Welcome to Real Estate Weblogging 101
July 21, 2014
This is a weblog about weblogging, which seems more than unusually appropriate.
The links you see in the sidebar work like the chapters of a paper book — or perhaps like essays in an anthology. You can take things down in methodical order or flit about at will. If you have questions or better information, say so in the comments section available on every page and post.
The weblog section will be used to document changes made in the book through time — corrections, improvements, added articles, etc.
Making the connection: The objective of real estate weblogging is visceral and viral, not rape and run
July 28, 2007
This will have to be brief, because I’m crushed for time, but we’re promoting Real Estate Weblogging 101 at the StarPower Conference this morning, so it’s a topical topic.
The premise: The commercial value of real estate weblogging comes from making a visceral connection with future clients, ideally leading to viral results, not spam-trolling for short-term leads. In other words, where keyword-packed tapioca content may score well for now on search engines, and may bring in filled-out web forms, it will not create the kinds of enduring connections that result in repeat and referral business for generations. Certainly none of the people brought in by search engines will become loyal readers or subscribers to the weblog: There’s no there there. Even worse, spamvertising in weblogs surely repels at least as many people as it seems to attract, and the people repelled are very probably the ones most likely to yield significant viral results over the years. You’re not only not building bridges, you’re blasting the bridgeheads.
There’s more: What happens when Google changes the rules? When a vendor crows, “Ha, Ha! We tricked Google!” the demise of that particular trick is foreseeable. When Google discovers that favoritism towards weblogs is bringing spam to the top of its results, it will change the way it weights weblogs. Locally-focused webloggers like Jay Thompson, who have made the effort to build a following, will chug on unabated. Keyword-packing spamvertising weblogs will dry up and blow away.
This morning’s post from Jay is good example of how to do this job: The keywords are there, but they’re there because the post wouldn’t makes sense without them. Jay is providing real value to his readership, practical, relevant advice. Even so, the post should search very well. But here’s the interesting part: Even though Jay is writing about the news of the day, if someone should happen upon this post by search a year or two from now, it will still be serving the visceral, viral function: Jay Thompson cares about his clients, and he is working to provide meaningful benefit to them with his weblog. That’s a very powerful long-term sales message — because it’s not a sales message at all.
Here is a hierarchy of objectives you can pursue with a true weblog, as opposed to a hand-crafted keyword-packed splog:
- Readers who like what you have to say
- Enough to return to read future posts
- Enough to subscribe by email or RSS feed
- Enough to promote your weblog to their friends or associates
- Enough to use you for a real estate transaction
- Enough to commit to you for their future transactions
- Enough to refer you to family and friends
- Enough to refer you to strangers
- Enough to actively campaign for you with anyone who has a real estate need
The last is a true sneezer, the holy grail of viral marketing. You may never get that far up the hierarchy, but you will never get anywhere if you are deliberately saying nothing that anyone could like enough to return to your weblog.
The funny part is, the search results will come either way, for now at least, as will the often-flightly leads attracted by search results. But if you build a weblog that makes a visceral connection with you readers, leading in time to viral marketing results, you will put yourself beyond competition. Bad advice abounds, and the worst advice seems to cost thousands of dollars, but this is the true purpose of a commercial weblog. If you make the effort to connect with your readers, rather than trying to fool them, you will engender and sustain a warm network of people who will use you and only you for all of their real estate needs, now and forever.
And if some of those people should become true sneezers, here’s what you should say: “God bless you!”
The goal of real estate blogging is not SEO results but making enduring connections with your client base
June 25, 2007
Marketer non pariel Brian Brady contributes a brand new article today: Building an audience: Using blogging, social networks, email newsletters and viral marketing instead of SEO. If we assume that the RE.net is only going to get more crowded, then SEO results could prove to be a diminishing return. On the other hand, making direct contact with clients by means of viral marketing promises bountiful results:
If you are a commercial weblogger (and you are if you intend to get leads from your writing), you must stay ahead of everyone else. Right now, the world believes that if you write it, they will come. Today, that may be the case. Tomorrow, however, the field will be crowded with every two-month licensee with an English degree, gumming up the blogosphere. Your SEO results will be skewed as soon as one of us presents at the NAR convention, explaining the benefits of blogging as a marketing communication.Weblogging is cheap, easy, and fun. Writing a weblog can be a tremendous way to introduce your service offering to thousands of people in a very short time span. Do it right, today, and you won’t be caught in the gummed blogosphere tomorrow.
Brian relates his own experiences using net-based viral marketing tools and lays out a five-point strategy you can put into action in your own business.
June 21, 2007
Real estate is a “people business”. Yes, people chose a real estate agent based on their experience, qualifications and knowledge (incidentally, a real estate blog is the perfect medium for displaying all three of those qualities). But they also tend to chose an agent because they connect with them on some personal level.
So there is your short answer: connect with your readers on a personal level.
How do you do that? Let me count the ways…
A great article, but also a great illustration of how easily a blogbook (thanks to Richard Riccelli for the coinage) can be expanded.
June 21, 2007
We just launched this morning, and the users of this site will find their way here over time. But here are some initial reactions from other real estate websites:
- As you might imagine, BloodhoundBlog had its say.
- Arizona Mortgage Guru weighs in.
- Problogger Tom Royce of The Real Estate Bloggers has his say.
- REMBEX founder Todd Carpenter speak up from lenderama.
- Jim Duncan of Real Central VA tracks stats.
- Realtor Genius thinks the price is right.
- The Phoenix Real Estate Guy shines by the light of the Arizona sun.
- Brian Brady comes in from Active Rain.
- Dan Green brings the blog at BringTheBlog.
- Mike Price checks in from Mike’s Corner.
- Realtor Wives sews on our button.
- Joel Burslem at Inman Blog takes us to the Summer of Blog.
- Kevin Boer at Three Ocean Realty speaks up.
- Cherl Johnson at NELA Live was hyperlocal before it was cool.
- Realty Thoughts links in.
- ImmobilienPortale drops in from Germany.
- The Carnival of Real Estate joins in.
- The R Team has a project of its own in the works.
June 21, 2007
Every weblog has to have a first post, and this is ours. As time goes on, we’ll use this space to track upgrades to the text of the book. For now, the real action is over in the sidebar. Use it, enjoy it, and use the comments, there or here, to let us know what could be improved.