It has been so gratifying to begin reading Realty Blogging along with other Rainers, with the intention of brainstorming our way through the book as we go along! I am only on Chapter Three, but it has been mind expanding (in a good way!) while also bringing up questions and looking for feedback. So I am excitedly posting with the hope that we can have a blast with our on line book club. First, credit where credit is due: if any of our blog posts in this group inspire you to read the book, it was written by Richard Nacht and Paul Chaney. The post on Realty Blogging by Mariana Wagner, is a good start to our book reading process!
So what is striking me about the book so far? Mind blowing facts for one thing - and opinions on what blogs should be:
"Blogs Beg to be written in punchy, informal and authentic voices."
"People do not want to be spoken to, they want to be spoken with.....blogging provides a way for us to speak with [people] and provide a means by which they can talk back...."
"....It is less about sending a controlled, contrived sales message, and more about engaging people in conversation...."
These are three things that jumped out at me as I began reading. There is so much to approach about the book, so for this post, I'm just doing quotes and facts:
1. There is a new weblog created every second, and 50% of bloggers are STILL blogging three months later;
2. 70% of all website traffic comes from people looking things up on search engines (like but not limited to Google); Mary McKnight has already told us about the 70% figure. This next figure should pique your interest though, I know it did mine: only 20 percent of the people who Google or Yahoo or MSN or whichever, click on the paid results (right hand columns on Google) which are called SEMs - Realty Blogging says, 80 percent of people Google and then look at the 'natural' results not the paid ones! That made me smile. SEs love blogs and Googlers like the free links not the paid ones. That saves us money, no? What are your thoughts?
3. 77% of all home 'shoppers' are using the Internet
This one blows me away:
4. Blogs are geared to easier search engine reading because they are rich in well, rich text and simple text, as opposed to websites that can be overloaded with graphics. Search Engines Love Blogs. Mary McKnight may cringe at my explanations (sorry Mary!) but I only know how to do it in layman's terms. The Search Engine spiders search and soak up the text in blogs and apparently that makes it easier for blogs to get good SEO placement faster than websites.
5. Community Blogging makes it easier on individual bloggers because each post within a community causes the search engines to spider their way through the posts and help improve that communities collective, and each individual within that community, ranking on search engines. THANK YOU THANK YOU ACTIVE RAIN GODS.
Now this one brings up my first question: Structure your blog for relevance -- it should stick to a few 'tag' topics with just a few exceptions along the way. Question: My blog is about Cleveland, at least most of the consumer posts are. I checked out my tag count (per one of Mary McKnight's awesome suggestions) and found 42 tags for Cleveland. So obviously I shouldn't have Cleveland as a tag? Because according to Mary AND Reality Blogging, 12 tag mentions throughout a post is good, 42 is overload and might make the SEO gods mad. Yes?
However, they are also praising Grow A Brain, a blogger with amazing SEO and readership and links to his blog. Tons of links. In fact, he does more linking than writing. When I go to Grow A Brain however, he is all over the map! Great reading, stuff about community, real estate with world news and silly stuff from around the world thrown in. So how does he keep his tags optimized and reaching good SEO when he is all over the map?
For that matter, one of the things Nacht and Chaney discuss is good, loyal readership right along with SEO.
Which is more important to you? Having good readership that comments and comes back to read your next post? Or first page search engine results? Or are they compatible after all?
This is all from the first two chapters in the book; and I'm hoping some of you who have read this, or understand the compatibility of SEO and high readership through quirky or honest 'from the heart' blogging, can help me wrap my head around this. Can the two coexist?
Do you find it intriguing that Realty Blogging says straight sales style posting is not as attractive to blog readers its more appropriate for websites? I do.
I am truly hoping that by examining this book with a lot of you who are technical experts on the blogging end and those of us who thirst for the knowledge to be like you, we can have the best brainstorming time ever.
That's all I have for now. Except to thank the philosopher Descarte for his phrase Je Pense Donc Je Suis or, I Think Therefore I Am, which I was happy to sort of rip off for my title.
Peace Out - 3C