Sometimes you come across an article on the Web and you figure it was written just to upset some people so that they would write about it. In these cases sometimes it is best to just move on and never think about the article again. However, there are times where a person says the stupidest things in the world that go against everything you are preaching to your clients and you have no choice but to do a write-up.
First let’s get one thing straight. This site that you are reading right now is a blog. Now that we have that out of the way it’s time to open the can of (insert your favorite saying here) on Mr. Clint Dixon (first time I had to use the new ‘nofollow’ link attribute). For this entry’s sake, let’s assume that his article is what he really believes and that this isn’t some joke.
The Fallacy of Blogs
Hopefully I can help you uncover the fallacy of the blog. Why is it such a pervasive part of our current psyche on things related to the Internet world? I think perhaps it’s just the hype. What was once the bastion of free thinkers is now filled with parrots and opinions. According to the proverb, opinions are like…well you know what I mean, we all have one.
Basically Mr. Dixon is clumping every single blog in existence into one category: personal blogs. Personal blogs are the ones with opinions that might not offer any facts and at times talk about subjects that no one is interested in. Some blogs offer just opinions, but these opinions mean something to a lot of people because it gives them a great place for discussion (note the many political blogs out there).
Found the article from Darren’s site.
Last time I checked Kottke had an opinion-based blog that seems to be doing fairly well.
On more than one occasion over the past year, big news items have hit the mainstream media because they were first posted on a opinonated blog. That is a fact. And let’s not even begin to talk about what happened with Dan Rather…
I can stand outside and yell at the top of my lungs that the moon is green, I can go on radio and television and profess again that the moon is green, I can run ads in newspapers, magazines, billboards, taxis, trains, planes and automobiles that the moon is indeed green, and I can post it online in a forum, a chat room, an instant message or my blog, http://www.sem-seo-pros.com/blogger/blog.htm or post it to a website (which is what a blog really is anyway). I can post all over that the moon is green, I can convince you as you sit reading this that the moon is green (it is, of course), but tonight when you look up in the sky, all of the above will be disproved. The moon will still be white, and I will be just another voice, in a sea full of crowded opinion and little fact.
I don’t know if I should even comment on this one, but I can’t recall a time that a blog has written an opinion that was so blatantly wrong. Do people really talk about the sky being green? Poor example there Mr. Dixon. Let us also note that his whole article is nothing but opinions. Guess that would make it the perfect blog entry. And I am pretty sure the moon isn’t white, but more of a multi-color (hmmm, I see some green).
What is a blog?
According to Mr. Dixon:
A blog is a personal diary, which if I remember correctly, everyone that I knew who had one kept it under lock and key. Some announced this fact with more fanfare than others, and that may be a direct correlation to some of us looking for said diary at every chance we could. So blogs do not remind me of any personal diary that I can recall.
Getting into the definition of what is a blog borders on the impossible, but as mentioned earlier there are many different types of blogs. Let’s just say a blog is a site that uses blogging software (bad example, but work with me). It can cover any topic known to man and offers a certain interaction that normal websites can not offer.
A blog lets you into the mind of the person who is writing it. Reading Mr. Dixon’s article I left feeling like I read an SEO Chat article instead of something written by him. I am less inclined to write a comment on the article because it feels like I would be talking to a machine. Blogs just offer more realism for me. That is my opinion.
This is where a blog starts to become more of a traditional news site in my mind. There is usually a shift in the attitude of the blog once it begins to accept advertising, but not always.
A blog was able to capture attention and the advertising industry took hold of that concept, and helped grow the hype for its own purpose of growing revenue. The very thing that made blogs so popular, lack of advertisements, will in the future probably also ruin the blog.
Lack of advertisements definitely isn’t what made blogs popular. If that was the case then all of the blogs that now offer advertising would see a decrease in their audience once they offer ads. I know that was never the case with any of our sites.
What’s funny about this quote is that if you look at any of the pages that Mr. Dixon’s article is running you should see at least 10/11 different sets of ads. It doesn’t seem like SEO Chat is going anywhere soon so why would blogs be any different? Oh that’s right, because they are just personal diaries.
It gets even more unusual when you look at the homepage of SEO Chat only to see that 50% of their content is taken up by a blog! So which is it? Blogs help advertising revenue on sites, or they detract from them?
Search Engine Benefits
Search engines like blogs because of fresh content and the amount of links specific pages receive. Permalinks make life easier for both bloggers and search engines. With this in mind Mr. Dixon finally makes a decent point:
As for the additional added benefit of posting in blogs helping one’s website achieve higher rankings on Google.com, as with anything this depends upon several factors, such as your overall website theme. The blogs that you post to, and their relevance to your website’s theme, the amount of competitors’ pages your web site must struggle for attention against, and the amount of traffic each receives on a daily business will determine how effective a method this is.
I agree. However, you can’t dispute the fact that adding a blog can’t hurt your rankings in the search engine so really there isn’t a reason not to start one.
I thought all was good with the world, but Mr. Dixon had one more piece of wisdom to share…
Blogging Isn’t a Business
Is a blog a revenue stream? For some, yes I am sure it is. Is it a business model to consider for making money? I would say no. Are blogs the next thing in the Internet world? No they are not. As much as the media and marketing industry tries to put a new spin on its meaning, a blog is a timely ordering of content otherwise known as a Web log, and we all know Web logs are really nothing more than Web pages.
First he agrees that blogs are a revenue stream, but then says that they are not a business model. Huh? Sure they wouldn’t be a business model if the expenses were more than the revenue.
On second thought.
Looking at how much Mr. Dixon made from this article ($50-$100) we can see that he is absolutely right in the fact that blogging is not a business. In fact, just because I made that $50 when I was sleeping last night shouldn’t discount the fact that Mr. Dixon is going to continue to write for SEO Chat and make a lot of money. I wonder if he ever thought that the reason SEO Chat can pay him that much for a subpar article is because they are making that back easily with the 439 forms of advertising on each page?
Let’s take this a step further and assume that Mr. Dixon himself started a blog and posted these articles on his own site. First I am sure he would publish more than the two per month that he is doing over at SEO Chat simply because he controls the editing process. Sure he would be lucky to make that $50 in the first month, but since he owns the content for the lifetime of the site his income is residual unlike the one-time payments he gets from SEO Chat. A well-linked article can easily make that $50 in a couple days/weeks just off of Google ads. Now include the people who would visit the article from a search engine and you are looking at profitability.
If his site got popular enough he could get sponsorships and start to push other methods of generating revenue. Do I dare say that Mr. Dixon might be looking at a full-time business or at the very least one on the side? Nah.
I appreciate the article laced with facts Mr. Dixon. We will make your article a centerpiece for any clients coming to us looking to find out how a blog will benefit them.