I have a huge amount of respect for Dan Green because he can do something that I simply cannot. Through The Mortgage Reports, Dan blogs about mortgages to consumers. Sounds simple enough, but you try writing about ARP’s and the ten year note for more than a few days and see how well it goes. If you are a loan originator that wishes to blog about mortgages, I can think of no other blogger that you could learn more from than Dan Green.
Hi Dan, what inspired you to create a mortgage blog?
I used to send these terrific direct mail newsletters to my clients each month. It was a 4-page spread with fantastic articles on home financing and other “general knowledge” topics. In December 2004, one of the issues featured a piece on the benefits of “paying down your mortgage early”. The piece was well-written, but I advise my clients to keep their money out of their home. Unless they’ve exhausted all of their other options for “extra” capital, de-leveraging their home is an unsafe risk.
The next day, I stopped the newsletter service and starting looking for alternatives. That’s when I found Alex Stenback at Behind The Mortgage and Dustin Luther at Rain City Guide — two bloggers that we’re writing very interesting stuff. I watched how they both used their blogs as a way to communicate with their readers on their terms. This was the perfect replacement for the newsletter, as I saw it.
After I trolled their blogs for several weeks, I finally stepped out and tried it on my own.
The Mortgage Reports is one of the most established and popular mortgage blogs going. One thing that has always amazed me about your blog is that you’ve been able to consistently blog to consumers about one of the most boring subjects ever (mortgages). How do you keep it fresh?
Now, that’s about the nicest compliment I can get. Thanks, Todd.
As a person, I am hugely tangental in my thought patterns. Blogging, though, forces me to organize my ideas as I commit them to paper. My mind still drifts, of course, but I just link out to somewhere on the Internet that represents the drifting. For me, that makes blogging on mortgages more interesting — because the post isn’t always about mortgages in the purest sense.
My regular readers know how often I link out to the Internet Movie Database Base. It’s because I’ll write something, a movie quote will pop in my head, and I’ll just link out to it. The same goes for clips and quotes from films, songs, and TV shows. They have nothing to do with mortgages, per se, but they have everything to do with my thought patterns. That helps me stay interested which, in turn, helps my readers stay more interested.
From what you can tell, what percentage of your readers are consumers, compared to real estate agents, or other mortgage professionals?
No idea. I think my readership breaks down better this way: 60% consumers; 20% real estate and mortgage professionals; 15% financial planners and CPA; 5% people that went to Merion Elementary School who wonder “What ever happened to Dan Green?” and then Google me.
How does blogging fit into your overall marketing plan?
Blogging is my marketing plan. I follow it up with regular emails to my database using MyLoanBiz for Salesforce.com, Annual Mortgage Reviews using The Mortgage Coach, and hand-written notes to my clients and partners.
In addition to The Mortgage Reports, you also operate a service called Bring the Blog. Please tell us more about this service.
Lots of loan officers know that blogging is important to their business, but they don’t always feel like they have the time to do it regularly. So, they never fully commit to blogging.
Bring the Blog is a blog-for-you service that gets you up-and-running with your own mortgage blog in less than 120 seconds and populates your blog with new content every business day. Our users add their own content whenever they want, without the pressure of writing every single day. Plus, Bring the Blog offers a 15-day, fully-featured trial period so curious bloggers can check it the product with no risk whatsoever.
The feedback from our users is phenomenal — it’s a thrill to know that Bring the Blog is meeting the needs of the mortgage blogging community.
Do you have any tips or advice for a fellow real estate professional that’s looking to get into blogging?
If you’re looking for the right time to start your blog, folks, it was yesterday. Jump in — the water’s perfect!