"How to Engage Your Blog Readers" - Blog Tips for Rain Drips

By
Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty West Sound WA State 52404

The night that I proposed to my wife, I had everything planned out perfectly. First, we would enjoy a really delicious meal at our favorite sushi bar over in Berkeley. Then, we'd drive over to San Francisco for some ballroom dancing at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Then lastly, driving across the Golden Gate Bridge, we'd park at the vista overlooking the city lights. And there, I would romantically kneel to pop the question....

 Unfortunately, driving from the Hyatt to the Golden Gate, I got lost. As we drove around for what seemed like hours (men never ask for directions), my bride-to-be feel asleep. Finally arriving at the vista, I had to wake her up and propose to her in a half-comatose state. To this day she argues that she doesn't remember saying "Yes!"

The best of plans and intentions, and my words fell on apparently inattentive ears!

As I sit here late at night, perusing the first 20 or so pages of the most recent posts, it suddenly strikes me....

...."Is anyone's voice being heard?"....I mean, seriously, "Are people actually reading what you're writing?"

What benefit is there to investing countless hours on contributing article after article to your blog if no one is reading what you've penned? You can expend a significant amount of time and energy spinning your wheels, and never get anywhere. You've put your readers to sleep!

Now, you read some posts and you have to scratch your head and wonder, "What were they thinking?" There is nothing of substance to what you read -no personality, no perspective, no passion. Just empty, lifeless words on the screen - cold and clinical. The words fail to engage. There is no stimulation of thought, nor provocation of response. The reader's mind moves numbly along, retaining nothing. Your post is simply a blur on the blog highway.

So I guess the much larger question is "Why do you Blog?"

Now there are those rare occasional souls who have no specific purpose for why they blog. Their blog is simply an extension of who they are - the essence of their spirit expressed in written form. They could care less who reads or doesn't read their musings. To them, blogging is more about giving their creative energies a place to flow. These folks tend to be some of the most honest, vibrant, and refreshing writers among us. Their thoughts seem to fall to the page so effortlessly. And of course, we all hate them.

 For the rest of us though, we have ulterior motives to our blogging. We follow the latest marketing trends and adapt ourselves quickly. That's why we're successful. We embrace emerging technology and apply it in ways that further our successes. We 'get' it.

And so, here we are, blogging our brains out til our fingers are bleeding! (well, maybe not to THAT extreme, but you get my point)

We want to be 'found.' We want 'visitors.' We want 'comments.' But bottom line, we want prospective clients to 'find' us through our blogging!

So then, the question becomes, "Who are you writing too?" And more specifically, "Who makes up the audience you wish to attract?" And right along with that is, "What is it that you can say that has value to these readers? What issues and information is important and vital to them?"

These are the two points I'll address next time - "Who are you talking too, and what should you say?"

Or, as Arnold used to put it, "What you talkin' bout?"

~     o     ~     o     ~     o     ~     o     ~     o     ~

social-media-is-a-conversation

Rich Jacobson 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 and Crabbing in the Hood, or e-mail:  kitsapagent@gmail.com

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Rich Jacobson is a District Director for Fathom Realty and a licensed REALTOR®; an avid Crab Hunter, Clam Digger, and Oyster Shucker, He is the Social Media Evangelist for Life on the Kitsap Peninsula & The Western Puget Sound in scenic WA State.

