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7 Crucial Tips To Developing Real Estate Blog Copy That Gets Read

Read_This_BlogThe biggest challenge for a new blogger is readership, not visitorship.  Most who have the fervor to embrace the blog as a real estate marketing tool have no problem developing the content.  Dropping a post on ActiveRain or Digg will generate an instant audience.  It’s enticing that audience to actually read one’s work that eludes most.

Poorly formatted blog copy (writing) will scare off the audience you worked so hard to inform. 

The audience you are reaching is not an ideal group of readers.  Readers of your blog are going to barrel through your article at a pace much faster than you expect as you toil over the composition of each sentence.  Realize that they aren’t cozying up with it on the couch nor are they taking it into the john.  Your readers are just stopping by for a quick look before they head off to the next mental snack.

To improve blog readership, one needs to recognize that blog writing is unique unto itself.  It is nothing like writing a novel, an essay, a letter, a column nor a postcard.  Blog writing, for me, is more like a mash up of a baking recipe and a popular magazine article.  With recipes, the items you are notating are supremely important and nothing should be overlooked, and with a popular magazine the presentation is a form of entertainment, and the articles are snack-sized bites.  Don’t think New Yorker, think Wired.

1. Headlines– Killer Titles generate killer traffic
This article is written as an apprenticeship to Copyblogger.  In an effort to not take credit for illustrating the importance and development of the killer headline, read these 3 great pieces by the master himself.

How Great Headlines Score Traffic
10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work
7 More Sure-Fire Headline Templates That Work

My favorite Copyblogger technique is to have actually written the Headline for the article before writing the article itself. 

2. Pictures – Immediate attention grabbers.
If your title didn’t fully sell the article, the picture(s) can.
If a picture can tell a thousand words then you may have just more than doubled your content.
Additional pictures staggered through an article are rewards for reading on, and often ‘buy’ you a few more minutes with your audience.

Bad_form3. Short Paragraphs – Don’t be afraid to break a thought into more that one paragraph
This is one of the main distinctions of the blog formatting style that separates it from the other forms of writing mentioned above.  I can hear my English professor cursing me every time I break up a paragraph that in standard formatting would be bad form.  Yet, I see this technique as so necessary in order to keep the reader from just skipping it all together, not wanting to commit to my wordy descriptions.

4. Bolding The Killer Sentence – Ensure the casual reader gets the point and value.
One goal for a blog should be maintaining and acquiring regular readers.  By highlighting the main points of an article, the casual reader can quickly identify the value of the article and in turn the perceived value of their next visit.

5. Lists – Attention getting 101.
As much as I can’t stand Letterman, I will always sit through a Top 10 that I happen to have stumbled across.
Two great Copyblogger articles on developing list blogs:

7 Reasons Why List Posts Will Always Work
Five Reasons Why The List Post Is Dead

6. Links – What’s behind the door?
The mystery, the resource, the relationship, the easter egg.  Rewarding your readers with more on the topic they came for… mmm good.
Links can also help add to the brevity of the article.  Let other articles support your arguments so that you don’t have to reiterate what has already been said/established.

7.  Get To Your Point – The recipe is not a story, it’s the formula to success.
Long, decorative intros are like bad breath.

FOR 2 BONUS TIPS:


8. Block Quotes – It’s as if the quote tries to tell the whole story in a single sentence.
This aesthetic tease is a blatant rip-off from the formatting seen in magazines.  Sometimes trying to locate the actual context of this wordly snack is enough reason to read the whole article.  Like an image, block quotes are also a way to reward your reader for hanging in there.

9. The Extended Entry -
Until you have become a ‘must read’ blog, the sight of an article that is more than a few paragraphs long is a deterrent in itself.  Breaking longer articles into two sections has two major benefits:

1. The shorter appearance of the article won't intimidate the audience, enticing them to commit now rather than thinking, “I’ll save this for later”.
2. Most statistic programs can't tell you how long someone has been on your site until a link is actually clicked.  Readers clicking on the “continue reading this article” link will activate the time-stamp producing a more faithful estimate of your readers’ visit lengths.  Readers that ‘read and leave’ without clicking will register as 0:00 no matter how long they stayed.

It is always a good practice to entice the reader into clicking the ‘continue reading’ link by breaking the article just before something juicy like a list, twist or the meat of the article.

