Introducing REBlogGirl - Primer on the Benefits of Blogging

Introducing REBlogGirl, most notable for her fine work explaining detailed technical aspects of blogging and Web 2.0 tools in a very comprehensible manner at RSSPieces. Her initial post is her primer on the benefits of blogging addressed to the growing number of new RE bloggers we're educating on Transparent. We look forward to her future articles on more esoteric topics, such as Windows Vista and its RSS capabilities, that only she interprets so well.

-- P Kitano

The growth of the blogosphere: everybody’s doing it
According to Dave Sirfry’s April 2006 report on the blogosphere, Technorati currently tracks 35.3 million weblogs.  The report shows that the blogosphere as a whole has grown 60 times what it was just three years ago and continues to double about every six months.  With 75,000 new weblogs springing up every day, 3.9 million bloggers updating their blogs at least weekly and the blog post volume reaching an all time high of over 1.2 million posts per day, blogging shows no sign of slowing anytime soon.

The breakdown:
•    Technorati now tracks over 35.3 Million blogs
•    The blogosphere is doubling in size every 6 months
•    It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
•    On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
•    19.4 million bloggers (55%) are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created
•    Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour

The history of the blog: from online diaries to real estate resources
A weblog, which is usually shortened to blog, is a website where regular entries are made (such as in a journal or diary) and presented in reverse chronological order. Blogs often offer commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, news or local news. Corporate blogs can are often used to answer customer questions in an FAQ format, provide additional product information, aid in customer service and, in the case of service or consulting firms, provide a forum for industry specific information written by experts in article format.

In 2004, the role of blogs became increasingly mainstream, as political consultants, news services and candidates began using them as tools for outreach and opinion forming. Since then, corporations have taken to blogging to connect with customers, employees and the media. Corporate blogs serve as platforms for companies to connect on a more personal level to their customers, employees and the media. Blogs allow companies to easily disseminate pertinent information on their products, services and industry news.

By 2005, a few tech savvy real estate professionals were blogging with some success on every topic from how to stage a home for an open house to the sale of Billy Joel’s estate in the Hamptons.  As these blogs took off, the community took note and formed some  of the more popular real estate blogging networks like ActiveRain and RealEstateVoices.  Today, it seems that just about every Realtor either has a blog or is looking to blog.

Why should real estate agents blog?
1.    Blogs are better indexed than websites by search engines like Google, Yahoo! and MSN.  Why? Search engines are voracious readers, they like frequently updated, new and relevant content.  Blogs provide just that.  They allow you as a Realtor to login to their back-ends and enter new articles daily without knowing a lick of HTML. 
BENEFIT: Increased search engine results rankings on Google, Yahoo! and MSN. Basically, a blog helps you get found in searches on popular search engines better and improves traffic to your site, which ultimately results in more leads and listings.

2.    RSS feeds syndicate your blogs content across the net.  All blogs have a built-in marketing tool called RSS.  RSS allows individual subscribers to sign up for your feed and have your new content delivered directly to their feed reader, email or website in real time. 
BENEFIT: Increased web presence and brand awareness.  When another website chooses to syndicate your content, you benefit by an increased web presence, branding and more traffic to your site.  Built-in marketing mechanisms like ping services and RSS help drive more traffic to a blog than a regular website.

3.    Agents that write blogs perform more research to keep up with their local markets than Realtors who don’t blog.  This greater knowledge base becomes a significant competitive advantage over non-blogging Realtors…
BENEFIT: Blogs build a Realtors' knowledge base and credibility as an expert in their field.  Because the blog platform gives the realtor a channel to market their knowledge, visitors tend to think of the Realtor as an expert.

4.    By frequently providing quality local content on hot button issues, a Realtor builds credibility within their community.  They connect with their audience (read "potential clients") on a personal level that makes them feel as though they already have a relationship.
BENEFIT: Blogging agents generate more leads than non blogging agents.  People like to do business with people they “know” and respect as an expert, therefore blogging agents generate more leads than non blogging competitors.

5.    Any blog that is driving reasonable traffic can be monetized.  Once a blog has at least 100 pages of content and proven traffic, an Amazon affiliate shop and Google AdSense helps defray marketing costs. 
BENEFIT: Blogs can be monetized to provide an alternative income source. Because blogs drive substantially more traffic than websites, monetizing them can boost a Realtor’s bottom line during good times and carry him/her through lulls in the market.

6.    Blogs are better indexed by search engines, syndicated through RSS feeds and many offer free social networking ping services. Through these mechanisms, your blog content is constantly marketed across the web and consistently driving traffic back to you. 
BENEFIT: Blogs drive more traffic than websites.  Blogs have many more automated web marketing tools than websites and are better indexed by search engines. Your customers can find you more easily, driving far more quality traffic to you than a website that tends to be static.

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  • 10/12/2006 4:30 AM teresa boardman wrote:
    An observation, many of the blogs that are started each day never progress beyong a couple of entries or are abandoned in a few months.
    Reply to this

  • 10/12/2006 10:49 AM REBlogGirl wrote:
    Good observation, Teresa. I notice that a lot of Realtors tend to abandon their blogs because they don't see immediate results with an independent blog. It's a matter of understanding the value. I think ActiveRain does a good job of encouraging first time bloggers to blog frequently. Once a blogger has tested the waters with a system like that they can move onto the big boy blogs. It's about understanding the utility of blogging and seeing the resutls.
    Reply to this
    1. 10/14/2006 9:48 AM P Kitano wrote:
      The message of blogging as a MUST DO is being broadcast loud and clear... Bernice Ross at Inman News yesterday just reiterates what REBlogGirl and everyone else is saying.... to the letter. (oops, sorry, Inman subscription required...)

      Reply to this

  • 10/24/2006 3:20 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
    REBlogGirl is unquestionably the best writer on the technology of blogging... I unapologetically use her lesson plans for my clients who start out blogging.
    Reply to this

  • 10/24/2006 3:36 PM REBlogGirl wrote:
    thanks for the kudos, PK. I think you are pretty special yourself.
    Reply to this
    1. 10/24/2006 4:00 PM P Kitano wrote:
      Hey Mary, my testimonial had a dual purpose ... I was testing how a trackback works... does the trackback actually link back to RSS pieces? You know, no one has ever trackbacked to me, nor I to them... is this feature becoming extinct?

      btw, I really like your google alg crack article...

      Reply to this

  • 10/25/2006 7:14 AM Roberta Murphy wrote:
    Mary: With limited hours during the day, I am selective about whose real estate blogs and writings I follow.

    You are on the short list.
    Reply to this

  • 4/16/2007 5:12 PM shaun mclane wrote:
    HUGE FAN! It's an amazing web we weave. (sorry for the cliche)
    Reply to this

  • 5/19/2008 8:56 PM Robin wrote:
    I have been reading everything I can by RSS Pieces and this is no exception. good stuff.
    Reply to this
    1. 5/20/2008 5:47 AM Pat Kitano wrote:
      Mary is a wizard... I'm surprised you found her article on Transparent, it's buried in the archives...

      Reply to this

  • 3/7/2010 6:40 PM Bill Gassett wrote:
    Pat kind of amazing to look back on this post and think about how far blogging has come yet many of the points in your post still hold true today. The exposure a blog brings as well as a means of driving traffic back to other websites you may have can be a real driving force for business!
    Reply to this

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