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New To Real Estate Blogging? 6 Simple Steps to Get You Started.

For the entire month of December I will be writing articles as contributions to what I call the Rewrite Project.  Instead of writing on new topics, I am going to be digging through the advice archives and rewriting the "oldies but goodies".  Why?  Why not?  But it is also an exercise to show you that you can never step in the same river twice, and finding relevant blog content to publish is as easy as looking in the rear-view mirror.

6-stepsThe next article in my series of rewrites is the dismantling and recreation of “New To Business Blogs? The 6 Steps To Getting Started”.

The irony of that article is that I had been blogging for less than 3 months, and here I was the expert.  For some time now, I have been wanting to add emphasis to the points in this post, so here goes.

The logic of this post was to consider what your readers are thinking when they come to your site.  If you can see things from their side of the keyboard, then you can more effectively connect with them.  Connecting with your reader, that’s what it’s all about.

New To Reading Real Estate Blogs?  6 Steps Get You Started.

You are beginning your real estate search online, and have just come across a real estate blog that catches your attention.  You thought you were online just looking for listings, and now you have found an agent that has written hundreds of articles, aimed specifically to educate you on the entire homebuying experience.

How can you get the most out of what seems like more content than you could ever read?

1. Determine The Mission of the Blog

In most cases, you arrived at an article on the blog, rather than to the homepage.  Given the article helped answer your online inquiry, it’s time to dig deeper and determine what value this website has for you.

Does the Mission Statement make you feel as though you are one of their intended audience?  In order for it to attract you as a regular reader, it needs to have been fashioned with you in mind.

If there is no published mission statement, scan through 5 to 7 of the most recent articles, from the homepage, and ask yourself, “Is this content relevant to my real estate needs?”

2. Focus On The Continuous Core Message In The Blog

Although you may have missed a ton of interesting content in past articles, a blog with a solid focus will continue to deliver their core message.  When exploring the archives of a blog, look for that core message to bring you up to speed.

Business blogs, like the Real Estate Tomato are written in a circular manner.  We develop our content with an ideal reader in mind, around a specific range of topics.

News, reporting and personal blogs are generally written in a linear fashion where the content is governed by the events and items they aim to cover.  Take BoingBoing.net for example.  The only consistency with this blog is the randomness of its subject matter.

Relevant-content3. Blogs Are Not Books, They Are Editorials.

Following a blog is about the daily, relevant message, not the chronological organization.  Although the articles may be chronologically relevant, it is not the inspiration.  As the authors are inspired to write by the events happening around them, they will publish to the blog. 

As a reader of both circular and linear blogs, the idea is not to try and catch up, but rather to enjoy the ride.  Commonly the writer will come back to past topics as they become relevant again, even linking to past articles for support and reference.

4. Categories Are The Pillars Of A Well Organized Blog.

(Because this is a rewrite, I can now leverage this point with an article that I wrote subsequent to the original.) 

As a new reader to a blog, you can quickly determine the worthiness of subscribing to it by the categories in which the content is divided.  This is no different from how one would choose to subscribe to a magazine based on its consistent subject matter.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you most likely entered the blog through an article, an archived article (meaning it is no longer on the homepage of the site).  If the blog is well organized, by clear categories that define the range of regular content on the site, it is easy to follow everything the author has covered on a subject by clicking the appropriate links.  There should be no need to visit the homepage of a blog to navigate your way through the content and the tools that are geared to support your real estate search.

5. Sign Up For RSS Feeds And/Or Email Feeds Of The Daily Articles.

What the heck is an RSS Feed? Click here.

Not having to remember to visit blogs that you are interested in, to see if they have published content to the site is the main value of subscribing to a blog’s feed. 

You should know by now, that in order to get what you want out of a website/service, you need to sign up for something.
RSS feeds deliver the headlines to your favorite news reader. 
Email feeds will send the headlines of current articles to your inbox. 

Two-way-street6. Get Involved.  Participate.  Be Heard.

Blogs are meant to be a two-way street. 

The agent has put their thoughts, opinions, observations, wisdom, and expertise online to engage you.  They want to have a relationship with you.  Their blog articles are the answers to your questions.  So don’t hold back.  Ask away, offer your two cents, agree, disagree, compliment, question… be heard.  It will help you get the answers you are looking for as much as it will help inspire the author to continue to publish, knowing that they are being ‘heard’.

Here is a recent comment left by Sacramento Real Estate Broker Bill Joyce, expressing exactly what you want to have your visitors experience when they read your blog. (Just change blogging to home buying)

I am a real estate broker in Sacramento, California and just beginning to discover the value and challenges of blogging. Just reading your blog I find I have to stop before long. Too much good info (if there can be such a thing) and I'm at capacity. Why seek more...I should act on the seven ideas I just picked up. I value your expertise and contribution to the topic of real estate blogging…I return time and again. And, by example, that’s who I would like to become for local home buyers.

For more insight on commenting: The Secret To Successful Comments:

Related Must Read:
The 7 Reasons Why Your (Future) Clients Should Care That You Are a Real Estate Blogger

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Comments

This could easily have been titled: Refresher Course For Seasoned Bloggers. After years of blogging it's easy to lose your course, to wander into avenues that may not be the best ROI.

Great article and valid points. Another "Mindset" point and benefit for Realtors who blog is that in order to be considered a "Trust Agent" you will need to stay current and relevant. So, if you want a successful blog you wont be able to Fake It. This is a good thing because the people who read your material will come to realize that you are publishing good content that is genuine and based on a strong knowledge of both the micro and macro markets.

awesome info! totally agree that blogging is a two-way process. you don't only blog for yourself but share and get some ideas from other blogs as well.

Always great to have a refresher to make you think again.

I got super busy, and didn't have time to do blog posts, good to get back into the focus of what my blog is about - now to get writing again!

Well that's a good thing that you have decided to re-post that topic because there are a lot of new bloggers coming out and I'm one of them. We need a basic on how to start and participate in a blog.

Scott@Financially Free Landlord

Awesome information...

I'm sure it will be very helpful to a Real Estate blogger.

Having a mission statement is how I finally began to make sense. Thanks for the article... I've blogged for years but I'm just a Well Seasoned Beginner!

I've being researching about Homes and reading your blog, I found your post very helpful :) . I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog!

Great information for anyone wanting to learn about blogging or staying in focus with the basics. Thanks for posting

This article is good for beginners. The way you explain everything is great. I like your style of writing. I completely agree with you that blogs are two-way street.

Hey - nice blog, just looking around some blogs, seems a pretty nice platform you are using. I'm currently using Wordpress for a few of my sites but looking to change one of them over to a platform similar to yours as a trial run. Anything in particular you would recommend about it?

House Share: it has been pretty easy to use and stable since I began the blog nearly 4 years ago.

great article. this will help a lot of people.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about blogging for the real estate niche. a lot of these are very practical and if more real estate bloggers would keep these in mind,reading about real estate would probably be a lot more interesting.

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