What Do You Tell a New Blogger?

By
Real Estate Agent with Solutions Real Estate CA DRE #01490977
https://activerain.com/droplet/4xhF

What Do You Tell a New Blogger?

 

Recently I’ve been in conversations with several  new bloggers. They’re interested and want to get started with their blogging, or had already done a little, but are uneasy about the path to take and what to do.

 

Just Do It

Just dive inIf you angst about it too much and worry about how to get started, you won’t. Now is the time. Create a list of ideas and get writing. Most people I suspect who started blogging just dove in the water.

 

Get Involved in the ActiveRain Community

Read others’ posts to see what they are writing about, and the kinds of visuals they use. Comment on their posts to start the relationship and share your thoughts.

The more YOU read the better you will get at writing. It’s a great way to learn more about blogging, PLUS you will learn so much about our business in general, develop some great friendships, and add to your nationwide and Canadian referral network

 

Be Consistent

If you are not going to be consistent, especially when starting out, this will not be to your advantage. The same is true of any marketing. People who like your writing will want to see more (that includes Google) – I would say no less the 4-5 times per week when starting out, or more often if you can manage it. Many seasoned bloggers write daily. Writing an article once a month is probably a waste of time, at least if you want to grow your business through blogging and increase your online traffic

 

Be Yourself ~ Use Your Own Voice

Basset hounds in CarlsbadDon’t try to model your writing style after someone else. Readers want to get to know you. Don’t be pretentious or something you are not – people will figure that out pretty quickly, especially if they decide to work with you and find out that “hey, this dude is nothing like I expected!

Keep in mind, too, that if you act a certain way people can and will make assumptions. So be careful about your behavior. Act like an A$$, people will assume you are.

When you first start out it may not feel comfortable, and your writing may be a bit stilted. Relax. Over time you will learn about what you are most comfortable with and what speaks to you! Try to be conversational, as if you were telling your story to a friend or talking with a buyer or seller.

 

Write About What You Enjoy

Yes, writing is work and it takes time. If you hate it, don’t. And why spend time writing about things you don’t enjoy…short sales come to mind for some of us. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some topics that are less scintillating than others, say market reports. But your blogging will be better if you enjoy what you are talking about.

Lots of new bloggers ask “what do I write about?” This is a question with unlimited answers, and well beyond the scope of this post. Spend time on AR to see what others are writing about – this will surely generate ideas. And this post by Mimi Foster has a great list of suggestions. And ask others who are writing for their ideas.

 

Use Photos, Graphics and Video

The Carlsbad Flower FieldsVisuals are essential. They capture attention, not only of readers buy of the search engines. No one just wants to look at a long article of just words. I wouldn’t post a single article without at least 1 visual, and many great posts center on a series of photos rather than a ton of text.

A great photo can inspire a great post! So can a video, if you are comfortable doing them.

 

No Sticky Fingers - Don’t take other people’s photos, videos and articles

You need to write original content and take your own photos and videos. Yes, there are some sites that offer you stock photos (sometimes for a price) and graphics but I prefer, for the most part, original photos. If you use an article written by someone else do NOT claim it as your own but provide the appropriate attribution. And just because you do that does not necessarily mean you have permission to use the article. Check to see what the site says, and if unsure don’t do it. Plagiarism and copy right violations can really cost you…literally, as well as your reputation.

 

I could go on, but I suspect there are many of you who have some great ideas, too. And perhaps new writers will reflect on how they got started and what worked, and what didn’t.

 

I bet most of you reading this are experienced bloggers. So what do YOU think we shoudl tell a new blogger - please share!

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Rainer
355,882
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Jeff, you did a great covering the basics of blogging! One thing that newbies don't always recognize is the difference between a Rainmaker account that goes to the public and a Rainer account that is for Members only. 

Jan 24, 2015 02:39 AM #39
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Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I tell folks, "If you can write an e-mail or a letter for postal delivery or a memo to a file, you can blog"

Don't worry about points.  Just spend your time posting articles about subjects in which you have and interest, commenting on other members' posts and enjoy.

You'll love it. 

Jan 24, 2015 03:11 AM #40
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Mark - that is such good advice, and so many do not state where they are. You might, as a local, have an idea by the phone number but no one fro out of the area will have a clue

William - an excellent point. If all we write about is stuff we like but which consumers could care less about it doesn't help our business very much. There has to be a good mix. We are in the business so there certainly is a lot to write about that we personally like

Russ - that is an excellent point as well. Short sales is another, unless that is your business. And also, perhaps certain communities, styles of homes (e.g., mobile), etc.

Gabe - I suspect it varies from person to person. Some get into it right away and others may take months or years. There are people here who joined, did little, then came back with a vengeance.

Good advice, Andrew. It's certainly easier and more comfortable to write about what you know. NO doubt some folks are uneasy about first putting stuff out there on the web, but you get over it pretty quickly.

Jeff

Jan 24, 2015 03:58 AM #41
Rainmaker
1,446,268
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Excellent tips for new bloggers; just do it, be yourself, be consistent and take the leap!

Jan 24, 2015 04:54 AM #42
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Janis Borgueta - agreed. Commitment is abig part of being successful, as is continual learning from others

Thanks Nina Hollander - there was nothing earth shattering here IMO but glad it resonates with you and others. We were all newbies once, weren't we?

