It’s Not ‘Blogging,’ It’s Online Marketing

By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

When I wrote a story in REALTOR® Magazine a couple of years ago about the realities of doing business in social media, I interviewed Jay Thompson, a.k.a., The Phoenix Real Estate Guy. Jay’s been blogging for years, and has generated a ton of business from it.

Back then, he described to me how his former broker didn’t take blogging seriously, dismissing it as playing around instead of conducting real business. While many real estate pros have since come around on the value of blogging, there is still a sense among many of them that it’s not a worthwhile activity, said Chris Smith, co-creator of Tech Savvy Agent, at Inman’s Agent Reboot in Chicago this morning.

“People tell me all the time, ‘I don’t have time to blog, and I don’t know how. I’m going to go be a REALTOR®,'” he said.

Part of the problem is the word itself. “Blogging” tends to conjure up impressions of amateurish writers getting online to flame a politician they don’t like, or provide updates on their cats, or post photos of their vacation to Branson, Mo., with a detailed account of how great Andy Williams was.

If that’s your hang-up, Smith said, just ditch the term. “Lose the word ‘blogging,'” he explained. “I want you to think of it as marketing your business on the Internet.”

Speaking in a panel discussion later, Brian Clark, founder and CEO of Copyblogger Media, said he agreed with that approach and added that creating content was easier than ever before, thanks to free, open-source “blogging platforms” — or content management systems (CMSs), if you prefer. Brian Gardner, partner in Copyblogger Media, founder of StudioPress, and Clark’s co-panelist, cited WordPress as a high-quality, flexible, easy-to-use CMS. “What WordPress allows me to do is not only drive the car, but build the car,” he said.

Clark listed three keys to online marketing:

1. Design optimization: A professional-looking, logically designed site
2. Content optimization: Engaging content that’s also easy to find via search engines
3. Convergence optimization: High traffic combined high rates of lead conversion

Above all, give the people what they want. “Don’t put obstacles in their way,” Clark said. “You have to give that stuff to people without a lot of barriers. Being generous [with info] is a really good strategy, it’s just hard to get your mind around.”

Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at

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  1. Everyone listed above is thought leader and pioneer in what they are doing and have been doing.

    They helped to lay the ground work and direction for industries that didn’t exist until they did what they did.

    And yes it isn’t Blogging … it’s Marketing!

  2. Blogging is definitely changing the way businesses market online. Blogging is a HUGE part of our online marketing services for local businesses. In fact, we don’t even offer SEO services without a blog – that is how important blogging is to SEO. It makes it so much easier to achieve first page rankings and linking blog posts to social media accounts only generates more buzz in Google. Blogging is definitely the future of online marketing and the main core of our SEO services for businesses.

  3. Its not blogging
    Its online marketing
    Or can we just say it is marketing is marketing is marketing.

  4. I take my blog seriously, and when I saw Brian and Brian on the program then I knew that I needed to get to Chicago (from D.C.). Having used Gardner’s theme for the past 2+ years and consider Clark’s blog as a writing classroom, it was kind of cool to meet two people who have been on the cutting edge of online “content marketing” for years.

  5. Peter Clarke

    Blogging and/or writing articles regarding your local market not only drives traffic to your website but establishes you as an area expert. Consumers/clients want to know that you are a professional that they can count on to get the job done. They are searching for you online. You better be there!

  6. Doing some research for a presentation to the other Realtors at my office. This is definitely a good talking point to start off the blog portion. Good work and good points!

  7. Mara Prawda

    Can agents/brokers blog about listings that aren’t theirs? Can my association, board or MLS tell me not to blog about listings that are not mine? Is there a rule set by NAR or CAR on any of this?

  8. Offsite Optimization is the most important difference maker in the ultimate effectiveness of any SEO or online marketing strategy. Offsite Optimization is ultimately about Backlinks.

  9. I am finding that blogging is most effective if I include content that is actually relevant to my client’s needs. I am more interested in writing about it and they are more inclined to read it. It is a win-win.

  10. Give out good information about local neighborhoods and it becomes useful to prospective home buyers.