For most, the most challenging element of blogging is clearly finding time and the act of pounding out an article. Even our clients, whom we train, and train and train some more on the best approaches to blogging find that keeping a consistent blogging pace is difficult to maintain.
So who better to get some advice on consistency than one of the only everyday-bloggers that I know, our great friend, Teresa Boardman of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com?
By Teresa Boardman
I never thought I would be writing about writing but I am. I consider myself to be a non writer but have found that with practice it gets easier. Writing a blog is like writing an email. There was a time in business before email when we used to send memos but that writing style is much more formal.
The process was intimidating as my administrative assistant and my boss would question my choice of words and sometimes my tone. When email replaced the memo even business writing became less formal and more about communication.
Blog posts can be informal like sharing an idea with a friend. Blogs work because people like doing business with friends. The tone is less formal and the goal is to make the post informative but at the same time easy and enjoyable to read. As I write I sometimes get a mental picture of who will be reading it and I write to that person or group of people.
It takes discipline to write every day and to know what to write about. Sometimes sitting down and writing a blog post seems like work. A couple of years a go Jim published a post I wrote with 101 ideas for real estate blog posts. It wouldn’t be hard to come up with a 101 more ideas. The ideas come from the ordinary experiences that I have on the job and in life. Some of the experiences are unique and others are very common experiences that people can relate to.
The hard part is actually doing it each day. Most people run out of steam by the end of their first month writing a blog.
I have written a post a day for more than 3.5 years. I rarely miss a day. I don’t write everyday but I have enough content so I can post everyday.
Writing is part of my business plan and a priority not something that I do when I have time. There isn’t any extra time in my life or spare time either.
Writing is part of my job and I treat it the same way that I treat listing appointments.
I have never heard an agent say that they just don’t have time for listing appointments and that they don’t know where I find the time.
I write at the same time each day. I am the most productive in the morning, most of what I write is written while I am in my pajama’s drinking my first cup of coffee. I have a place to write where I won’t be interrupted. It is my private space and heaven help the person who invades it. (My daughter just stopped by and got the evil eye, she has my undivided attention in 30 min and a free lunch)
There are days when I can not write. Stress, fatigue or travel get in the way so when I am in a writing mood I write as much as I can and save it for later. I plan ahead and sometimes a weeks worth of posts at a time. I can never force it and I have tried.
There isn’t any rule about how long a blog post has to be. I wrote one that was five bullet points that worked nicely. There isn’t any point in trying to add a bunch of words to a simple idea. It is better to have a short post than none at all or maybe just a photo with some descriptive words. Blog readers enjoy the variety, and they don’t have much time to read either.
Most of what I write is written in my head long before I sit down at the keyboard. The trick is to carry pen and paper and jot down part of the idea so it doesn’t get lost in the jumble that I call a brain. I keep pen and paper by my bed too.
When the ideas don’t come I spend time in the evening reading. I read news, real estate news and visit my favorite photography blogs. I also visit my flickr account and look at the photos for ideas. Most of what I write on my blog comes from experiences that I have had and many of them take place when I am out doing my job. If I wasn’t selling real estate I would run out of ideas quickly.
The time and effort I have put into writing has paid off. It keeps the business coming, and I have made some friends over the years because of it. Yet I can’t spend a lot of time on it either so it has to be quality time.
Blogging is about content. It takes practice, persistence and consistency to make it all work but it is worth the effort. The people who treat it like part of their job are the people who succeed with their blogs. The people who get too busy and who don’t know where to find the time will fail. We all have the same number of hours in the day and we all have choices on how we want to spend them.
Thank you so much Teresa!