Let's face it, we have lots of things on our plates and we're wearing many hats these days to grow and increase our businesses. I see many newbies to ActiveRain setting up their profiles, perhaps putting out a blog and then feeling frustrated that nothing is happening. Some, sadly, give up completely and stop blogging. Sure it can be intimidating to get started but I assure you if you stick with it, give it some time, provide relevant content, explore this site - read and comment on other blogs - your readership will grow and you'll gain more confidence in your blogging - I have seen it happen.
Lately I have been very focused on reading and observing blogs and have noticed some of my subscribers who have visited my blog that don't have a blog of their own. How come?
Just as we have plans our marketing and personal goals, so should we for our blogging. Do you have a Blog Action Plan?
I invite you to step back and take a look at your blog and see how it measures up to the list I created below of what I feel are key items to have on your blog. I have gone through this exercise myself, because you know I wouldn't suggest something to you, if I wasn't willing to practice it myself.
So let's see how your blog measures up and if it doesn't you'll have an Action Plan in place to get you moving in the right direction.
1. Blog Strategy
- Do you understand the purpose and benefits of blogging or are you doing it because someone told you should?
- What do you hope to accomplish from blogging?
- What types of blogs should you post? Here's a basic list to get you started. More ideas: Even more ideas:
I also highly suggest mapping out some time to read the great posts here on Activerain. More often than not, you will discover that you'll find your next blog topic in either a comment you read on your post or someone else's.
2. Blogging Schedule Establish a blogging schedule that you feel comfortable with and that is realistic for you to maintain. If 2 posts a week work for you and your schedule than do it and do it consistently. There's no rule on how often you should blog - blog when you have something to share - but the most important rule of blogging is to share solid and relevant content.
3. Commenting Will you have a comment policy? Some bloggers choose not to comment back and that's their choice but I just think it's a great practice to follow especially when you're just getting started (I know many of my subscribers check back to see my response back to them and they will read some of the other comments left) Again, another opportunity to find your next blog topic. I also think it's key to visit other blogs, read it and read the comments left before you and leave a comment (no one will think it's ridiculous) and it helps you to establish who you are and invites people to check out your blog.
Blogging = connecting with your readers and fellow associates. It's an opportunity to share your expertise, your ideas and points of view on so many topics. It's also an opportunity to create relationships with the community/market you service as well as form partnerships with like minded professionals in the real estate community.
- Have you completed all the sections of your profile?
- Do you explain all the areas of your expertise? E.g. First time homebuyers, luxury market, and towns you service?
- Is your contact information easily accessible?
- Have you shared testimonials from your previous clients?
There are numerous opportunities here to increase your visits to your website and social networking sites as well as your non company sites that you feel are relevant to your readers.
- Does your blog have links to your website(s)?
- Your social networking sites (many provide badges that can be easily placed on your profile)
- Have an associate you work with regularly for staging or mortgage services - add their link and perhaps they will reciprocate.
- When you put out a new post be sure to have links to previous posts and to posts of other bloggers that you are referencing. Share the link love.
Another great thing to do is add a link that puts many of your blogs on the same topics together in one spot on the side of your blog to be easily found by your readers.
6. RSS Subscriber
Key word - Feedburner! Make it easy for your readers to subscribe to your blog. Need to know how to do this? Visit this link.
Another good idea is to setup your blog to feed to your social networking sites - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.
7. Visual Appeal
To me and many readers, it can be frustrating to go to a blog and just see a "sea of words." Break it up with some photos. It also helps readers relate to your blog and further illustrates your point.
Other things to consider using:
Videos - so many great programs out there allow you to embed your videos whether it's about your listing, your services or something about your community. Explore all your options and have fun. RealEstateShows is one of my favorites because it allows you to know only share pictures but it has music and text to truly build an emotional connection with the viewer.
Charts - Instead of just sharing numbers and statistics why not show them. Many readers are visual readers and learners and will help them connect with you and the information you're providing.
8. Custom Header
There are many options when it comes to creating your personal blog header. Customize it with pictures or text but make it uniquely you. Here's an example of one that Ryan Shaughnessey recently shared.
Lastly, make sure you choose your keywords wisely in your profile and blog, it will make all the difference in how the search engines place you.
So how did you measure up?
Have any other areas you feel can be added to your Blog Action Plan?
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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