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A Message About The Power Of Content, Any Content, For Your Real Estate Blog.

Regular contributor, Teresa Boardman delivers a no-nonsense post on the (seemingly random) Power of (seemingly random) Content.  Enjoy!

Speaking of Tomatoes…
By Teresa Boardman

TeresasTomatoesI get a little introspective this time of year and usually send Jim some kind of a post about things that I have learned. I have been writing my real estate blog for four years now and have over 1800 posts, not to mention a couple more blogs.

The biggest lesson for me this year has been that no matter how strategic my blogs are there is a random element that usually works in my favor, but not always.   I start by writing a certain type of content with a goal in mind.  I put the content out there and something completely different happens.

We make connections through our blogs and some of those connections are seemingly random and certainly unanticipated.

Here is one example: 
I decided that I wanted to take photos of the local parks because they are an important part of our neighborhoods not to mention the fact that they impact property values and make certain areas of the city more desirable.  I want my readers to understand St. Paul and I want to show it to them.

I posted the photos, wrote a little about the parks and put some of the photos in an album in my side bar.  A month later I was contacted by someone at the city.  The next thing I know I am taking photos for the city web site.  It has been a great opportunity for me. 

As I took the photos I began putting them on a web page with a gallery so the people that are working with the parks can see my photos and the progress I am making. They are being passed around the office and they all know that I am a Realtor.  In fact, one woman indicated that she wished she would have found me sooner. 

A woman who needs to buy some photos for her office found the shots of the parks through Google and I am now working with her.  They will buy some photos which will help my real estate business and my blog because the proceeds will help pay for a lens that I need. Photos taken with the lens will go on my blog, and there are some cases where it will be used to photograph my listings. 

Somewhere in this whole process real estate transactions will be generated, too.  Chances are it will happen in some unexpected way, it usually does.  My sellers are coming from the most unusual places and it is fun to find out how and where they found me.

There are other unintended consequences and opportunities, as well.  In the last couple of months I have been on three radio shows, quoted in a couple of local papers and two weeks ago quoted in the Wall Street Journal.  This all came about because of blog posts that I wrote. On the Wall Street Journal article a couple of people in a Flickr group I belonged to congratulated me, who knew? 

Back to the tomatoes...  I took that photo a year ago for a blog post about laws pertaining to crops in Minnesota. I put it on Flickr.  Someone found it and they want to use it on a web site with a link back to mine.  Again, I have no idea how that will help my business but I know that it will in some unexpected way.

Content is king. Get the content out there, let it keep working for you year after year and good things will happen.  As for the idea of social media metrics I don’t believe social capital or the benefits of blogging can be measured in the same way as a drip marketing or snail mail campaign.  It’s too random.

[Update]

Shortly after I sent this post [to Jim] I went to one of my listings. I grabbed my camera and have no idea why I brought it in with me but I did. I dropped off some keys and as I was walking back to my car I met someone interesting.  He recognized me from my blog. He has some work for me that I am interested in: a little photographic type project.  Interestingly that listing came from a blog post I had written about the building some months ago. One thing led to another and it is leading to yet another.  Content makes connections. 

—-

Thank you so much Teresa! 
Web: TWasHere.com
Blog: StPaulRealEstateBLOG.com
Voice: 651-216-4603

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Related Must Reads:
All Teresa’s Posts on the Tomato Blog.
Food For Fodder - 101 Real Estate Blog Topics
The Secret To Developing Real Estate Blog Content
How Do You Define Content For Your Real Estate Blog?

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Comments

Four years and 1,800 posts? Very impressive!

Great success story. Love the pic of those succulent tomatoes on the vine. If I were TT I might make TB an offer she couldn't refuse for that one :-)

Yes, content is king, but it has to be quality content. Nobody wants to read dribble. There has to be value for the reader.

Teresa, I've learned more and enjoyed more from you and your blog in two months of reading than from any other source out there. The two biggest things I get from your blog -- and what have convinced me to call you if I were shopping for a St. Paul Realtor -- are:
1) Your obvious passion, and...
2) The clockwork-consistent new posts which scream to me "The store is OPEN!" Your blog convinces me that if I were to call or e-mail you for real estate services, you're engaged, you're current, you're ready for business.
Thanks for leading by example, Teresa!
Brandon

Great post, Teresa. I would say that it applies to any industry - adding content related to your business, through a blog or other media, can bring additional contacts. I have heard this before, but your article really communicates, to me, the power and impact it can have. It sounds like you really enjoy photography, and it has opened up a new avenue for you.

By the way, I am not in real estate, but really enjoyed your article. Have you ever thought about a more general, 'blogging for business' blog?

That's a lot of content! I barely have time to write an article a week. I was thinking about potentially hiring one of these new 'social networking' assistant types.

The longtail of a blog is much like the contacts we make in real estate. The more you are out there the more business you bump into. Those with a passion for this end up getting more networking leads. Great Post.

Very interesting turn of luck. Maybe you will start developing a second career as a photgrapher :). Good Luck!!!!

Great job on your blog. You write very well. I commend you on keeping your blog interesting, writing consistently AND selling real estate. That is a tough job.

Great article. Even though I have an iPhone, I carry a Sanyo HD camera with me and from time to time run across interesting situations that I will video for my blogs.

Content is king. Get the content out there, let it keep working for you. Add pictures and video to people comming back.

Augusta Real Estate

People expect meaning and sense from what they would be looking at your site.The content goes a long way and probably goes singly in providing a reputation to your site and business.
No nonsense meaningful matter gives a totally different image compared to a site with weak matter and non catchy appearance.I fully agree with Teresa.

i can't believe how much information you have on this site...i had questions about buying an aged domain. your article is just what i have been looking for and it really helped. i am going to buy an aged domain for sure.

thanks so much

Its tough to put together content and still be original. Content is king but originality is a useful tool.

Loved your blog on content. I get buyer leads but so far no seller leads. Also loved that you got business taking photos. Thanks for the inspiration. I am going to spend more time blogging myself!

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