Blogging. It seems like everyone has a blog doesn’t it? Or that everyone is telling you that you have to have a blog if you sell real estate. My question to them would be why? Blogging is not easy, it’s quite hard work actually, and if you aren’t in love with the concept you won’t love blogging nor will it do anything to benefit your business.
Here are my 21 reasons why you shouldn’t (and don’t have to!) write a real estate blog:
1. Not Willing to Niche It Down
When writing a real estate blog you have to speak to individuals on every single post. If you write about 5 Reasons You Should Buy a House Right Now you are trying to capture everyone, but in effect you are speaking to no one. This doesn’t grab people because they won’t feel it applies to them. To make your blog interesting and appeal to people you have to niche it down on each post. Many Agents are nervous to do this because they are afraid that they will miss out on all the buyers and sellers when trying to niche it down. Yet every business book and school in the world will tell you, the magic happens when you pick a niche. Same is true for blogging, even in real estate. You can still capture all the buyers and sellers, just do it one at a time to different groups and write posts that speak to these groups.
2. Money, Money, Money
I love that people get into blogging for money or worse because they think it is quick money. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Blogging is like real estate this way. People often go into real estate to make lots of money and think it will be quick and easy. What happens to those Real Estate Agents after a couple of years? They are abandoning their databases and lock boxes to an 8-5 salaried job.
Sure there are a ton of blogs out there that make money, just like there are a ton of Real Estate Agents out there that are making a lot of money, but there are far more blogs and Agents that don’t. As cheesy as it sounds, your heart has to be in the right place when you start a blog because it is hard work. You have to start a blog because you want to provide value to people and want to help people. Like most things in life, if you go into it only looking for dollar signs, you are sure to fail.
3. I Want to Be Famous
You decide to start a blog because you want to see your name in lights. You want to be revered among your peers and invited to speak at conferences across the country. Sounds kinda nice doesn’t it? But again, like point number 2, you aren’t starting from the right intention. Like Zig Ziglar said “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” This holds true for blogging. Sure you can get famous in your industry for blogging and there are opportunities that blogging opens up, but you have to come at it the right way. Come at it from the point of truly helping people and like Zig said, you will get all that you want in life–including the lights if that’s your goal!
4. I Will Take the First Page of Google Please
If I had $1 for everyone that told me they want to be on the first page of Google, well I would be selling that secret that’s for sure! Everyone wants to be on the first page of Google. I want to be on the first page of Google so I get it! But blogging just for Search Engine Optimization purposes is not the way to do it. Again, blogging is hard work and there are many easier ways to land on the first page of Google. You can pay to have your site optimized to help you along. That may be more worth your time if you are not into blogging.
Many people start a blog with the intention to get on the first page of Google and when they find out it doesn’t happen after a month or two they get frustrated and abandon their blog all together. Then you just have this weird website hanging out there with blog posts that are 3 years old and that just looks strange. Don’t do that to yourself! Instead find a great SEO specialist that can tweak your site to increase your rank within the search engines.
5. I Don’t Want To
I have good news for you! You don’t have to write a real estate blog if you don’t want to. Woo Hoo! If you don’t want to write, your brain and your body will do everything in it’s power to not let you write. You will develop writer’s block every time you sit down at the computer to blog. You will find yourself pushing paperwork to avoid blogging. Heck, you may develop a serious door knocking habit or cold calling habit just to avoid blogging! I am here to free you from the thought that you have to blog. You don’t have to! Marketing is fun– I love, love, love marketing! I hate to see people do marketing they hate doing when there are so many fun marketing options out there. Go pick a couple other ideas that you love to do instead of blogging. Your brain, your body and your business will thank you for it!
6. You Don’t Have a Thick Skin
Blogging is not for the faint of heart that is for sure. People love to sit behind a computer screen and level criticism at people they don’t know. Some people do this for sport I think! If you are stirred up by every negative thing that is said to you or could be said to you, blogging may not be for you. I don’t want to see you torture yourself over something negative someone says to you on a blog. Or worse, have it impact your self esteem. Selling real estate is hard enough without that kind of negativity!
