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Are you Blogging a Dead Horse?

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By : Greg Eckler    99 or more times read
With an ever increasing number of real estate agents embracing the digital age, there has been a considerable amount of debate within the industry about the advantages of blogging. Most property professionals are aware of the importance of social networking, and the active blog is seen as an essential tool in the modern agent's armory.

However, simply having a blog may not be enough. Without quality content, a blog is just another wasted marketing opportunity, and postings should really engage with your intended readership. Firstly, they should be unique, and represent your true voice. It's no good simply taking a listing, or a story from a random website or newspaper, and posting it. Identify exactly who represents your ideal reader and tailor your posts to that person. Say something interesting, witty or even controversial; though remember to keep it ethical.

Be consistent, and keep your posts regular. Remember why you're blogging. It is a highly effective way of marketing your business and driving trade to your website, so do not treat your blog as a tiresome chore. You don't need to dream up some startling new topic to pontificate about every day of the week, but a relatively regular flow of well-thought out content, or even an occasional thought-provoking tidbit, will keep the majority of readers happy. And what is considered most important by many blogging experts, is not that your blog attracts a huge number of readers, but a core of regular devotees.

One thing that seems to cause a difference of opinion amongst avid bloggers is the need to use correct grammar, punctuation and spelling. There are those for whom the medium is considered immediate, throw-away and cutting-edge enough to dispense with formal rules regarding language use. Others see the blog as a portal into one's professionalism, and that it acts as an illustration of one's ability to take a task seriously, whatever that task may be. I guess it boils down to what kind of agent you wish to appear to be, to your readers.

Something that drives a lot of people crazy is the badly placed, or total lack of, punctuation marks. In particular, the apostrophe seems to be responsible for the most heated of opinions. Affectionately known as 'Grocers' Apostrophes,' in honor of old English produce store signs which frequently displayed incorrectly punctuated signs advertising 'Potato's' or 'Banana's' for sale, the erroneous use of this small, otherwise inoffensive, mark is often at the heart of some fierce debate. The American author Bill Bryson even goes as far as to declare offenders as 'linguistic Neanderthals', in his book Dictionary of Troublesome Words. And Lynn Truss's best-seller Eats, Shoots & Leaves was entirely dedicated to improving the standard, and appreciation, of punctuation in the English language. Conversely, some modern language academics see the whole discussion as pointless and irrelevant. The best way to deal with this contentious issue is to perhaps leave out apostrophes altogether, unless you're confident in their use. After all, a badly placed apostrophe is considered worse that none at all.

Correct spelling, on the other hand, is rather more important. Blogs may be 'high-tech' forums for immediate communication, but that doesn't mean that they should be sloppy. If you appear to be lax with your own presentation, it could imply a general lack of care and diligence in your whole approach. And very few people will trust an agent with a significant home sale, or purchase, if they don't seem to be focused and professional.

However you choose to write will define you, to your readers. Care has to be employed one way or another, so before deciding on an approach as to how you will write your blogs, consider how you would like to be perceived by others. And keep in mind that it won't only be prospective clients who will be reading your blogs, but industry peers and colleagues too, so you won't want to end up blogging a dead horse, so to speak.
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