Why You Shouldn’t Waste Your Time Playing The SEO Game

SEO reminds me of playing golf

To get really good at golf, it takes years of hard work. And lots of boring, repetitive practice at the driving range.

And if you’re able to crack the .0001% of golfers, you can make a ton of money.

But if you’re in the 99.9999%, the best you can hope for is winning a few bucks off your buddies.

The same thing happens in the world of SEO.

To get any real benefits from SEO, you’ll have to spend months, if not years, working at it.

And you’ll have to spend a ton of time writing lots of boring, repetitive articles.

But sure, you might crack the 1% where you can some pretty good money from it.

But if you’re in the 99%, well… thanks for playing.

There is one big difference though… golf is awesome and SEO is largely a waste of time.

And for most marketers, SEO is a game you shouldn’t even bother trying to play. Why do I say that?

Because you’re out of your league

If you want to start playing the SEO game, you have to realize that you’re competing in the big leagues.

Publishing companies have teams of people, smarter than you, working on keyword research. 

They have dozens of writers, better than you, producing content for them.

And they have the best SEOs in the business doing everything they can to make sure their content outranks yours in the search engines.

But you think that you, a solo marketer trying to build an online business in your free time, can compete with that?

No chance.

They’re capable of producing 100x more content with better quality and more optimized than you or I could ever dream of.

You’re outgunned, it’s a game you can’t win.

The goalposts are always moving

Search engines and SEO marketers are in this constant battle.

While search engines are trying to deliver the best results for their users, SEOs are trying to figure out how to game those results for their benefit.

So there’s this back and forth that happens…

Marketers figure out the search algorithm and start gaming it. Then the search engines modify the algorithm to penalize the marketers who were gaming it.

If they want to stay in business, marketers have to figure out how to play the new game. And the whole process just keeps repeating.

My point is this.

Even if you were able to beat the pros and get your articles ranking at the top of the search engine results page, it probably won’t be there long.

The goalposts will eventually move.

And when the Google updates come, you’ll get slapped for playing the game.

And your traffic will die down, which means your revenue goes down with it, until you can figure out how to play the new game.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t start my business so I could spend all day monitoring Google updates and reacting to every change they make.

I started my business to serve my customers.

To help people with my products and services.

And to make a living doing work I enjoy.

None of that involves playing the Google game.

And it’s a brutal business model

At scale, the SEO model basically boils down to this.

You write a bunch of long, boring articles to try to get as many people to your site as possible.

And hopefully you can get enough of them to click on your affiliate links so you can earn a few bucks to keep the lights on.

Then you twist as many arms as you can, with pop-ups and slide-ins and welcome mats, to sign up for your overhyped lead magnet.

That way you can bombard them with crappy affiliate offers that they’ll ignore until they finally report you as spam and unsubscribe.

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but that business model sucks.

Unless, of course, you want to spend your days writing boring, soulless, commoditized crap articles…

That people don’t even want to read…

And that any basic AI can easily reproduce?

And maybe you don’t mind your livelihood depending on how many people you can trick into clicking on an affiliate link…

And how much money you can squeeze out of your list (before they burn out) with all the thinly-veiled email copywriting tricks you just learned?

Maybe I’m the weird one here, but that’s not how I want to build my business.

That’s a race to the bottom and I don’t want any part of it.

Sure, SEO can work…

There are tons of businesses out there that generate millions of dollars a year for themselves using SEO.

And it could work for you too.

But it’s a huge investment. And the odds of it paying off aren’t great.

Do you think you can beat the dozens of publishers in your niche with more and better resources than you?

Do you want to spend your life trying to game an algorithm that’s constantly changing in response to you gaming it?

Do you want your business to be reduced to a bunch of boring, soulless articles designed to get people to click on an affiliate link so you can earn 28 cents?

If so, maybe the SEO route can work for you. But if not…

Just create awesome content

Instead of worrying about optimizing every article you write to hopefully one day please the algorithms and rank in the search results…

That’ll (hopefully) result in enough people coming to your site…

Who will (hopefully) click on enough affiliate links to keep your business afloat.

Why not just create content that people actually want to consume?

Content that people love and can’t wait to share with their friends.

Content that makes people want to join your email list and buy your awesome products and services.

Because creating that kind of content is how you build a sustainable online business.

And that’s the game you should be playing.

What to read next