This article is a rewrite of an article I wrote a few years ago. It is an exercise to show you that you can never step in the same river twice, and finding relevant blog content to publish is as easy as looking in the rear-view mirror. The irony of that article is that I had been blogging for less than 3 months, and here I was the expert. For some time now I have been wanting to add emphasis to the points in this post, so here goes.
The logic of this post was to consider what your readers are thinking when they come to your site. If you can see things from their side of the keyboard, then you can more effectively connect with them. Connecting with your reader, that’s what it’s all about.
You are beginning your real estate search online, and have just come across a real estate blog that catches your attention. You thought you were online just looking for listings, and now you have found an agent that has written hundreds of articles, aimed specifically to educate you on the entire homebuying experience.
How can you get the most out of what seems like more content than you could ever read?
In most cases, you arrived at an article on the blog, rather than to the homepage. Given the article helped answer your online inquiry, it’s time to dig deeper and determine what value this website has for you.
Does the Mission Statement make you feel as though you are one of their intended audience? In order for it to attract you as a regular reader, it needs to have been fashioned with you in mind.
If there is no published mission statement, scan through 5 to 7 of the most recent articles, from the homepage, and ask yourself, “Is this content relevant to my real estate needs?”
Although you may have missed a ton of interesting content in past articles, a blog with a solid focus will continue to deliver their core message. When exploring the archives of a blog, look for that core message to bring you up to speed.
Business blogs, like the Real Estate Tomato are written in a circular manner. We develop our content with an ideal reader in mind, around a specific range of topics.
News, reporting and personal blogs are generally written in a linear fashion where the content is governed by the events and items they aim to cover. Take BoingBoing.net for example. The only consistency with this blog is the randomness of its subject matter.
Following a blog is about the daily, relevant message, not the chronological organization. Although the articles may be chronologically relevant, it is not the inspiration. As the authors are inspired to write by the events happening around them, they will publish to the blog.
As a reader of both circular and linear blogs, the idea is not to try and catch up, but rather to enjoy the ride. Commonly the writer will come back to past topics as they become relevant again, even linking to past articles for support and reference.
(Because this is a rewrite, I can now leverage this point with an article that I wrote subsequent to the original.)
As a new reader to a blog, you can quickly determine the worthiness of subscribing to it by the categories in which the content is divided. This is no different from how one would choose to subscribe to a magazine based on its consistent subject matter.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you most likely entered the blog through an article, an archived article (meaning it is no longer on the homepage of the site). If the blog is well organized, by clear categories that define the range of regular content on the site, it is easy to follow everything the author has covered on a subject by clicking the appropriate links. There should be no need to visit the homepage of a blog to navigate your way through the content and the tools that are geared to support your real estate search.
What the heck is an RSS Feed? Click here.
Not having to remember to visit blogs that you are interested in, to see if they have published content to the site is the main value of subscribing to a blog’s feed.
You should know by now, that in order to get what you want out of a website/service, you need to sign up for something.
RSS feeds deliver the headlines to your favorite news reader.
Email feeds will send the headlines of current articles to your inbox.
Blogs are meant to be a two-way street.
The agent has put their thoughts, opinions, observations, wisdom, and expertise online to engage you. They want to have a relationship with you. Their blog articles are the answers to your questions. So don’t hold back. Ask away, offer your two cents, agree, disagree, compliment, question… be heard. It will help you get the answers you are looking for as much as it will help inspire the author to continue to publish, knowing that they are being ‘heard’.
Here is a recent comment left by Sacramento Real Estate Broker Bill Joyce, expressing exactly what you want to have your visitors experience when they read your blog. (Just change blogging to home buying)
I am a real estate broker in Sacramento, California and just beginning to discover the value and challenges of blogging. Just reading your blog I find I have to stop before long. Too much good info (if there can be such a thing) and I’m at capacity. Why seek more…I should act on the seven ideas I just picked up. I value your expertise and contribution to the topic of real estate blogging…I return time and again. And, by example, that’s who I would like to become for local home buyers.
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