Blogging & Publishings Tips From An Industry Veteran
Last week, Tyler and I chatted about my history and background in Web publishing and the evolution of my sites. Our discussion continues this week, but you should probably start with last week’s discussion so you have some context…
As a veteran of this space, I’ve seen it evolve a lot. I’m happy Tyler and I took some time to discuss how it’s changed, where it’s going, and how to get there.
Blogging tips from an industry veteran
Tyler Bishop: Okay, back to it! I know you talk a lot about devices, how do you see mobile devices changing the way users interact with content, the web, etc.?
Dave Taylor: You mean other than the fact that people have become so obsessed with their mobile devices that they have no lives anymore? That people can’t walk down the street with their head held high, making eye contact with others and smiling a friendly ‘hello’ as they proceed? It’s the demise of Western Civilization, frankly!
But in the meantime and a bit more seriously, as a society, we are clearly moving towards whatever devices and gadgets allow us to be connected and online anywhere, at any time. Whether that’s an Amazon Echo or Google Home device we can talk to, a smartphone with integrated interactivity in our car, or a tablet, desktop computing is on its way out.
From a user’s perspective, this means that small bite-sized data snippets are going to be winners, even as Google seems to be pushing us to produce longer, 1000+ word articles. If I’m reading on a lovely 32” iMac screen or a 15” Microsoft Surface screen, a few pages of content is great. But if I’m reading on my Apple Watch screen or having my Echo read the answer out loud, I might not be able to handle 200 words, let alone 350-500. I think it’s all going to evolve.
Tyler: What do you think of things like AMP and progressive web apps vs. mobile apps?
Dave: I applaud the push towards faster interaction and faster loading sites, but I fear that big corporations have a rather blasé attitude towards us smaller publishers who actually might rely on advertising and integrated site elements as an important revenue stream. So far, everything I’ve heard from others is that AMP is distinctly unfriendly towards monetization. Good for readers, not so good for us publishers.
And mobile apps versus mobile-friendly sites, well, the latter is clearly smarter because it’s more flexible, you can push out updates at the click of a button and you don’t have to go through the corporate monoliths at Google and Apple to get approval. But having a Web site that’s mobile friendly and works great for Android and iOS? Not so easy, particularly if you want a sophisticated level of interaction.
Wouldn’t the technology be better suited if it adapted to specific users that actually needed faster pages (with degraded elements); while not perturbing people with a fast connection that may not need an AMP page?
Tyler: What are you doing right now to be better prepared for the future as a digital publisher?
Dave: I’m working on site performance and security, and constantly producing new content to ensure that my AskDaveTaylor.com site stays fresh and lively. Indeed, I’ve already written about AMP, for example, and things you can do to speed up your site for better ranking. To some extent we’re in great flux, however, because of the many different ideas about how to become more mobile friendly, so there’s also an element of waiting to see what happens…
Tyler: Will you invest more time in video in the next few years? Why or why not?
Dave: Oh yeah! I’ve been pushing more and more into video for a couple of years now, and my YouTube channel — AskDaveTaylor, naturally! — is growing at a good pace with over 5000 subscribers and over 2.2 million combined video views.
My goal is to publish 2-3 videos every single week because I absolutely believe that the future is video and learning how to produce good, compelling and entertaining content is a must for any online publisher who wants to keep growing. Written content might not explode, but there are plenty of stories of YouTube videos and channels going viral and building a substantial audience in a remarkably short time.
Tyler: Who do you trust and where do you go for good information?
Dave: That’s a tough one. I read tons of content sites including Search Engine Land and the Google Blog and I also attend a lot of meetups locally, including two different SEO-focused meetups in Boulder and Denver, Colorado. The challenge is that it’s peripheral to my business (though important) so I don’t feel I can devote too many hours each week to learning about cutting edge SEO and search engine publishing information. I’m certainly always open to recommendations! Where do you go, Tyler?
Tyler: Me? The Ezoic blog, of course! It’s where I write about all the things that have made me such a successful web marketer 🙂
However… early on, I really liked reading news about changes in the industry. This always gave me a good feeling about what techniques were on the cutting edge. I’d go to places like Search Engine Land, Moz Blog, SEMRush blog, and Search Engine Roundtable.
Tyler: For those that may not have been doing this as long as you have, what piece of advice would you give digital publishers as they continue to try to grow their respective properties?
Dave: Not to sound like it’s the 1990’s all over again, but I always tell people to focus on content quality. SEO trends seem to come and go like high school fads, but if you’re producing smart, thoughtful and insightful content, whether in writing, photo essays or video, you’ll win in the long run.
Just don’t forget that you should also work on marketing what you produce because however good your proverbial mousetrap, people will not just beat a path to your door!
And as for me, I’ll keep trying to surf the front edge of change and progress.
Leave additional questions or comments for Dave below….
Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since it was known as the ARPAnet and has decades of experience as an independent online publisher. Dave owns multiple online businesses and websites. You can check out his site AskDaveTaylor.com or find him on social media as @DaveTaylor to learn more about how he sees emerging technology.