5 things I’ve learned about blogging after 907 posts

I started scratching out blog posts almost five years ago, and I’ll admit I’m excited to hit post #1000 at some point next year. Along the way it’s been fun to build great relationships, learn, share information, earn some new clients, get speaking gigs and gain attention from local and national media. There are surely many ways I can improve, but I am proud to say I’ve had staying power thus far, and I think I’ve learned a thing or two about running a successful blog for business.

image of typewriter - purchased by Sacramento Appraisal Blog through 123rtf dot com

The truth is so many blogs start out strong, but then drop off the face of the earth for one reason or another. Yes, there is a season for everything, so inevitably some blogs will die. That’s okay. Yet if you want to have stamina and find success for your blog, I might suggest considering a focus on the following core issues. These are things I believe are key ingredients for a successful blog. Enjoy.

5 Essentials for Running a Successful Blog for Business

1)  Be original: Take the time to craft your own thoughts. Who are you and what do you know that will help or entertain your audience? Let readers get a sense of your personality and expertise. Share photos, video or words. Do what works best for you and your readers, and be sure to not copy and paste other people’s articles and consider them posts.

2)  Know your audience: Who are you writing for? What types of people and business do you want to attract? This is your target audience, and each post should keep this group of people in mind. You are not doing hardcore sales, but rather focusing on providing helpful information (be a resource). What questions are your clients and potential clients asking? Share information like this by posing an issue and then simply providing the answer. In fact, check your sent email folder for post ideas because you’ve probably already answered some questions recently that can turn into fantastic posts. Remember, each post doesn’t have to be home run, but if you get on base here and there, eventually you’ll score runs over time (connections and business). If you cannot quickly say who you are writing for, it’s time to give that some thought. My audience? I write for real estate agents, home owners and the real estate community in general.

target audience - image purchased by Sacramento Appraisal Blog from 123rt dot com 2

3)  Be consistent: Having a regular blogging rhythm is important so readers can know when your posts are going to show up. I write two to three posts a week, so my subscribers know what to expect from me. I know multiple posts each week would be exhausting for some, so I might suggest starting out with once a month, bumping it up to twice a month and then maybe once a week. If you want to be dominant in your niche online, you simply have to find the time to create new content and do that with some sort of frequency – even when you feel too busy. Remember that regular posts keep you in front of your target audience, they build your expertise and search engines like to see fresh content.

4)  Get organized: I would not be able to write regularly if I woke up each day and thought, “hmm, what should I write today?” This is why I created a blog fodder sheet that helps keep 10-20 post ideas in front of me at any given moment. This single-page as shown below hangs in my office on a cork board behind my computer screen, and I use it to jot down post ideas whenever I have them. I also keep a few folders on my desktop called “Things I’ve seen lately” and “Market Trends” to help keep a running group of photos and stats that might work at some point for future posts. When you get into the rhythm of blogging, you’ll start to think, “oh, that’s going to be a great post”, and you can simply save a photo or thought for a future time when you’ll actually write it. This system is simple and it’s worked extremely well for me to be more organized, save time and stay focused on my target audience. Download blog fodder sheet on Slideshare.

blog fodder sheet

share-posts-on-social-media5)  Get Face Time: Part of being successful online is finding ways to connect your business offline. Blog posts, tweets and Facebook statuses can be great for connections, but it’s also important to be intentional about getting in front of clients regularly. Yes, I mean in person. Go to lunch, join a committee, serve on a board, give a presentation or drop off coffee and scones. Just do something. As an example, this year I made it a goal to teach classes and speak in at least one real estate office per month (I ended up doing two per month), and I’ll say it was very good for business. Why? Because I was able to share helpful information in person, answer questions and build connections. In all cases strangers became acquaintances at the least, but in some cases they also became blog subscribers and then clients.

