So you've decided (or have been told) that you need a blog. How do you get the most bang for the buck, and more importantly, the most bang for the time that needs to be invested?
The answer is by focusing on brand impact, effectively leveraging resources, and avoiding technical traps that can potentially negate all of your good work.
MAKING A POSITIVE BRAND STATEMENT
Much like your clothes and how you wear your hair make a statement about who you are, your blog makes a strong brand statement about your businesses.
As a professional in the real estate industry, when creating or looking to improve your blog, you will want to consider how the following three factors can enhance your professional brand:
- Helpful.Is your blog providing helpful information for your target audience? Too many times you see blog posts, articles, and videos that are very well-written, but they seem to be about issues that are important to the company (housing starts, interest rates, code changes), and don't hit what is valuable to their customers, such as how to help make it easier for them to take care of their home.
- Knowledgeable. Does your blog showcase you as being knowledgeable in your field?
- Reliable / Consistent. Does your blog reinforce your branding as being reliable and consistent? Or when they see your blog, do they see large time gaps, or worse, that it started strong, but now hasn't shown a new post in 6 months (or 6 years!).
YOURS, MINE, THEIRS
Not to burst anyone's bubble, but if your writing skills could get you nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, would you really be doing the job you're doing now? But a better question is given your current job and skills, should you really be spending hours and hours for researching and writing for your blog?
This is where leveraging your time by effectively using outside resources can be highly strategic. In other words, you don't need to be the writer of all of the content of your blog. But rather, like a talented DJ or MC, you can produce great music without always being the one who is playing the instruments. You will just want to be sure that the choices you make for your blog are helpful for your target audience and your choices also demonstrate your knowledge and insights.
THE IMPORTANT TECHNICAL STUFF
If you've done a good job creating a blog that makes a strong brand statement about your business and is effectively leveraging outside resources, the last thing you would ever want to happen is for all of your good work to be spoiled because you ignored important technical aspects of blogging.
First, NEVER put duplicate content in your blog (such as social media postings) unless they are inside of what's called an "iFrame." An iFrame is a type of webpage code that shields the content from search bots like Google. Google likes shared posts on social media, but absolutely HATES finding duplicate content on websites, and this can hurt your overall SEO. So if you are including content in your blog that is also posted on social media, be sure that this content is inside of iFrame tags. On the other hand, do NOT put your original content inside of iFrames, because this will hide your content from search engines, which is the opposite of what you want to do.
The above principles are the inspiration for what we used to develop the APPLICA Automated BLOG Widget, which enables real estate professional to create a BLOG on their website by just adding a couple of lines of code. Plus, the BLOG can include our automated Facebook Post-ables (custom home care tips, articles, and videos that are automatically posted on your Facebook business pages) so if you are ever too busy to post on your own, there won't be any time gaps on your BLOG.