To Blog or Not To Blog
Blogging is not for everyone. It is such that most who try will fail.
This will be worse than the rush to get a website for Realtors. You see, websites can be marketed any number of ways, and there are many carrots with which to capture leads out of the traffic you drive to them. The rush to blogging in the real estate industry will not be pretty. All the graphic design, SEO, marketing and fancy domain names aren't going to help. Most blogs will die on the vine... in less than a month. They will fail just as diets fail; good intentions, fancy running shoes, nutrition almanacs, and space age treadmills don't lose the weight for you. It is the commitment and encouragement that will make you successful. Your blog is no different.
I do a ton of talking about blogging to real estate audiences. I am always careful to make sure that anyone considering getting into blogging as a marketing tool for their business, understands what successful, professional, business blogging entails.
Let's assume that you have all the elements (slick design, cool name, RSS, email sign-up, pings, social bookmarking etc.) in place and the only element left to care for is the blogging itself.
What does successful blogging entail?
The 4 C's to business blogging success: "If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail."
I know you are busy. I know your business can be a roller coaster ride. One week it's all prospecting and pavement pounding, the next it's catering to clients' needs and then it's closings, contingencies and paperwork. "Where am I going to find the time to be a regular blogger?" You ask.
Firstly, look at blogging as a powerful marketing strategy, not a hobby nor a chore. Getting yourself in front of a captive audience that is interested in your education and service is the golden opportunity. Developing an ever growing audience of regular readers, all-the-while exposing them to your online tools and services, is the formula. If you don't make the commitment, and find the time, you will never know what success I am talking about.
Having a core focus with your blog makes it so much easier to write. Make a list of what your blog's central topics will be. I'm serious. What service and education can you offer your audience? This is your core focus. Your blogging does not have to strictly adhere to that focus, but it should revolve around it regularly.
1. The more you refer to your core topics, the more unique content you generate for the search engines to find you by.
2. Your core topics will help distinguish your blog to your audience. Give them a reason to recognize your value to them. If your message is all over the place, your value to them will grow thin.
3. After you have 'rounded out' you message in dozens of articles, there is always another way to say the same thing, whether it be to reinforce, reiterate, revisit or reinvent. Keep in mind, your audience is ever changing and bringing up excellent points from months ago could be new nuggets of knowledge to them.
Writing is easy. Good writing takes practice, inspiration and folly. Look for formulas to good blog writing. Read, write, read, write, read. The blogs that impress you will inspire you to find your own voice. Getting the audience is hardly half the battle. It is keeping them coming back for more that sets you apart.
Stick with the above plan. Don't think that your audience won't notice the naps you take. Don't think the scale won't notice the pint of Ben and Jerry's you just ate. If it is hard to find the time to commit, then make the effort to schedule it in. If 4 times a month is all you can commit to, then write it in your calendar. Your audience is paying attention. If they feel you are not commited to them, then they will lose their commitment to you.
So, before you go out and get all excited to take hold of the latest marketing strategy in online real estate, please be aware of the commitment that it entails. The rewards are plenty. It is worth it.
Here's my new favorite comment, left by Todd Tarson last Saturday:
If you enjoyed reading this article, why not Subscribe to be notified of the next one?