Let's say you've just started blogging.
Let's assume you understand that blogging is a marathon and not a sprint.
How do you know that your blogging is working?
There are different signs, some are signs of success in this community, others are signs of successful blogging that leads to business opportunities.
There are two main avenues for how you gain business here in the Rain:
1. Referrals from other members of the community
2. Consumer contacts.
For the first category, social engagement is an indicator that you're heading in the right direction. You get comments on your posts, you get followers, you develop relationships with other members, and people actually realize WHERE you work and WHAT you do. You start to establish top of mind so when they need someone, they think of you.
Now the reality is you may live in a place with little likelihood of receiving referrals. If you're in a big city or an area with high turnover, your odds of getting a referral are better ASSUMING you don't have a dozen other established competitors in this community serving the same market.
So what's probably more likely to lead to success for your business?
Blogging to the consumer, but not just any type of posts is going to give you bang for the buck. While giving the public a peek behind the curtains as to what makes you a human is good, I've willing to bet that there's a VERY small number of people querying Google for "agents who are beekeepers" or "agents that rescue cats and dogs". Those things are good for building a bond ONCE they've found you, but they're not likely to lead people to you directly.
So the key? Providing solid content that specifically addresses home buyers and sellers with critical LOCAL information that matters to them and that they likely won't find on the big portal sites or even local brokerage sites.
Answer those questions and the phone rings.
So now down to the nitty gritty, how do you know your blogging is working?
1. Are you seeing increased traffic to your personal site(s)? Depending on the analytic software you use, you can see the referring source.
2. Are you ranking higher for your keywords?
3. Are you getting more "general" calls that you didn't get before? More digital breadcrumbs mean a better chance of being found.
4. You get some specific calls that you KNOW are due to a blog post. If someone calls me about Lebanon's Applefest, I KNOW why.
5. You get REALLY specific calls or questions about specific communities. Last weekend I received a call from a home buyer for Mason's most expensive community. That blog post I wrote years ago combined with our IDX page means we got found. Now it's time to see if I can turn that initial call and the showings so far into an eventual closing at a price point about 4x the normal median for my market.
6. The consumer tells you. They'll outright say "I found you on the Internet", or "I a was looking for patio homes and you were EVERYWHERE!".
7. They'll have a printout of your post in their hand when they meet you the first time. Happened tonight, and not the first time. A post I wrote over 3 YEARS ago was right there in front of me. (bonus tip, EVERGREEN posts can work for years and years).
If you've been blogging for a significant amount of time AND with regularity, and still not seeing results, it's time for a re-examination of your blogging efforts.
Are you writing topics that fit the local expertise category?
Are you blogging enough?
Are you blogs professionally presented? Pictures, spelling, white space, etc.?
What's your "style" of presentation?
Are you telling people things they DON'T want to know? (e.g. keep your politics to yourself unless you live in an area that is about 99% thinking the exact same way as you do).
If the answers to the above questions show a shortfall, make some adjustments and give them time to work before deciding "blogging doesn't work!"
Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help!
Bill of Liz and Bill aka BLiz