Stuart Kaufman, noted Personal & Business Coach, who writes a column for the Washington REALTORS® News, contacted me the other day and asked if I would contribute to an upcoming article he is putting together on Blogging.
In this article, he is posing the question:
“It seems like Blogging is the current rage. I took a class and know the basics, but can it really help me build my business? Is it really worth the time?”
Stuart e-mailed me 5 questions relating to Blogging that he wanted me to answer:
1. What are the ingredients of a winning Blog?
Well, that really depends on how you want to define & measure ‘winning.’ If your goal is to grow your business and attract potential clients, then there are definitely some key elements to incorporate into your Blog that will help in achieving those goals.
Content – Blogging is not another form of advertising or self-promotion. It’s not about you, but the consumer. Publish good, relevant information that is geared towards helping educate consumers about real estate, understand the unique nuances of your market, and empower them to make informed decisions.
Consistency – Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. Like any good marketing endeavor it takes a commitment of time and effort. Cultivating a loyal audience and attracting potential clients to your Blog won’t happen overnight. The more good, relevant content you contribute to your Blog, the better it will rank with the search engines.
Connection – One of the main benefits of Blogging and Social Media is that they create the opportunity for meaningful connections/conversations to occur. Be authentic in what you write. Allow the 3 Powerful P’s of Blogging to come through – Your Personality, Your Passions, and Your Perspectives.
2. How often do you need to Blog in order for it to pay off?
Today’s Internet-savvy consumers are more spoiled and fickle than ever before. Our fast-paced microwave, drive-thru culture breeds demanding expectations. You need to feed your Blog at least a couple times a week to begin with. Don’t feel like you have to publish a literary masterpiece each and every time. Some of my most popular posts have been basic, short, and to the point. Certain kinds of articles like market reports, local business reviews, neighborhood showcase, etc., can be regularly repeated and help maintain your publishing consistency.
3. Where should you post your Blogs?
This is an important question because you can do all the right things and Blog your fingers to the bone, but if the platform you’re using isn’t constructed in such a way that it allows the search engine spiders to crawl, index, and rank your content, and give attribution to you as the originating source, most of your efforts will fall on deaf ears. There are an abundance of sites available, many of them free, that you can use to begin your Blogging journey, including ActiveRain, Blogger, BiggerPockets, Squarespace, Trulia Voices, WordPress.com, LiveJournal, Tumblr, and Blogster, just to name a few. Platforms like ActiveRain provide an easy and encouraging environment to learn the Blogging ropes. Their basic membership is free, but you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee to have your content show up on the search engines. Eventually, at some point, if you find Blogging to be a good fit for your marketing plan, you may want to consider hosting your own WordPress.org blog.
4. How has Blogging helped your business?
Historically, the majority of my business has been ‘Referral Based.’ However, as is typical, when the market cycle slows down, especially to the extent that it has now, you don’t have the luxury of relying on any one source for new business. The use of Social Media, and Blogging in particular, now generates nearly half of all my business.
So many of our old-school marketing methods involve ‘chasing’ leads or potential clients. The beauty of Blogging is that potential clients come to you (your Blog). It allows you to engage/converse with consumers and reveal parts of yourself to readers/potential clients through your writing. By reading your Blog, a meaningful connection is made, a sense of familiarity is established. When you finally meet your clients face-to-face, it’s as if they’ve known you for years. Through Blogging, the usually awkward and uncomfortable ‘courting’ period with new clients is effectively eliminated from the process.
5. What is your advice for agents who want to start Blogging?
Blogging is not the magical purple pill that will solve all of your business woes. It is simply one more tool you can add to supplement your current marketing methods. Develop and incorporate a Social Media strategy component to your annual marketing plan that includes a Blog and consistent involvements in sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, and others. Start off by lurking and listening. Subscribe to some of the top blogs in your area, real estate or otherwise. Read their articles and make comments. Partner up with someone who is already Blogging or is interested in Blogging, and meet together regularly for encouragement and accountability.
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DISCLAIMER: The author of this series is not a social media guru. Any similarity to such title, character or history of any said individual is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
An avid blogger since 2005, Rich has published over 1000 articles, most related to real estate. He enjoys using the tools of social media to brag/boast about the quality of Life on the picturesque Kitsap Peninsula in scenic WA State. He is a licensed real estate professional providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.com, ActiveRain, Crabbing in the Hood, Everyday CK, Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org