1. Read Before You Write
What I always advise real estate professionals interested in getting started blogging is to go out and read other real estate blogs. You’ll have no trouble finding them. Just Google “real estate blogs” or type in your market followed by “blog”.
Reading other blogs will give you a sense of the topics discussed, the presentation, and the various writing styles of bloggers. The more you read the more you will know what folks are saying, and how they’re saying it. Some bloggers write short posts, others expound into treatise length. Many use images and video, some do not. Some are heavy on facts and figures, others heavy on opinion and their experiences. When done right (and I use that word loosely), the blogger’s voice -— their personality -— comes through the writing.
And that’s what you should strive to do -— find your voice and get it out there.
Besides, reading blogs gives you the visceral feedback of what you like and what you think sucks. (Avoid the stuff you think sucks.)
2. Talk Before You Walk
Don’t stop with reading the blog posts. It is also important to read the comments to understand how conversations are taking place and how the author is engaging his or her readers. You will find some folks let it all hang out in the comments, while others require you to button up your lip properly. Get a sense how tight a ship you want to run.
When you feel comfortable, join the conversation and make your own comments to blog posts you like or find interesting. Try to go beyond “Great post there, buddy.” Try to add to the conversation. Give your perspective; perhaps provide examples from your experience. Be positive.
Try not to piss anyone off, especially the blog post author. You will see there is a blogging etiquette. If you want to disagree (I don’t advocate that early on for newcomers to a blog), do it by first acknowledging the other’s point of view. For example, “I see your point, but my experience has been….” Offer supporting facts to back up your comment.
3. Leap into Loving Arms
Once you feel comfortable enough to give blogging a go -— it’s relatively painless—start in a place where there are others to give you support, encouragement and guidance. A community like ActiveRain is good for those first stepping out into the blog world. The community is very supportive and welcoming to newbies.
Another great place to get started is here at HomeGain with a free Agent Blog, provided as part of the AgentView marketing program.
Now, you should know I’m a little biased towards HomeGain’s Agent Blogs. For one thing, I am the resident Professor hired to help the agents improve their blogging. I share tips and techniques I have learned over 2 ½ years blogging and talking to other real estate bloggers. I’m also available to answer any question an agent may have on the subject.
The reason I decided to sign on was my belief that just handing an agent a blog may not be the most efficient way to go about it. Yes, sure, they will learn by trial and error over time (maybe a long time) but why not try to flatten that learning curve by offering my help. Also, I believe the HomeGain website may offer more consumer visitors to the agents’ blogs.
Well, that’s it for the sermon and self-promotion. Regardless where you go to start a blog, give it a try. I wish you all good luck and hope your blog grow up to be a success.