Countless Internet “gurus” tell you how important social media marketing, backlinks building, and guest posting is. But, will spending time on these activities actually produce better results than creating new content?
A new blogger should spend zero time marketing and one hundred percent of their time creating new content. This is because Google will be your primary traffic source, and more targeted content is what will ultimately lead to success there.
Google is Orders of Magnitude Bigger Than Any Social Media Site
It’s tough to comprehend just how much bigger blog traffic from Google is than blog traffic from Pinterest. Maybe this chart showing Google’s growth over time will help give an idea of how big Google is. Google gets about 3 Trillion searches per year as of 2019.
Not all Google searches end in clicks to blogs. In fact, over 50% of Google searches result in zero clicks to external websites. So lets conservatively estimate that 1/3rd of Google search queries result in a click to a blog. This would leave us with 1 trillion blog visits per year from Google.
Pinterest has 320 million monthly active users. While that’s a large number of monthly users, you’d need each of them to visit 8.5 blog posts per day to rival Google.
When you start comparing them as search engines, you see a larger disparity. There are only 24 billion Pinterest searches per year compared to Google’s 3 trillion searches.
Potential Google traffic is over 100x bigger than Pinterest traffic. Google’s an absolute giant compared to all other platforms. They’re who you want to write blog posts for, not social media.
Your Interests Are Not Aligned With Social Media Companies
Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter’s goal is to make money. The primary way they do that is by selling ad space. And the primary way they sell ad space is by keeping you on the platform as long as possible.
How do you think they feel about users leaving their platform to visit a blog?
They don’t like it, and in recent years they’ve proven this time and time again. For instance, Facebook groups used to be a great source of traffic until they drastically cut organic reach in 2017. Pinterest is regularly doing more to prevent users from clicking off the platform.
These trends will only accelerate going into the future.
Your Interests Are Aligned With Google’s
With Google, your blog posts and YouTube videos are the content that they’re selling.
Sure, Google also wants users to stay on Google so that they can sell ad space. The difference is without your blog posts and YouTube videos, Google doesn’t have a very good end-product. They rely on your content to make money.
This is a great thing. Your interests are aligned. The last thing you want is your business daddy actively trying to wipe you off the face of the earth.
Your Social Media Marketing Efforts Hold Zero Long-Term Value
How long does a Tweet, Post, or Pin last? Seconds? Minutes? Hours? Definitely not days or weeks.
This is why creating content is a better use of your time than creating Tweets. Even if you have a wildly successful Tweet, it’s here today gone tomorrow. It’s hard to build a business around spiking traffic you can’t depend on. Traffic that requires constant input from you to keep viable.
A Tweet has 1 day of value. A great blog post could bring in traffic for 10 years from Google, giving you 3,650 days of value. It’s a no-brainer which one you should be focused on. When your work expires at the end of every day, you will find yourself on a treadmill, unable to grow.
So I Should Build Backlinks Then?
No, you shouldn’t.
This is a tactic that provides value in the short-term. But, prioritizing link-building over content creation has a big opportunity cost long-term. What do I mean? In 2020, we only have 3-4 ways to build legitimate do-follow links. And they all take tremendous amounts of time to generate a single link.
- Guest posting – Takes an enormous amount of time and gets you 1 backlink. It’s beginning to be considered spam by most bloggers.
- Help a Reporter Out – Cool idea, but you would be lucky to get 1 link for every few hours of work.
- Broken link campaigns – I don’t know a single webmaster who doesn’t consider this spam at this point. It also takes hours of work and expensive tools to generate a few backlinks.
With any of those options, it takes at least a few hours to get a few links, perhaps longer. Let’s say it takes you 8 hours to generate 6 links and 8 hours to write one blog post. Which task should you prioritize?
Over the long term, every blog post you write will generate more than 6 links on average. Blog posts can last for more than 10 years on Google. That’s a lot of time to earn a link.
Why would you spend 8 hours link-building and end up with fewer backlinks and content than if you’d just written content? It’s a poor use of your time.
Don’t Waste Time Reaching Out To Other Bloggers
WordPress comments used to allow do-follow links. This caused a lot of early bloggers to “Reach Out” to other bloggers in their comments sections where they’d leave a link to their blog.
This tactic was always spammy and is now officially recognized as spam by Google. WordPress has since changed comment links to be no-follow. If you’re promoting your site in this way, just stop it.
Running Ads Won’t Help Your New Blog Until You Have a Product
Advertising can have tremendous benefits.
However, I can’t sit here in good conscience and tell new bloggers that they should be running ads. Running Ads is a very advanced technique and you need to have a product on the back-end to make them run sustainably. Otherwise, you’ll just be burning money for minimal gain.
I won’t discourage new bloggers from building a product and advertising it on various ad networks. But, for now, focus on content creation.
Content is king. In the long-term, it will provide significantly more value than any of these short-term marketing efforts will.
This would be like a cat lady telling you the secret to success is getting a dog. That advice doesn’t jive with what they’ve actually done.