Have you taken a good look around your real estate blog lately? Would you like to gain more traffic? And, reach each your target audience, for real? If you are serious about your blog, then you should be serious about taking new steps and exploring innovative options to boost your blog success. Don’t let your blog take a back seat to 2.0!
MTO is gearing up for the Inman Connect SF. In fact, I’ve been invited to speak on the Blogger’s Connect panel entitled, “Growing Pains: Taking Your Blog to the Next Level“, alongside these A-list rockin’ real estate blog experts Dustin Luther, Jim Cronin, and Daniel Rothamel. The RE 2.0 guru himself will be there as moderator, yes, you know him….Jeff Turner. So over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing tools and suggestions for taking that next level leap. But of course I’ll be leaving the meatiest of it all for those of you attending the Connect. So, I hope to see you there!
Anyway, our blogucation cannot begin without a self assessment, a blog assessment really. The best teachers assess at the beginning and the end of an assignment or goal. How else will you know if you made any real strides? To start, you will notice that the following assessment is organized in 2 sections, Internal Factors and External Factors. To examine your blog best, you should focus on these 2 areas.
Internal Factors are actions, tools, and strategies you put into play on your blog to give it life, display your expertise and target your audience. These may include your voice, design, blog posts, organization, comments, etc. External Factors are actions, tools, and strategies you use to reach outside of your blog, create interaction, and hopefully bring readers back to you. These may include, but not limited to: IDX Search, email newsletters, commenting, podcasting, video, social networking, etc.
Take the “Does my blog REally rock?” Assessment (Directions: Print this article, read each question, and write your yes or no answer next to each one. If you’re old school, grab a piece of paper and number 1-6 twice, then write down your answers. Keep your eyes on your own paper. )
Part 1 – Internal Factors (Looking in at your blog.)
- Are you speaking to your target audience?
- Do you speak in an authentic voice?
- Are you sharing content that your target audience cares about?
- Is that content compelling, remarkable, or helpful?
- Is your blog design professional and pleasing to the eye?
- Do you keep up or add to the conversations on your blog?
Part 2 – External Factors (Looking out from your blog.)
- Besides commenting, do you foster community interaction? (i.e. Neighborhood Wiki, Q & A Forum, Instant Messaging, Local Sponsors & Interviews, etc.)
- Does your blog provide additional content, features, or tools to supplement your voice? (Podcast Advice, IDX Search, Mortgage Rates, Calculators, Neighborhood Maps, etc?)
- Do you incorporate any type of social media with your blog? (Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Zolve, Real Seekr, etc.)
- Do you regularly podcast or vlog?
- Do you have a call to action? Do you capture leads? (i.e. email newsletter, IDX MLS Search, e-book sign up, online trainings, drawings or contests, etc.)
- Are you sharing content in a way that nobody else is?
Note which question(s) you answered “no” to. Circle that question or questions. Now we have something to work with. Turn the question you answered “no” to into a statement. For example, if you answered no to “Do you speak in an authentic voice?” your goal would now read as “Speak in an authentic voice.” If you answered no to, “Do you regularly podcast or vlog?” your goal would now read as “Regularly podcast or vlog.”
It’s not rocket science, but it is a quick and easy way to identify blogging weaknesses both internally and externally. So, now that you’ve identified your core blogging weakness, it’s time to get focused. Whether you have an internal or external area to improve upon or take to the next level, I’ll be here next week with ideas and support for your new blog goals.