Exploring Answers: “Real Estate Weblogging 101”

In the movie Zoolander, Ben Stiller’s character Derek asks the most important question of life: “Who am I?” Of course those who’ve watched the movie know that Derek is a mega successful male model living in a cocoon of a world where members forget that lighting a cigarette during a gasoline fight can be fatal! The relevance of this question though, is never lost throughout this hit comedy.

I think a blogger, in any profession, at some point will ask the same question: Who am I? In fact other questions will quickly follow. Why am doing this? Is what I am doing working? Do I need to make money from blogging to justify the effort? How come my blog isn’t as good as that blog? Any blogger can relate to this.

These questions are very relevant since the whole Real Estate blogging space is currently experiencing explosive growth. More and more agents are giving it a “try” and Active Rain, the MySpace for Real Estate Agents, is becoming the de-facto hang out for any agent in the “know”. So, my question is why is everyone jumping in? What are all of these agents after? Do they suppose that blogging is just another marketing sensation that will help them attract buyers in a down market? These are all very complex questions. However, the fact remains Real Estate blogging is here to stay and agents can do it successfully.

With this growth in blogging, I beleive, that at some point, every agent in the blogosphere will be asking what the heck is all this about?

Real Estate Weblogging 101Greg Swann, Teri Lussier and team, attempt to answer many of these type of questions in an online book called “Real Estate Weblogging 101”. Greg is the founder of BloodhoundBlog and Teri has her own successful blog called TheBrickRanch. REW101 is an ambitious project aimed at helping Real Estate agents understand blogging. It attempts to put a framework around a topic that is not very well understood. For example, we have all been to good blogs but can we really say why that blog was superior to another? REW101 provides some basis for comparison and understanding.

Real Estate Weblogging 101 is a very useful tool akin to a “Dummies Guide to Real Estate Blogging”. However, it does assume a certain level of technical ability and aptitude. The goal appears to be to help agents thinking about jumping into the blogosphere become familiar with blogs and help them determine whether blogging is an undertaking worth pursuing. It is also a good resource for anyone who has been blogging for any length of time.

I will confess, I have not read the whole book as of today. I plan on reading it, but so far, I’ve only read the first eight chapters. Even in the first eight chapters I’ve already found quite a bit of priceless wisdom and guidance. Here is what I’ve found so far:

It has smart observations:

Even so, I don’t think great writing is enough by itself — although I do think great writing is an essential ingredient in a great weblog.

It has great metaphors to bring out points so the reader can understand:

While everyone else is putting up walls or tearing them down, never stopping to wonder why, a great weblogger will be building bridges — and then dancing on them…

The pages are filled with sharp insights:

Content is king, yes? Kindasorta. Context is king, and you had better be a very good writer to stray too far, too often from your context.

As a blogger I will say that there are some aspects of the book with which I do not agree. I believe that a blog should build a relationship with readers strong enough to generate business. At the end of the day I want my efforts to increase my business. I’m not advocating a shameless promotion, but good search engine placement and increased business referrals are some of the results I would like to see from my blogging efforts. So far this book doesn’t seem to quite make the same case.

Having said that, overall, this book will give anyone thinking about blogging answers to the fundamental questions of blogging. When Derek asked “Who am I?” the answers he found propelled his life forward to where he became a much much better human being. I am sure that this book will do the same for anyone serious about blogging.

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