7. Fast Road to More Business
You want more business, I get it. (Don’t we all?!) And it would be even better if that business came from your website so you didn’t have to pay those third party websites for leads. I get that too. But blogging will not take you there quickly. It will take time to build an audience. Heck, it will take time for people to even find your blog. Oftentimes it can take a year before a blog really gains any traction and a following. If you need more leads within the next 3 to 6 to 9 months, blogging will not get you there. If you are wanting leads from your website, blogging is a great start, but supplement your business with other lead generating tactics while you are working on building your blog’s audience.
8. Throw the Canned Content in the Can
I’m going to be blunt about this one. The Internet is full of crap content, don’t contribute to the crap okay? First of all, if you are spouting the same canned content as your competitor next door what is setting you apart? Second, does any of this canned content even apply to your market or your clients? Third, have you read some of this canned real estate content? It is typically terrible! In this day and age, people want to know you. They want to know who you are and what you are about before they can trust you. If you are putting canned crap out there, they will see right through it and move onto the next Agent who is being authentic. Please stop contributing to the crap out there and write your own content. Be you because you are awesome!
9. You’re a Man (or Woman) Without a Plan
Blogging without a plan is like running a business without a plan, it’s doomed from the start. If your plan is to just sit down and write whenever an idea hits or the mood strikes you, you will struggle. I advise Real Estate Agents that want to blog to set up an editorial calendar. Come up with general topics and then start listing ideas for each topic. Then put each idea to a date on the calendar and write. This does three things:
- It makes it easier to write when you know what to write about each time you sit down to do it.
- It helps you to generate future ideas to write about.
- Most importantly, it makes your blog, your brand and you look more cohesive.
Take the time to plan your blog and put your best foot forward. It will get noticed and you will be rewarded with loyal followers.
10. No Time
Oh my gosh does blogging take time! Lots and lots of time! Many people think it’s just writing a blog post and hitting publish. Not so much. First there is the writing. Then the editing. Then the rewrite. Then the formatting. Then gathering pictures. Then the SEO. Then the networking. Plus a million other little details that I won’t bore you with. My point is blogging takes time. A really great blog post can take 5 1/2 hours to write. True story. As Real Estate Agents you are pressed for time all of the time. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to blogging I would advise you to move onto the next marketing idea. Save yourself some time!
11. What’s Your Name Again?
Along with niching down, you have to know your audience when blogging or really when selling real estate in general. You have to know their needs, their wants, their fears when you sell them a house or help them sell their current house. The same goes for blogging. Good writing is all about hitting a nerve and really speaking to people. The only way you can do that is if you know who your people are. If you have that figured out, you have the basis for some really great blog posts that can help people and provide value in their lives.
12. Research Bores You to Tears
Writing a good blog isn’t about just writing stuff down and putting it out there for the masses to see. You have to really research to know more about the subject you are writing about each time. If you hate to research, then this might not be the best route for you to take. It is generally easy to just put the words on the computer screen, but to make an impact you really need to know what you are talking about and that comes from research. Take the time to Google articles on your topic for that day and read what your competitors are writing about. This research will make you a better blogger and show your readers that you are in fact a subject matter expert.
13. Learning is Not Your Thing
Writing a blog is a constant learning process. Constant. Much like researching in the previous point, you have to constantly be willing to learn to make your blog better. Learning how to write better, more about SEO and keywords, about networking, about social media and on and on. There are so many things to learn on a daily basis when it comes to blogging that to me, it is fascinating. If you don’t have the love to learn about blogging every single day, then blogging might not be where you need to spend your energy. Instead find what you love to learn about for your real estate business and focus on that. You will be much happier and more successful this way!
14. Your Broker or Sales Manager Told You To
I have had Real Estate Agents tell me that they feel pressured to blog because their Broker or Sales Manager told them to. I want to be childish and say to them “Why don’t you do it then?” Blogging because someone told you it is something you have to do is a terrible idea. You will only end up frustrated, with a bad case of writer’s block and feel inept if you blog because someone tells you to. Doesn’t that sound awful?! The next time someone, even your Broker or Sales Manager, tells you to blog and you don’t want to, tell them you have more productive avenues to drive business. Oh and Brokers and Sales Managers if you are reading this– stop telling your Agents to write a blog!
