blog asked me in February to help with her traffic. She finally installed Google Analytics and after a month of tracking, she wasn’t too happy about the tiny bit of traffic she has. She’s got her tribe to help share her posts across social media and that’s where all her traffic comes from. She felt that her recipes were mainstream enough that people will be searching for them. Her goal is to gain exposure for herself in the cooking niche because she plans to publish a recipe book for those with heart disease.

Her recipes are mainstream. Forty-nine thousand people searched for Grilled Chicken Recipes that month. She had 3 different grilled chicken recipes and none were receiving traffic from the search engines.

Her posts can benefit from proper SEO.

Example Two:

Another client wanted to promote her coaching services. She’s been doing great with posting daily. Her on-page SEO is impressive. But guess what? No one’s searching for what she’s promoting.

The solution her blog provides is for people with a specific need. There are lots of people with that need, but they’re not aware there’s a solution. So they don’t search for it.

Know how sometimes you don’t realize you need something until you see it?

Now, this client is not lost. Implementing a referral program, getting involved with Blogger Outreach and guest posting would help raise awareness of her service.

Her posts won’t benefit from SEO.

You may also notice this post isn’t searched engine optimized. Why? Because no one is searching for this topic, but I know there are people who need to know because I get asked quite a lot.

As I mentioned, SEO isn’t magic. It’s not for every situation.

Search engine optimizing a post means making the post search engine friendly so those who are searching for your post’s topic can find it.

But if not many people are searching for it – 22 people a month search for how to build a blog audience yet so many want to know– then you don’t need SEO.

I still suggest multiple forms of other marketing, and I believe search engine optimizing your blog gives you a well-organized foundation, but not everyone sees search engine traffic from search engine optimizing their posts.


After an early morning of meditation and 2 cups of hazelnut coffee, I spend my day shuttling my kids in, around, and through our New York apartment while helping women build their online empires. I have worked with everyone from entrepreneurs interested in revamping their online presence to small businesses that want to grow beyond their local pond. Most evenings, I’m burning dinner in hopes that hubby will show mercy on our four kids and cook an edible meal. I work from home. It gives me freedom and room to grow.


  1. A very kickass post. And I am pretty sure a lot of people will benefit from reading this. I think most bloggers/writers, at some point want to “make money from the blog” and try to fit themselves into one of the goal slots you’ve described above. The confused state makes for half-assed efforts to do the things you’ve mentioned. As you know, consistent results call for consistent efforts. Some of us even know what to do…but not how to go about it. I like how you’ve succinctly laid everything out.

    Cheers! Vidya

    P.S.: I want to meet that blogger friend you quoted in the beginning of the post.

  2. I totally agree as usual!! If you want you presence to be know you have to use SEO! I have benefited in many ways from your course and I recommend it to all bloggers looking for that special edge to stand out above the crowd.

    Thank you again, I don’t think I say that to you enough. xo

  3. Good Post ! hmmm… wondering if I need SEO or not ! Think I do ! Good reminder.. I need to take advantage of your free SEO training and video!

    • girl you have so many posts already ranking within top 50, you’d be a force to reckon with if your posts were optimized.

  4. I love this, Vanita!
    Your no-BS explanation is awesome, and I think very, very helpful for bloggers, especially newer ones who are overwhelmed with so many things, and SEO is a tricky one to master.
    Sharing this everywhere!

  5. I spent a lot of years saying “kiss my rump” cause I really didn’t care, but now I do .. thanks for teaching me, lady!

  6. What a fabulous read Vanita. How you manage to express a topic in truly simple terms that even a techie nitwit like me can understand is amazing to me.

    You are the best and my always go-to-gal for all things bloggie, technical, internety etc. Are my non techie ways beginning to show in my vocabulary? No matter, ‘cos I have YOU.


  7. Well I guess I’m like example #1, and someday may want to do more product reviews. But so far, by taking your course, I have increased my search engine rankings. For example, if you google Spicy Mint Chicken Stir Fry, I will be #1 (or I was yesterday) if you google Mint Chicken I’m still on page #1. Whoop Whoop. Now, to figure out why my bounce rate is still over 80 …

    • well hot damn girlfriend! that is awesome!
      when you’re ready remind me to tell you about the google analytics blog audit i offer clients. it’s THE way to pinpoint what’s hurting your bounce rate

      • I will do that and also will need you to look at why my pages show no rank…almost ready to throw that to you πŸ™‚

  8. Thank you Vanita for the good information you provide. You don’t realize how much goes into getting exposure and getting your voice out there.

    I just linked back to your post recommending it to one of my commenters working on SEO.

  9. A friend suggested your site. She knew I was looking into finding out more about SEO. Thanks so much for this topic. It answered a lot of questions I had.

  10. So basically…it boils down to what *we* want and being cool with that. Nice to know that SEO isn’t the boss of me. *sticks out tongue*

    Thanks for the affirmation, lady.