Teresa Boardman, our resident Real Estate Blogging Goddess, is back with some personal insight on what she has uncovered as the biggest roadblock to blogging.
By Teresa Boardman
Earlier this week I conducted a kind of survey, and asked 25 real estate bloggers, which I defined as practicing real estate agents, mortgage, title and staging pros who blog, what they see as the biggest barrier to real estate blogging for agents.
The answer was writing, and it was almost unanimous.
That came as a surprise to me because so many agents believe that blogs require technical skills. This myth is perpetuated here and in other places on the internet as blog writers discuss SEO and merits of various blog platforms, and the rules of blogging. I would have guessed that they found the whole process complicated and confusing.
Based on what I have read, I did most everything wrong when I started my blog, but the important thing is I did it. It doesn’t seem to matter because I still achieved my business goals. My blog has been and continues to be a journey and one of the most meaningful learning experiences that I have ever had.
I am intensely uncomfortable writing and posting where the world can see it. My whole education was based on the idea that if a piece of writing had a grammatical error, or a misspelling it was useless and had no value. When I submitted a paper, or an idea in writing it came back with red pen all over it. Occasionally I would have a teacher or professor who would notice an idea or something else in a written piece but mostly it was about the technical aspects of writing not about the ideas or research that had gone into it.
After I graduated from college I pretty much avoided writing unless someone made me. I had jobs where I pawned it off on administrative support, and I made sure that I hired people that could write. I would talk, and they would take notes, record, or type as I went.
I understand not wanting to write or being afraid of it. It is possible that I have missed opportunities to work with buyers or sellers because they came to my blog and found a typo. Yet I take the risk each day and hope that if I practice long enough I will be able to crank something out that doesn’t have an error in it. I have written more than a thousand posts and I am relatively sure that if they are more than a paragraph long they contain at least one mistake. Yet people still read my blog and some want to do business with me, even though I can’t spell.
The same is true with photos. People seem to enjoy them and I use photos on my blog but I am sometimes told that they are not technically correct. It might be the composition or the angle. Yet I shoot what I see and if it pleases me I post it. I write what I think and hope that someone will read it and find some value in it even if it is not technically perfect. I am a Realtor, not a writer or a photographer.
Thinking about good writing, good photos and perfect search engine optimization makes me crazy. (OK you no what I mean, we all know I am stark raving mad already) If I had really considered all of those things I never would have started a blog. Now that I have readers the writing is harder. I don’t like to think about how many people read it each day.
Doing everything the way it is supposed to be done takes the joy right out of it for me. It isn’t fun to worry about every sentence and every photo. Professors and photographers stop by and some times send me notes. So far they have been positive and they help me find the courage to do it all again the next day.
There are other things that I don’t do perfectly, yet if it is something that I want to do I keep trying, practicing, or I get more education. It is the same with the blog, if I had let my inability to write stop me I would have missed out on opportunities that I am really happy to have had.
Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy doing it. My strategy is to spend more time doing it than thinking about it or planning it out. I don’t worry about what other bloggers are doing, or what I am supposed to do. I just try to improve my own personal best. Just do it, or at least try it. If it were easy I would not be nearly as rewarding. The risk involved in writing on the internet seems small in comparison to the risks most of us take each day as 100% commission based sales people responsible for representing others in the biggest purchases or sales of their lives. real estate is not for wimps.
Teresa Boardman is an exceptionally professional Realtor in the St. Paul, Minnesota area.