8 Common Mistakes Made By Real Estate Bloggers

In putting together Rain City Guide with Anna, I think we’ve made every blogging mistake that is possible… [photopress:lots_of_banners.jpg,full,alignright]In the spirit of learning from our mistakes, here are the top 8 mistakes that are made by real estate bloggers:

  • Mistake #1: Posting your listings. Treat your blog as a community resource and you will be rewarded. Treat it as an advertisement, and you will be unread.
  • Mistake #2: Too much stuff on the front page (See photo on the right!). In a previous iteration of Rain City Guide I noticed that the site was slow because I was asking users to load too much stuff when all they really wanted was the content! I’ve cleaned up the interface and I feel much better about the site.
  • Mistake #3: Create multiple blogs. Except for Jonathan Miller, I’ve never seen a good real estate blogger who could keep more than one blog interesting to read.
  • Mistake #4: Using a generic theme. Take the time to personalize the theme of your blog. Simple steps like adding your photo, editing the header graphic and changing around the colors can make a huge difference.
  • Mistake #5: Not reading other blogs. I built the original blog for Anna before I began reading other real estate blogs. No one ever linked to that site because I never linked to anyone else. Unless you were one of the originals, you won’t be able to get away with this and expect anyone to read your blog.
  • Mistake #6: Too much self-promotion. I stop reading blogs that include a paragraph about the author’s exceptional services at the bottom of every post (especially if this paragraph is filled with links!). Again, unless you were one of the originals, you can’t get away with this and expect anyone to read your blog.
  • Mistake #7: Expecting people to comment just because you asked a question. If you want a response out of your readers, you really have to make it interesting. Before asking a question, make sure you’re providing some content that is going to provoke them to respond!
  • Mistake #8: Writing a post inspired by another blogger without linking to them. The temptation to keep readers on your site is great, but the benefits of being a good linker are even greater!

As always, I’m interested in your feedback ๐Ÿ˜‰ , and would be interested to hear if people could add two more so that we could come with a even ten.

91 thoughts on “8 Common Mistakes Made By Real Estate Bloggers

  1. I’ve been reading this blog for a couple months now and the content has been pertinent and very informative. So, thank you! But, on the flip side, that’s what I’ve become accustomed to here on the Rain City Guide. So, staying consistent with the content and posting regularly are key for me. Over times I end up removing feeds from sites that don’t post or are off of the reason I initially added them in the first place.

    However, if you wish to do a schedule, don’t post for the sake of posting (you don’t do this now, so don’t worry). In addition, don’t let the quality go down because you said “I’m going to blog each day of the week”. News paper columnists write maybe an article or two a day, but that’s their job ๐Ÿ˜‰ Right? So, a couple times a week is cool with me, but with the powerhouse staff you have here, I doubt that the quality or the posing regularity will go down any time soon.

    Overall, good stuff you’ve listed here. Yes, the button mania is pretty out of control, but I come for the content and just turn a blind eye to all of those catchy buttons.

  2. On a related note, one of the things I’ve wondered about is how much RSS button flair should my search results page have? You obviously need the orange RSS badge, but what about the others? Do people really use the add to my AOL or newsgator buttons? What sites or apps do people use to read their RSS feeds. Comments from the peanut gallery?

  3. Robbie,

    That’s an interesting question. In reality, the RSS feed of listings will probably only be useful to someone who knows RSS well enough to figure things out, so the simple RSS button is probably enough. But I’m not sure… Can you tell from your log files which services people are using to subscribe to different real estate feeds? I know that my log files for RCG give me information on the number of people subscribed via bloglines, newsgater, etc.

  4. Ryan,

    Great points and thanks for the complements on Rain City Guide! You mentioned a few things that definitely made me go “of course I should have added those to the list”. Keeping content informative AND consistent is critical!

  5. I just thought of one more that definitely should have been added…

    Mistake #9: Not responding to comments!

    I can’t believe how many real estate bloggers let interesting conversation die because they simply do not respond to a comment on a post. If someone goes out of their way to comment on a post you’ve written, then you should definitely take some time to respond!