Jeff

Jan 24, 2015 04:54 AM #43
Rainer
378,343
Thomas F. Scanlon
Borgida & Company P. C., CPA's - Manchester, CT
CPA, CFP

Jeff - Well done. Need to block off the time in your schedule or it won't get done.

Also, always be thinking of the title of your next blog post.

 

Cheers!

Jan 24, 2015 05:10 AM #44
Rainer
12,081
Vanessa Griffin
Griffin Real Estate Group - Tyler, TX

Excellent advice!!  You are so right about the "Just Do It" part.  That first step always seems to be the most difficult.  I started out by reading others blogs, and commenting when I add something of value to add.  Then, one morning, I had something I really wanted to put out there, and I just did it!! It was much easier than I had imagined, and the support from the entire AR community was tremendous!!  Now on to the next step....consistency!!

Jan 24, 2015 05:11 AM #45
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Jerry Newman
Brown Realty, 210-789-4216,www.JeremiahNewman.com - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Jeff, You have covered it all. The only thing I would add to most new bloggers, is to read and to comment more, and start following more seasoned bloggers. They'll have to commit at least 2 or 3 hours until they get good at it. Then, it'll take them less time after they have been around for awhile.

Jan 24, 2015 06:13 AM #46
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Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I tell new bloggers to write about your experiences and dreams. Tell us what works for you and show us your listings. Learn from others but discover your own style! Jeff Dowler CRS 

Jan 24, 2015 08:24 AM #47
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Lise Howe - thank you! Getting started can be the toughest part of the process. Once you are over that hump, it gets easier and easier

Bill Roberts  - next time we will make it happen. That's a good point about critical mass. It does take a while but the benefits are there

Richie Alan Naggar Author PEARLS SERIES of books  - the right shoes work!! Like it!

Kathy Streib  - definitely. It's a great way to learn, but you also build relationships and get to know so many people

Richard - some people can be more planful than others I think

Rob - so true. Consistency is key, especially early on. And google loves new content

Dinah - AR is a tremendous continuous learning environment, for new bloggers and experienced

Raymond - well if they are not interested then they should not, IMO

Jeff

Jan 24, 2015 08:51 AM #48
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I tell people to get over the fear. They fear they will say the wrong thing or not write clearly enough or offend people, and to just be yourself is excellent advice. Don't try to be everybody's friend and to appeal to everybody because that is impossible. If you are yourself, others just like you will gravitate toward you, and what better thing could you possibly want in real estate than to work with other people who agree with you and like you?

Jan 24, 2015 10:07 AM #49
Ambassador
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Tom White - great point. It came up when talking about this with some people at my meet-up the other day

Lenn Harley - excellent advice from someone who knows!

Kat Palmiotti - agreed. Just do it and be consistent

Thomas F. Scanlon - that helps a lot to make an appointment. I find that sometimes the title starts the post, but other times flows from the post

Jeff

Jan 24, 2015 10:09 AM #50
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Excellent advice Jeff. Just do it and have fun and be consistent so you can develop some followers. Practice and honing the skill comes with time.

Jan 24, 2015 12:00 PM #51
Rainer
286,776
Doyle Lee Austin Davison Iv
Surf City Realty 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
28+ years serving Investors Banks Buyers-sellers

Be yourself...

Jan 24, 2015 12:40 PM #52
Rainmaker
1,553,927
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Excellent tutorial, Jeff. There is little to add to it, so I'll leave that to the rest of the AR family. I do wish I had it when I started. 

Jan 24, 2015 03:23 PM #53
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Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA
FrankRubiRealEstate.com

Jeff, I agree with your post. Thank You for encouraging the new member's of Active Rain. It's important that we all reach out to help and share experiences. Great job Jeff.

Jan 24, 2015 10:38 PM #54
Rainmaker
755,482
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I think liking it is key. If you don't like to write, your blogging career will be over before you know it.

Jan 25, 2015 06:37 AM #55
Rainmaker
3,130,457
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Jeff ... I was a newbie for a very long time, it took me so long to get started!

Jan 25, 2015 07:55 PM #56
Rainer
20,507
Liz Froment
Boston, MA
Real Estate Content Creation (Blogs, Emails, Copy)

Lots of good advice in here. The hardest part is taking the first step, then it gets a lot easier from there. 

The biggest suggestions I'd offer is to be yourself, showcase that great personality of yours becuase that's what your readers will connect with. And second, don't overthink it. You don't need to be perfect, or come up with a million ideas to start, begin by writing about one thing you think will help others. 

Jan 26, 2015 08:45 AM #57
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4,012,097
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Vanessa Griffin - good for you, and welcome to AR. it will get easier and easier. Thanks for stopping by!

Jerry Newman - and excellent point. You can learn so much by reading others posts and commenting, and following a group of bloggers you like makes so much sense. And engaging with others through commenting in important.

Paul - excellent points and suggestions for newbies

Elizabeth - getting over the fear is key, and probably harder for some than others. I especially like what you said - what better thing could you possibly want in real estate than to work with other people who agree with you and like you

Debbie Reynolds - practice IS important and your skills definitely improve the more you write, and read.

Doyle - being yourself is essential. Reader want to know who we are not who were are pretending to be

Jeff

Jan 26, 2015 10:15 AM #58
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