Not! Does anyone want my advice on blogging? Ok, good, Iâ€™ll give you some advice: start by writing. Itâ€™s always best to start your blog by writing something.
Now you might askâ€”write about what?
And that would be a good question. Well, if you are a real estate agent you might want to write about real estate. Thatâ€™s my first two pieces of adviceâ€”write, and write about real estate.
Seriously, if you are just starting or thinking about starting, there are a few things that might help. I will assume youâ€™re an agent writing to consumers, and I will assume youâ€™re not an experienced writerâ€”otherwise you wouldnâ€™t need my great advice. I write on several blogs, some related to the real estate industry and some related to consumers, but writing to consumers is the business end of blogging and itâ€™s the main usefulness to you as an agent.
What are blogs good for?
They are good for informing consumers about your local market, about the real estate process in general, about market trends, about your services, about neighborhoods and listings and about how all this ties together.
You might want to develop a list of topics, such as:
- Buyer Agency
- Home Sales Statistics
- Sunny Brook Subdivision
- Home Staging
So on and so forth. With a solid topic in mind it helps to focus. If you are not used to writing you might want to start with an outline and a simple essay formulaâ€”
Introduce the topic and several points you want to make. Write the body of the article addressing each point summary and conclusion.
Iâ€™ve found it easier reading when the paragraphs are short. Long paragraphs are not friendly to readers who want to read a little but not a lotâ€”breaking it up helps the reader think itâ€™s not so long.
I would start out writing in an easy style similar to the way you talk, but grammatically close enough to correct that it makes sense in written form. Check for errors, use spell check and all that. Editing is important. If you are like me you make mistakes.
Read over what youâ€™ve written and pay attention to toneâ€”you donâ€™t want to present the wrong tone and have someone mistake you for a know-it-all, or, conversely, as someone totally unsure of herself . Voice in writing is important and tone is a part of voiceâ€”the more you write the more you will develop your â€śvoiceâ€ť. Voice is your personality as a writer, adding your unique flavor.
Make sure you donâ€™t write about things you donâ€™t really know a lot about, because readers will be able to tell.
Write about topics you feel comfortable with or have researched carefullyâ€”and write in an easy, comfortable style. I have seen people write in a way that is pretentious in an attempt to impress the reader and it ainâ€™t pretty.
Be yourself, be cool, relax.
Humor doesnâ€™t hurt, but be careful that the humor comes across as intendedâ€”it can backfire if there is miscommunication.
Itâ€™s fairly easy once you get the hang of itâ€”but always keep your readers in mind so you donâ€™t wander off into a stream of consciousness that makes sense to you but loses your reader. Once you improve your writing skills, you can become more creative with style.
Remember, this is a business blog and has a purpose.
You donâ€™t have to write every day, just often enough to keep it going on a regular basis. If you wait too long between posts, though, your blog appears to be abandonedâ€”so maybe three to four times a week.
Make sure as you are writing that you include keywords in the text that will be pertinent to real estate in your area. As others have warned, donâ€™t STUFF keywords in and make the writing sound stilted (called â€ślink baitâ€ť), but in natural way include key words and phrases so that search engines will recognize it as important to online searchers.
It doesnâ€™t do any good to draw traffic through search engines if what they find is gimmicky writing that bores them to tears or insults their intelligence. Some writers write down to their readers, but I trust readers to be intelligent enough to appreciate most ideas we present if the ideas are written clearly.
As with keywords, titles are important.
Make the title interesting and specific to the topic. Use the title as a way to attract Google-love, but the main purpose of the title is to draw a readerâ€™s interest so that they will likely start reading, then keep them interested with something that immediately piques their interestâ€”your introduction to the subject and its salient points.
Be careful not to get too creative with your title that you set the reader up for disappointment. If you come with a great title that promises a lot, youâ€™ll have to deliver or the reader will feel cheated.
Use hyperlinks to other sources to help make your points or provide the reader with more information. Keep the links within the page so you donâ€™t send your readers off forever. Hyperlinks are a good way to give readers plenty of local information without having to write it all out yourself.
Get a book on basic writing skills to polish up on dos and donâ€™t of style and grammar.
Youâ€™re not expected to be a professional writer on a blog, but the better you are the more pleasant the readerâ€™s experience will be, and the more you come across as intelligent and informed. If you truly hate writing, then it might be best to not writeâ€”but you should at least give it a shot and try to do it well. You might find it enjoyable.
Recently there has been a little bit of controversy surrounding whether an agent should blog about home listings.
I say â€“ Yes! Itâ€™s a good way to tell the story of a home you have for sale.
You can create a separate blog for a listing and present it in a rich, creative way that lets the home buyers know everything there is to know about the home and the area. You can use your imagination here and write several posts describing the home and everything pertinent to home, with pictures and comprehensive information covering special features, what the area has to offer, interesting facts, room dimensions, when it sells, etc.
If you have twenty, thirty or forty listings it might not be feasible too write about each listing, but if you can do it, itâ€™s a powerful marketing tool.
I encourage others to add to these suggestions. These are only basic guidelines. Read other blogs, tooâ€”nothing helps more than reading others who are writing successfully.
Someone once advised me that if I want to be a good writer then read good writers, not to emulate them but to learn from them and then develop my own style.
And never write anything this long!