  6. I think the most important aspect to blogging is reading and bookmarking. after all that’s what it’s all about: weblogging. Dustin’s right. its really not about selling property, and i think that’s the greatest mistake we make as re bloggers. i think many of us are treating blogs as websites, but they’re totally different. you can sell re on a website, but not on a blog (at least not directly). most who read and love blogs read for intellectual stimulation. they dont expect direct marketing from a blog. i think it’s a turnoff. blogs are an aspect or outpost of our personalities and our intellectual individuality. in other words, who we read, what we read and why we read it. btw, rainycity is one of the more intellectualy sophisticated, which is why i think you guys have so much credibility and so much to offer. thank you

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  8. One way that you can get around the feed button mania is to create a special page to let people subscribe to the feed. So, you could have raincityguide.com/subscribe and list all of the different ways to subscribe to the feed there. You can then take some more time to explan what RSS is and why it’s good yadda yadda yadda. Also, keeping a single link to the main rss on the main page might not be a bad idea for the power users in the group. Thoughts?

  9. Ryan,

    That’s a great idea and would almost definitely work for RCG. I’m not sure how well that will work for Robbie in that the home search tool has a virtually unlimited number of feeds that people can create.

    Robbie? What do you think? What if you had a special “subscribe” page that let people create a feed more intuitively. I’m thinking of a page where people could “see” the feed they were creating and adjust it as desired. I’m thinking of a page like del.icio.us’ tagrolls, but with an RSS feed creator instead of a javascript creator.

    Having a subscribe page on RCG is a great idea and I’ve just added it to my ToDo list…

  10. Mike,

    It is funny you mention Edgeio… because they represent the ONLY reason I could think of to break #3. The only reason I could think to create a second blog would be to take advantage of distributed listing tools like Edgeio.

    But in this case, I wouldn’t really view a “listing” blog as a “blog” since it would really just be another way to display listings and have very little to do with creating a meaningful blog.

  11. It’s no secret that writing about your business, expertise or passion is the reason you should be blogging in the first place but I’m not convinced that the majority of bloggers can successfully retain a recurrent audience if all of their posts are on the same subject. I say Mix it up a bit! Throw in a post about something entirely unrelated to the foundation of your blog. A working, successful example, at least in my opinion, is grow-a-brain.

  12. Dustin & Ryan,

    I like that idea, I can have 2 buttons. The RSS badge, and then another one for describing RSS and picking your feed reader. I’m trying to think of ways of conserving screen real estate.

  13. I took your advice Dustin….and cleaned up my blog. Got rid of a bunch of “garbage”. I also changed the layout and look. Was tired of the old one anyway….LOL!

    I still can’t seem to figure out how to upload my picture onto my profile on blogger.com. Anyone know how to do this??

  14. Only eight? I am sure we can think of two more to make it a nice 10 ๐Ÿ™‚

    I agree with one of the comments above that there is no need to update the blog daily for the sake of updating it daily. The RCG strikes a good balance by drawing from a healthy pool of smart contributors.

    As for #6, providing value and good content is the best promotion.

    I always think of this quote from BusinessWeek when I think of about blogging:

    ” … The divide between the publishers and the public is collapsing. Blogging turns mass media upside down. It creates media of the massesโ€ฆ

  15. Thanks Dustin! Here’s two more. 9} I think one of the critical elements to blogging is posting consistently. You’ve gotta post content regularly, whether its 1 post per day or or 3-4 posts per day, per business day, etc. If you are going to be away on vacation, tell your readers when to expect you back. Some sites that I used to frequent daily, have cut way back on content, making me think they are not as passionate about their site as before and so I lose interest. 10) Make the posts succinct – avoid rambling. Make your point and move on. I always have a hard time with that one and I break this rule about every day, but its something to shoot for. ๐Ÿ˜‰ and possibly – here’s 11) Consider reviewing your blog roll once per month. I add sites immediately when they strike a chord with me but be prepared to delete those you have lost interest in. The site may have changed or reduced their enthusiasm. Your readers will then consider your links to be reflective of whats important to you, rather than just linking to as many sites as you can.

  16. I offer a few more:

    mistake #11: Trying to be like other blogs especially publishing the same news of the “name” blogs in the mistaken belief that if you dont cover what the big boys cover you are not doing your blogger duty. Avoid this “newspaper mindset” like the plague.

    mistake #12: Trying too hard to fit the “definition” of what a blog “is” or “should be”. Instead, substitute the word “art” for blog. Push the envelope, please. be a blog that’s not a blog.

    mistake #13: Writing more than one post a week on zillow. How long can you all remain starstruck?

    mistake #14: for real estate blogs only: STOP with the building photos unless its the tulip building in dubai. They are extremely boring (sorry curbed)

    mistake #14 Being afraid to make mistakes.

