Why Your Blog Will Fail in 2011

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with ActiveRain

If you are new to blogging, or maybe you just got started in 2010, this is for you (although even if you've been at it a while and aren't having the success you wished for, this could help as well). We've been at this since 2006 and have seen thousands of potential bloggers come and go. Here are a few things I see continually that prevent people from making their blog a successful business tool.

You won't stick with it long enough to get momentum.

Before we launched ActiveRain, we ran a real estate company with about 150 agents in Washington state. The number one reason someone was unsuccessful with a marketing initiative is because they weren't willing to stick it out long enough. Talk to anyone that has successfully farmed a neighborhood and they will tell you that sending out a postcard once a month for three months isn't going to cut it. You have to be consistent over a long period of time. The same thing is true of your online marketing efforts. Unfortunately, most of you won't write ten posts and then have a consumer contact you and ask you to help them find a home (although I've heard of some members getting hooked because one of their first posts landed them a client, this is the exception, not the rule). You have to commit to continually writing in your blog so that your reach becomes wider and wider. Each new post you write has the potential to be found by hundreds of potential clients.

 

You won't have a plan.

If you start blogging and you are able to write about something a few times a week because a great idea pops in your head, then congratulations to you. You are not an average real estate blogger. An average real estate blogger gets on their computer and stares at the screen waiting for an idea to materialize. That will get old really fast. Consider creating a plan for how you blog.

Maybe your plan would look something like:

Once a week write a post about a neighborhood, condo complex or sub-division in my market
Once a week write a blog post answering a question posed to me by one of my clients or potential clients
Once a week write a blog post about a local business in my market. Use this post as an opportunity to get out and meet the local business person that owns this business.
Once a week write a blog post about an event happening in my community
Once a week write a blog post about something for which I am passionate.
Once a month do market reports for five areas of my market

It doesn't matter what your specific plan is.......it only matters that you have one.

 

You'll only write about real estate.

Usually, people want to work with someone they like. If all you do is post your listings and market reports, no one actually gets a chance to know you. If you write about other things in your life for which you have passion, people get a better chance to know the real you. Write about your church, your family, your hobbies. Give your reader a chance to connect on a more personal level with you as a person. Sure they want someone that knows the market, is sure to get them a good deal and is capable of handling their most expensive purchase in their life, but they also want to work with someone that shares common values, has passion and shows they are human.

The other benefit of writing about non-real estate related stuff is it gives you a chance to write about stuff you like. That's really important if you want to avoid our first issue, keeping the momentum going. If all you do is write about real estate, it quickly becomes a J-O-B. Blogging should be a part of your marketing effort, but it shouldn't be something you dread doing. By mixing in some personal stuff that you like, you'll find it easier to write that next business generating post. You'll also be surprised when your clients say they really connected with you when you wrote about.......(fill in the blank with 'your family', 'your church', 'your dog', 'your hunting trip'......)

 

You don't understand how to write efficient posts that rank well in the search engines.

Many of our members had to learn this the hard way, through trial and error. If you've been around here for any significant amount of time, you know this. However, today we have ActiveRain University. ARU is a weekly webinar series hosted by our blog trainer Steven Graham. During the webinars Steven teaches you how to write blog posts that rank well in the search engines. You can click here to find the ActiveRain University Training Calendar. Once you start to rank well in the search engines, potential clients will begin to find your blog posts. If you never learn this, you will give up because your blog will not earn you business. This one is really important and I would encourage everyone to take the SEO class offered every Tuesday.

 

You'll rate your blogging efforts solely based on how many transactions you close.

I know some people are going to disagree with this one, especially the high D's in the group. How many transactions you close because of your blog is something you will want to track to know how efficient you are. However, if that's all you consider, you are missing a large piece of the equation. One of the best parts of ActiveRain is the sharing that occurs. Use your blog as a way to get feedback from other members on things you are considering trying in your business. Our members give amazing feedback and are always willing to share what's working for them. Leverage that to make yourself a better marketer. There is no need to recreate the wheel. If you are considering implementing something in your business, reach out to the community and ask for advice. Someone here has tried it and will be able to offer suggestions as well as be able to help you identify potential pitfalls before they occur. In most cases there will be many someones willing to help.

 

You offer great information, but you have no calls to action or ways to generate leads.

This one deserves a blog post to itself and will get one soon. However, the idea is that you probably aren't making it easy for clients to get what they ultimately want from you, information about homes for sale. Or, when you do give them that information, you have no way of capturing their information so they become a prospect to which you can market. Leads are the name of the game for successful real estate agents. If you look at the majority of the folks doing over 50 transactions a year still, they will have a portion of their business generated from online leads. The ability to generate these leads from your blog has everything to do with how strong your IDX provider is and how capable your IDX is of allowing you to capture leads on your site. If you have a strong IDX provider, then you have to understand how to create links and buttons within your posts that allow you to be the most efficient at capturing leads. I wrote a post about the correct way to link which goes into much greater detail.

