Kristal Kraft’s blog was the first real estate blog I ever came across that focused on Denver. So, naturally, she was one of the first bloggers I contacted when planning this event. Kristal is one of our expert panel members for Blog Fiesta. Tentatively, she will be discussing blogs as a tool for social networking.
What inspired you to create a real estate blog?
I started hearing about blogs a few years ago, in fact my Denver Real Estate & Relocation blog has a birthdate of November 2003, in blog years that’s a long time! My purpose though rather clouded at the time was to see if I could pull one together by myself. I choose a TypePad template to publish a few thoughts, then proceded to make every mistake in the book, like regurgitating the news. (yawn) It wasn’t long before my blog was left abandoned.
Eventually I saw the importance of blogging and post again. Traction came soon, I would get messages like, “hey when are you going to post the Denver Sales Statistics, the month is half over!” A thump on the head was what I needed to realize someone (maybe the only one) was paying attention. Yippee!
Last year a friend Bonnie Cox from RE/MAX Masters invited me to join Active Rain. Bonnie and I became friendly competitors in the race for points, blogging our brains out. It was at Active Rain that I got a blogging routine down.
What do you like to blog about?
My blogs are pretty eclectic. Photography is my passion, I love taking photos of Denver and our picturesque state of Colorado. I am a one woman Chamber of Commerce. When you love where you live, it’s not really selling, it’s sharing. Writing about and selling real estate in Colorado is a cinch.
Where do you go, or what do you do to find topics to blog about?
Topics to blog on are endless. The problem is finding the time to compose a worthy blog. So often I get ideas, but run out of steam and the relevance passes long before I have time to work it!
How does blogging fit into your overall marketing plan, or does it?
Blogging is a natural for my marketing plan. I’ve had a top ranked Denver Real Estate website for a decade now. Blogging is just one more way to encourage people to find me on the web. My blog welcomes them to the many doors of my websites.
If there was anything you could change about your blog to make it better, what would it be?
I would have created my own domain instead of using a hosted TypePad.
In addition to your own blog, you also contribute quite a bit of content to Active Rain. Can you explain the motivation or strategy behind this?
Social networking has many benefits. Thanks to Active Rain, I have found an amazing network of like-minded friends with whom to socialize and connect. We colaborate marketing ideas and teach each other technology. What I have learned on Active Rain thru specific subscriptions, far outweights any real estate seminar I could attend.
Many of my Active Rain blogs were crafted to help other bloggers learn how to use the network. For some reason, the AR developers never wrote a training manual. So I did. Now there are others doing the same thing. I love reading them, because I learn too.
My motivation is a Zen like thing, by giving to the universe, I receive.
What are some of your favorite blogs?
My feed reader is full of good blogs, I prefer blogs where I either learn something or are entertained. CopyBlogger, RE Agent in Ct posts bad and very funny MLS photos, Kevin Boer of 3 Oceans has a nice mix of both informative and funny, of couse Sellsuis and oh so many others.
What web sites, blogs, tools, or people do you find most helpful in building your blog?
Active Rain is a good place to get your blogging legs. Join up, read and subscribe to a few good ones, then jump in. Following the proper ettiquette a new blogger will be welcomed. When you reach a comfort level, get an “outside” blog and go to it.
On a scale of 1-10, 10 being Bill Gates, one being my great grandmother (bless her heart), what level of computer savvy would you say you have?
Oh, this is a good one! I’d say I’m an “7”. I know just enough to recognize when to call in the Cavalry!
Do you have any tips or advice for a fellow real estate professional that’s looking to get into blogging?
Do it. (unless you live in Denver, then forgetdaboutit!) 🙂