    Keep it up RC – you found what appeals to a lot of people–intellectual content by knowledgeable contributors (who are great writers). Kudos

  17. Thanks for this post Dustin. I have been thinking about cleaning up my site for a while now and you finally gave me the push I needed. I’ve been struggling with the idea of having listing (even summary) information on my site and it always left a bad taste as that’s not what the blog should be about. I got rid of that crap and will be cleaning up the “button mania” today.
    LOTS OF OTHER GREAT COMMENTS!! THANKS EVERYONE

  18. Great post and comments on this topic! I just started reading this blog and wondered what took me so long to find it.

    Anyway, for #2 comment Robbie, I was told that the feedburner feed link will take care of all types of feeds that people use. Its an orange icon thingy, and links to a central page for your blog’s content with choices of other readers.

    I couldnt agree more with these mistakes that people are pointing out. As a blogger and real estate agent, I never advertise my own postings or services. Actually, I link out to other brokers listings that I find as great value or price reductions for my audience to see. Content is king in this business and I also agree with Jonathan Miller that it is kind of important to blog consistently. Maybe not everyday, but if you only blog once a week you just will not get the attention you otherwise might deserve.

    Its funny because my colleagues think Im wasting my time with my blog because it doesnt bring in business for me. What they dont understand is that I dont care! I love blogging and love that I can offer buyers/sellers of nyc real estate tips that they can learn from. In the end, your blog will only succeed if you make it clear, concise, visually user friendly, not ALL about you, and educational! Again, like JM said, dont ramble! Get to the point you are trying to make and move on!

  19. to udigs:

    I see nothing wrong with you posting your listing. Who made this rule? and who elected them to be rulemakers? If you have a blog you have a readership who knows who you are (maybe-hey grunt). why cant a blog be both entertaining and a business? The big blogs (those with traffic) take advertising which puts money in their pockets. But they dont define the genre. dont let anyone tell you what you should do with YOUR blog. So mistake” #15: Don’t be Blogstruck!

    On regular posting—I disagree w/ J. Miller only because he is one of the few (incl.RC) who can produce quality on a regular basis. If you’re not of that unique ilk dont post for the sake of posting. Better a few brilliant posts than a daily dose of so so stuff. Content is not king. Quality is king.

    do not assume clear & concise is what everyone wants. If you’re a stream of consiousness rambler go ahead and blog. Why should you care? not everyone appreciates Henry Miller

  20. 3 cents,

    You bring up a fun point that seems obvious in retrospect. The “mistakes” that I list are really just my experience of what does *not* work… However, the whole concept of business blogging is so new that the “rules” are still being determined and I doubt they will ever be formalized.

    Maybe it is time for a “10 things that work in real estate blogging” post in which case creativity would be extremely high on my list.

  21. 3 Cents:

    Wow…you gang up on me like I personally insulted you. First off, I DO NOT believe that your blog should be your in your business marketing plan for exclusives. Readers of my blog do not come there for new listing. They come for tips to help them maximize their profit on NYC real estate.

    I also disagree that QUALITY IS KING! Content IS King on the net I just think you interpret that differently. When I say content is king it means that what you post actually has relevance to people in the market you are targeting; in my case buyers/sellers of NYC real estate. After all, how do you define Quality? If I define quality on your terms than Im sure half my posts are useless and should never be posted. Yet I find that the range of topics I cover appeal to most of my readers as they try to educate themselves on an area they might not have been so informed on.

    Clear and concise is important! Who wants to read a post that has NO POINT! Its funny to me how you say QUALITY is KING and then you say CLEAR & CONCISE is not important and no what everyone wants! Doesnt make sense to me.

    Im not fighting with you here, just disagreeing. Im not a stream of consciousness blogger and I blog about what I experience out in the field with my clients. Real Life! It makes for great content I think.

    Why should I care? Well take my words out of context and you can apply this phrase to anything. I do NOT care about colleagues that think Im wasting my time. I like what I do and I like blogging and educating people.