Related Must Read:
Your Blog Is An Army
The Secret To Developing Real Estate Blog Content

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Comments

Hey Jimmy: Be thankful that you never met my history professor. He has wrote about a hundred books on naval warfare. Knowing that I am a blogger (yes, he reads my blog) and author, he tends to ride my butt harder than any English teacher I have ever known.

We bloggers have a unique writing style that would drive most professors nuts!

Edit, edit, edit! While our English teachers may not agree with our punctuation, I think they would support the wise blogger's need to stringently edit and pare down copy. Down with blathering. Minimalism suits our ADD culture.

Plus, re: selecting great photos, what is it about a monkey that's so funny? I love this pic. Show me a funny simian pic and I will show you a blog worth a click.

I have to say, I learn something every time I read your blog. Almost as good as attending real estate seminars. Actually better, cause I hate to sit in classrooms.

Really I didn't read alike great an article since a long time thanks alot...

Ahmed Anies
( Egyptian Real Estate BLOGGER )
site: www.egypt-realestate-agent.com

Great tips, thanks so much!

Thanx! The connection with the audience is key.....Be it "fluffy" stuff or "stats" stuff - make it interesting!

Some great information here, along with the reference blogs. Read them all! Now to make sure I put them into practice consistently!

Jim, once again, great information, great timing and great delivery. When I grow up I want to be a Tomato!

Thanks for the great tips! I often come up with a title and then figure out a post to go with it. Headlines are one of my most favorite part of blogging.

it's like a little how-to manual. i likes it! good stuff brother.. now if i had some pasta for that tomato :)

I have A LOT TO LEARN!!! Great pointers Jim - it also helps to think of who your audience is.

It's so funny how the "English" language has converged over the last few years... Has anyone tried to read their kids text messages?

By the way... check out this story that relates:

5 Common Mistakes that make you look dumb!

http://feeds.copyblogger.com/~r/Copyblogger/~3/99389752/

We have such a short time to attract the readers' attention, these are great tips to increase our odds.

As a formal high school English teacher myself, I am working hard to break those "good" habits. But the rebel part of me is having a ball! Thanks for the wisdoms.

I want to thank the monkey that ask me to read this great article

sharm el sheikh real estate
info@redsearealestatesharm.com
http://www.redsearealestatesharm.com

Good post. Yes, out of all those - make it interesting is the most important. Readers don't want to feel they wasted their time when they could have been doing something else. And, if it has to be lengthy, grab the reader at the beginning - once the reader is hooked, it is hard to stop reading!

Really good stuff here. It's helpful. Wrote a lot of ad copy before, and did a lot of digital design before "retiring" out of the LA rat race to move to a better life in Lake Tahoe.

Have been working on putting our Lake Tahoe Real Estate Blog up for a few months now... it's close to where we want it to be. Have learned how to do it all myself, which is a real right-brain challenge doing the construction. Still have not mastered doing it all in CSS styles yet.

Doing our blog in conjunction with quarterly seminars we do for the public. So far both blog and the seminar seem to fit together nicely.

With web construction more or less out of the way, am now focusing on writing good copy, and all that it means for a good blog.

Thanks again for putting this out, and please check us out: http://laketahoerealestateblog.com

Richard Bolem
Lake Tahoe Real Estate Blog

Hey! Really great suggestions, especially for us newbies. As for minimalism,pehaps we should simply write in haiku. Marie Leaner, www.mschicagorealestate.com

That is very good information. I use Active Rain personally. I am hoping to start a stand alone blog site soon.

With all the foreclosures make sure you guys get good home inspections. If they did not pay the mortgage what else did they not pay!

Jeffrey Owen
Owner/Chief Home Inspector
IonHomeInspection.com
Houston, The Woodlands, Katy

That was an excellent article on Blogging !!!Great article on the real estate happenings, I really enjoy reading your posts. Just for your information, Donald Trump is in big trouble right now with his real estate empire. I hope everyone can pull through this slump!!

Elmo

Real Estate Professional

Another great entry. I can't help but come back for more tips....thank you guys.
P.S. Keep up the great work...:-)

I've been blogging for years and I find my most controversial, outspoken, raw posts get the most eyeballs. It's hard to keep it short sometimes... and I agree with the bolding and shortening of paragraphs. Definitely reader friendly.

Super read for a novice like me. One question...how do we create a "continue reading this post" link in our blog?

John

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