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Blog Carnival: My Goals with SEO Expert Blog

This is the first time I take part in a blog carnival on SEO Expert Blog. The topic is goals with your blog. Yannick Eckl who runs the German blog Blogschrott.net initiated this blog carnival and will collect posts until 5th, July 2007. English posts are welcome.

The Early Days

I'll start in the very beginning of SEO Expert Blog about one year and 2 months ago. The first published on this blog titled Search engine optimization points out the main topic and goal at that time. I wanted to establish yet another blog on SEO.

This was kind of an experiment. I registered the domain seo-expert-blog.com after doing some keyword research using Overture's Keyword Selector Tool.

The next step was to find an appropriate system for running SEO Expert Blog. I had used Mambo, Joomla, and TYPO3 for running some websites, but none of those three systems seemed to be the right choice. I was thinking about running a multi-lingual site, since my native language is German but I definitely wanted to post in English as well.

TYPO3 is the only of the three systems mentioned above that offers built-in support of content translation. The problem is that I do not like TYPO3. To me the architecture is far to complex, you need to bother with TypoScript, a completely useless invention in my mind, and TYPO3 consumes lots of server resources, so I would need to have started with a dedicated server instead of a virtual server, that I am still using.

The main aspects against using Mambo or Joomla was that they didn't offer a satisfying comment extension, their built-in support of search engine friendly URLs was poor (I think it still is) and the categorization system is restricted to 2 levels of hierarchy. Finally, I ended up with Drupal which I had tested but not used on a live website before.

Though Drupal's administration interface of the then version Drupal 4.6* looked somehow scary and the learning curve seemed to be steep, the features Drupal offered sounded promising and ideal to achieve my first goal of creating a new blog, about SEO, that will be found through search engines.

My Goals with SEO Expert Blog

After this lengthy introduction, I'll now talk about my goals with SEO Expert Blog. I initially wanted to establish a new SEO blog, where users can register and run their own blog. I also wanted to test how well Drupal is suited for creating a search engine friendly website and I wanted to write articles in German and English.

Since I am a software developer, one of the first things I did after setting up this site, was writing a Drupal module that displays a Buy this content button linking to the Scoopt Words service. This implies another goal: making money from this website.

I do believe that open source is a good approach for developing software and I am using open source software, so I published the module on Drupal.org. Of course, this is also useful to gain attraction, which is one of my goals.

Moreover, I posted regularly on SEO related topics and tried to keep up with SEO news. Many of the posts were quite short, my approach was quantity rather that quality. In the meantime I also started a German language blog about football (soccer), which performed much better in terms of site visitors and page impressions.

I stopped posting on SEO Expert Blog for some months and concentrated on other projects. From my experiences with Torlaune.de I learned that posting videos from video sharing platforms such as YouTube can be a successful strategy for getting people to visit your site.

I tried this on SEO Expert Blog as well, again preferring quantity over quality to learn that this approach doesn't work well for all sites. The goal of getting many visitors here looked very hard to achieve. Though I am interested in SEO and I also did SEO for clients, it became more and more boring to write about SEO for me. There are quite a few other SEO blogs that do the job of writing quality content about SEO much better than me, so I thought about stopping posting here again.

As you can see I did not stop. Instead of restricting posts to SEO related topics, I started to write about other stuff, mainly concentrating on Web development. I also wrote more Drupal modules, that are documented on this site.

This move saved SEO Expert Blog from extinction and also resulted in another huge benefit. Instead of feeling forced to write about SEO to make this blog successful, I now write about stuff I am passionate about whenever I feel like doing so. The quality of the posts increased a lot and the quantity decreased. I now do something I like here, which became the most important goal for me.

Did I Achieve my Goals?

Establishing an SEO Blog

The first tagline I was using read Your Guide to Search Engine Optimization. I changed it to This is not an SEO Blog. I did not reach the goal of establishing an SEO blog. The good thing is that this is not a goal for me anymore. If I want to, I'll write about SEO, but it must be something of interest for me.

Running a Multi-Lingual Blog

Not achieved. There is a Drupal module for translating content called i18n, which works well. I have two other German only blogs and I really don't feel like translating all articles I am writing here. So I kicked this goal.

Making Money from this Site

I do earn some bucks from this site, but I am far away from making a living of it. I have a regular job as a software developer, so it's okay for me to pay the web server costs and some small bills from what I earn with this site.

Establishing a Multi-Author Blog

Not yet. Some people created a user account on SEO Expert Blog, but none of them has actually written an article. Since I am planning to implement a revenue sharing feature for my AuctionsAds Drupal module, I think this might be changing in the future.

Gaining Attraction

Thanks to the increase of quality, this month SEO Expert Blog hit the front pages of Digg, Del.icio.us and some other social news sites. During the first 20 days of June more than 30,000 people visited this site and requested more than 60,000 pages. I think this is not too bad.

To visualize the increase in traffic, have a look at the Alexa Daily Reach chart for the past six months:

6-months Alexa Daily Reach Chart

Having Fun Posting Articles

Not an initial goal, but now the most important one. I currently do have fun writing here and will continue to do so as long as it is fun.

  • *: SEO Expert Blog is now running on Drupal 5.1, to me the best open source content management framework in existence.