    I think what Dustin says is correct and real estate bloggers should try to stick to these ‘rules’, or ‘ideas’, or ‘opinions’ or whatever you want to call it, because it will make the blog more popular and help it grow like it should

  22. To Digs
    It’s funny how mere words create an impression in the reader, especially if directed to them Usually the impression is negative. Go figure human nature. I was in NO WAY ganging up on you (ganging up implies others have done so & none have), NOR was I taking anything you said as an insult to me (how could it be–you posted first :). In many ways I agree with you. Go with what YOU believe, not what i believe or others. My point was –what works for you and your audience (if you can define it & wish to play to them ) is what you should do–not what others say you should do. A mistake for me does not mean it’s a mistake for you. My concern is that rules should not be hard and fast. hence my post–sorry it was not concise.
    Re: content vs. quality. Here we disagree only because we define the terms differently. To me, content is stuff, words, filling the page, posting for the sake of posting yadda yadda yadda. Quality is nondescript–like beauty, dependent on the beholder. So to some– concise is not beauty or quality (unless its haiku) and a rambler is what rocks the socks (see Henry Miller).
    In concluz Digs, keep on bloggin- take no offense & disagree for freedom’s sake.
    Your friend and constant supporter
    3 cents

  23. 3 cents:

    As Ron Burgundy said when he was told that San Diego actually meant Saint Diego……”Agree to disagree”

    No offense taken! Thanks for the discussion..and blog on!

    Noah

  24. This is slightly off-topic (as I’m not insulted, mad or disagreeing with the above posts!), but I just received an email from a “Virtual Real Estate Assistant”, offering her services to establish a blog for me. Her offer? “I will create and maintain your Blog. Link it to your websites. Incorporate RSS feeds. Update it weekly. You don’t need to do a thing” and she offers some examples of her services on her website, My Real Estate Assistant. I checked out several of her examples, and of course, they have the same entries, just adjusted for each locale.

    What is the point of a canned blog!?! I wonder how many naive agents responded to her ad for these services? This company (and many more) will never go out of business as long as there are desperate and hungry agents out there floundering about and searching for leads.

  25. Marlow,

    That is really odd but to be expected. The cost of blogging is time (not money) and if you’re not willing to dedicate time to blogging, you might as well just build a standard website!

  26. I have a bit of a different take on the “Virtual Assistant Blogging for you” thing. If the VA has clients in different states, and each of those clients serves a unique demographic, what’s wrong with the VA providing turn-key content for each?

    So long as the content relates to real estate and is of use to the REALTOR’S readers, I suggest there’s nothing wrong with it. It only becomes a problem when the VA posts identical content for clients in the same geographical region, or when the content itself is of no use to the reader.

    I wouldn’t go so far as Marlow did in knocking this particular VA, who happens to provide compelling content for his or her clients in different areas of the country.

  27. Dear Mikal,

    You have a little button up at the top of your own blog that asks “What’s a Blog?” On that it states: “…a Blog is a frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.”

    Not someones else’s personal thoughts….. It just seems weird to me that someone would hire someone else to write their blog for them. It’s like hiring a ghost writer for a diary.

    My comment was not a personal attack on the Virtual Assistant. Good luck to her. I’m more critical of the person who wants to have a blog but wants someone else to write it for them. But if that’s the way they choose to spend their money, that’s certainly their right to do so.

  28. Mikal,

    I’d agree with you that there is nothing wrong with selling someone this service. (I’m definitely in favor of people’s right to fill a void wherever they find one!) But I just can’t imagine this type of solution gaining much traction with users.

    I just read through the site for the first time and the woman running the operation seems pretty reasonable and doesn’t appear to be making any outrageous claims (like this type of solution will increase your Google ranking!). So, I’m all in favor of her filling the void because I’m sure a lot of agents would pay for this type solution to blogging. However, it definitely seems like a solution that plays to an agent’s gullibility as oppose to their intellect…

  29. While I agree with Marlow, one of the problems a professional has in establishing a blog, is the “company they keep”. I have a blog with Internet Crusade and they are connected to the Real Estate Industry. I want to set up a blog that is in a place that is easier for the public to reach. I just went to TypePad to set up a new blog on Real Estate Issues Only and there was a list of “Hot” new blogs on the page. I clicked on one titled “Go Flock Yourself” or something like that and there was a curse word right at the top of the page.

    As a professional, I can’t associate with a generic blog format that has drugs and curse words, etc available through my blogging trail.

    I expect the answer is to get my blog domain set up…but where? The services calling me to do such things want to auto feed the posts. I cannot find a blog service that is simply a domain hosting and blog technology without being tied to auto posts or some other blogger cursing his head off.

