This post is to provide and encourage anyone new to blogging or someone returning to blogging after being away for a while with some easy to follow tips on how to get started blogging (again), build relationships and interact with your readers. Yes, be an "active" member of this network.
Make no mistake, it will not happen overnight - it will take time and patience and will take you focusing on these areas below to develop your blog and ultimately your readership.
I have been fortunate in my time here on Active Rain to interact with some amazing bloggers and amazingly enough I have even received compliments on my blogging style and information I share on my blog posts and yes, questions from members on how I developed my blogging.
I am no expert, because believe me - it took time and patience to develop that style and find my blogging voice. Just look at my first post - what was I thinking? I learned over time to change the focus on my blog - to share more and great things will come my way. So I thought I could share some of my methods for developing my blogging in the hopes that it will help you.
Here are some of my key tips for becoming a successful blogger:
Your best tool ~ a notebook and pen. I know it sounds simple but it really does work. This is not to say you can't use other tools like Google docs or word or whatever tool that works for you to pen your blogs but the point is use what works for you and a notebook and pen is what works for me. I have a small notepad on my nightstand, in my purse and on my desk for jotting down quotes, ideas, words and topics that eventually end up being a blog post. Just read some of the titles on the blog board - it could be a reference to a commercial, a common phrase and the fun part is how you can make it relate to real estate and your topic. Here's an example of how I used "exercise" to relate to real estate marketing.
Blog - Write a great headline. Deliver great content that fulfills a need for your readers. Highlight the important information whether it's a bullet list, white space, colored or larger text. Make your post visually pleasing with photos and videos to break up the wall of words and to help you further tell your story and further your point. See Debe Maxwell's Post on how to add pictures to your blog. Engage your readers to share their thoughts, comments and experiences.
Proofread - Sometimes it helps to let your blog post marinate like a good steak. Read it again - does it make sense? Is your message clear? Are your links working? Are your pictures described? Are there typos? How is the formatting? For some great tips on formatting your blog visit the FAQ section here on AR - the information and knowledge shared is astounding!
Linking - A great way to increase traffic to your blog by search engines and readers is to provide great links that provide the reader with more information on the topic you are talking about. It could be a previous post you've written on the subject, an article that you read, suggesting further reading on the subject or highlighting a blogger that you admire. Links help you further the points you're trying to make in your blog post. See how I just linked to Debe Maxwell's post above on how to add pictures.
Comment Back - The point of writing a blog post is interaction. It's not putting out a blog and then moving onto the next one without comments back to your readers. In my opinion eventually they may stop visiting. I encourage you to write a short comment back or at the very least visit your commenter's blog and leave a comment on their blog. It's all about building a relationship and when you are relating to your readers you are building those relationships, your knowledge and people will want to regularly follow your blog anticipating what you'll write about next.
Visit your Visitors - To further the point above, I recommend looking at your recent blog or your subscribers list and choose a few people from that list and visit their blog. You may very well discover a topic - a golden nugget if you will - of information and again it's furthering your relationship with this person/blogger and is in fact part of the reason we all choose to be a part of this AR community - to interact and engage.
Network - You have a great opportunity to not only post your blogs on Active Rain but to share the content of your blog across many networks. I know I have received many new readers simply by feeding my blog to Twitter and Facebook from both members of Active Rain but also consumers who have come across my posts by providing them with a direct link to my content. These networks are a great tool to extend your reach and engage with people who are interested in the topics you are writing about. Are we connected yet? What are you waiting for - lets share our knowledge and experience.
Bonus Tip: Over time you can go back to your previous posts and see which ones were the most read and received the most comments. What did these posts address? What made them work? Comments are a great indicator that you hit a cord with your readers.
Other Areas to Look at:
Perhaps your next blog is just waiting there for you in the comments section or your previous blogs in which someone asked a question and you can address it in your next blog post - what a great opportunity to share your knowledge and a link back to that person.
You can even revisit your previous blogs and come up with a new series or rewrite the blog to include a new experience or new knowledge you've gained since you first wrote that post.
You've had the power all along - it's within you and my hope is that this post along with the comments left will inspire you to find your blogging voice - we all can't wait to hear it!
The possibilities are endless. Don't fret if you feel you have nothing to write about. Visit your old blogs, visit your subscribers, read, comment, be active on social media networks and be an observer of life around you - grab that notebook and pen and start writing. I look forward to your next blog.
A question for seasoned members/bloggers:
Do you have any ideas and suggestions for bloggers on where they can focus their blogging efforts that has worked for you?
If it's not evident to you by now, consumers are very knowledgeable and computer savvy and are using the Internet to not only search for homes but for real estate agents and real estate professionals who they feel are like minded and can lead them to the results they are looking for.
As we all know, there are only 24 hours in a day to get it all done...are you focusing on the right stuff to grow your business and meet your client's needs? Contact us today to get started!
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