6.5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Blog
In the past I’ve asked you the question “Should you start your own blog?” in the real estate blogosphere and even went as far as giving you a somewhat step-by-step process on how to go about getting started. I basically gave you reasons why you should blog.
Today, my approach is a little different.
Believe it or not, as popular as blogging is, and as powerful as the motivation is for joining the bandwagon, there are good reasons why you shouldn’t blog.
Here are 9:
- You are not a very good writer. This is a tough one because you have to evaluate your own writing ability. And you have to be honest about it. But ask the hard question before you start to blog. If you can’t definitively say that you are among the most compelling writers in the real estate blogosphere, then you will be swallowed alive by the hordes of great blogs. Now, if you think you have the writing chops to become one of the best bloggers in real estate, then by all means, consider the next question.
- Your point of view or voice is not compelling. A unique point of view requires creativity. And if you don’t have a creative bone in your body, your blog will bore everyone to tears. (I take that back: you won’t bore anyone to tears because you won’t have many, if any, readers.)You might be a great writer–a great technical writer–but that doesn’t translate well to a blog. Furthermore, no one is really interested in a well-articulated opinion that is mainstream, old or cliched.Part of being a good blogger requires you think about what is already being posted and figuring out how to oppose or improve or provide a unique angle on a subject that is already out there. (For instance, I originally started this post as “reasons why you SHOULD blog,” but during research noticed there were at least 10 REALLY good posts already out there. [I didn’t search past the first page.] I then asked my self: “What could I do differently?” Voila.)
- Your ideas are not focused. Grow-a-brain is a hugely successful blog, partly because it has a wildly-wide range of subject it covers. But if you read it for at least you’ll notice one thing: Haran Levin has a clearly defined format. He keeps all of his content in the post tightly related.Some bloggers like Chris Garrett or Joel Burelsom are focused on their flagship content. As am I. Flagship content provides a true North on the compass. A direction, a focus. As a blogger, you should almost always steer in this direction. That also means you don’t treat your blog as a meandering diary or brain dump.
- You do not have a wealth of experience readers can relate to. If you are eighteen, trust me, you do not know the inner workings of the world. However, just because you ‘ve been a truck driver for thirty-five years doesn’t mean you have a wealth of experience that resonates with people.
- You plan on posting every other month. Or whenever you get to it. If you can’t commit to a schedule (and I highly recommend that in your initial planning you set down a schedule for blog posts and then stick to it), then don’t start.I placed this one further down the lists because it isn’t a deal killer. But don’t expect a high readership or community involvement. You can get away with random blog posts because most people who read blogs do so through a rss aggragetor. This means all they have to do is check their aggregator to see if any new feeds have come in. Once they are subscribed to your blog, they’ll probably remain subscribed. However, if you plan on posting far and few in between, you better post hard-hitting, well-planned posts. In email marketing, the rule of thumb is this: daily emails equal short, pithy messages. Weekly emails equal longer, informative messages. Monthly equals long, deeply-researched, valuable posts. You can post once a month, but you’ll have to make each one count. Otherwise people will just ignore you.
- You plan on NOT allowing comments. Great blogging is about creating a feedback loop. In fact, that is what the whole trend of social media is all about. Creating a conversation, good or bad, with your readers. Observation has shown that places where the feedback loop is closed lose readership. People want to be part of the conversation. Besides, a lot of good bloggers base their content on questions asked by their readers. I’ve seen book agents do this. One good thing about this approach is that you don’t have to think about what you want to provide as content. The reader decides. And giving the reader the choice is all about what the web is becoming. If you plan on “not dealing” with comments, so be it. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So, am I wrong? Was this bad advice?
I’m pretty certain that it isn’t. This is stuff I’ve learned from watching the industry and talking to experts for two years. But you tell me. Am I missing something?
Now, I will say if after reading this you do not care if you get one lead or you do not care to add to your bottom line, then feel free to start a blog. I will not bother you. But since it is important to me to see you succeed, I simply thought I needed to share with you the other side of the coin. My point in doing so is that your decision needs to be well thought out.
You thought I forgot, didn’t you? Not at all.
Here’s the deal: choosing not to blog will not sink you financially. It will not starve you or make you disappear from your marketplace. Blogging is only one spoke in the wheel of marketing. You should be doing plenty of offline marketing. And plenty online, too. But that doesn’t mean you have to blog.
Now I do recommend you interact with blogs. Not only read them, but comment as well. This way you can build a presence in the blogosphere as an authority without having the headache of managing your own blog. And as long as you have a link back to your website with a clearly visible way to get a hold of you, you’ll generate buzz and hopefully leads. Leaving comments has great value. People will start tracking you down for information and answers.
+++ If you haven’t already, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.
Now that’s a great post! Very insightful and informative. The biggest challenge I face with my blog is keeping up with the questions I receive and deciding which ones to respond to on my blog, and then doing so in a consistent manner. It’s so easy for me to fall behind! And as you can see, I’m taking your advice about commenting! 🙂