Posted by

Bob Stewart
ActiveRain Ambassador

 

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Comments (129)

Ann Dail
Baton Rouge Area Homes, Louisiana, USA, 225-761-0551 - Baton Rouge, LA
Broker/Realtor,CRS, ePRO, SRS, B.A.Chem

This is an awesome post.  So much great information in each paragraph.  I still have a long way to go.  You inspired me to sign up for Active Rain University.  And thanks for your kind comments on my blog.

Jan 12, 2011 09:09 AM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Bob - I have gotten numerous clients through my ActiveRain blogs and KNOW that it works!

Jan 14, 2011 09:45 AM
Kim Inman
Mountains to Lakes Real Estate, Inc. - Harriman, TN
CRS, Broker/Owner

Great information Bob...I'm signing up for Tuesday's University.  New to this blogging, I want to make sure I'm getting the most benefit that I can get.

Jan 28, 2011 01:22 AM
Pam Jank
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty - Coeur d'Alene, ID
Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro

Great advice Bob.   It doesn't work unless you keep at it on a regular basis.

Feb 09, 2011 05:37 AM
CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

Great tips!!! I'm a fan! If you apply to what people are telling you that works! Do IT! Just do it!!! It's just that simple....

Feb 14, 2011 08:37 PM
Doug Bullwinkel
Envoy Mortgage,NMLS ID 6666 - Sacramento, CA
Mortgage Loan Originator NMLS #281609

A lot of really good ideas here to keep things moving forward.  Thanks for the tips.  I  will be working on these.

Mar 23, 2011 06:06 PM
Jeffry Evans
Temple, TX

This is good, I was thinking about disagreeing with you on judging your activerain involvement solely by the number of transactions you close, but getting exposure to other top real estate professionals and opportunities to network are fantastic for future business.

Mar 30, 2011 02:07 AM
Mona Gersky
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC - Sylva, NC
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.

Bob - I read the title of your blog as if you were throwing down the gauntlet and daring me to pick it up.  I thought, how dare you tell me that I'll fail. So...moral of the story? Use a engaging title and never judge a story by the title!  Great points.  I'm still so new at this, it might take me a few minutes to figure out how to save this! Thanks.

Mar 31, 2011 04:39 PM
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker
RVA Home Team - Richmond, VA
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.

Thanks for a great read. I am still working things out and really do need to watch the University videos.

Apr 03, 2011 01:46 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Wow, you've said a mouthful and there are lots of bloggers, new and not so new, who oughta read this. It's easy to get frustrated quickly if you are not having success, and being realistic in your expectations is important. Commitment plays a huge role, too, IMO.

Apr 03, 2011 01:47 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Wow, you've said a mouthful and there are lots of bloggers, new and not so new, who oughta read this. It's easy to get frustrated quickly if you are not having success, and being realistic in your expectations is important. Commitment plays a huge role, too, IMO.

Apr 03, 2011 01:47 PM
Mike Bolaski
Coldwell Banker - 1000 Palms, CA

Great tips! I love how this site has a wealth of information for us newbies to help keep us motivated and in motion. Truly the place to be online if you're in real estate. Glad I discovered AR.

Apr 25, 2011 09:38 PM
Sid Ackerman
Beach and River Homes - Andrews, SC
Realtor and REO/investor specialist.

A lot of great info to consider, thanks.

Jun 07, 2011 12:14 PM
Sid Ackerman
Beach and River Homes - Andrews, SC
Realtor and REO/investor specialist.

A lot of great info to consider, thanks.

Jun 07, 2011 01:33 PM
Annie Price
Show Appeal Real Estate - Cave Creek, AZ
Licensed Realtor - Serving Cave Creek, Carefree, Scottsdale

Thanks so much for this post...just what I needed to get my head in the game.

Jul 07, 2011 05:46 AM
Annie Price
Show Appeal Real Estate - Cave Creek, AZ
Licensed Realtor - Serving Cave Creek, Carefree, Scottsdale

Thanks so much for this post...just what I needed to get my head in the game.

Jul 07, 2011 05:46 AM
Bud & Beth McKinney
RE/MAX UNITED - Cary, NC
Cary/Raleigh/Apex NC - The Team That Cares, RE/MAX United

Thank you So much for this post Bob. I have been blogging for awhile now, but it just didn't seem to be going so great at first. Now that I have gotten the hang of it, I wish i had this a couple years back when I started. Would have helped out a lot!

Jul 09, 2011 06:04 AM
Karen Eddinger
RE/MAX On The Lake - Seattle, WA
Relocating to Seattle?

Thanks, Bob.  Your continuing advice and support is invaluable.  We are all very lucky to have AR and you!

Sep 06, 2011 05:33 PM
Steve Queen
Bennett Realty Solutions - Bowie, MD
Chosen Realtor for Bowie And Laurel

Great Information!!

Sep 19, 2011 01:06 AM
Robert Haynes
Robert Haynes & Associates - Fishers, IN

Fantastic article.  This was good info as I am just getting started.  Thanks I look forward to more articles from you

Aug 28, 2012 12:39 PM