It may be unclear whether it was the chicken or the egg who can claim the title of “first,” but when it comes to social media, it was blogs that paved the way.
A blog – or web log – is an online, self-published site where the user can post their own content and followers can comment on it. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s basically a long-form version of Facebook and Twitter.
The first blogs came on the scene in the 1990s and grew sharply in popularity by the end of the decade. Today they are just as relevant – if not more so – than ever, and there are approximately 150 million active blogs on the Internet (including this one!).
To blog or not to blog? (Hint: yes, blog!)
The benefits of writing a blog are many, with the biggest being the ability to publish your own news. Rather than waiting for the media or another third party to pick up your story, you can share it yourself – be it an event you’re hosting, a new business endeavor or a new hire announcement.
Another benefit of blogs compared to other social media outlets is there is no limit in terms of word count (though, as with most things in this era of oh-so-short attention spans, less is more). Plus, you can put blogs to work for you through SEO to improve the searchability of your company by peppering your writing with key words and phrases commonly searched for your area of business. Believe it or not, we have clients for which their blog is a direct lead generator. So not only are blogs the oldest modern social media platform, but they can also be the most beneficial to your business, too. To read more about how our client Englewood Construction’s blog became one of the biggest drivers of traffic to its website, check out this case study.
To further increase the visibility of your blog, be sure to cross-promote it by sharing a link to each new post via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. Perhaps more so than any other social media platform, blogs work best in tandem with other platforms.
Where to host your blog?
Once you’ve decided to take the leap to start a blog, you’ll need to decide where to host your blog. For beginners, a hosting site like blogger.com or wordpress.com is easy to use and free. If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, consider hosting your blog as part of your site (which is what we do), or even setting up a unique URL for your blog for link-back opportunities to your main company website. This is the route Taylor Johnson client Englewood Construction took. Click here to see Englewood Construction’s blog.
What should you blog about?
One of the most challenging things about having a blog is keeping up with the content. It’s important to launch your blog with a few posts ready to go, and then update weekly as you build your audience. To grow your blog’s audience, you should aim to post at least twice a month to ensure there is fresh content and a reason to continue following your blog.
To get started, brainstorm a list of topics you could blog about, such as tips, commentary on trends, or even commentary on other blogs or online articles.
Use your blog to showcase your expertise. And engage with readers by asking questions they can answer in the comments section of your blog.
As with all social media, let your personality, or the personality of your brand, shine through. And, most importantly, make sure your blog is edited for grammar, punctuation and spelling.
If you’d like to learn more about how blogging could help grow your real estate business, email Emily Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.