This is the LIVE session with Dustin Luther (4Realz), on GREAT CONTENT with contributors on your blog (A Community Blog). It's about 2:15. (I am writing this live so will be posting adn then updating throughout the session).
This article is a little bit "stream-of-conciousness" and keeping up with Dustin is a chore, but getting the good stuff out there for folks IS the goal, isn't it, and not making it pretty.
Nothing about all this is really complicated once you know the basics. The hardest part is managing the community of contributors. It's really like what we learned in Kindergarten
- You want to be fair to everyone and not give any unfair advantages
- Don't attack people. Don't hit others
- Make sure people can find your content.
- If you make a mess, clean it up
- Don't steal things
SO WHY HAVE A COMMUNITY?
And things to know about!
Personal reasons - interest and fulfillment. The danger is in the amount of time that may be involved.
Build value to readers and the community. Google loves this (e.g., RainCityGuide)
Danger - you have to have some rules and rein some folks in
Search engine value is tremendous, and once established any new articles themselves have value
Danger - no message control. They know what to write about and don't need you to tell them
Adds credibility - local and national media
Dealing with healthy egos - this can be a danger too. Can be good competition
The real magic IS the community, the writers as well as the readers
Think about your MISSION - what IS your goal is having the community?
SO WHAT IS THE GROUP BLOG CYCLE:
There needs to be some traffic already before you invite people. More posts leaders to more traffic which leads to more writers... Don't waste time with setting all the guidelines and worrying about all the systems until you have some traffic
There are 4 Types of Traffic
- DIRECT - someone come to your blog - the hardest to get
- PAY TRAFFIC - PPC, can be very valuable if you optimize it, know your conversion rates
- REFERRALS - when another website links to yours. This is great to have, knowing that others are linking to you
- ORGANIC - free stuff through the search engines (70% for RCG comes from search engines)
The 3 most important factors in On-line Real Estate? LINKATION, LINKATION, LINKATION - you need to know about SEO and understand how this adds value
You need to promote your community site AND the writers who are contributing. AGENT GENIUS does a great job of this.
You NEED to know how mobile technology works. Leads will come this way, you need to respond, and you can blog. Mobile feeds
Include contact information of the writers so readers can contact the writers (leads)
As the leader you need to do what you can to not only promote but help with traffic, SEO, etc.
You need to be a resource - answer questions, fix the problems, be responsive. Writers do a lot of their marketing and get leads from your site (they don't own or control it) and this is worrisome. You need to show that you are responsible
You need to do a lot of education if writers are not doing what they should or could
Make sure writers gain an understanding of how the community work before they get to far along adn write things that might not be viewed well within the community.
Be authentic (it rains in Settle!). It doesn't have to be all about real estate. And don't just tell folks it's a good time to buy!
Another way to be effective is to add humor - an off the wall CAN be appropriate. you don;t always have to be the ultimate authority
Having diverse opinions is a good thing. Be effective in making your points. Don't ban folks just because they disagree.
GUEST POSTS - can be good to start with this rather than starting as a full time contributor. See how the community responds
You need to have some rules - keep them to a minimum
- Attack ideas but not people. Moderate (comments and contributors) as needed. Good idea to require things be approved. This can slow down the process
- Avoid self-promotion - this never comes off the right way (we ALL know this, don't we?) Demonstrate your knowledge
- Only original content -avoid duplicate content issues. This is really for the benefit of the contributors
INTERESTING vs. INTERESTED
The more important thing is to be interested in the community and what you are writing about (and others) as opposed to being interesting.
ALL DONE! 2:50 PM