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96% Of All Real Estate Blogs Will Fail

Your-blog-hereRecently Global Research Center published findings that 68% of real estate agents are going to be focusing on blogging as a marketing tool in 2007.  I find that number hard to believe.  In essence that stat is claiming that there will be the emergence of more than one million real estate blogs launched this year.  As exciting a business opportunity as that would be for us real estate blog coaches, I don't anticipate such a tidal wave of adapters.  In fact, I don't think that blogging will ever reach as high a penetration rate as 68% of active real estate agents.  As effective as blogging can be as a marketing tool, it just isn't in the cards for most

Blogging is not the marketing tool of importance for most for these 4 reasons:

1.  It’s Too Much Effort

Blogging is a major commitment and the blog's success is a direct result of the dedication one has for it.  There are no shortcuts to creating "killer content".

2.  They Don't Recognize The Value

Every day I field call from agents looking to learn what the difference between a real estate website and a real estate blog.   The value, once the curtain is pulled back, is undeniable and incredible... it's the reasoning that it will work that is the catalyst for all the effort.

3.  The Fear Of Failure

Taking a walk down Real Estate Blog Lane can be very intimidating.  Top real estate bloggers are pumping out polished content at an unbelievable pace, making the goal of success seem nearly unattainable.  “I don’t want to sound foolish” –  “I wouldn’t know what to write” –  “I’m just not comfortable with the idea.”  All objections I hear everyday.

4. It’s Not For Everyone

A. If you have a business model that is working well for you, and it incorporates using the Internet as an effective marketing tool, there’s no real need to carve out the time in your already jam-packed schedule to commit to blogging.
B. First day on the job?  Blogging to keep up with the Jones’s might be a little premature if you don’t have the experience to support your voice.

The worse news is that those who don't let the above impede their dreams of running a successful business blog have the odds working against them.

I have no proof for the following statistical assumption, but I would certainly believe it to be true if it were presented to me.  If running a successful business blog is akin to running a successful small business, then the following statistics could be recognized as relevant.  In his world renowned opus, The eMyth,  Michael Gerber makes the claim that 40% of all small businesses will fail in the first year.  80% will fail within the next 5 years.  80% of the remainder will fail within 10 years.  Translation, 96% of all small businesses will fail within 10 years.

I couple business blogging with running a small business because they share the same foundations that determine their success: responsibility, commitment, focus, skill, dedication, vision, service, marketing and networking.

Now, replace "small business" with "business blog":

40% of all business blogs will fail in the first year.  80% will fail within the next 5 years.  80% of the remainder will fail within the next 10 years.  Translation, 96% of all business blogs (started this year) will fail within 10 years.

What gets you in to the 4% club?

Trying to explain what gets you into the club is tricky because it certainly is a different path for all, so here’s a short list of what won’t:

Shortcuts
Money
Good Intentions
Graphic Design
Plagiarism
Unoriginality
The ‘Old College Try’
Connections

That said, there is a vein that runs among those that have experienced success with their business blogging:

Learning From Others’ Successes
Fraternity
Altruism
Originality
Focus
Commitment
Passion
Consistency
Understanding The Audience
Marketing
Community
Effective Headlines

Are you prepared to make the 4% Club?

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Related Must Reads:
You Need To Lose 25 Pounds, And Your Blog Is Dead
Blogger Burnout And The Steps To Avoiding It
10 Things Not To Do On Your Real Estate Blog
To Blog or Not To Blog


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The Real Estate Tomato ran a piece yesterday that said 68% of real estate agents will focus on blogging as a marketing tool in 2007. That number is too high, blogger Jim Cronin believes, because real estate agents don't put [Read More]

» RE Blogging - Doorway to Success? from StevenGroves.com
If i've heard it once from a real estate professional, a mortgage lender or home inspector, I've heard it a hundred times - '... if only I had a blog, then I'd have what I need to be successful.' I [Read More]

Comments

Excellent post. My hat is off to you.

Interesting post, Jim. I remember the intimidation I felt when I started blogging. RCG and Alex Stenback's Behind the Mortgage were the two big'uns, in my mind.

I started emailing Dustin and Alex, though, and that intimidation gave way to fraternity -- one of your other points.

One of the consistent traits between blogs and bloggers is that sense of comraderie. It's part of what makes this fun.

I think that if 96% of all small businesses fail in the first 10 years, then it makes perfect sense to expect 96% of all business blogs to fail. If I close my doors, I'm blogging about pop culture from now on...ya know?

I don't know what the stats are for real estate agents. But I know that most real estate agents also fail within the first few years.

That shouldn't keep anyone from trying but it should keep one from thinking it's easy. It's NOT EASY. At least not for me.

Failure in Blogs is about the same as Failure in new Agent's then. I believe Teresa Boardman's post a few weeks back on the Vine stated that she hoped that the number of Agent's using blogs for marketing would remain low as it meant more business for her.
If I have mis-charactorized her remarks or wrongly attributed those remarks to her I appologize. However I do agree with the remarks. I think that we are all enriched by the number of people who blog be it long time or short time. I just hope the field of those who tend to use it as a platform for marketing remains small.

