This post was written in 2004, when I was still running the real estate company:
Most of you know I run a real estate company, DROdio Real Estate, Inc. which is a technologically progressive firm. For about 2 years now I've been hearing about blogs, but I never really understood their power until the last month or so.
If you're anything like me, you have probably heard the buzzword "blog" a lot, but you might be wondering how an "online diary" could be useful in the business world.
First off, a word about what it takes to write a really good blog. You can't be in the game for a week or a month. You have to be ready to consistently write really good blog postings for at least 6 months, and probably longer. I'd guess you need about 100 to 200 blog postings before you'll see any kind of ROI on your time investment. If you can write 500+ blog postings, you'll be getting to where you need to be.I see two major benefits of blogs:
- Blogs let you answer a question once, and then refer to that answer multiple times - like an assembly line
2. Blogs give you a published area of expertise that will attract new clients.
Let me show you some examples:
#1: Henry Ford would love blogs, because they let you be much more efficient in your writing - like an assembly line. When a client asks you a question, you probably take some time to answer it - maybe 15 minutes max, right? But I'd be willing to bet you that if you only had to answer that question one time, and you could re-use the answer multiple times, you'd be much more likely to spend some real time on the answer, right? Enter the blog. You can spend a lot of time answering a question (I spend from 30 minutes to several hours) and then every time you get the question, you just send your client the blog posting as an answer. Over time you can build up a knowledge base of answers, which will benefit you in other ways (more on that in a minute). As you add to this rich media of content, you'll find it easier & easier to spend the time an answer really requires because you know you won't have to keep writing it over & over.
Setting up a blog is really, really easy. You can use Typepad, (which is what I use for this blog), or Blogger or a host of other options. It'll literally take you minutes to set your blog up. If you want a fully customized blog like our knowledge base, you can get in the door for $500 to $1,000, or a developer friend that's willing to customize a Wordpress installation for you.
#2: Blogs get you noticed by Google. And when Google thinks you know what you're talking about, it'll send clients your way who are querying terms you write about. This is where the 500+ posts comes in to play. Google isn't going to pay much attention to you until you can prove that you're the smartest kid in the class. But once you do, and clients start finding you, you'll be in for a surprise. Instead of having clients who call you to price-shop, you'll have clients calling you to discuss your blog postings. You'll have clients that already agree (or disagree) with your position, but either way, respect your knowledge and want to benefit from having you represent or help them.
Here's a related blog posting about how this happened to me - Google referred me to my own blog when I searched for a term I wasn't sure about!
Want to see some really good blogs? My friend Frank LLosa has the absolute best blog I've ever come across, at http://blog.FranklyRealty.com.