To Blog or not to blog!
What is a Blog?
• The simple definition:
• A “web log” of chronological entries (most recent first)
• Can be a “verb” meaning to maintain or add to a blog
• Might combine text, images, links to other blogs or web sites,
and related media
• As of December 2007, blog search engine Technorati was
tracking more than 112 million blogs
What is a blog?
• Even though a blog can be more interactive
than most web sites, and allow for user
feedback in the form of comments, it is still
just a website.
• So, if it’s just a website, what is the big deal?
What is the big deal?
• Most importantly, a blog is easy to update
• A blog will also have a feedback mechanism,
often added as a way for readers to add
comments to posts.
• Blog posts are written in a more
conversational style than is used for formal
Blogging is communicating
• Blogs are two way communication channels
– This is a fundamental feature of blogs.
• Given that blogs are two way communication
tools there needs to be a mechanism to
communicate back to the blogger.
• There are two basic ways to do that
• Most blogs allow readers to leave feedback
– Comments can be moderated or
• Moderated allows you to read comments
before they appear on the blog
– The comments can be seen by all of the blogs
visitors and become part of the blog’s content
• Trackbacks are the second method of reader
• Trackbacks are generated by other bloggers
on their blogs.
• They allow the reader to comment on your
blog by doing so on their blogs.
• Trackbacks allow the online conversation to
spread throughout the “blogosphere”
• Trackbacks can only be generated by other
• This is a shortcoming compared to
comments, which can be left by bloggers
and non-bloggers alike
• Both are useful to you
• Blogs are persistent
• Unlike phone calls or face to face
communications, blogs leave a record
• You can see what the topics were, and the
related comments going back in time
• This is a double edged sword!
How do you create a blog?
• There are two basic ways:
– A blogging Platform
– Blogging Software
• Blogging platforms are hosted by the hosting
company on their servers
• Blogging software needs to be downloaded
and installed on your server
– Could be on your existing website or on
another web server
• Popular among advanced bloggers
• Requires more technical expertise, but
provides more flexibility and functionality
• The two most popular are MovableType and
• Due to the complex nature of blogging
software we will concentrate on blogging
• Someone else maintains the software
• You go to their website and create an
account, you then go to their website and log
in to accomplish changes
• No technical knowledge is needed… if you
can send an email, you can blog
• Usually cheap or free
• You can start a basic blog in minutes
• One of the downsides is that you have
limited choices on appearances and
• Another is that the URL’s often contain the
name of the host and do not do a good job of
Popular Blogging platforms
• Blogger – free from Google
• WordPress – also free
• TypePad – also free
• RealTown Blogs – also free:
The Value of Blogging
• Why should you consider blogging?
– It’s a great way to position yourself as
someone who has timely information about
real estate … an expert
– It builds community by allowing you to
interact with your readers
– It can serve as a gateway to your website
• Builds traffic to your website
– Another method of branding you
Successful Business Blogging
• Learn to write well
– Writing skills are important again
• Be Yourself
– Let people get to know you
• Don’t just listen…comment and post as well
• Be patient and give it time
Successful Business Blogging
• A business blog should have the comments
turned on, but moderated
• Market research is important…what are your
readers interested in? Find out, don’t
assume that you know.
• Track the search terms that people use to
• Engage your reader by providing valuable
• Blogging is a conversation and the normal rules of
• Think before you hit publish
• Remember that websites (and blogs) can live
• Even if you delete a post, it may already have been
archived by Google or other search engines.
• It’s usually not possible to delete posts that you
have left on someone else's blog
• Don’t put copyrighted material on your blog!
• It is ok to excerpt a small bit from another
source, but you do need to give an
attribution to the copyright holder
• Blogs are basically another form of electronic
communication, and as such existing laws
• Twitter- Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers
to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick,
• Windows Word Press- the leading open source blogging engine on
• Technorati- real time search engine for blogs
• Google Alerts- perfect to find out when and where people talk about
you or your blog
• Meebo.com- Instant messenger widget that can be used as a
“contact me now” on your blog
• Statscounter.com- free yet reliable invisible web tracker, highly
configurable hit counter and real-time detailed web stats.
• Widgets- small software applications containing HTML code
• RSS Feeds-a standardized format that allows users to subscibe to
your Blog to see the latest updates and read your latest posts.
1. Get informed- Read blogs online and see what they have to
2. Interact with other bloggers- Take your first steps into a
new online community
3. Research tools for your blog- Become knowledgeable
about which tools and widgets you want to include
4. Identify your message, your unique content, and your
5. Decide on a Blogging Platform
6. Develop a set time to write or update
7. Begin to write content and update your blog
8. Market your blog
How do I gain traction?
• Generally speaking, it takes 4-6 months to
gain traction with your blog.
• You need to work on your blog 1-2 hours a
day 2-3 times per week. At minimum, this is
a 2-6 hour a week commitment.
• Once you have 25-30 blog entries, you will
begin to see the increase in traffic and
• Promote your blog
• Encourage “audience” participation
• Make it easy to find
• Organize your Archives
• Track your readership
• Starting a blog can increase your visibility in
• Increased visibility can lead to more
• Blogging is an inexpensive way to increase
your website traffic
• Don’t quit 5 minutes before the miracle!
Successful Real Estate Blogs