Writes of Passage for a Blogging Neophyte – Part III

I’ve again held you in suspense long enough.  (My apologies, I’ve actually been selling real estate this past month!  Who knew!?!)  It is now time for Part III of this series.

Content

When formulating ideas for your blog posts, the first thing you need to reconsider is your audience.  I personally don’t feel that Joe Public needs to hear REALTORS air their professional laundry if the blog site is set up to target consumers.  However, if the issues that effect REALTORS will also effect Joe Public, feel free to post.  (Again, this is a personal opinion and preference).  My blog targets the consumer, so I stick with consumer related posts.

Blank isolated notepad with clipping path

There is a hard decision that every blogger will be faced with at some point in their blogging career.  Do you get personal?  How far will you let your readers into your life?  Some bloggers keep it strictly business.  Others have found a way of drawing their audience in using personal antidotes and life lessons.  One of my very first posts determined which direction I would be heading.  If you follow me on Twitter (@SarahStelmok) you know that I post the celebration of the day every weekday morning.  June 27this National HIV/AIDS Testing Day.  This holiday hits home with me.  My father passed away 12 years ago due to complications from the HIV/AIDS virus.  I made the decision to let the world know how important it is to have regular screening for the disease by sharing my families story on my blog.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I think it took me over an hour to press the Publish button.  But once I did, and the feedback started rolling in, I was proud of myself for opening up and educating others.  Since that post, I have made several other posts that are on the more personal side.  Every time I do, I pick up more readers.  Being personal in your blog is not for everyone.  But it is a decision you will have to make.

Writer’s block hits all of us.  And boy can it be a pain.  I read a blog post on Agent Genius a few months ago that suggested carrying a notebook around with you to write down blogging ideas.  This is pure "Genius!"  And, so simple I kick myself for not thinking of it (reading it) sooner.  I can’t count the number of times I have been driving to appointments and come up with the greatest post idea, only to lose it 5 minutes later.  So, grab a pad of paper and keep it handy.  Refer back to your blogging notebook when you are having a hard time coming up with new content.  I also get inspiration from the questions my clients ask me.  Many times they are the same questions over and over again.  This type of content has turned into dedicated Pages on my blog site.  It makes it easy for my clients to find and it’s easy for me to refer them to my site.

Some other useful content:

High School Football Schedules, Local College and University Sports Schedules, New Laws and/ or Ordinances, Election Information and Results,  New Business Openings and Business Closings, Tips When Buying or Selling a Home, Foreclosure and Short Sale Market Statistics, Community Events, Restaurant Reviews, and Other Industries Effected by the Real Estate Market (Animal Shelters, Homeless Shelters,and Food Banks).

Whatever you decide to write about in your blog, be sure that it original content and site your sources!  No one likes a plagiarist!  And, it is quite embarrassing when you get caught stealing other bloggers’ content.  Above all, believe in what you blog about and your readers will believe in you.

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8 Responses to Writes of Passage for a Blogging Neophyte – Part III

  1. Mike Taylor says:

    I agree it is vitally important to consider your audience when writing a post. A blog read mostly by Realtors shouldn’t have local market data or the like because most people won’t care. Likewise, a customer oriented blog shouldn’t talk about something like what to write a blog post about:)

    If you don’t consider your audience, your post loses its impact.

  2. Sarah, I am new to the real estate industy and let me tell you, coming up with idea after idea is tough. How do you do it? I now keep all local papers, magazines, and literature I see. While I don’t copy anyone’s work, compiling a list of ideas helps me keep up with local happenings to put my own opinion on events. While taking a break over the holidays, I realized my new site stopped rising in the search engine pages. After a while I realized it was because I stopped blogging. So blogging is very important to a site but I live in a small town and happenings are far and few between. Reading blogs like the ones on varbuzz really help me to formulate ideas based on national trends and how they relate to the Beaufort SC market. I do love the idea of keeping a notebook with me and writing down things. Great idea. Also, thanks for the content list. I copied it and plan to use it SOON.

  3. Todd, you sound like the perfect candidate for brand-building. Blogging in a small town should carry a lot more weight than in a larger place — you should build a following, get your name out there!

    I see a lot of real estate blogs that are obviously just marketing fluff. Writing one that was honest and open — gently critical, when necessary — could get a following. Again, it’s that small-town thing. When you talk about, say, “the lot behind the Smith and Jones building,” people will know what you mean. Better still, they’ll have opinions, and your blog could be the place they express them.

    Presto: Popularity, name recognition, brand. (Well, maybe not “Presto,” but you get the idea.)

  4. Patsy Snyder says:

    I am new at blogging and still trying to learn what to write about. Your blog helped me so much. I have made good strides so far but, hopefully, will get better with more information.

  5. Good ideas.

    And I wouldn’t mind an anon blog for real estate agent venting. I love waitress blogs where they get the chance to vent about the things that annoy them. It’s always a good way for those of us not in the biz to “see the other side”!!

  6. I try not to make my blogging personal, though I have had a few posts which were, and one of them was the most read posts of all I have written, by far.

  7. Vonda Lacey says:

    Sarah, you are my blogging inspiration. All of your advice is excellent and since I already write a weekly article for our local paper, I plan to pursue finding someone who can set up a blog for me. I live in a small town and I get calls & letters in response to my weekly article, so I am determined! Thank you! See you at VLA.

  8. Pingback: Guide to Getting Started with Social Media « NVAR Wiki

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