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Rainer
71,971
Elaine Reese, REALTOR® in central Ohio
Real Living HER, Powell Ohio - Powell, OH
Hey, seeing the hat reminds me of last year. Isn't it about time for your 51st?????
Dec 01, 2007 01:44 PM #25
Rainmaker
559,012
Jo Olson
HOMEFRONT Realty - Kettle Falls, WA
HOMEFRONT Realty @ LAKE Roosevelt - Stevens County
Rich, I enjoy reading your ideas. For me my main objective is to drive traffic to ME :). So I do write a lot of Localism posts. After a while I get blog block and have to just "write" so a few of my posts are letting people here on AR know me. I guess maybe if I can make a few connections by letting my "hair down" it will help with my writing.  I am working on a couple of blogs right now. One is very emotional for me and is a result of an even that took place in our market area. I can't write blogs about finance, or big prose on lending and the "market" so I am just trying to write how I would talk to you if you were sitting in my car. :)
Dec 01, 2007 03:16 PM #26
Rainmaker
137,687
Bonnie & Terry Westbrook
Westbrook Realty - Ada, MI
Grand Rapids MI Real Estate
So true, Rich, it is so easy to get caught up in the popularity contest concept about getting read by each other on AR. Most of the posts I've made have been to Localism and will continue to be.  A lil' reminder for all can't hurt though. thanks.
Dec 02, 2007 08:59 AM #27
Ambassador
570,875
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
Jo - I think that perhaps many times, our writing should be just that, as though we we're sitting with our client, chatting over coffee at Starbucks....
Dec 02, 2007 10:35 AM #28
Rainer
45,963
Marty Van Diest
Valley Market Real Estate - Wasilla, AK
Your Alaskan Realtor

Rich, Thats probably the best way to go about blogging.  Imagine that we are sitting over a cup of coffee with out client.  But maybe not Starbucks, that's so Seattle!

 

Dec 02, 2007 11:25 AM #29
Rainer
12,597
Larry Hammelman
Mel Foster Co. - Sterling, IL
Sterling, Illinois Real Estate
Nice post Rich, I like the way you started out so romantic, just like a movie from the thirties, then there's a blurp, and your right here in 07. But you do have a point, who is listening, and reading, who do we write for. I'm glad you brought this up. I have been here for awhile now, but I'm just really getting started with writing, and posting...( mostly questions on how to do things so far ), but I have found several people whose style I really enjoy, you among them, and lately I have been reading that quite a few...mostly people that have been here a while, are starting to get calls from people who have read their articles here and wanting to work with them. So guess it shows that if you keep at it then it can pay off, or at least I hope it will.  Sorry, I didn't mean to ramble on...like someone above mentioned, thanks for the cup of coffee.  
Dec 03, 2007 05:29 PM #30
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1,532,354
William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Hi Rich, a very thought provoking post. It's a real conundrum Rich. It seems to me that it is not just what is written but how it is linked, tagged and often, how it fits into an overall package and then promoted by you or someone else. There are blogs and there are blogs. Most of the ones I have seen do seem to be well connected but with millions of bloggers, there are likely more bloggers than unique readers so the bloggers may be the greater percentage of the readers. If that is true, where do the consumers fit in? With so many choices and no one encouraging them to leave a comment that they did in fact read the post and not just peak at it, the question may actually have no answer.

I probably use the internet as much as anyone else and I am linked to many blogs. I can't remember contracting for a service or even buying something because of a blog ( except my blog site and graphics designer that designed my business card,e-mail stationary,etc as they were connected to ActiveRain which I am a member of).

I am beginning a new marketing program. I am not waiting to be found but actively marketing my own blogsite , services, etc. myself. The competition is too stiff with so many blogging and too much time writing endless posts and not doing enough to get people there to read and appreciate the effort.

There are some great and fun ways to do the marketing that encourages clients, prospects and anyone just intrigued with the idea to check it out. I won't get into that here but I think what I am saying is, experience is teaching me that we may have more control of our blogging destiny than just waiting for search engines to promote us and reward us. We can take direct control and promote ourselves in ways that will encourage more readers , more prospects and more word of mouth.

Then to go back to your original question of Who Reads Us? For me at least, maybe it will turn out that I will be read and appreciated by those I have chosen to market the site to and reward them in fun ways for doing so.

It is maybe a bit unconventional , at least that is not what we were told as to how it works, but on a listing appointment yesterday, I was totally shocked that the Seller had said someone had suggested he go to see the "The Most Unusual Real Estate Blogsite on the Planet", he did and the rest is history. Seems a friend of his that saw a promotional piece was intrigued and shared that. HUMMMM, so much for the search engines, right?

