It’s no secret that blogging is a terrific way to build your clientele and your relationships. But a majority of Realtors out there are either not blogging at all or not blogging effectively. Here’s why, and what you can do to be a better blogger.
The main reason you’re not blogging well is probably because your third grade teacher (or some other scary authority figure) told you that you’d never be a writer. No, you probably won’t be this century’s Shakespeare. Few of us will. But you can certainly write well enough to be read by other perceptive adults, many of whom are—or will become—your clients. So if you lack confidence for whatever reason, the solution is simple: just start writing.
Artist and artistic coach Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, advises all her followers to write what she calls “morning pages” every day. Just pick up a simple, lined notebook and write two or three pages of whatever happens to come into your head. Do this as early as possible in the day, preferably first thing in the morning. Here’s the secret: what you write in these pages doesn’t matter at all. Matter of fact, it’s not even writing in the professional sense and we’d recommend that you don’t re-read what you’ve written. This kind of free writing does one simple thing for you: it clears your mind. It gets out all the junk (forgot to pick up the laundry; that client is ignoring my calls; Sammy is flunking algebra—again) and leaves your brain free to get organized and get creative.
Now you are ready for real writing. Here are four simple steps to creating a well-read blog:
- Headline it
- Focus on it
- Clean it up
- Ask for it
1. Headline it. Face it, no one will read your blog if the headline doesn’t pull them in. It’s like trying to fish without bait. Your headline has to make your reader curious, excited, tantalized, and wanting more. You can have the greatest copy in the world, but if you have a ho-hum headline, you still won’t get any readers. Even your regular followers (assuming you have some) still need to be persuaded to pay attention. That’s what your headline does. And it needs to play to the reader’s point of view. For example:
Not this: Take a Look at My Fantastic New Listing
This: Picture Yourself in This Fantastic View
Key point: it’s not about you, it’s about your reader.
2. Focus on it. Each blog should have one—and only one—key point. It’s not a diary, or a shopping list of ideas. Of course you can, and should, use the opportunity to link to earlier blogs or other places on your web site that have related content, but limit each blog to one idea. If you’re talking about market trends, go into detail about recent sales, inventory, and days on the market. Don’t get sidetracked into interest rate changes or open house suggestions. Keep yourself on track with an outline. Note the bullet points above. Create those bullet points before you begin and arrange them in appropriate order. Even if you want to move, add or subtract something as you write, you’ll still have a basic structure to follow.
3. Clean it up. If we had a nickel for every grammar, spelling, and punctuation error we spotted on the blogs and web sites we read—we’d be sunning ourselves on a beach somewhere, not writing this blog. You owe it to your readers to provide them with quality content. Poor grammar and spelling will turn off savvy clients and will not reflect well on your image as a professional. There’s an automatic spell check function in all word processing programs and on most blog service providers as well. Grammar may be a bit more challenging to check. MS Word will underline questionable grammar in green and often offer suggested changes. A safer bet may be one of the online grammar checkers, such as Grammarly (www.grammarly.com), which will give you a more comprehensive copy review.
4. Ask for it. Your readers may think you’re a fantastic blogger. They may be amused by your anecdotes, passionate about your prose. But it won’t matter if they don’t do anything as a result. You can’t just assume they will call you when they are ready to buy or sell. The well-known sales adage says you have to ask for the order. So ask. Ask them to subscribe to your email newsletter and offer a free report or tip sheet when they do. Ask them to log into your free webinar on getting your house ready for sale. Ask them to leave a comment or add an idea to whatever you are blogging about this week.
Then when they ask, respond. And do it quickly. Keep the contact alive and they will keep coming back for more.
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Blogging is a terrific way to build clientele. Here’s why, and what you can do to be a better blogger. http://t.co/5eLEcwEd8p
blogging…well i do a lot. I have a community blog with links to real estate on the side to attract future clients. The blog is Whats up Sleeping Bear which is a lot of post on area festivals, events, concerts, etc in the area. I have this blog on wordpress and it has a schedule for when I want the post to go live. They automatically are tweeted on 2 twitter sites. I seo some posts as much as possible. I have a blogger site and one that is linked to my website. SEO is important on each post to have it rank on page 1 of desired keywords.
Ryan Hart says
@Leelanau, love to see you post a link to your blog. I think blogs that provide local information like the one you mentioned are incredibly useful for potential clients. Thanks for sharing!