    Mistake # whatever…blogging with the wrong place…

    I’m very frustrated.

  30. Ardell,

    Don’t get too frustrated… I’d be happy to set you up with a personal blog. It’s really not hard (and I’ll keep the curse words on the site to a minimum!).

    One of the best solution is to use the host that I use for Rain City Guide: InMotionHosting. These guys have been wonderful to me and the few times that I’ve called and/or emailed technical support (mostly just to find out about expanding my service), they have picked up the phone in under 3 rings and/or emailed me back within 15 minutes. Their technical support is awesome. Plus they have a one-click install of wordpress (runs RCG), so setting up a blog takes only a few minutes. This option is very reasonably priced. (I pay $8/year for the domain name (www.raincityguide.com) and $120/year for hosting the site). That’s it. There are no other fees involved.

    Another great option (and even quicker) is to sign up for an account at WordPress.com. These guys offer a hosted version of WordPress which has the benefit that you will never have to worry about upgrading software (they do it for you!) and this option is free.

    There are two great options neither of which will leave you pulling your hear out!

  31. A bonus of using WordPress is that you can start with any of the hundreds of themes that are made freely available. This site lists a bunch of them (use the pull-down menu to see the awesome variety), but there are even more than that available.

    To create the current theme for Rain City Guide, I simply took the Regulus theme, changed the colors, modified the layout a tiny bit, and added some photos.

  32. Ardell,

    Buy a domain name at godaddy for $9.xx a year. Then buy a basic Apache host for $44 a year (for this amount you can afford at least 10MB/mo bandwidth, 450MB space, PHP suport). Then install WordPress (which is free) and you’re set. The whole procdure (after hosting is set) will probably take max 20 minutes for the person that knows what she/he is doing. If you would like I can point you to the host I’m shopping at all the time.

  33. I already bought SearchingSeattleBlog.com

    I’m thinking SearchingSeattle.com will be my, (Ardell’s) primary website (looking differently eventually) and SearchingSeattleBlog.com will be the complementary blogsite.

    You godda prolem wid dat? LOL Seriously…does that work before I implement it the way Dustin and Max and others are suggesting?

  34. Oh, I haven’t read Dustin’s suggestion.. kinda jumped in unswering to da last comment :)lol $120 a year is a little bit to much for a real estate blog – I’m paying only $55 for may directory and I had over 150K unique visitors in Feb. …well, I don’t have MLS Search though.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. I’m already paying $250 a quarter for hosting of the mls Search site SearchingSeattle.com

    SearchingSeattleBlog.com would be separate and in addition to, but $120 a year is clearly not a big deal. I’m more concerned with not having to know how to write in html

  36. Hey Dustin

    Found a another mistake for you:

    Do NOT put links to sites which ask you to pay for a subscription to see the article without first saying it links to a subscription page.

  37. Have to agree with you 3 cents…

    and taken a step further, if you are going to discuss something behind a subscription wall, don’t assume others are going to be able to read it… In other words, quote the relevant text!

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  39. I don’t agree with some of the suggestions you make. I think that you should post some of your listings on your blog since this is part of the reason for a real estate blog. Pictures are what people are looking for on blogs and sites, so lots of pictures is good too.

    Otherwise, your comments are well taken.

    Thanks for a great blog,
    Mark

  40. I’ve been casually keeping a real estate blog for a while and find myself guilty of all the classic mistakes. I’m glad to have run into this list.
    When I started blogging I hoped to involve some other related professsions to join in the discussion. Lenders, home inspectors, appraisers etc. At the time I didn’t have any takers, but perhaps it’s time to try again.
    Blogging about real estate without feedback from readers is a lonely game – but I have a little more motivation and insight now.

  41. Hi There!

    Could you explain what is wrong with posting listings on a real estate blog? I am a realtor in Downtown Vancouver, BC and our MLS doesn’t allow us to add links to video tours and limits us to 8 pictures. I make an effort to get as much as I can on my website, but I find the blog is good to add very detailed information.

    Looking forward to your response

  42. Mike,

    We covered that exact topic in more detail in a follow up post:
    Revolutionize Your Business in Only 3 Days with Blogging!

    In summary, I think there is definitely a need to have a place to expand on a listing beyond what can be written in the MLS. But (1) it is so easy to put that type of information in a much more impressive website and (2) by putting it on your blog, you’ll turn a lot of readers off.

