By Todd Carpenter, Social Media Manager, National Association of REALTORS®
Long before working here at NAR, I ran a mortgage industry insider’s blog called lenderama. We talked about the real estate market, sales tools, government policies, and emerging technologies. One day I was alerted to the fact that Zillow was hiring someone for an upcoming role in their new mortgage department.
Knowing nothing more than the fact that Zillow was planning to build a mortgage product, I wrote a series of posts about what I thought they would do, what I thought they should do, and in the end, what they actually did. The final post was a product of the initial ones. Zillow gave me a sneak peak of their product, which was a very smart idea since I now owned the first result in Google for the term “Zillow Mortgage”.
The business purpose of a blog post isn’t always to inform your readers at large. A great post does that, and then goes on to deliver additional opportunities. In the case of the Zillow post, my goal was to own “Zillow Mortgage” on Google for the day the product was launched. Not Zillow, or TechCrunch, or Inman News … me.
Do your blog posts have a business purpose? Before you write a post, ask yourself what you want the post to do for you. It might be to bolster your long-tail search results. It might be a post you can refer to later that shows your expertise in a particular topic, or it could be designed to help you endear yourself to another person. Your post may even do all of these, but you should always ask yourself: What is its highest and best use?
Take, for instance, a restaurant review. I see people writing reviews because they want to get that long-tail search result. Or they want to show consumers that they’re the local expert on the community. But, if they want to endear themselves to the owner of that restaurant, then the post will likely be written differently. Then you might interview the owner, find out more about the history of the business, write more of a feature than a review, and then make sure they know about it. Make sense?
Another example would be to blog about a development being constructed. Writing several posts, long before the first people ever move in. Showing the progress (good and bad) of the development along the way. This may not endear you to the developer, but there’s a great chance you will rank well when people start searching for it.
I find it easier to write a post once I have a reason for writing it. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish with every post before you write it. That’s the true opportunity in writing a blog.
Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of the Data Analytics Group at NAR
I'm a twenty year veteran of the real estate and mortgage industry, focusing on technology that fosters relationships between professionals and consumers. I am a subject matter expert in data analytics, online consumer trends, enterprise social media strategy, listing data, agent ratings, and public facing MLS portals.