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Hey, Am I Stupid or Something! It Seems the More I Learn About RE Blogging, the Less I Know!

Hey, fellow bloggers - I'm asking for a lifeline, folks.  Because this whole blogging thing beats the heck out of me!  Perhaps it's because I'm from Chicago - what the heck do I know?  You know?

Two quick questions and critical needs-

1.  Without spending countless hours playing around, learning coded, andtweaking my blog (after all, my job is to Sell Real Estate, not to open a branch office of The Geek Squad) - what few things do I need to do to make my blogging effort more effective?

2.  Is there anyone you would know that really knows this stuff - not just SAYS he or she knows this stuff - and can give me and our Team the help, guidance, and intervention we need to add impact - without, of course, breaking the bank.  (We don't need another $300/month and "trust us" kind of service - been there, done that!)

Despite the fact I have been blogging on AR since last November, and with our Team's own outside blog - BlogChicagoHomes.com - for nearly 1 1/2 years now - my results are apparently only marginal - or so say many "experts" who have taken a look.   And our Team and I post nearly every day!

I try to mix mainly RE-related material with other content that would be very appealing to those living in or wanting to live in Chicago.  I have tried to use keywords when ever I can, without sounding like that's all I am doing.  I have revised the look of my outside blog (not so with AR yet).  My posts, I have been told, are actually interesting and thought-provoking - no cut and paste items, no fluff!

But, still - I feel like I need to do more.  Much, much more!

Problem is - I don't have time to research, and revise, and research again, and revise again, to achieve a blog that is not only interesting and impactful, but helps me build my web presence as well.

Some positives I am grateful for - strong point summary on AR has led to several referrals, and standing in the AR community.  Over 4,000 people here have viewed my profile.  Over 1,000 have commented on my posts, and I have commented, over 500 times - meaningfully, not "at a boy!" on the blogs of others.

I am increasing recognition of our Team - Dean's Team Chicago - on the Internet, in good measure as a result of my AR Blog.

Still, my outside blog draws very few comments - although readership of the posts themselves has increased to just under 20 clicks per day.

What should I do, folks?  Go back to selling shoes at Chernins?  Run a Subway Sandwich Store?  Go back to being a laid-back Album Oriented Rock Jock?  Sit in the Wrigley Field Bleachers?  Work in the Media Department of Leo Burnett Advertising?   Sell Mailing Lists to Direct Marketers?

Maybe - all of the above!

But first, I need to get better at this blogging thing!

Help!  And . . . thanks in advance!

DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

Comment balloon 10 commentsDean Moss • July 28 2008 11:07PM

Comments

I am by no means an expert, but here are my two suggestions for you. 

1) I read your blog fairly regularly (gotta support my peeps in Chitown!) and I think you could do more with links.  This is something search engines really pick up on.  For example, I just read your blog post on historical landmarks.  You mentioned a lot of famous places.  Each one of those should have been a link out to that place.  Highlight the name of the venue (your anchor text) and then link to the appropriate source.  Search engines reward these links.  You are also going to want to try to get as many links back as you can.  Hopefully this improves your search engine juice.

2) Are you utilizing social media to promote your blog.  Get a facebook account for your team and start building contacts.  Get a linked in account, a twitter acct, etc.  Then I suggest getting a free account on friendfeed.com and publishing your posts here, which feeds out to a lot of these social media sites.

One more bonus suggestion- blogging is as much about giving as getting.  It is important to comment on other people's blog, which will in turn get more exposure for yours.  While it is great to comment on other AR blogs (hey- you get points!), make sure you going outside the rain too.  I would find about 10 blogs a day to comment on.  They don't all have to be real estate related (make sure they are something you are actually interested in) and a majority of them should be local. 

Hopefully this helps, if not, at least you aren't out $300 for my insights! :)

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 10 years ago

Despite the fact I have been blogging on AR since last November, and with our Team's own outside blog - BlogChicagoHomes.com - for nearly 1 1/2 years now - my results are apparently only marginal - or so say many "experts" who have taken a look.

Hi Dean,

I'm sure you're not stupid.  You're probably ahead of most agents.  I suspect that many agents, even AR members, are in the same boat with respect to their blogging efforts.  They're investing lots of time, but they're not satisfied with their results.

First of all, what is your target market?  You face tremendous competition in the Chicago metro area.  I believe that's one factor you must consider.  For example: I just searched on Google for Chicago real estate and found 3.7M pages!  That's one hundred times the online competition that some of my clients face, in smaller areas around the country.  Possibly selecting a less competitive niche market would be an appropriate strategy for you.

