I admit it. We do not use our company blog the way we are “supposed to.” What do I mean by that?
Well, modern online marketing gurus spend a lot of time telling businesses to use their blogs to drive sales, to drive people to their site so they can get put on mailing lists (or texting lists) so you can send out your marketing materials to them. They just say to put in some real content, and make sure to mention the right keywords many times. And of course, put in colorful pictures (I assume it’s OK if they have something to do with the content). I’m paraphrasing, but really I should link to something, because that’s what they also say I need to do a lot of. In other words, you write your blog to appeal to Google, not to readers. Search Engine Optimization Rules!
Our mentors all view the business blog as nothing more than a vehicle to find leads, buyers, and sellers. We want that, too, of course (and it’s the focus of our HermitsBuyHouses blog), but that’s not all we want. The mentors also strongly recommend we farm out the blogging and social media posting to a virtual assistant (someone in another country who works for little pay), so that you can concentrate on important work. If we were a one-person operation, that’s what we might end up having to do, so I get it. Plus…
Business advice tells us to not just give information away. The recommended practice is to write up a short blurb to get visitors interested in what you say, but require that they fork over their valuable personal information so that you can send them an e-book or something. You do give them a book, but then you also give them an email or call them in a campaign to remind them that you exist. Of course this works. We have used an e-book in the past, and it was actually not bad. And we still have one for contractors. But that’s not the purpose of our blog.
We also write way too many posts, at least according to the people who were training Rotary Club people to maintain their club websites said. Their advice was to post twice a week, on regular days, such as Tuesday and Thursday, or Monday and Friday. And that’s great advice, honestly. People can look forward to Posting Day! It’s just not our way.
What We Do, Against the Rules, or Not
Write Long Articles. Yes, our posts are often long. I was glad to read in the article about appealing to search engines linked above, though, that Google likes long posts. Yay, we’re validated. Still, I do try to break long ones up into parts, when it works.
Give Away Information. We believe that it’s important to give back to our community, and one way we can do this is to share what we have learned. Maybe it will help some fellow investor avoid a costly mistake. Maybe it will remind someone of something they knew, but forgot. And maybe it can make someone laugh a little.
Write Our Own Articles. Most of our team happen to be trained as writers. We enjoy writing for others. And, to be honest, we find it easier to write something ourselves than to edit and massage writing from someone from another cultural background. So, you’re stuck with us.
Use Our Blog for Our Own Nefarious Purposes. While generating leads and finding buyers and sellers is important, this particular blog also is intended to build a community of like-minded investors, so we share a lot directed to that audience. We also use it as a record-keeping device. We have a nice collection of photos, writing, and comments about each of our projects here, which we can use in all sorts of ways in the future. Nefarious? Doubtful.
Post Often. We tend to post more than 2-3 times a week. It’s that nefarious purposes deal. Especially when we have a lot of projects going on, it’s important to us to make frequent reports on our projects so we can remember details. And Lee is writing up business posts to use later, as well, so he writes them up as he thinks of them. And we need our occasional humor posts. Those actually drive hits!
This is not the most widely read real estate investment blog out there, but, combined with our Facebook presence, it’s a great way for us to connect with people, get input, and yes, get improved SEO. We get plenty of hits, especially on days when we share before and after pictures or our more amusing adventures. Nothing felt better to me than when I was talking to a woman at a meeting last week, and I mentioned my business. She said, “Oh, you’re THOSE people! I see you all the time on Facebook!”
We may not follow the rules, but it’s working.
Hermann says please like and share!