The Blogging Success Formula: It’s a Balancing Act!

By
Industry Observer

Maybe it’s not quite a precarious a balancing act as in the video below (you’ll want to check it out... don't miss the big finish), but successful blogging is full of balancing acts:

  • How much blogging is too much and how much is not enough?
  • Who should your target audience be?  Buyers?  Sellers?  Other Agents (for referrals)?
  • How do you strike a balance regarding Hyper-Local, Real Estate and non-Real Estate topics in your posts?
  • How long should your blog posts be?  Obviously they should be longer than a Tweet and shorter than War and Peace, but that leaves a broad spectrum of possibilities.

Now, I may not be as talented as the goat in the video, but I tend to focus on blogging as my work/client schedule allows.  When I am juggling I blog less frequently out of necessity than I do when I have more time.  I usually have several posts partially written and complete them as I am inspired.  It’s not as consistent as I would like, but if I am too busy to blog, it usually means that my blogging has resulted in clients, so who am I to complain!

I blog for all three groups I mention above, but have found that my business is 50% agent referrals/40% sellers and 10% buyers, so usually my post topics are split along those lines, but I don’t stick to that split rigidly.

Content?  Well, on that I am motivated less by ratios and more by my mood and experiences that day (or week).  I suppose I could be more scientific, but it’s my blog, so I’ll write what I want!

As for length, I try to cover a topic in a concise manner, just long enough that I get my point across, but leaving enough uncovered territory for other readers to comment and add value in their comments by providing different insight and perspective on the topic.

How about you?  What’s your blogging success formula?

Comments (20)

Conrad Eberhard
iBERIABANK Mortgage - Fayetteville, AR
Mortgage Lender

You make a good point about knowing your audience.  I am just starting to blog, but I think if you can get your point across in without writing a novel than you will reach more people which is the point. 

Sep 26, 2010 04:32 PM
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Steve,

My suggestion is to blog with the end consumer in mind. Other Realtors or professionals will recognize your expertise and will consider you for referrals.

Sep 26, 2010 04:32 PM
Larry Bettag
Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001 - Saint Charles, IL
Vice-President of National Production

Steve....I do know my audience, but more importantly, through transparency, I've been able to create my audience.  I'm transparent and the thing that I like most is that those who like me, follow me.  Those who don't.....I don't really care, but I'm transparent.

Sep 26, 2010 05:07 PM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

Gosh Steve, looking at your blogging history over to the right, I'd say you're pretty darn consistent.  I too try to strike a balance - but one type of post is more interesting to write for me than others, and that's the one for other agents - as you say, for the referral potential. Some agents write more for the localism, and that's good too.  But the agent-to-agent posts help me get to know the style and personality of the agent.  I'm struggling in one location right now, trying to get a sense of the agent's personality to place a referral for a client.  I think we need to mix it up for the best possible outcomes.

Sep 26, 2010 06:41 PM
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Most of my posts are for consumers - but I try to balance them with a certain percentage for the industry and a few for simple fun.

Sep 27, 2010 04:45 PM
James Call
RealtyCandy.com - Saint George, UT
RealtyCandy - IDX Broker WordPress Lead Nurturing

I agree that it is important to know who your customer is.  I think that blogging to consumers is the best for those who are on the fence.

Sep 27, 2010 05:14 PM
Donna Phillips
Colorado Western Group - Pueblo, CO
Hi Steve...this was a great post. Blogging, I agree, is so effective in todays new work place for us in connecting with our potential business. I'm with you on "content"...and as for time...my business takes me into the mountains resulting in long hours without computer...but I do manage to post as often as I can. Thanks for the tips on your formula....Donna
Sep 27, 2010 05:32 PM
Kathy Smiley
Rodeo Realty ~ Fine Estates Westlake Village - Westlake Village, CA
Westlake Village, CA - "Making YOU Smile!"
Thanks Steve. I'm gathering a lot of blogging tips so I appreciate your expertise. I've noticed blogging for members only is much different that blogging for the "outside"!
Sep 27, 2010 07:31 PM
Jackie - computer-training-atlanta.com
770.498.7333 - Atlanta, GA
Learn to leverage technology to get more done.