Killer content. That will effectively eliminate at least 95% right there. Most will jump on the blogwagon, throw up a few posts, evoke few or if any responsive comments, and toss in the towel. And that's because they don't take the time to write original, relevant, thought-provoking content to attract readership and conversation.

Terrific post here, and useful follow-up readings. I can't see a large number of agents getting involved beyond a very limited attempt at blogging. It it any different than the interest shown in new technology with only a few number actually doing anything with it?

I find this very true and "am i good enough" still pops into my pee brain as I think and write on topics. The challenge for me is to continually find topics to without sounding redundant. Great post!

Toby,.

My topics to come from the perspective of the consumers' need for knowledge. I sometimes feel like I'm repeating myself, but I think that is for 3 reasons:
1. I think I am, but it's just that I have a clear grasp on my topics and need to realize that my audience may need to hear things over and over again to have them sink in and to make sure new readers are getting the most out of their stumble.
2. I am repeating myself
3. I am repeating myself

I think there is a valuable lesson to be learned (probably more than one) from the Tomato and more specifically the comment that Jim just left. At times I know Jim feels like he is repeating himself (and it is not because he likes to hear himself talk) but because the Tomato does an amazing job at striking the same core message without it sounding redundant.

At times this may be hard to accomplish, but once you find your voice and establish an audience, it is essential that you remain on your core topic.

You read the sports section in the newspaper even though you already know the scores. You like to gain perspective on the topics you have a fascination with. If this is business blogging, you may already understand what it takes to be successful, but the perspective reiterated can always be reassuring as much as it is inspirational.

http://realestatetomato.typepad.com/the_real_estate_tomato/2006/09/new_to_business.html

Jim, another good article and I'm glad I read through the comments. My blog is new but I have already thought about having to rehash subjects. On the other hand, that is really not too much different from a day in the life of a loan officer. We essentially have the same conversation with different people, day in and day out.

I get up every morning and check to see if my blog failed while I slept. I still have 21 questions, now I'll ad 22, my blog is older than most, what is the life span of a blog? Make that 23, what is the life span of a blogger? make that 24, how long to readers keep coming back? Make that 25, if I do something and do not write a blog post about it did it I do it? O.K. just one more 26 am I sassy?
Herb - that is what I said and I am sticking to my story.

Gulp. No, make it a BIG Gulp, SUPER SIZED! The reality that RE Blogging, (while a fun new thing to some of us Realtors), is serious business. Yes, you can have fun with it, but, it can and should serve as a valuable tool for your clients and business. Jim, you have done it again, "hit me right between the eyes" Thanks for keeping me focused!

Writing. You have to love writing.

Interesting concept. I do agree the 68% seems high. Out of the 80 agents in my downtown Seattle office I'm the only one that blogs...regularly. Three other agents started blogs, but maybe post once a month, if that.

I'm not so sure I like the term "failure". What exactly does that mean? Business models may change, agents may retire, there may be new marketing technologies will be superior to blogs within the next 10 years.

I'm not sure that I'm going to keep my condo blog for the next 10 years. I seem to change professions every 4 years or so...not due to failure, but the need to move on to try and experience new things.

To that end I don't necessarily think that to cease writing a blog equates to blogging failure.

IMO, you will market well with your blog if you market well without it. I don't think the principles of good marketing change that much by virtue of blogging, except perhaps for the informality---blog marketing maybe more like marketing yourself at a social event---you tell real life stories in an interesting way, you use humor, you inform & show your expertise and your humanity. You try not to be boring and self-absorbed. You share your knowledge. You show you care about the other person. Be honest. Get those messages across on your blog and you should get a client or two. The virtual life is similar to real life-----I want to work with an experienced local professional who is a caring person---someone who will help me & someone I would enjoy spending time with.

Excellent post Jim.

The main dangers to avoid are typing backwards, mixing up the left and right hands, not staying on the home row keys, carpal tunnel, and reading other people's work.

Darn, I have to not be boring and self-absorbed?

http://simplythebest.net/sounds/WAV/WAV_files/movie_WAV_files/gameover.wav

Jim, great entry and sooo right on target.

There is so much crap out there and people have so little time. But even if you generate good content there is no guarantee that anyone will read it. You also need to drive traffic so that you can even have a chance. Whether is pay per click, work of mouth, or some type of creative thinking one must put in a lot of thought to how they will get people to their clog. It is easy to get discouraged if you spend a lot of time dropping great content on the web and nobody reads.

It is estimated that 98% of ALL blogs fail. Why should real estate blogs be any different?

Most of them will be starting a blog because they think they aught to. Which they aught. But - starting a blog and making it work are 2 entirely different things.

Ouch! You got me where it hurts..... after 2+ years with AR, I've found my blogging energies lagging, along with my enthusiasm. Time, limited amount of time, seems to be the reason. I won't drop out, but it has become a chore to get everything done and feel enough energy to add to the blog.

Great post! I certainly hope that I am part of the magic 4%, but then again my entire company focus is the internet and social media. I'm pretty confident we will be around.

This is not a good news especialy to those who are in the business. For me as long as your doing great failing is out of the question.

stephan@Realtors

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