At IDX Catalyst we get the question "How do I get started with blogging" quite often. So, here's a brief overview of how to get started and some good tips and techniques for gaining readership and SEO benefits.
Blogging is one of the best ways to grow your brand, bring attention to your website, show authority in your industry or demographic, and even increase backlinks and traffic to your site. It gives you a way to provide insight into your industry for those who are interested in your services. By blogging, you are telling a story to an audience that is very interested in what you have to say.
It doesn't stop there though, inviting guest bloggers to post to your blog is a very effective way to gain considerable value in your blog. This expands your blog's value to your readers and search engines alike. Contrary to popular belief everything on your blog doesn't have to come from you. Take some time to think about what your readers are interested in and find some fun alternatives to providing content. You'd be surprised with what a peer in your industry would have to say on your blog. Lenders, title insurance, contractors, and satisfied customers would all be great examples of great guest bloggers. It's easy! Just tell them you would be honored to have them contribute to your site, and in most cases, they would be delighted to have the added exposure. Whatever your angle is, work it!
A good place to start with blogging is talking about specific things that make you different from others in your area. Maybe it's a new development breaking ground that you have insight on. Maybe it's something about the market and what experts are talking about. Break it down, and tell your story to your audience in a way they can understand it. Anyone can search for a particular topic on Google, but that doesn't mean that they will understand what the experts of your industry are trying to say, or what it means to them. Explain the data and how it matters to them. Give insight into market trends and industry shifts.
The short answer here is, yes. Good writing skills are very important when trying to convey your message to your audience. The good news is you don't have to be the best out of the gate, we're looking long term here. When someone asks "How do I get to Carnegie Hall?" The answer is "Practice." With time, practice and some research you can learn to write like the pros. We all learned to write in school, it's time to dust off those skills and put them to good use! Try picking specific topics and don't stray to far from the point.
The awesome news here is, google will find your blog automatically. So, there's nothing to worry about here. If you want to share your stories with particular groups, its really easy. To post on facebook, just select the full URL in the address bar on your browser, copy it, and paste it into Facebook. Facebook will then automatically add a photo, the link to your site to read the full story, and some brief text from your post. After it gets the link and photo I recommend that you change the title on your facebook post to something more relevant like, "Check out my opinions on this development breaking ground!"
It's easy to get excited about blogging when it's new to you, but don't overdo it and burn yourself out. The key is to find a posting schedule that works for you. Whether it's once a day, week, or month; pick a routine and stick to it. There's nothing like building up a great following and getting lots of readership and then letting everyone down when you don't post for a few months.
Oh, and don't forget to post pictures! People like pictures!