Everywhere you turn these days you are hearing about blogging and why you should be doing it. You may have even taken some classes on blogging or maybe you read some blogs written by others, but still haven’t been able to decide if blogging is for you.
I am going to give you 10 reasons why you should blog, and 5 reasons why you shouldn’t in this post.
First the reasons why you should be blogging:
1. Search Engines love blogs. The search engines are all looking for new content and it’s not unusual for a search engine to find a new blog post in minutes. The more information a search engine has indexed about you, the better your chances are of obtaining a high listing on search results. You might go so far as to say that Blog stands for Better Listings On Google!
2. A blog is trivial to update. Having a blog allows you to get current, relevant information out in front of people faster, easier and less expensively than a traditional web site does. You are the “webmaster”. You don’t have to contact, explain and pay for changes you want done.
3. People can subscribe to your blog. Using the magic of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) your readers can read your new posts in their email client, web browser or RSS reader with out having to visit your site. This level of convenience makes it more likely that you will be read. Your readers can also subscribe to your blog via email. The new Post will turn up in their email boxes as a regular email.
4. You can archive your past posts. What this means is that you can write a series of posts on the process of buying a home in your market area just as you would explain it to a new client. Then in the future you can just refer people to it as necessary. That will save you both huge amounts of time and it becomes an online reference for your client. You could do this for every aspect of your business and over time build a large reference library that would help you attract new clients. (remember the search engines are watching and indexing your content).
5. Brand building. A blog is a great way for you to build your personal brand. Are you a real estate agent who is heavily into community service? If so, talk about that in a section on your blog. Do you specialize in certain property types or geographic areas? Talk about that. Let your imagination go and think about ways that you could meld your after hours interests with your passion for real estate. You will attract like minded people through the reach of the search engines.
6. A blog is a differentiator. A blog lets you tell your story in multiple different ways. The more you can tell it, the better you become at building your brand. If your competitor is not blogging you can leap ahead of them to reach the people in your market who do read blogs. And if your competitor is blogging and you are not, you can catch up.
7. Build relationships with your clients. A blog gives you the opportunity to show your personal side in a way that will go much further than just posting a picture of you with your family ever could. We all want to feel like we really know the people that are handling our biggest transaction.
8. Focus on a niche. For the price of registering a domain and a few hours work you can have a blog that is laser focused on a particular market niche. Real estate web sites that attempt to be everything to everyone rarely are as effective as sites that speak to a single demographic,. The cost of building a real estate web site is high as are the monthly fees, so we tend to only have one such site and because of that it has to be very general in it’s approach. Want to reach investors? Build an investor centric blog for the cost of a domain registration and some time.
9. A blog can do everything that a web site can do. Everything that is currently on your web site can be duplicated on your blog. You can have your past sales, your current listings, community resources, testimonials, photos, videos, informative guides, maps and even IDX property search.
10. The price is right. How does free sound to you? You can get free blogs on WordPress, Blogger, ActiveRain. RealTown and Realtor.com to name a few. It is true that there are limitations on what you can do with a free a blog, but don’t let that stop you from trying this method of getting your message out. You can always upgrade to a more robust platform if you find that blogging is a useful part of your business strategy.
Having given you 10 reasons to blog, I’ll turn it around and give you a few reasons why you shouldn’t blog now. Yes, that’s right, blogging is not for everyone.
1. You don’t have the passion to take this on. Creating a blog becomes a bit like grabbing a tiger by the tail. In order to get all of the benefits described above, you have to be willing to publish new content at least weekly. Posting more often is preferable to build reader interest.
2. You are not “into” computers, blogs, social networks, etc and don’t care about reaching potential customers who are. Studies have shown that more and more of our population is venturing into and adopting these methods of communication as time goes by, but you are not one of them.
3. You are afraid of something new. Sometimes fear of the unknown keeps us from exploring new methods. Sometimes that can be overcome and sometimes it cannot.
4. You are afraid that you won’t be able to do it. Actually, blogging is as easy as sending an email message. If you can operate a web browser, and log on to a Multiple Listing Service and run a search, you can blog. The skills are almost identical. But you may be afraid to try.
5. You don’t have the time. It’s true. You might have to invest 2 or 3 hours a week into prospecting for new clients and engaging present and past clients via the blog. But, how are you doing those activities now? Can you re-purpose some of that time to blogging?
So there you have it. 10 reasons to blog and 5 to not blog. Which ones speak to you? Which way are you going to go?