Iâ€™m a research person. I love having lots and lots of research to back up my statements and decisions.
So, letâ€™s first take a look at the blogosphere as a whole, how it began, how it grew and where it is going.
According to Dave Sirfryâ€™s April 2007 report on the blogosphere, Technorati currently tracks 70 million weblogs. The report shows that 120,000 blogs are created each day with 1.4 blogs created every second.
Since October 2006, there a slight slowing in the growth of the blogosphere which was expected as its previous growth rates were staggering having grown 60 times what it was in 2004.
In 2006, the blogosphere saw 1.3 million postings per day or 15 posts per second, whereas in 2007 it grew to 17 posts per second. Interestingly, the percentage of blogs in the top 100 reached approximately 25% (22 blogs). Also, interesting is the consumer perception that blogs are just as good a news outlet as main stream media sites like the New York Times.
- 70 million weblogs
- About 120,000 new weblogs each day, orâ€¦
- 1.4 new blogs every second
- 1.5 million posts per day, orâ€¦
- 17 posts per second
- Growing from 35 to 75 million blogs took 320 days
- 22 blogs among the top 100 blogs among the top 100 sources linked to in Q4 2006 - up from 12 in the prior quarter
Read also: About.comâ€™s Benefits of blogging.
Read also: SEO benefits of blogging.
The history of the blog: From online diaries to real estate resources
A weblog, which is usually shortened to blog, is a website where regular entries are made (such as in a journal or diary) and presented in reverse chronological order. Blogs often offer commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, news or local news.
Corporate blogs are often used to answer customer questions in an FAQ format, provide additional product information, aid in customer service and, in the case of service or consulting firms, provide a forum for industry specific information written by experts in article format.
In 2004, the role of blogs became increasingly mainstream, as political consultants, news services and candidates began using them as tools for outreach and opinion forming. Since then, corporations have taken to blogging to connect with customers, employees and the media. Corporate blogs serve as platforms for companies to connect on a more personal level to their customers, employees and the media. Blogs allow companies to easily disseminate pertinent information on their products, services and industry news.
By 2005, a few tech savvy real estate professionals were blogging with some success on every topic from how to stage a home for an open house to the sale of Billy Joelâ€™s estate in the Hamptons. As these blogs took off, the community took note and formed some of the more popular real estate blogging networks/aggregators like ActiveRain and RealEstateVoices.
Today, it is estimated that 2% of Realtors either have a blog or are looking to blog.
Why should Realtors and mortgage brokers blog?
1. Blogs outrank websites by directly feeding search engines new content more often.
Search engines are voracious readers, they like frequently updated, new and relevant content. Blogs provide just that. They allow you to login to their back-ends and enter new articles daily without knowing a lick of HTML. Every time you create a post, your blog feeds your content directly to a search engine; the more often you post, the higher your search engine ranking will be, and the more likely it will be that people will discover your blog.
BENEFIT: Increased search engine results rankings on Google, Yahoo! and MSN. Basically, a blog helps you get found in searches on popular search engines better and improves traffic to your site, which ultimately results in more leads and listings.
2. RSS feeds syndicate your blogs content across the net.
All blogs have a built-in marketing tool called RSS. RSS allows individual subscribers to sign up for your feed and have your new content delivered directly to their feed reader, email or website in real time. Another benefit is that blogs make it very easy to pull in other RSS feeds like your MLS listing feeds or local news content so you can build content automatically.
BENEFIT: Increased web presence and brand awareness. When another website chooses to syndicate your content, you benefit by an increased web presence, branding and more traffic to your site. Built-in marketing mechanisms like ping services and RSS help drive more traffic to a blog than a regular website.
3. Agents that write blogs perform more research to keep up with their local markets than Realtors who donâ€™t blog.
This greater knowledge base becomes a significant competitive advantage over non-blogging Realtorsâ€¦
BENEFIT: Blogs build a Realtorsâ€™ knowledge base and credibility as an expert in their field. Because the blog platform gives the realtor a channel to market their knowledge, visitors tend to think of the Realtor as an expert.
4. By frequently providing quality local real estate content, a Realtor builds credibility within their community.
They connect with their audience (read â€śpotential clientsâ€ť) on a personal level that makes them feel as though they already have a relationship.
BENEFIT: Blogging agents generate more leads than non blogging agents. People like to do business with people they â€śknowâ€ť and respect as an expert, therefore blogging agents generate more leads than non blogging competitors.
5. Any blog that is driving reasonable traffic can be monetized or set up to generate leads.
Once a blog has at least 100 pages of content and proven traffic, an Amazon affiliate shop, Text Link Ads or Google AdSense account can be added to defray marketing costs. Blogs can also be used similarly to websites by including lead generation systems.
BENEFIT: Blogs can be monetized to provide an alternative income source. Because blogs drive substantially more traffic than websites, monetizing them can boost a Realtorâ€™s bottom line during good times and carry him/her through lulls in the market. They can also be used with calls to actions and lead generators the same way you use a website, so they can directly impact lead generation.
6. Blogs are better indexed by search engines, syndicated through RSS feeds and many offer free social networking ping services.
Through these mechanisms, your blog content is constantly marketed across the web and consistently driving traffic back to you.
BENEFIT: Blogs drive more traffic than websites. Blogs have many more automated web marketing tools than websites and are better indexed by search engines. Your customers can find you more easily, driving far more quality traffic to you than a website that tends to be static.
Want to learn how to start and build a successful real estate blog?
Order a free copy of How to Start a Real Estate Blog.