Start a blog, they said. It will be fun, they said. It will further establish your brand and increase business they said.
Reflecting on my experiences since starting my own blog, rthornburgh.com, I believe others considering adding this to their workload need to carefully evaluate if it is the wisest investment of time and effort. Developing a blog for the wrong reasons will only lead to unnecessary frustration and eventually a dead site.
Don’t get me wrong. Amazing things can happen thanks to blogging if done the right way. Writing enriches thinking. Drafting content forces you to reflect deeper on situations and lessons learned. It pushes your boundaries, encourages you to seek new ideas and make new connections. Blogging can enhance your networking, especially when you write guest blogs or host a guest post on your site. Plus, there’s all that exciting SEO and other profile-raising information to study. However, before embarking on this new endeavor, consider three (3) valuable lessons I have learned:
- It Requires Hard Work and Planning. More goes into a successful blog behind the scenes than you might realize. Besides making time to write, you need to plan relevant topics, brainstorm ideas, and conduct research. There’s editing and proofreading. The best blogs also include images, so you’ll need to source quality visuals. You will need to contemplate promotion, strategically publishing each post, using social media or including a snippet in an e-mail newsletter. Blogging is a long-term strategy that garners results over time.
- Blogs are a Dime a Dozen. Anyone can start a blog about anything. The question is – do you have something unique worth saying? Commercial real estate bloggers specialize in everything from location advice, legal topics to insight on market trends. The more experience you have, the more guidance you can give your readers.
- It’s Not About You. If you’re planning to start a blog solely as a form of self-promotion and driving traffic, your blog will likely fail. Blogging must be selfless. Instead of writing for yourself, write for others. The best blogs are either helpful or entertain. Channel this special knowledge you have into something that will add value for the greater audience.
Writing is not for everyone, and that’s okay. Blogging isn’t the only way to grow your content and brand reputation. Play to your strengths. Maybe you would shine as a podcaster or with unique video content. The world of marketing and public relations is without limits.
Remember, like everything else in life, what you get out of things will depend in great part on what you put back into them. Think carefully about the best medium for you to devote your energy towards before forging ahead.
Finally, if you are convinced a blog is the next best step for you – for an exceptional list of current examples in the marketplace, look at Duke Long’s top 50 commercial real estate blogs at: dukelong.com
(No, I didn’t make his list this year, but I keep working to constantly improve content and serving as a resource to our industry!)