If you read any marketing blog on the internet you will see that almost every single article is focused on “conversions, conversions, conversions”.
Recently one of my online marketing friends was reading one of my articles and then messaged me saying
Your blog is so badly optimized! Seriously? Why don’t you optimize your site
So here’s my answer:
Why is this blog so “unoptimized” when my job for businesses is to literally optimize their sites.
Well, it’s all about intent.
On JeremyNoronha.com, since I’ve begun working on it full time in early 2019 I decided one major thing and that’s a separation of “fun” and “work”.
I have a category called “thoughts” where I basically write about everything I feel like. It doesn’t matter if 10 people read it or 1000. I write because I enjoy it, not to get a lot of visitors, not to make a ton of money. That’s a potential upside but not the intent.
For example, I wrote an article recently on “why you shouldn’t start a travel blog” and while it’s a fun and interesting article, I know that thanks to my SEO skills I’ll try and get it on the first page of Google for “how to start a travel blog”
However, if my intent was to make money from the article, it wouldn’t have been framed very differently, it would be much more like the clique articles on travel blogs saying how travel blogging is the best things that ever happened to them and it’s as easy as “sharing your story”. (It’s not)
The intent is for me to share ideas I like and sometimes it’s for me to process ideas by writing about it.
For example, at the end of my article and rant on Instagram travel influencers, my conclusion was
The negative parts of social media is an emergent property of the platform and human nature and that I don’t really see a solution. But here’s a solution that worked for me, it’s doesn’t solve the problem but it made my life better
That’s a very different tone to hear in a day and age where everything is about seeming like the expert on something.
However, I use an entirely different marketing approach when I start niche sites or any articles on this site that are not in the “thoughts” section.
For example, my articles on “WordPress Hosting” or my Travel Backpack reviews are optimized incredibly well for conversions to the point that if an article doesn’t deliver the results I want they’re deleted.
I also start a couple of niche sites wherein I hire writers and it’s all about ROI on every single $ invested. After all, that’s how I make ends meets after I stopped freelancing this year.
That profit then makes it possible for me to have the freedom to be able to choose to not have to monetize everything I do (ie. articles like these)
Another reason I haven’t optimized this site for conversions is that it’s easy to lose your humanity working in online marketing.
I’ve worked with businesses that have email lists in the 100s of 1000s and millions of visitors a year.
At that point it’s easy to stop looking at an individual person visiting your site as a human being.
They just turn into another metric to game just another number on a screen.
By making it harder for people to subscribe to my email list, and by not offering bribes in the form of “enter your email to receive my ebook on how you can change your life today”, I make sure that the people who subscribe to me actually want to listen to me.
In fact, the only way to subscribe to my email list is to scroll right to the bottom of one of the posts under “thoughts“ and my emails aren’t anything sales, just 2 sentences
- Title of post published
- a short summary of what it’s about.
Compare that to the instant popups most people are used to while browsing the web and the fancy email newsletters you’re probably used to getting.
Now, I would never recommend any of this for any business, in fact for an article I wrote recently for And.co on how to build a freelance website I advise something completely different if you want to get clients.
If you are running a business, trying to copy what I do is a bad idea. The reason I have a picture of me on a horse on JeremyNoronha.com is because my girlfriend took that picture and she really likes it! If you are a business you should be testing your pictures to see what gets more people to sign up or buy your product etc, not “because you like it”!
But that’s not what I’m optimizing for, it’s fun.
Popups work, CTAs work, free ebooks for emails work. But if you just want to write because you enjoy it then you should waste your time focusing on “conversions”. You don’t always have to monetize your passion.
Sometimes it’s alright to keep it as a passion because if your livelihood depends on you making money off your hobby then you’re less likely to enjoy it over the longer term.