    The most important thing with blogging is to keep your material interesting, and unless it is a truly spectacular home, it is likely not all that interesting of a blog topic.

  43. Hey Mike, I particularly like the picture of you in the mirror taking a picture of the bathroom! I think your listings on the blog look just fine intermixed with posts. And WOW! gorgeous listings they are. Fab furnishings. Are they staged?

    Where’s that photo expert? How do we take pictures in a bathroom without showing ourselves in the mirror? I’ve laid down in the bathtub or crouched down on the floor…how do you do it?

  44. Your blog has been on my “must read list for some time ”
    watching or rather reading the growth of a project as good as this one is worth the time spent – jayson mirchin, real estate broker ,new york,

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  46. Hi Mike, I am so new to real estate and even newer to blogs – just heard of them yesterday. I feel lucky to have come across this blog so early. I work on a real estate team and initially came aboard as a home stager with a dormant RE license in a town with seemingly dozens of agents when the lightbulb turned on and I thought I’d jump in and join them. Something else I came across early is http://www.realestateshows.com. They are so much fun to create and only take minutes. You can see a sample on my site – it is $125 per year and you can create unlimited shows – they then immediately send you links with branding as well as links with no branding that some MLS’s require. I use them in place of virtual tours and have had clients phone me with tears in their eyes – I am not kidding. You can also create tours of your town and of youth programs, etc. They are fun to do. Take a look! Also, post on my blog! mary-mcdonald.blogspot.com

    Good Luck

  47. Interesting Mary… Another (free) option is to have Google host the videos you create. Assuming you’re using a PC then Windows Movie Maker comes installed with XP and on a Mac you can use iMovie. Both of them make for easy creation of simple movies and/or slidshows.

    To see some of the home videos I’ve been making lately, check out my personal site I use to test out stuff: http://tyr.blogspot.com/

  48. I’m just getting started with my blog and the 8 points you make are great advice. You’re blog is informative and the information is timely. Thanks!
    (do you know where I can get more advice on how to improve my blogs traffic? Thanks in advance for the help.)

  49. Michael,

    I’ve got so many ideas on improving traffic, it would be hard to know where to start… But here are the basics:

    1) Be interesting
    2) Try to put a link out to another site with each post.

    The first thing is obvious… If you want people to read your blog, then you’ve got to make your posts worth reading.

    The second thing is much more subtle… By linking out, and in particular by linking to other real estate bloggers, you’ll get the attention of others as they quickly learn that you are making a good-hearted effort to be part of the “online real estate community”.

  50. I use “link out” to mean linking to another webpage (and/or file). There is a hard answer to this and an easy answer. The hard answer is that you have to use HTML code that is described in this cheatsheet from Webmonkey. The easy answer is that all blogging platforms will create this HTML code for you.

    Using WordPress (the platform that powers RCG), you need to:
    1) Copy the URL of the page that you want to link to…
    2) Return to the blog post you are writing and highlight the text that you want to form a link (If this comment were a blog post, then I would have highlighted “HTML code that is described in this cheatsheet from Webmonkey” from the link above)
    3) Click on the “link” button (this will open up a pop-up menu)
    4) Type in the URL of the page you copied in step 1 into the pop-up menu.
    5 Click “Okay”

  51. I’d like to start writing a blog about my town, Santa Fe.

    I’m in real estate here.

    I haven’t the faintest idea as to how to get started.

    Can you give me some tips on where to get the information I new to get started?

    Thanks

    David

  52. David,

    That’s a loaded question since there are so many options and there is such a big difference between good and bad real estate blogging. I recommend starting with Blogger (it’s free and a great place to learn) and start reading lots and lots of other bloggers. When you find a blog you really like, ask them what tools they are using to blog.

  53. Great list!

    I would add that some real estate blogs I see have very little original content but instead simply reprint news articles and other info from outside sourecs. While I do also sometimes post local news articles of interest when I deem them worthy, I think it’s important that a real estate blogger be able to form unique opinions and communicate those opinion effectiveley, or at least add commentary or contaext to external info being used.

    Thanks!
    Steve

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  55. I’m just starting to blog myself. But it was my belief that blog content was for the end user(customer), not fellow real estate professionals. To that end, I have been adding articles from the California Assoc of Realtors and information such as tip and tricks for buyers and sellers. I’ve been taking this online Free course on SEO at http://www.gnc-web-creations.com/website-training.htm and they recommend blogging for business. But the content should be added with the user in mind (ie buyer or seller). Thats my take on it.

