I was lucky enough to meet Jessica Hughes at our Denver Fiesta Event. I think she asked more questions than anyone during our panel. I good indicator of someone who’s always trying to better themselves. Jessica’s business provides home staging in Boulder Colorado. She uses blogging in a business to business fashion. Loan officers, title reps, and anyone who wishes to acquire realty agents as clients should take extra notes here.
What inspired you to create a real estate blog?
I stumbled across Active Rain late one night in October of last year and never looked back. It took me a little while to figure out what blogging was all about given my introduction to it was through AR, which is more of a ‘blorum’ than a blogsite, but once I realized the potential to increase my business through blogging, I took it more seriously.
What do you like to blog about?
Anything unrelated to my business! Seriously, I have enjoyed blogging about my hometown of Gold Hill more than just about anything else. Maybe because otherwise it feels like work to me. I also feel kind of cheezy putting my little business tagline at the end of my ‘marketing’ blogs.
Where do you go, or what do you do to find topics to blog about?
Like any true blog addict I am not ever at a loss for topics to talk about. I keep a word doc of blog topics, but only end up blogging about 1/2 of them, mostly because they are time sensitive and I take too long to get around to it! I favor quality over quantity in my posts. I strive to ensure that they are well thought out, informative and with nice photos. In the staging business, presentation is everything, and I try to carry that through to my blog.
How does blogging fit into your overall marketing plan, or does it?
Through blogging I increased the page rank of my blog on google to page one! That in itself is a ‘no-brainer’. But the main benefit for me has not been directly through blogging myself, but rather, reading other’s blogs (which takes up not insignificant amount of my time).
I learned how to track my readers and find out where they came from. How to adapt innovative marketing ideas to my business, giving me huge advantages! Maybe most importantly of all, by learning SEO skills, I was able to increase the page rank of my own website (which was self built), to page one on google!!!
If there was anything you could change about your blog to make it better, what would it be?
I would like to have my own independent blog outside of ActiveRain one day, but at the moment I feel like blogging through AR gives me the leeway to be a part-time blogger. If I had my own blog I’d feel the pressure to blog more consistently, provide more relevant, quality content. With 2 children under 3 and a business that has taken off like a rocket in the last 6 months (hmm? and when did I start blogging again…) I just don’t have the time to blog as much as I’d like. Something’s gotta give!
I love ActiveRain, it’s an amazing online community, a place where one can forge true friendships. It it also an incredible resource for information. If others are willing to freely share tips, advise, strategies, mistakes, secrets; I want to reciprocate as much as I possibly can.
What are some of your favorite blogs?
Craig Schiller’s, “Home Staging, Rants & Ravings“, Kristal Kraft’s “The Denver Blog“, Osman Parvez’s “Boulder Realty Blogspot“, “The Rain City Guide“, and a couple of my very favorite, though non-RE industry: Gristmill (an environmental news blog) & Grassroots Modern (modern furniture and design at affordable prices).
What web sites, blogs, tools, or people do you find most helpful in building your blog?
Do you have any tips or advice for a fellow real estate professional that’s looking to get into blogging?
1. A blog, though easy to start, is much harder to maintain, so understand the level of commitment it requires before you commit.
2. Blogging is not for the faint of heart, so when someone comments negatively, remember to remain professional at all times; and don’t take it personally!
3. If you want to get you must give back! If your blog does not contribute to or help others it will not be valued.