Ask An Ambassador: Streamlining Your Blogging

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

I make it no secret.  I work two careers.  I'm an engineer AND a real estate agent.  What that means is I have to be VERY efficient with my time, and that includes our blogging.

My goal is to blog with a purpose each day, every day, rinse, lather, repeat to the tune of in excess of 3000 posts to date.

To make sure I fit in a blog post into my daily routine, I need to be VERY effective with my time.

I don't sit down to write a post until I KNOW what topic I'm going to explore for the day.  White blank screens are (IMO) detrimental to inspiring me, so I want to have the spark, sit down, start typing quickly and get the ball rolling.  For me, once I get the first few sentences in place the rest rolls readily.

blog

So IMO there are a few key elements to blogging:

  • Idea
  • Eye candy
  • Time (preferably UNINTERRUPTED!!!)

Now the ideas can come from just about anywhere, although from a business generating perspective, the closer you get to detailed home information that a buyer or seller wants, the more likely you'll get that smokin' hot lead we all live for.  There are certainly no short of posts here in the Rain that discuss blogging post ideas so I'm not going to deep dive that one, just click the link and you've got the cure for any blogger block you've got.

Eye candy?  Honestly sometimes finding the right picture(s) or blogging templategraphic(s) to decorate your post can be tougher than the writing.  Again, plenty of ROYALTY FREE PHOTO SOURCES posted about in the Rain, so click that link to find a few.  Personally, we're fans of Pixabay.com for free photos and have a subscription to iclipart.com for about $50/year that is well worth it to me.

Time?  Now THAT can be the toughest of all since we're all being pulled in every direction Gumby-style.  Pick the time of day that works best for you, and did you know that there are quite a few premade blogging templates to work with provided by ActiveRain? Click the link and follow Kristi's instructions! Links are also to the right when you click WRITE POST from the main nav bar.

For me personally, I've got my own templates for market reports, listings, etc.  I'm rarely starting from scratch, and that saves me quite a bit of time. Additionally, creating tools to save me time helps.  I have an Excel form I use for collecting market data, and Excel worksheets that I fill out to produce my two graphs that I use for each market report.  While it might SEEM like all the data we provide in our market report would take hours to compile, the reality is about 10 minutes of MLS data collection time per market report and another 4-5 minutes in that report's Excel workbook and I've got everything I need to populate my market report.  Start to finish shouldn't take me much more than 30 minutes for a fairly comprehensive deep dive.

Bonus tip for streamlining your blogging?  Beware of gremlins.  BEFORE HITTING SUBMIT ON THE AR EDITOR, RIGHT CLICK COPY!!  Just in case the gremlins eat your post, you'll still have it available to paste.  Seriously, who has time to write the same post twice in one day??

Basically, find the rhythm that works for you, remove as many distractions as possible, and blog.  The more often you do it, the easier it gets.  And double bonus?  As long as you're picking the right topics, your phone WILL ring if you've got the patience to see it through.

 

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help!

Bill of Liz and Bill aka BLiz

 

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  LizSpear@Go-Concepts.com

Search Homes:  Http://WarrenCountyOhioRealEstate.com

Our Website:  www.LizTour.com

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Ambassador
2,421,841
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Andy, When I've got a local photo that fits, I'll use it.  If it's house related, I've got an extensive library.  For the more generic posts (like this one) I may not have a personal photo that fits so I'll look for a quality photo that will work.

Dec 21, 2016 07:01 AM #16
Rainmaker
645,840
Nick & Trudy Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtors, Philly Main Line

Thank you for a well laid out and thoughtful post. In answer to Andy's comment, sometimes you are trying to make a point and you just don't have a photo that fits that from your own resources. So those stock photos come in handy to back up the premise a picture is worth a 1000 words. Now Andy's photos always leave me wanting to move to Maine if I were to leave Philadelphia.

Dec 21, 2016 07:17 AM #17
Rainmaker
657,214
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

I admire your daily routine of posting! With me, time is often the issue, NEVER a lack of ideas - SO many possibilities. Sometimes I jot them down, but now I have a huge backlog. To do it right, I often feel I need to do research and get just the right photo's and that takes time. Should I just do brief posts and get them in? Sometimes the ideas are time-sensitive, so once the moment passes, they may no longer be approopriate to post, or are they?

Dec 21, 2016 09:19 AM #18
Rainmaker
556,527
John Marshall - FORE!
The K Company Realty - Cherry Hills Village, CO
Specializing in Golf Course Properties

EYE CANDY! That is always the sticking point for me, I can come up with content in 5-10 minutes, but sometimes it takes another hour to find the right photo if I do not already have one, (I probably have 100 drafts saved that I need to find photo's for) so thanks for the tips on Pixabay.com and also a link to the templates, This is what I come here day after day for.

Dec 21, 2016 09:33 AM #19
Rainmaker
162,572
Hart Real Estate Solutions
Hart Real Estate Solutions - Bozeman, MT
Broker/Owner

What's your preference to attract more readers, short and to-the-point blogs with very little content, or thorough blogs that gives you everything you need to know about the topic? 

Dec 21, 2016 10:24 AM #20
Rainmaker
962,145
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

I think your ability to be so organized lies in the fact that you are an engineer - your other career serves you well in this capacity.

