Thinking about blogging? Three tips to help you get started.
Updated: Jul 4, 2020
I know, I know, it’s hard to come up with topics. Maybe you don’t think you’re a good writer. Perhaps you’re worried about finding the right photos to use with your blog or you don’t know where to post it. Ultimately, you think you’ll be howling into the abyss.
I get it.
But I also believe what Arthur Ashe said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
1. Start where you are.
What are you passionate about? Let's say, you're a real estate agent--and a damn good one. Giving some valuable advice will help establish that further. Pick a general topic. For example, first-time homebuyers. Begin by writing at least 500 words on why rent is a bad idea and how $1,100 in rent can also be a $1,100 mortgage payment on a $210,000 home. Maybe write about tax write-offs, equity, home-buying assistance programs, etc. Cover each sub-topic in a general way. Just make sure you write at least 500 words. Google sees blogs with fewer than 500 words as “thin content” and it will be critical of it. And the sweet spot for web crawlers is actually around 1,000 words, according to Yoast, a leader in SEO. But--and stay with me here--you have to be an advanced writer to hit that word count. That's why people hire me. (Shameless plug.)
Then a week later, pick up the topic again in another blog but only focus on one aspect of it. For instance, spend 500-600 words writing about home-buying assistance programs. Seem like too many words? Could be. That’s why you’re going to tell your readers a story about a family you helped with the exact program you described.
Then a week later, pick up the topic again in another blog but focus on another aspect of it. Now you’re talking about building equity. Maybe you even expand into the difference between a 15-year and 30-year mortgage as a way to do this. And you tell another story about how this equity translated into a bigger home for a buyer after only five years.
Then … well, you get the idea.
You take one general topic and divide it up into smaller topics until you’ve exhausted the subject. Also, be sure to provide internal links to other blogs you've written and to other articles and resources. This drives up SEO.
2. Use what you have.
Set aside your fear about writing. Dedicate an hour to do it and then get to work. The muse shows up when you do. That's how it works. Ask two friends to proof it. Integrate their suggestions. Take your own photos and use them with your blogs. Avoid stock photography. (Does anyone need to see another photo of hands shaking or people smiling broadly with their mouths open. No. Just no.) If you'd like help taking your own photos, watch this video from iPhone Photography School. A few simple adjustments can change a mediocre scene into a beautiful one.
Take your own photos and use them with your blogs. Avoid stock photography.
3. Do what you can.
Post on your website if you have one and on every social media site you use, particularly Facebook, Instagram (put the link to the blog in the bio), and LinkedIn. Tag people you think will be particularly interested in your content. Share in an email blast. Wait a few weeks and then share again on social media with the intro: ICYMI (In case you missed it.)
One final tip. You can apply all these principles to vlogging (a video vlog), which will see even higher engagement. Imagine a series of six vlogs just talking to first-time homebuyers. You can do this. You’re an expert.