One of the things that I always caution new real estate bloggers (or any business blogger in general) is that the success of your blog is dependent on your ability to develop fresh content, consistently. It’s a commitment that if met, over time, achieves results.
With that in mind, here are some things to ask yourself BEFORE launching a new business blog…
1. Do you really need a blog?
As I said, blogging takes a certain level of commitment (time and energy). For some people, it takes 2-3 hours (sometimes more) to crank out one good blog post. To do that consistently and over time, requires a certain level of dedication. Some people can do it. Others, can’t.
Sometimes, blogging isn’t for you and that’s ok. You can do something different like Renee Kische did with accesshollywoodrealestate.com.
2. Who do you want to reach with your blog (who’s your target audience)?
This is something that you should identify for yourself before-hand to give yourself a bit of a sense of direction. Here’s what you do: identify your ideal client (who do you want to do business with), and write as if you’re speaking to him/her. You are going to attract the type of audience that you’re writing your content for. So it’s important to identify that audience before you launch.
3. What is the goal of your blog? (What’s your “Call To Action”)
A blog can help you successfully increase your visibility (by ranking in search, by getting shared through social networks and more). But…and this is a big BUT. What are you going to do with that traffic once you get it? Phrased another way, what is it that you want your site visitors to take action on once they get there?
Do you want them to subscribe to your newsletter? Then make sure it’s displayed prominently.
Do you want them to call you direct? Then you’d better make sure your phone number is quickly accessible.
What’s your “Call to Action” and are you communicating it well enough?
4. How much time are you ready to commit?
You know that saying: “Time is money.” Well, if that’s your way of thinking, then you want to assess early on how much time you’re willing to commit to your efforts. For some people, it takes several hours to craft a good post. Multiply that number by 2-3 times per week and you have a commitment. Can you do it?
If you can, then you’re ready to move forward. An editorial calendar might come in handy in getting you prepared along the way.
5. What blogging platform is right for you?
You have a couple of different options when it comes to deciding on a blogging platform: Typepad.com, WordPress.com, Blogger and the self-hosted version of WordPress (which is what we recommend). You’ll want to investigate the pros and cons of each before you decide on one as they all have differing benefits/features. But in a nutshell, Typepad and Blogger are the solution for those that don’t have high-end technical and design skills. If you want complete control of your site (to customize and do with as you please, you’ll want to go with the self-hosted version of WordPress).
In terms of choosing a domain, here are a few rules to follow:
- Buy a domain so that you’re branding yourself and not the blogging platform that you’ve chosen (for ex: yoursite.typepad.com)
- Choose a name that’s memorable (rather than long),
Pasadenaviews.com is shorter and more memorable than PasadenaCaliforniaRealEstateHomesforSale.com. Catch my drift?
6. How are you planning to promote your blog?
Do you have an email list to share your new blog with? Perhaps you have a mailer that goes out monthly and you can share the site url that way? Are you going to buy Google Ads? Do you plan on sharing your blog and driving traffic through social media?
Whatever method you decide on it’s going to cost you one of two things (if not both): Time & Money.
It’s a good idea to lay down a plan of attack early on so that when you launch your blog, you’re ready to start promoting it through the right avenues to start generating traffic.
7. How are you going to measure results?
I’ve talked about this before in my post: Starting with the Basics. Basically, you want to ask yourself the following:
You won’t see results over night but if you lay the proper foundation, you’ll see results sooner than later.
Over to You:
Have you launched a blog recently (if so, what’s the url)? What are some of your existing challenges? If you’ve been at this for a while, what would you consider to be some of your successes and failures? Look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments 🙂