Have a Business Purpose Behind Every Blog Post You Write

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

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.

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  1. Blogging with a purpose is absolutely the correct way to do it. Unfortunately, people are sometimes trying to go overboard on their keywords to try and attract the highly coveted top spot with search engines in one post.
    I like how you point out the fact that you would write a series of posts about a topic in order to rank for the terms.
    Quality and consistency is what made Lenderama such a rockin’ resource for many people. I remember searching for real estate and mortgage blogs several years ago. Tcar was all over the place. 🙂

  2. Gold Todd!

  3. A great point you make, writing with a purpose will most definitely garner better results, like what you did with zillow. I enjoyed your post. I also write posts for mortgage loan modification help for struggling homeowners at my site.

  4. Thanks for the good summary. I have seen too many new bloggers that don’t seem to have a goal or purpose in mind.

  5. Great post, Todd! I think there has to be a balance between writing for overall performance and writing for specific, targeted results. I don’t think I’ve mastered either one, but I do still enjoy blogging after all these years, so I guess I must be doing something right 🙂

  6. I always start out with the thought “what will be compelling”. I am constantly working with real estate agents on making sure their comments, whether in a blog post or an open house, has a compelling message. The compelling content has to be targeted specifically for your audience. For instance, if I am blogging about the great opportunities available in the entry level home market, I need to focus on the buyer profile. The blog post for first time buyers is much different than a post for investors, as I will need to give compelling content on the steps involved in the buying process. At all times I have to keep in mind my target audience.

  7. I couldnt agree more, I also believe in making a point in every business response, I have noticed that my craigslist ads are getting me all sorts of phone calls, I found a great site to use to post on craigslist, its called thepropertyposter.com I linked it from my name, its free and kicks butt.

  8. This will be very helpful when I start blogging. I am very behind, but I am starting with reading what the experts in my field have to say. Thank you

  9. astro

    is this true?