Steve - I am glad to know someone else just blogs what's on their mind. I tried to be more focused on marketing topics, but sometimes a topic comes up that I'd rather write about. Great post on the blogging balancing act.

Sep 27, 2010 08:34 PM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

Steve, those are good questions. I have switched from late PM Active Rain activity to early AM to get it done!

Sep 27, 2010 10:47 PM
David O'Doherty
Raleigh Realty Inc - Clayton, NC
Clayton NC Homes, Raleigh, NC

Steve, I am a bit spontaneous and I have tried to blog first thing in the morning but sometimes I just don't have all the brain matter working. I think I will start  a few and leave them up there and finish them when I feel ready.

Sep 27, 2010 11:40 PM
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

I am at my very best in the early morning so my blogging usually takes place then and then periodically throughout the day if I have time.

Sep 28, 2010 12:09 AM
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

I think you need a range otherwise it can get quite boring. I like to pick a theme and break it up into parts. 300 to 500 words is about average. But, I do have a few that run 3,000 words or more. However, that's rare, and the target audience is different.

Consistent posting is important.

Sep 28, 2010 01:24 AM
Claudette Millette
The Buyers' Counsel - Ashland, MA
Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass

Steve:

Most of my posts are geared toward buyers but sometimes I just write about something that strikes my interest. Usually something that is happening nationwide or just in Massachusetts. I try to keep it mostly on real estate but I don't want to completely bore myself - or anyone else for that matter.

Sep 28, 2010 02:12 AM
Richard L. Sanderson
Richard L. Sanderson Consulting - Kalama, WA
helping improve local property tax systems
Steve: Great post! You are getting a lot of comments because we all can relate to your challenge. Blogging is definitely a balancing act, but I'm still trying to figure out the right balance. I think most people keep a list of blog ideas that come to them (in the shower, car, etc.) so they can act on them later. I've read that in order to get the attention of readers today your message (e-mail, blog post, etc.) should be no bigger than a standard 3" x 5" index card. I almost always go beyond that in my posts. Others say your message should be able to be read in 3 minutes.
Sep 28, 2010 03:35 AM
Wauketa Jones
Keller Williams Realty - Mansfield, TX
Arlington - Mansfield - Grand Prairie TX Real Estate

Steve: Interesting post. I just recently started blogging on Active Rain and I am finding that it's very important to establish your target area and concentrate on that audience. It's also important to be personable with your posts so that the consumer/agent feels a connection with you. 

Sep 28, 2010 04:50 AM
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

You've got a great formula and it looks like you're doing a great volume of posts.  I agree with you that you have to blog for your target audience and write whatever you want.  It all comes down to whatever helps your business.

Sep 28, 2010 05:43 AM
Brian Doubleday
Brian Doubleday - IML RealEstate - Orange County, CA Broker - Ladera Ranch, CA
Ladera Ranch, Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo

Important info-You're blog definitely needs to part of a bigger plan

Sep 28, 2010 06:50 AM
Pat Haddad, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI
Keller Williams Indianapolis Metro NE - Carmel, IN
Carmel, Fishers, Westfield IN Real Estate Expert

Steve--Not sure how, but up until now, I have been missing your posts and missing important stuff!!   You now have another subscriber!  I am just newly active and it was very interesting to read your percentages and very comforting to hear that you do some of each and what suits your mood---make a lot of sense. I will look forward to more good advice.  Thanks Steve!!

Sep 29, 2010 07:08 PM
Todd Clark
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

I think the biggest key with blogging isn't how much is too much or too little, you need to time block and whatever you get done in that time is the right amount.

Oct 02, 2010 06:56 AM