Wipe The Dust Off Your Real Estate Blog – How To Get Back In The Swing Of Blogging Again
Taking time off from writing on your blog whether intentional or just an effect of your focus on other elements of your business does not need to be its demise.
Note: If you have taken a break, inadvertently or not, and you don’t see yourself getting back on the train soon, then you should consider a few actions:
1. Removing it from the first impression of your site
Place your blog behind a button as opposed to leaving it on the homepage for every new visitor to see that you have failed to update for months.
2. Removing visible dates from posts to make it difficult to discern when articles were posted.
Typically this is a simple code edit that any savvy service provider can tackle in seconds.
I have taken several breaks from blogging, and am just getting back in the swing from one now.
Even though I have written hundreds of informative articles, the most common emotions I feel because of the lapses are guilt and embarrassment. We have trained 1000s of real estate agents how to leverage blogging for business and here I am not applying rule #1: Create content.
The only consolation is that I can certainly relate with those in our audience that have slipped similarly in trying to maintain a consistent blogging effort. I understand how business can get in the way, how days of lapse turn into weeks which turn into months. But, be assured, I am never far from this blog. I have dozens of new ideas sketched out, headlines written, half posts never completed, and I, like all of you, am always pushing forward with sound advice albeit not in written form.
Recommitting to blogging is a great idea for all the same reasons that it was in the first place. Blogging helps you be found online because of the expertise that you took the time to share. Gaining exposure to your new content and the re-spidering of your older content is a huge boost when competing to be found for the topics you cover. There is arguably no better way to make a first impression to your visitor.
Once you get excited about blogging again, try not to lose that momentum.
Instead of writing that Epic Post, try just publishing a little bit at a time.
Frequency is the key – the habit is the muscle that needs to be redeveloped.
Imagine trying to get back in physical shape after a long break. You know what it takes, you’ve done it before, and you know it is going to be a shock to the system to dive in full force. You don’t just start running 5 miles a day, every day. This is a sure way to injure yourself or at a minimum put up a pace that you can’t maintain.
You ease into it, but with discipline.
Some might need to walk for several days before they can even jog, some start jogging short distances, slowly increasing their goal.
But the key is the discipline. Whether it is just a short jog, or a slow walk, it needs to be done regularly to reestablish the habit.
Similarly, after not blogging for a while, the goal of trying to fit in 5 hours a week of writing is usually unreasonable.
Begin with short, high-impact posts that can be published in less than 20 minutes.
Here are some ideas to get back to blogging with the least amount of impact on your keyboard.
1. A Teachable Moment from a Listing
I love the idea of taking the experience of visiting a listing on tour, snapping a couple of quick images with your phone and making a teachable moment out of the experience. Perhaps it is a great example of curb appeal making it stand out in the neighborhood. Or perhaps it was staged brilliantly and showcases to be worth more than comparable homes on the market.
These examples could be posted in just a few minutes and the impact is clear; use your everyday real estate experiences to showcase your experience on your blog with a picture and a paragraph.
2. A Multiple Part Series of Quick and Easy Points.
Got a great idea for a post, but immediately recognize that it is a doozie? Don’t look at the mountain and get overwhelmed, just break it up into multiple articles. Turn what could have taken you 2 hours to write into 2 weeks of content.
3. Photo Blogging
With today’s smart phones you can snap great photos and even dictate a description to your blog in minutes. Once you get the hang of using apps to snap, dictate and publish, you’ll be updating the blog every time you leave the house.
4. An Email Re-Published
You write a lot of emails, a LOT of emails. We all do. Lots of times it is a very well thought-out answer to a client’s question. How many others could benefit from this answer? Clean it up, make it anonymous and put it on your blog for your whole audience to appreciate.
5. Rewrites of Oldie-But-Goody Posts from Your Archive.
You can never step in the same river twice. There is more than one way to pin a tail on the donkey. Just because you said it once doesn’t mean that there isn’t another way to say it, and there’s a whole new audience that has yet to hear it from you.
6. Pearls of Wisdom
Post quick, 1 or 2 sentence nuggets of sound advice. It is just enough to get you back in the swing of publishing, and back on the train.
What to avoid?
1. Long Winded, Analytic Posts.
I know I am guilty of these every time I sit down to blog. But this is a case of do as I say and not as I do. All my blogging is analytic, which is probably the cause of my own blogging lapses. Knowing that you have to commit an hour or more for each post sure makes it difficult to reestablish the habit.
2. Copied Content
Avoid the short cuts to get back into blogging. Copying a post, or linking off to someone else’s article is not blogging. This is garbage and won’t help you reap the benefits of the exercise.
3. Research Posts
This should not be work, especially when you are trying to get back into the swing of a regular blogging. Similar to the analytic posts, a research post (market statistics, laws, etc) will leave a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to duplicating the effort.
Republishing MLS data is not blogging. I’ve read the apologists that claim it’s a sound strategy and I fail to see their logic. I see your role as a real estate blogger as one providing wisdom, not regurgitating what is on the MLS – that’s what your Search for Homes button does.
Don’t feel like you need to explain your absence. Just get back on the train and blog what people want from you – wisdom, insight, expertise, opinion, news, knowledge, tips and entertainment.
The best strategy is to never stop developing content even if it is not ready to be published.
If you enjoy blogging and the success that comes with it, but yet still find yourself unable to maintain the commitment that you know it takes, I suggest not letting yourself get too far from the blog in the first place.
Write what you can, even if you aren’t close to ready to publish it.
Ways to stay connected to your blog without having to get back full steam:
1. Keep a list of great blog ideas.
2. Write blog headlines for future articles.
3. Sketch out bullet points of future articles.
4. Write the first paragraph for future articles
5. Try publishing something at least once a month.
6. Go thru your older posts and do a little housecleaning: Locate potential re-writes, do some proofreading, or even delete articles that you no longer want to be a representation of your focus/expertise
All of the above exercises take the minimum effort and will be a great repository of content for you to delve into once you are ready to reestablish your commitment.