    Of course I’m willing to listen to other points of view.

    Jerry

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  58. Ted,

    It really depends on what you want to do with your blog and how integrated you want it with your site. I highly recommend that you begin with a test blog on WordPress.com. This is a free option that will give you a good idea of what is possible with blogging. See if you can keep up with posting at least a few items a week for a while (maybe a month or so) and assuming you’re reading lots of other blogs, you’ll then know what you features you want in a blog!

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  60. I peaked over there, Geordie. I think you should try to have at least one or two posts a week, even if all you do is a link to one of ours, or someone else’s, which shouldn’t take too long. You can write a sentence or two of your own and then the link.

    This way you don’t ever have more than a week between entries. Sometimes people don’t keep coming back if they don’t see something new at least once a week.

    I didn’t go back before March to see what the “reformation” was about. I’m not a big fan of the Big W/Big R pitch, which smacked me in the face, so I didn’t stick around long, but good luck to you!

  61. I would like to get the correct take on RSS feeds and if they are a boost to your blog or a detriment. There are a lot of ideas about this but is so confusing when trying to take it all in.

    Also, if one wants to set up a RSS fed blog where can one go to get step-by-step instructions to do so? I have been looking all over to find this vital info but to no avail as yet.

  62. I resonate with your message. I think what happens with blogging especially when you are new, you want your blog to stand out from the others. Also it’s hard at first just to know who your market is. Our real estate company tries to help people with foreclosures, distressed property sales and give people information. You’d be surprise how many realtors only like to list their most beautiful homes. But if everyone does that : what a bore? There is a website and blog for every different situation. I really think you have to know if your blog is for your customers. In our case we put some of our distressed homes on other bulletin boards and people do come by. But anyway, I understand where you’re coming from. I think one of the biggest challenges is to be who you are and create a blog which reflects what kind of relationship you want to have with your customers. I find most realtors have little time to just hang out and comment on everyday things; so the customer to me is most likely someone looking for a home or just browsing: I see nothing wrong with that. So what i do is give them what they want and in the event I just want to hang out and do social commentary I find great blogs like yours to do that.

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  64. Thanks for the info. I want to start my own own blog in the near future, so this information is great to have. Thanks for sharing!

    Joe Almirantearena
    Community Financial
    Mortgage Consultant

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  66. Pingback: mortgage training wiki » Blog Archive » Good posts on building blogs from around the net.

  67. Pingback: Confessions of a Shiftless Mind » Blogging Mistakes

  68. Pingback: Blogging Tips - 8 mistakes made by bloggers | RE Blog World Blog

  69. I just found this article in the search engines and noticed the comments started way back in 2006. It is amazing how true your first 8 rules still apply. There were some great additions to this article as well:

  70. This blog hit the spot! I agree with your 8 points…and I know there are more out there to consider…I am new to blogspot blogging so will have to learn a lot of how-tos and what-no-to-do…

  71. Blogging is a great way to express who you are to potential readers. Readers want to be entertained when they read. A good blogger needs to understand that people don’t like being sold too. They just need to inform their readers, and their readers will continue to read their posts.

    Walt

  72. Blogging is definitely a specialist’s job. Striking interest in the readers is quites a daunting task. I totally agree to the points mentioned in here. This will be an eye opener to many blogger who are new on the scene

  73. Hi Dustin,
    You are right about treating the blog as an advertisement and not being read. That infact is what my blog does. However, when I visit my customer’s homes, I leave a note on the invoice to look at my blog and search…(something that applies to the problem they have had). One day, my blog had 71 hits by noon!
    I’m a plumber/drain and sewer cleaner. My blog is for Wood’s Rooter Service.
    It may seem that you and I have no relevant content to give us a reason to back link with each other. However, in our writing, we use many of the same words. I.E., Bath, kitchen, property, commercial, residential, home…etc.
    Care to host a link for me. I’m developing my network. I did a blog in another venue for a few years. Wrote over 100 post and networked everyday.
    Shoot me an email or visit my blog
    jameseleasure@gmail.com
    woodsrooterservicemass.blogspot.com
    Thanks for taking this into consideration.
    And, btw, congrats on having a blog post that still surfaces after all of the time you have put into blogging.
    Jim Leasure

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