15. No Content, All Stats
Please raise your hand if you loved taking Statistics in high school or college? I bet about 1 out of 100 people actually loved Stats class. This lady sure didn’t and I can tell you, the blogs that I hate the most are the ones filled with numbers and statistics. Boring! Please don’t write a blog filled with statistics from your local or national MLS. I can promise you no one will read it because it doens’t not speak to their heart which is where they buying decisions come from. Write from your heart to touch other peoples’ hearts. That’s a successful blog.
16. It Doesn’t Fit Your Marketing Plan
You have a marketing plan right? Does blogging fit into it? If not, don’t blog! How does a blog fit into an overall marketing plan? First evaluate your marketing plan. Does a lot of your business come from repeat and referral clients? If so, you don’t necessarily have to blog. You can invest your time and money into driving your sphere of influence to send you more business. Are you one of those rainmakers that can pick up the phone and start cold calling leads to produce business? Then do that instead. Rainmakers may find blogging boring or not as exhilarating as getting a sale from a cold call. Blogging has to fit you and has to fit into your overall marketing plan for it to be successful.
17. You’re at a Loss for Words
Writer’s block is the worst, but there is a difference between writer’s block and not having anything to say. If you have a hard time figuring out what you would even write about, then blogging may not be for you. Writing and communicating that way may just not be your thing. Maybe you are better at getting up in front of prospects and doing a home buying seminar. Or maybe you are better at the short and sweet writing and social media is your thing. You have to find the medium that fits you because I know you have important ideas to share and you owe it to the world to get them out there!
18. Paying Someone to Do Your Dirty Work
Paying someone to write a blog for you without your hand in it just contributes to the crap out there on the Internet. I will admit that I have done it for clients in the past and it has failed miserably. I feel terrible about that. People want you to be authentic and be yourself. If someone else is doing the writing for you, you are being fake and people will see right through that. Paying someone else to blog for you is blogging just to blog without the right intentions. Don’t do that to your readers.
19. You Aren’t Bringing Anything New to the Table
I think people are scared to blog because they don’t feel like they can provide any different insight than what has already been written. I know I struggle with that! You do have a unique perspective on life, did you know that? It’s called yours. If you aren’t willing to figure that out or share it, then blogging is not a good avenue for you. People don’t want to read the same things over and over. You have to put your thought and your insight into each blog post to separate yourself from the masses. Just like you do in real estate. You have to be different and you have to be uniquely you.
20. You Hate the Details
I will be the first to admit that I do not like dealing with SEO or the analytic side of blogging. I find it tedious, boring and much like the Stats class I mentioned above. I like to write, to be creative and bring the big picture. To me analytics and SEO are the exact opposite of creativity, but they are an important component of my blog, so I educate myself on them and work to make it apart of my everyday blogging business. We all have things about our businesses that we don’t like, but nothing’s perfect so we take the good with the bad. Same with blogging and analytics and SEO. If you can’t imagine learning about analytics or SEO and can’t afford to pay someone to help with that part of blogging, you may need to move in a different direction.
21. You Won’t Be Yourself
When you blog if you are anyone but you, you are letting yourself and your readers down. How many times have I used the word crap in this blog post? Probably more than what a professional or my mom says I should, but hey that’s me! Blogging is about building a connection with people and a community. You can’t build that without first being yourself and if you can’t do that, your blog will fall flat. You don’t put on a fake persona when working with real estate clients do you? (If you do–stop it!) Don’t do it with blogging either. If you aren’t willing to lay it all out there and be yourself, blogging is not the medium for you.
I have to tell you, I don’t love writing such a negative filled post. So why did I do it? I did it to release you from the idea that you have to blog to have a successful real estate business. There are so many marketing opportunities available to Real Estate Agents, more so than ever before and you can choose a different path. I am a firm believer in spending your time doing the things you love to do because life is too short to do anything different. Isn’t that why you are in the real estate business in the first place? Because you wanted to set your own hours, your own course, your own destiny? Then do that and don’t fall into a trap of “I have to blog.” You don’t have to do anything! You just be you, be an awesome Real Estate Agent and do the work you love to do! Your business will be successful when you do what it is you love to do!