It is my belief as I learn more that I can position myself just about any way I think is proper, ethical and beneficial to consumers but it has to be me that does that. Content, professionalism and just plain old promotion hopefully is going to work best for me. Google may not know who I am but thankfully a least a few consumers do and it is encouraging.

Dec 05, 2007 03:35 AM #31
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Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
William - I think that is perhaps the longest and most thorough comment I've ever received. Thanks! You've hit the proverbial nail on the head. We simply cannot wait around for the search engine spiders to climb our blogsite. We MUST promote it agressively in all of our marketing efforts. Word of mouth should spread like our referral sphere does, and readers will find their way to our blog....
Dec 05, 2007 04:43 AM #32
Rainmaker
546,898
Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hey Rich,

Just found this post as a result of William's feature. I loved your story of your "intended" proposal, I'm sure your wife never let's you live that one down.

For me blogging is for the connection, whether that means to consumers or r.e. professionals alike. Connection with consumers for myself and others (as a broker-owner) at my company. To help with exposure and put us on the map a little more effectively so-to-speak. As for other r.e. professionals,  to learn from others and share so of what what what I've learned myself over the years.

Dec 05, 2007 11:52 AM #33
Rainmaker
241,601
Michelle DeRepentigny
Success Realty - Athens, GA
Broker Athens, GA
Ditto, Lenn!  I write mostly hyper local posts, they must bore the sweet agents, etc. on AR who visit my blog to tears, but I get great consumer contacts and my "other" blog even gets some consumer comments....finally!
Dec 05, 2007 01:43 PM #34
Ambassador
1,532,354
William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Hi Rich, I wrote a post today inspired solely by your post and it got featured. It was  your  post that should have been featured though. Gi-figure. I just wanted to share that with you and to thank you for the inspiration with your excellent post.

Always,
William

Dec 05, 2007 05:07 PM #35
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Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
William - I read your post, Excellent continuation of mine. I plan to include a link to it in Part Two when I publish tomorrow. Thanks again for adding such great valued comments to the discussion here....
Dec 06, 2007 01:29 AM #36
Rainer
34,889
Rebecca Chambliss
Vista Sotheby's International - Rolling Hills Estates, CA
I'm with you!  Great post.
Dec 06, 2007 01:53 AM #37
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Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker
Rebecca - thank you for your kind words. Have a great day there in Rolling Hills!
Dec 06, 2007 02:06 AM #38
Rainer
14,598
Marsha Cleaveland
No longer in the sales business - Glendale, AZ
GRI, AHWD, CNE
Some in AR appear to be blogging for and about and to AR.  Others are visibly educating the public about the industry or their local market.  As long as the right audience finds (or is directed to) your blog, just create the material that excites and will benefit the group you are targeting.
Dec 06, 2007 03:11 AM #39
Rainer
35,691
Kirk Mulhearn
Prudential California Realty/Gem Mortgage - Long Beach, CA
Good question:  why do you blog?  I'm discovering that this is a process and that as I learn more I can contribute more.  It is fun to post things on the internet and yes you will get the reactions of your posts in the form of comments.  No comments does not necesarily mean that nobody read it, just that lyou filled the matrix with more O's and 1's.  Nevertheless, I love this internet, it is so powerful!!!!  Thanks for the stimulating comment....
Dec 06, 2007 04:01 PM #40
Rainmaker
33,997
Marey Hoeppner
Kalamazoo, MI
Your Success Is Our Goal!
Great post, Rich.  I like to blog for several reasons, to share what i know, to share stories that i think are interesting, or to inspire others. :-) Oh, I just like blogging!
Dec 06, 2007 04:10 PM #41
Rainmaker
307,064
Ryan Hukill - Edmond
ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite - Edmond, OK
Realtor, Team Lead
Nice post Rich. Looking forward to reading the followup posts.
Dec 07, 2007 01:32 AM #42
Rainmaker
657,338
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645
You definitely have made many of us stop and take a good look at our focus.
Dec 07, 2007 06:01 AM #43
Ambassador
1,078,490
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

I need to think about that more often.  who are your writing is going up on my wall.

Mar 02, 2009 10:13 PM #44
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