You heard you need a blog. You heard it’s the magical marketing wave of the future. You won’t be successful unless you write on the internet. Everyone says it; it must be true. So you went and got one. Now you’ve got a blog.
You’ve written 5 posts in three months. You looked at your Google Analytics and if you’re reading it right you average 3 viewers per day; although one time you had 16 viewers in one day. But it’s possible you’re reading it wrong; you’re not really sure.
You don’t get it. Everyone has been telling you, ‘if you build it, they will come.’ So where are the dang baseball players? You mowed down this whole cornfield and built this stadium and where the heck is everyone???
Well here’s the hard truth: In blogging not only do you have to build it, but you have to build it again and again regularly. If you’re not posting 3-5 times a week, the general public has no hope of finding you. And here’s an even harder truth: Even that is not enough.
The thing is, five years ago you could build a real estate blog and regularly post decent content and at the end of the day walk away with a reasonable audience. Now… well now the word is out. Now everyone and his Cousin Janet knows a blog has the potential to generate business. So everyone and his Cousin Janet has a blog. This means there is too much competition for blogging to really be easy.
The game has advanced and if you want to be successful, you need to advance with it. Luckily, we already know the rules. We’ve learned and been mentored on the rules from the very beginning of our careers as real estate agents. The playing field is slightly more technologically advanced, but we’re savvy and can figure out how to play.
Let’s think back to Farming 101. How did that work? We had content (a mailer) that we wanted to disburse to the public. We had some kind of information we decided was useful or would make us stand out in some way. We didn’t just drop it on the corner and hope the wind would blow it to potential buyers and sellers, did we? No, we targeted a neighborhood or group we wanted to receive our information.
And what else was the big key to farming? Oh, that’s right: it has to be done often. People need several ‘touches’ to even realize you’re there, right? They won’t even look at your first mailer, but maybe by the 5th, they’ll know who you are. And if you keep doing it, then when they have a housing need, they’ll think of you.
Ah yes, well the internet and blogging works the same way, believe it or not. You start by creating your blog ‘content’, but that’s just the first step. From there:
1. Choosing your neighborhood – Who in the blogosphere are you looking to target? Is it local people? Mommy bloggers? Foodies? What types of other bloggers might be interested in your content AND be able to use your services? Figure this out so you’ll know who to look for.
2. Sending out your mailer – Seek out and read the blogs of these people. Comment on their blogs. Let them know you’re reading their content and entice them to come see yours.
3. Systemize your regular mailing cycle – One comment isn’t going to do it any more than one mailer does. Keep track of who you’re commenting on and how often. Give yourself a minimum number of comments per blog before you take one off your list. If after the first comment they may visit your blog once; after the third, they might feel like you are reading them regularly and reciprocate. Don’t let this be a random chance encounter, make it your job, just like you do your farm mailers.
In the blogging world, we call this ‘Creating Community’. If you do it enough, it will snowball on its own, just like with farming. A homeowner you’ve been mailing to for years tells her sister how good you are and then you get a call. That’s how it all works, right?
See, it’s not so different from what we already know. It’s not easy, but hey, if it was, everyone would be doing it, right?
Photo credit: cwwycoff1 on Flickr. CC Licensed.