“There aint no way some kid with a blog is going to knock me off as the top agent in this office”. That’s the rebuttal to blogging a received from a top agent here in Denver while I was promoting the Denver Blog Fiesta event. I’d agree. Blogs can’t replace a professional with excellent skills and a commitment to their craft.
But many top agents have started a blog anyway. Many for reasons beyond increasing their business. Linda Davis is an example of the unexpected positive results that followed.
Hi Linda, what inspired you to start The Eastern Connecticut Real Estate Blog?
I’m very opinionated about the real estate industry and I’m quite active in my community. I started blogging because I had some topics I wanted to write about, but they were not necessarily things you would put in a newsletter or on a post card or web site. I guess I can partially blame it on our local newspaper, since they only allow one Letter to the Editor a month.
I really had no idea that it would help me with search engine placement.
I’ve met quite a few bloggers who started out on Active Rain, then established their own blog. You, an the other hand were blogging well before Active Rain was up and running, but joined in December. What was (is) your motivation behind contributing in both places?
When I joined Active Rain, I decided to target a different audience. My “real blog” is written primarily for my community. My audience on Active Rain is my fellow real estate professionals. I really enjoy helping new agents and have used Active Rain to share ideas about technology tools, farming, and building a team. I also do a monthly post there where I predict future events on Active Rain. I write that one as “Carnac of Connecticut” It has quite a following and generates a large number of comments. That’s the social networking aspect of Active Rain that I enjoy. I’ve made lots of new friends there. Everyone can use friends.
I see you have a widget from V-Flyer on your blog that displays our listings. How is it working out for you?
There are differing opinions about advertising listings in a blog post. I prefer not to advertise an individual listing unless it is very unique property. V-flyer provides me with an easy way to show off all my listings in a limited space. I’m surprised at how many visitors click on v-flyer listings and of course, my sellers love the exposure.
As I scroll down your blog, about half of your posts have “Eastern Connecticut” in the title. A Google query for that same term puts your blog on the first page of results. Have you been able to track the traffic to your blog created by this strategy? Or is it a strategy?
My target market as well as my local multiple listing service is Eastern Connecticut. The majority of my search engine traffic comes from some combination which includes the words “Eastern Connecticut”. I use Visistat to follow keyword trending so I am able to monitor the effectiveness of the strategy. Yes, it is a strategy. You noticed, huh?
Where do you go, or what do you do to find topics to blog about?
I consider every person and event a blog topic. – it really is that easy. And here’s the funny thing about blogging. Other people are always suggesting blog topics to me. Some of my best ideas are in the minds of my friends.
How does blogging fit into your overall marketing plan?
Blogging is just one more tool in my marketing plan, along with my IDX website and my farming. It is difficult to quantify the amount of business a blog generates. But the other day when I asked a lady why she called me to list her house, she said she followed my blog and I seemed like the kind of person she’d like to list her house with. Maybe she just liked my sense of humor.
What are some of your favorite blogs?
I read all the popular kid’s blogs. You know the ones. They are listed on every bloggers blogroll. But I especially enjoy finding good bloggers that haven’t made it into the “blogger in crowd” – blogs like the Asheville Mountain Real Estate Blog where I especially look forward to Baby Boomer Thursday.
I understand you have started a photoblog. What made you go in that direction?
I really admired the photos that Kristal Kraft and Teresa Boardman used in their blogs. They inspired me to start shooting. I’m not a great photographer but I found myself with more photos than blog so I decided to begin a photoblog of my hometown called Simply Ledyard. It is just in it’s infancy but I hope for it to someday be a town resource.
Do you have any tips or advice for a fellow real estate professional that’s looking to get into blogging?
Read a gazillion blogs before you start writing. Write often. Keep a big fat folder of blog ideas. Don’t pay for blog content. Use pretty pictures. Don’t put your audience to sleep with statistics. Use spell check. Comment on others blogs. Play nice. Always remember: It’s not about you.