Rich Jacobson is a blogging master on Actvierain who's been gracious enough show us newbies how to master the BLOG! I couldn't have done any better and am reposting Rich's article to share with my group. Enjoy!
Welcome back to our series, "Developing a Social Media Strategy"
So far, we've realized that....
We've answered "The 'WHY' of Social Media?" (Why Social Media should be a part of your Annual Marketing Plan)
We identified that one of the key strategies is "Taking AIM" (Audience, Image/Brand, and Message)
How to become a skilled blogging chef by serving up "Social Media Sushi"
And, we discovered the "5 Keys to Having a Killer Blog!"
In this week's installment, we going to embark on a fun learning journey entitled,
"Blogging and The Little Shop of Horrors!"
Have you ever seen the rock musical "Little Shop of Horrors?" or the 1986 movie version with 'Honey, I shrunk the Kids' Rick Moranis?
It's the story of a nerdy floral shop worker who finds his chance for success and romance with the help of a giant man-eating plant who constantly demands to be fed.
Well, that's kind of what it's like to author a successful blog. In order to effectively attract, engage, and retain any meaningful amount of readership/traffic, you have to be committed to consistently feeding your blog. Fortunately, your blog won't demand human sacrifices. However, there will be times when you feel as if it's sucking the life out of you!
"96% of All People who start Blogging quit after 3 months"
I once heard a statistic that claimed only 4% of the people who start blogging will still be blogging after 3 months. That's quite an attrition rate, if it's true. So why do so many quit?
There are probably many different reasons, but I think one of the main ones is that people feel as though they've run out of things to say/write. They hit a mental brick wall where inspiration and creativity cease. Some call it Writer's Block.
Personally, I think this dilemma has a lot more to do with poor planning/organization and discipline than it does a lack of inspiration/creativity. That's not to say that creativity and inspiration don't have their place in authoring a blog. One should always be open/sensitive to the leading of your 'inner muse.'
But to successfully compete in the 'marathon' that is blogging, you must develop a consistent, long-term, organized strategy for writing. While a certain portion of your blog writing will come as a result of creative moments of 'inspiration,' other portions should be planned or scheduled, and become part of your regular writing routine.
So, without further adieu, I give you,
Top Ten Ways to Feed Your Blog
1. Market Reports: I publish a real estate market report at the beginning of each month for all of Kitsap County WA. My reports contain 3 primary components - statistical data; my personal opinion or analysis of the current market; and a local business/interest story. Consumers don't want cold statistical data, they want your expert analysis and interpretation of that data. They also want a sense of what makes your area such a great place to live, work, and play.
2. Listings/Property of the Week: Utilize the ever-abundant tools of social media and create quality media presentations for your listings. During your weekly home tour, select the best value for the money and promote it on your blog. Be sure to obtain expressed permission from the Listing Agent first.
3. Neighborhood Showcase: This is where you can do a detailed overview of specific neighborhoods, developments, or communities within your market. Be sure to include lots of pictures, median home descriptions, school information, shopping, parks, etc..
4. Local Business Review/Promotion: What better way to build relational bridges with area business owners than to promote their services/products on your blog! Start off with recommendations of service-related businesses that new residents would find the most helpful.
5. Develop a Series: One way to keep yourself disciplined to blogging more consistently is to create a multi-part blog series. In fact, you're currently reading one right now! It can require a lot more work than usual, but it will become a worthwhile and valued addition to your blog archive.
6. Shell Answer Man: Trulia has done an excellent job with this particular approach by providing a forum where consumers can pose questions and solicit answers from local real estate experts. Provide a link on your blog where readers can send in questions, and those questions can become source material for future blogs. Or simply, make a list of the most common questions that Buyers and Sellers are constantly asking you, and turn your answer(s) into blog articles.
7. Local Attractions: Consumers can access listings from literally hundreds of websites, but what they really have difficulty finding is good relevant information on local entertainment, recreation, and attractions. What are the 'Must-See' points of interest in your area? What are the primary local sights and attractions that make your area such a great place to live?
8. Pictures are worth a 1000 words: Consumers are graphically oriented or 'picture happy' and are accessing the Internet in droves with searches of images for their destinations of interest. If your goal is to expand your digital footprint and increase the likelihood of consumers finding you, then creating photo galleries is one more effective methods to employ. In addition to creating photo galleries on your blog, also consider similar galleries on your Facebook Page, or on social networks that are dedicated to photos, like Flickr.
9. Invite a guest blogger: A great way to create additional content for your blog is to invite another proficient blogger to write a guest post on your blog. Mutual collaboration among fellow bloggers can be an effective means to drive new readers to each other's blogs.
10. Point/CounterPoint: Just about every avid blogger has an RSS feed (Google Reader) of other blogs they frequently read and enjoy. Find an article that contains an attitude or opinion that is contrary to your own, then state and defend your position. Or, you can find an article you feel is exceptional, and simply provide your analysis/editorial comments. Make sure that your contributed content well exceeds that of the other article. And, remember to provide adequate attribution to the original author and links to their full article.
ACTION POINT: I'm sure there's a lot of other creative ideas out there. What have you found to be the most helpful for you in keeping you on task with regularly contributing content to your blog?
~ o ~ o ~ o ~ o ~ o ~
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, SOUNDBITEBLOG, Crabbing in the Hood, Everyday CK, Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org