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10 Things Not To Do On Your Real Estate Blog

Teresa_BoardmanNormally I don’t write articles about other articles online.  It just seems sort of bandwagon-like.  Today I have to make an exception due to the timeliness of an article written by our own Teresa Boardman over on ActiveRain.  The article was written in the Members Only area of ActiveRain, but I feel that the content is very much public worthy, so we’re bending the rules and delivering it to you.

Teresa, who has recently made a stand on Localism in Real Estate Blogging, was driven to write the following real estate blogging guidelines as a surge in inane content plagues ActiveRain. 

1.  No one cares about you or your health or that your father just died.  They don't care that business is bad or that a client just screwed you over.  Who wants to read about another's misfortunes?  We all have our own to deal with. Leave it off of your blog.

2.  Skip the commentary that everyone writes.  There are millions of posts that are commentary on national news items and who is who in the real-estate industry.  Are you adding value by writing about Trulia, Zillow or Redfin along with 10,000 other people?

3. Buyers and sellers in your local market may not care about blogging.  Writing about your blog or about other bloggers is interesting to those of us who have blogs but probably not very interesting to those who may be looking for local or real estate content.  Real estate bloggers have fallen into a predictable pattern.  They start with real estate content and after two months they start writing how to write a blog posts and then they start writing about other blogs.

4. Don't compete.  It may seem really cool to be toward the top of real estate blog directories that measure hits and compare us against each other, but does it bring in the clients? Are all hits equal? How does having a bunch of real estate industry professionals reading your blog help win business from the general public?  Why compete with all of those blogs that are mostly about blogs when there is almost no competition for the local real estate content that the buyers and sellers who live inside your computer search for constantly?

5.  Stop imitating CNET.  The real estate industry in general is not noted for their technological superiority. Most people interested in technology are savvy enough to check out TechCrunch, Engadget, Gizmodo and a slew of other blogs and web sites if they want to learn about the latest and greatest gadgets, hardware and software.  The topic is covered to the point where the best way for a real estate blogger to add value may be through commenting, because the comments on these blogs will be more widely read than the technology content on a real estate blog.  This also applies to ActiveRain, trust me I know you are all smart, but I get my technology from the technology industry.

6.  Stop gauging success by the number of comments. In the real world comments are not all that common on most blogs.  Lack of comments does not mean that no one is reading or that the blog is not working, it simply means that people are not commenting.  For every comment I get on the St. Paul real estate blog I get at least 5 emails.  I'll take the email because my responses allow me to build relationships on a more personal level.

7.  In my opinion advertising a listing is a no no.  Their are subtle ways of doing it, without doing it.  Like writing a story with a link to the listing.  My listings are everywhere on the internet and one does not have to go far to find tons of houses that are for sale.  Advertising listings makes a blog blend in with all the schlocky template real estate web sites out there.

8. Smaller might just be better - Writing to a huge audience doesn't make sense.  Most of my competitors are afraid to be a Minneapolis blog or a St. Paul blog or a neighborhood blog because they think they might miss out on business and want to cast a broader net.  Smaller is better and that niche blogs are the way to go since there are already zillions of web sites with real estate information for most metropolitan areas on the planet.  It is all generic type content and is easy to find.

9.  Stop blowing your own horn. Last weekend I wrote a facetious post about marketing me - "I am all that and a bag of chips."  I know that the post is ridiculous and one reader even asked me if I had lost my mind.  I honestly think that I demonstrated how not to write on ActiveRain or anywhere else.  I don't really care if you are all that and a bag of chips.

10.  Don't write a novel.  Blog posts do not have to be literary master pieces to win business.  A typo will not forever ruin your reputation, I think I am living proof.  Most adults will not take the time to read your entire lengthy literary masterpiece on how the MLS works.  Short posts with pictures seem to work best.

If you would like to read the article in its entirety, and participate in the dozens of comments that follow, you will need to be an AR Member. 
Follow this link to her original post: Crossing the picket line - Local content  (Members Only)

-Teresa Boardman
Thank you Teresa.  As always, it’s a pleasure having you 'on the vine'.

Related Must Reads:
Keeping Local Real Estate, Well... Local
Why Is A Nationwide Audience A Good Thing?
Blogging Your Listings

Other Articles by Teresa

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Reading The Real Estate Tomato turned me to a post over at Active Rain whereby Teresa Boardman ranted about the inane behavior/posts going on at Active Rain. She is big on a new net term called Local Blogging. This is [Read More]

Comments

When you came down from that cold mountain with those heavy stone tablets, were you tired?

I think this is great advice, and it's exactly the right way to express it. Jim is publishing to a national audience of real estate webloggers, and so this is precisely the place to talk about how to do local. My hat is off.

Jim,

It is a wise man who knows whom to quote.

Teresa, AMEN !

Great advice, as usual.

When the Tomato serves up Teresa's chips... you can't go wrong. :)

Dang, Jim, quoting is all well and good, but don't forget to copy and paste the part about that handsome and clever "Broker from California" fellow.