Did I mention anything revolutionary? I’ll be the first to say no. That’s good though because it means virtually anyone with a little focus and intention can be a successful blogger. Yes, it is a time commitment, and I won’t water that down. But putting in the time to become a dominant trusted force online can be profoundly rewarding (and fun).

Thank you: By the way, thank you to all who have subscribed and followed the conversation on my little corner of the web. I’m humbled by that and I greatly appreciate it. If you’ve been tinkering with blogging yourself, send me an email or share the link below. I’d love to see what you are doing.

Questions: Any other blogging essentials or tips to share? What have you learned along the way? Also, do you have any creative ideas for me on post #1000?

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I was quoted in California Real Estate magazine

Article in California Real Estate MagazineI was quoted a few times in this month’s California Real Estate magazine article entitled “The Problem with Appraisals.” This is the official magazine of the California Association of Realtors, so I’m honored to have been asked to share some thoughts on the challenge of appraising in today’s market as well as tips for working with appraisers. Check out the article if you’d like, and let me know what you think.

Realtor Resources: If anyone is visiting my corner of the web here from the magazine, thank you so much. I really appreciate you stopping by. Feel free to poke around as you’d like, stay in the background or introduce yourself. If you like what you see, you’re welcome to subscribe to get posts delivered by email.

It’s my constant goal to be a resource to Realtors and build strong relationships, so that’s one of the reasons I consistently write posts. In case you’re looking for some tips on helping communication flow a bit better with appraisers, check out Five questions to ask yourself before giving comps to the appraiser or Agents, be ready to answer these questions from appraisers or How to challenge a low appraisal (a format I developed).

Thank you again for stopping by, and thank you to all regular readers. I sincerely appreciate you.

Questions: Do you feel appraisers are being too conservative in today’s market? Any stories to share? With such a shortage of inventory right now, as a real estate agent, how do you tell the difference between market appreciation and overpaying?

If you have any questions or Sacramento home appraisal or property tax appeal needs, let’s connect by phone 916-595-3735, email, Twitter, subscribe to posts by email (or RSS) or “like” my page on Facebook

My article on Appraisal Buzz

I wrote an article called “Finding Your Inner Appraiser Voice” on Appraisal Buzz. It was an honor to be asked to contribute since The Buzz is well-known and has a huge readership. My piece sounds so psychological from the title, but it’s really about the power of blogging for business and five questions to ask yourself to help hone a blogging voice. It’s very practical and applicable to many industries – not just appraisers. I hope it’s helpful, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

appraisalbuzz_logoFinding Your Inner Appraiser Voice

I spend zero dollars to market myself online, yet I earn new business each week through my appraisal blog. The general public might think a blog about appraisals would be excruciatingly dull and very un-sexy, but trust me, there are so many interesting topics to discuss.

Three and a half years ago I started the Sacramento Appraisal Blog as a strategy to connect with clients and earn new business in an HVCC world (yes, my business felt the impact of HVCC). Seven hundred articles later, I can definitely say my blog has helped open up countless opportunities for new business, non-lender work, referrals, media interviews, networking and clout for my company – not to mention better Google rankings.

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If you clicked over from the article, thanks for visiting. If you want to connect further, my links are below. If you haven’t read the article, feel free to check it out. Thanks everyone. I sincerely appreciate your support, encouragement and anyone who stops by my little corner on the web.

BLOGGING RESOURCES: If you’re looking for some more tips on real estate blogging or wondering what to do, check out Quick tips for real estate blogging or How to develop original blog content (this is the format I developed for coming up with topics) or 10 ways to be a spammy real estate person online. Also, here is a video I did two years ago on “blogging tips for business (also embedded below)” Enjoy. I hope it’s helpful. I’m rooting for you!!

Questions: Do you have a blog for business? Why or why not? What tips would you give to someone thinking about starting a blog?

If you have any questions or Sacramento home appraisal or property tax appeal needs, let’s connect by phone 916-595-3735, email, Twitter, subscribe to posts by email (or RSS) or “like” my page on Facebook