Dec 21, 2016 10:35 AM #21
Rainmaker
293,125
Melissa Jackson
Riverside Homebuilders - Sales Consultant - Springtown, TX
Your New Home Sales Consultant in Parker County

Save and copy before submitting! Definitely great advise. I lost a few in the beginning.  Using templates is a good suggestion.  Most of all it's setting a time and being diligent , keeping a schedule.  

Dec 21, 2016 11:47 AM #22
Ambassador
1,060,886
Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Bliz, I always get some much from reading your posts, since all this information that you share is very useful. I have writing in Google Docs since 2011, and still copy and paste from there, since I know how it feels to start all over after you have written a masterpiece.

Dec 21, 2016 12:03 PM #23
Rainmaker
2,829,747
Michael Jacobs
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393

Hi Bill --- while there are times when "nothing" comes to mind, daily occurences in and out of real estate can provide so many post ideas.  I write in GoogleDrive and when copying/pasting and adding photo(s) in AR, remembering to hit "save" has saved me lots of time and frustration.

I think Margaret Goss' comment about your engineering background is spot on.   

 

 

Dec 21, 2016 12:11 PM #24
Ambassador
2,421,841
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Nick & Trudy, It's a time proposition.  How long will I look for a "perfect" photo if I can use one of my ready sources and have what I need in 5 minutes or less?

Olga, For the time sensitive ones, sometimes we have to take a "good enough" approach and just get out information to be found.  My personal preference is more detailed information, but that's not always feasible with our time constraints.

John, the free photo sources can be tremendous time savers.

Hart R.E.S., I tend towards more in depth. I assume THAT POST might be the only one a buyer or seller will read before making a decision about contacting me, so I'm going for depth with real estate related posts.  If it's personal related, I can afford more "fluff".

Margaret, I've found the two careers have eached helped me better at the other.

Melissa, We just have to find what works for us and stick with it.

Jerry, It's no fun to lose a post.  The 2nd writing is rarely as good as the first.

Michael, Those day to day questions and events from real estate are blogging goldmines.

Dec 21, 2016 12:18 PM #25
Rainmaker
892,544
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

Great tips!   I find working an ongoing theme has helped me.   I'm working on coming up with a daily theme I can carry from week to week.   I'm retired from active sales and management, so time isn't as critical a factor to me but I know it certainly is for most industry professionals.  

Dec 21, 2016 12:28 PM #26
Ambassador
3,524,474
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi BLiz

Nice to see this featured post that has some really good suggestions to being efficient in our blogging, but also saome ideas for things to write about when that writer's block hit (oh, and sometimes it does). Writing something of quality that will be meaningful to readers takes time and thought - a 5 line post is not likely to have much benefit other than the points to the writer!

Jeff

Dec 21, 2016 01:06 PM #27
Ambassador
2,693,905
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Lately I've had the ideas, but not the time.  Generally speaking we are doing less this time of year.  Not so this year.

Dec 21, 2016 01:11 PM #28
Ambassador
2,421,841
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Carol, I know every Tuesday I'm committed to an Ask An Ambassador post.  Certain days of the month are market reports.  Outside of that, each day is a pick 'em kind of day!

Jeff, Exactly!  There needs to be enough substance to be found by the bots AND for the humans that find us to see value in the post.

Tammy, It's a good problem to have isn't it? :)

Dec 21, 2016 01:56 PM #29
Rainmaker
1,596,190
Lottie Kendall
Today | Sotheby's International Realty - San Carlos, CA
Serving San Mateo County and San Francisco

You two are amazing; you work like a well-oiled machine. Thanks for sharing your blogging journey with us.

Dec 21, 2016 07:34 PM #30
Ambassador
2,421,841
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Lottie, We've gotten into the routine and it's just a matter of staying "stubborn" and sticking to it :)

Dec 22, 2016 06:08 AM #31
Rainmaker
1,136,759
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Admittedly, sometimes my mind is just fried by the day's (or week's) events, Liz and Bill Spear ... and I find it hard to come up with a topic to post about.  When I've reached that point, local and community posts are my "go to" topics.  Typically after things calm down and my mind is more fluid again, I return to the more detailed mortgage posts.   Might not be the perfect answer for all re: blogging .. but it works for me.  And I think that's the real key ...

You remain the "bar" to which I aspire ...

Gene

Dec 22, 2016 09:35 AM #32
Ambassador
2,421,841
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Gene, You do quite well with your blogging and I'd consider your pertinent subject matter is much more constrained than I have to pick from as a real estate agent.  So taking your approach with local events and such make sense to draw additional eyes to you.

Dec 22, 2016 11:48 AM #33
Anonymous
Carrie Hughes

What a great post and comments! I just found it and loved it. Thanks for the tips. My blogs are pretty generic and don't even have pictures, so I may have to rethink them. My goal in blogging is to raise SEO awareness, but again, rethinking it may be the order of the day. Thanks!

Dec 23, 2016 05:41 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,040,264
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Saving a copy of our posts is a wise idea. This is great advice for all bloggers.

Jan 29, 2017 07:25 PM #35
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