If you already have a blog or are thinking of starting one, there are a few things to consider regarding etiquette. The Business2.com.au blog started nearly a 10 years ago and we are nearing 10,000 human comments.
Over the past decade we have grown exponentially and we can safely assume the number one position in technology blogs for real estate agents in Australia.
Over this time I personally and I am sure other contributors have learned some valuable lessons in relation to blogging.
Distrust your own motives
The first thing I think of when writing a post is to distrust my own motives. I actually now carry this mantra through life. No one wants to know how great I think I am or my company is, nobody cares about how many sales we make or how much much better we think we are than our competition. Always when writing for your blog think about who your audience is and what they want to hear – not your intended payback.
My audience and target is real estate agents, I also do business with a number of real estate portals and sometimes I think for a second about being a little bit more measured – but only for a second, you see that was my motive kicking in – certainly avery selfish and human trait. My job is not to serve their needs, in fact, my job is to call them out when I think it is warranted.
So, when writing an article, or even in real life conversations, always distrust your own motives and try to understand alternative viewpoints.
For every single comment, good or bad, publish it! In nearly a decade on this site we have blocked only 2 comments and both would have landed me in court for defamation. One of them was written about a contributor here on Busienss2.com.au that made so many outrageous claims that it could have ruined the reputation of someone immediately.
But think of this, over 9000 comments have been published and two refused – there have been some measured nastiness, some are personal and some have attacked and even ridiculed me. But I publish all comments, why you may ask?
Dissenters are your best weapons for popularity, people who do not agree with you or others, call out your motives, make fun of your lack of understanding on a subject, call you a hypocrite and yes, even make a fool of you. These are the people that get conversations going, they engage others and in the meantime make your site more popular – so thank them!
Responding to comments
Never abuse your audience, always engage in a way that shows respect, you may have lost them forever as a customer but you can at least hold your head high in your dealings with them. If you do not agree with them tell them and always explain why in a measured disciplined manner.
The world is filled with articles about iPads and National Sales Results or Trends, talk to your audience about what matters to them, local sales data, local politics, local business – keep it local and relevant to your audience and you will reap the rewards long term. Robert Simeon, always published local sales and auction results, even from competitors – he is obviously a conservative, but so is his the majority of his audience and at the end of the day (pun intended Robert) he is one of the most popular real estate bloggers in Australia – so love him or loathe him, his position and views have created an audience his competitors can only dream of.
Build your contributors
The wonderful thing about WordPress and other blog platforms is that you can allow others access to write articles, we currently have around 20 contributors with a core group of 4 or 5 that regularly contribute, yes some are a little slack.
I set some ground rules and one is that no-one is allowed to blatantly plug their own products or services, overall all I do is a little line editing for some of the contributors. Seasoned pros like Glenn Batten, Greg Vincent, Ryan O’Grady need no editing, however some need a little help. You can assign varying permissions such as Editors, Authors or Contributors and each of these have different permissions (some can publish directly and some going into a pending state.
You can now even as a Guest publish on our site by clicking here
As a real estate agent, I would engage local businessmen, councillors, legal experts etc on your site, they wil benefit and so will you by the added content and engagement from more people on your website, in short – do it!
If you havent started your own blog – you can get something up in a few hours for free over here at WordPress.com, once you have some decent content, you can aso talk to your developer about getting a hosted WordPress website under your own domain.