Well, as always, I agree with most everything Theresa says, especially if she keeps saying I have oodles of charisma.

It's much more important to blow one's own horn on Jim's blog.

As for advertising listings on my blog, I have to take issue with that one. That's part of my fiduciary duty to the seller. Out here the listing agreements say "Broker agrees to exercise reasonable effort and due diligence to achieve the purposes of this agreement."

What's all this delicate embarrassment? We're real estate agents. We help people buy and sell houses. That's our job. Big deal.

John,

Your sentiments on the blogging of listings is precisely why I included the link to the article I wrote on the subject. I think that there is a way to go about it that can be very appropriate and effective.
Sorry for leaving the juicy description of you out... I owe you one.

John & Jim - I do advertise listings on my blog. If I did not my clients would get upset. I actually set up a web site for each listing and am now giving them their own blogs. I just don't like some of the blogs that have that in your face kind of home for sale stuff on them. I fear that a buyer who does not like that particular style of home may just leave. It also make my blog, where I have conversations, look too comercial,there are plenty of places to advertise listings - - Jim is not a realtor so I don't always agree with what he says about marketing listings. I have not seen much specific advertising for tomato blogs on this blog. It is the same principle. John has so much charisma and charm that I would think his listings would sell just because he has his name on the sign. If he has his face on the sign too he shouldn't need any more marketing than that.

No worries, Jim. I saw a link in an earlier post about the same thing, so my insufferable ego is sufficiently appeased . . . for the moment. :)

Teresa, I've always loved you, even if at any given time you've only had half a head. Your check is in the mail. You'd have 25% more charisma than me if you simply had 100% more photographer.

This post shows that you subscribe to my feed.
I'll come back when I'm finished crying.

Thanks for posting this Jim. Some of the suggestions sound brutal, but are true nonetheless. The 1st one cracks me up... it's amazing how often you actually see people make that mistake. No one wants to read a journal entry squeezed into a business blog.

Rory,
I'm crying, laughing!

....and it all depends on your audience, too! Blogging is a fine line to walk on and you cannot make it right for everybody. So just be yourself, skip the ego-entries and blog using common sense.

Jim, and Teresa, I missed this when it was on AR and I missed it on Tomato, but I caught it with a link from Bloodhound today.

I'm really glad I caught this post. As a newbie, I just today started down this road of blogging my listings...I'll think of another way to do it.

One more thing: Don't use Jim's blog to test out comments just because you're having trouble commenting on someone else's blog. Doh!

It's funny to read about that tired progression that ends up with bloggers blogging about blogging and bloggers. I will admit that I like to read other real estate bloggers tips about blogging because it keeps me from heading down the wrong path. Blogging - whether it be on "Blogger" (old school I know..) or Active Rain (blogging 1.9?) has brought me more business over the past few years and I'm curious to see where it takes us all.

I have to agree with John L because blogging a listing helps build local content that is relative an agents or company's coverage area. It has to do be done with some taste and sticking to the facts like sq/ft, price, location etc are is the best. When blogged listings are wrote like advertisements, best in the neighborhood, one of a kind, get it while its hot, the blog post gets tough to stomach, IMO.

Toby,

Next time your written (not wrote) comments are posted for the on-line world's consumption, I recommend first seeking a grammar check courtesy- of your 2nd grade English teacher. But you get an 'A' for your effort.

....like the age old adage, if you can't say anyting nice,refrain. As a 30 year business, real estate and marketing vet, I have been blessed with working with some of the finest real estate and business minds from Honolulu to Boston, and am willing to take on serious individuals who are interested in 6&7 figure incomes by relaunching a poweful program to achieve realistic goals--anything imaginable. This will be an anonymous business group of like-minded thinkers who have the integrity and burning desire to change ones' internal financial thermostat... All of us "are what we are and where we are because of the dominating thoughs that occupy our minds" -Earl Nightingale.
Kevin Cronin

Teresa,

Great post - I can't stop laughing and having flash backs from the many websites I've seen practicing the things you've mentioned above. I was wondering why Real Estate agents post their listings and have wondered if this was appropriate for a blog - thanks for clearing it up!

Cheers

Very well said. Especially determining your niche audience. Its tempting to want to cast a larger net for your blog but being a bigger fish in a smaller pond is better.

Well said! I especially love #9 and see it alot. Just cannot figure out what they are thinking!

I will try to keep everything in mind. All your articles are so interesting. I am thinking about to create a blog urgently.
Greetings from Spain,

I want to share to you this one, i was read the other way of selling is a video instead of article, but its better if you combine the two ways.

-Sarah

Nice tips. It doesn't look like criticism. I laughed about no.1, it's true. Just post directly what you want to say.

-manny

To those who commented criticism "if you can't say something good, don't say anything at all." But for you Teresa nice post. Thanks for sharing this to us.

laura@Realtors

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