SEO Friendly Blog Tips: How Limitations Lead to Creativity

“I don’t want to write boring. I’m no robot!”

Okay… but let’s be real. We want to rank on Google.

We are trying to rank. For competitive terms. While 4.4 million new blog posts are published every day.

In this blog, I will explain why limitations in form are actually beneficial to creativity. I will also explain how blogging with SEO best practices is not “writing boring”.

Forget technique! Everything I’ll refer to is simply good writing. I’m not kidding! Last month I saw a featured snippet on Google from the 1920s! It would seem apparent that all we need for long-term success is clear and accessible writing, good editing, and basic formatting.

Limitations are the name of the game.

Let’s consider the concept of genre in film for example. During film school, I was appalled to learn genres were important. Sooooo limiting.

“My movie doesn’t have a genre! Why should I follow arbitrary rules? I just want to write.”

Good thing I asked – because I received some great advice!

“In the film business, you need to be able to market your film so it can be distributed. And if you can’t describe your movie in a matter of seconds you will not get attention. Think of how many movies are out there!”

The same can be said for trying to have your blog rank on Google. Nobody is going to distribute your blog (even organically) if the blog doesn’t speak to them. Especially Google! The more we can meet the demands of search engines and their users – the better our chances of success.When a user searches on Google, Google tries to determine the highest quality results.” That’s it, baby!

Learn some SEO – not all of it

the floor is learning SEO for blog writing - meme

I am sympathetic to the demands of content teams, as well as small-business owners, who are trying to balance high demands, large workloads, and a constantly evolving marketing landscape. Experts estimate that Google changes its search algorithm around 500 to 600 times each year. Keeping up-to-date is an impossible task.

Think of SEO like Music Theory.

SEO is like music theory for writing content. Check out this eye-opening tweet from Andrew Huang.

What people think music theory is: “These are the rules for music. You have to make it this way.” What music theory actually is: “Here’s a big pile of things most people enjoy hearing! Feel free to use any you like. Lots of things that aren’t in this pile also sound great!”

Here’s my meme regarding SEO best practices for blogging.

What people think SEO best practices are: “These are the rules for blog. You have to make it this way.” What SEO best practices actually is: “Here’s a big pile of things most people enjoy hearing! PLEASE - use any you like. Lots of things that aren’t in this pile also sound great!”

Music theory always sounds intimidating, restricting, and far too granular for lazy musicians like myself. But when you consider music theory as “a collection of stuff we know people enjoy” it starts to look like a fun box of tools – not a set of rules to be punished by. 

The same goes for SEO best practices in regards to blog writing:

  • Google likes it (Google influences SEO)
  • Users like it (Users influence Google)
  • Your CMS likes it (HTML influences everybody)

But you’re probably like me – an electronic musician. 

The floor is learning music theory. Guitarists and EDM producers are jumping away from it.

I still don’t understand music theory but I’ve had the privilege of playing in many bands on stage to live audiences. So, let me illustrate how combining your limitations with a craft’s limitations actually puts you on the patch to success.

Embrace your lack of skill

Have you ever heard of Annie Get Your Gun? It was a highly succesfull musical, movie, etc. The music and lyrics were written by a man named Irving Berlin. Let the man inspire you!

Irving Berlin playing piano - touching the black keys

Irving Berlin Fact Check:

  • Multimillionaire
  • Couldn’t write music
  • Couldn’t read music
  • Wrote 1500 songs including:
    • White Christmas
    • God Bless America
    • Happy Holiday
    • There’s No Business Like Show Business
    • Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)
    • Puttin’ on the Ritz
    • Annie Get Your Gun

One of the greatest songwriters in history could only play the black keys, couldn’t write music, and couldn’t even read music.

This is not a “bootstraps” kinda scolding – what I mean to say is creativity is about decision-making. Limitations are ironic in that they can lead to large amounts of creativity because you are forced to make decisions.

“You can’t write a song out of thin air you have to feel and know what you are writing about.” – Irving Berlin

My interpretation of Berlin’s quote is this: You can’t write a blog out of thin air either. You have to know what you are writing about!

Irving Berlin meme - text reads Rank #1 on Google ala Neil Patel

Have something to say!

The most common issue I see for those writing content isn’t the limitations of the craft, of the writers, or the format… it’s the limitations of poor ideas. Without a clear message, there is no point in trying to rank. You will feel confused, you will have no direction, and you will create something that doesn’t have a point. Should you have a point – the limitations of SEO best practices will:

  • Create a structure for your effort
  • Provide accessibility to all potential readers
  • Show relevance to search engines

Are you new to optimizing content? Learn how to read Google Search Console’s performance report in this helpful blog, and follow us on LinkedIn for more SEO insights.