Also, what is actually marginal about your results?  Clicks?  Leads?  Transactions?  Search engine rankings?  How are you, or the "experts", grading your results?

By the way, what is your approach to listings?  Here's why I ask.  I came to Active Rain because I kept noticing listings posted on Active Rain were popping up on the first page of Google!  That is very impressive.  Being the incurably curious type, I wanted to learn more.  Instead of learning and leaving, I've discovered that this network has some absolutely amazing people.  I'm building new business relationships and making new friends, so I'm going to stay!  :)

Finally, what exactly are your blogging goals?  You mentioned that you've already been receiving referrals.  That's good!  What caused those referrals?  Is that action repeatable?

Respectfully,

Bruce

P.S.  I'm not a blogging expert.  However, I do have years of marketing experience combined with years of internet lead generation experience.  I think outside the box, which I believe is helpful in this changing market.  I think you have raised a fascinating question.  A good discussion of this topic will probably be helpful to many AR agents.

Posted by Not Yet Licensed about 10 years ago

Good insights, and leads me to more understanding of this blogging thing... especially why this group is called "Realtor Life" - (because it can take up your entire life posting & getting your message out there!) :)

Posted by Lynn Afton, REALTOR® Near Big Rapids, MI, Mecosta County (Greenridge Realty Oakmont) about 10 years ago

Hi Dean.  Great post.  I have read before but will subscribe today.

Keep writing good stuff.  Everything will take care of itself!!

Ken

Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) about 10 years ago

Dean,  This is a real good post.  I have the same questions and know I need to do much more.  The answers that have been provided so far are helpful.  I will bookmark this and come back to see more answers. 

Posted by Vicki Pedersen, Providing Exceptional Real Estate Service (Pedersen Real Estate) about 10 years ago

Dean, I ask the same questions to myself as you ask yourself, and I am parked for more people to comment.  If I worked on an hourly rate, including the time I blog, my 12 year old son makes more than I do.  I think its that its such a bad market right now and people are competing for very few buyers.  When the market turns, we will be in the right place.

By the way... that's why you look like I know you... you sold me many many shoes at Chernons.

Posted by Judy Greenberg, Coldwell Banker - Buffalo Grove - Long Grove Homes (Coldwell Banker Long Grove) about 10 years ago

Hey, fellow bloggers - I'm asking for a lifeline, folks.  Because this whole blogging thing beats the heck out of me! 

Hi again Dean,

Are you going to make any changes?  Based on all the views of this thread, there seems to be a strong interest in your two questions.  My impression, after reading Active Rain for about two months, is that a substantial investment of your time is what's required to build a really powerful blog.  Just my two cents.

Respectfully,

Bruce

Posted by Not Yet Licensed about 10 years ago

Bruce -

Absolutely, I will make the suggested changes!

But, rather than playing around with everything myself personally (I do SELL REAL ESTATE for a living you know), I would like to connect with someone who can systematically help refine and optimize my blog, based on content our Team would write.  They would edit for highest effectiveness, keyword use, and all those other things.

There has got to be a company out there who can really help here - no BS!  I don't mind working at it, but I often find I am just groping, assuming - without any knowledge.  Perhaps I will stumble upon success, but, more than likely, not.

I have asked for suggestions from my Web Designer and SEO Company, and will also check with Kinetic Knowledge to see if they have any suggestions.

Thanks, again, for your comment.

DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO

 

Posted by Dean Moss, Dean's Team Chicago IL Real Estate Team (Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL) about 10 years ago

Good evening Dean,

I think there are many ways to become successful.  I came to Active Rain because I noticed listings that had been posted on AR were coming up highly ranked on Google.  That's impressive!  Being the curious type, I wanted to learn how that was done.  I just quickly scanned your posts back to the start of July.  In over five weeks of posting, I don't see any of your listings.  My suggestion is that you consider the idea of adding one or two listings per month.  It's a fact.  Internet home buyers love to look at pictures!  I imagine you can find hundreds of listings here on Active Rain.  I think Katerina Gasset did a great job with this one:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/528571/Golf-Country-Club-Living

Posted by Not Yet Licensed about 10 years ago

Dean. First I would recomment reading Broker Bryants blogs. Lots of help there!

Linking is key.  once you have a link on your AR blog you can copy and paste it to all your other blogs or websites.  Saves so much time.  (place a link on your blog for your property search of Chicago ect)

Posted by Christina Williams. REALTOR® TN property search & local insights (First Realty Company) about 10 years ago

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