Don’t Be A Real Estate Blog John

Please, please, please, if you have a blog be a blogger, but don’t have a blog and pay someone to blog for you. It will hurt you more than anything else because in the end you will appear to be a phony.

Your blog needs a voice. YOUR VOICE

Blogging isn’t like any other kind of real estate marketing. If you have a great business card that draws attraction you have made a smart decision. If you have paid a web programmer to build you a great web site. Again a good business decision. But a blog, by it’s very nature is different, it is personal, it is to have character, your character. If you blog as part of a community it is no different now it is a community character being developed of which you are one part of the voice. Try and have a blog and hire someone to do the blogging for you comes off as unprofessional. It is like hiring someone to write your term papers for you in college. Some things you should do yourself or not do them at all. YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE A BLOG.

You don’t have to have a blog, You don’t have to have a blog. There are many many very successful real estate agents that don’t even know what a blog is or what it means. You don’t have to have a blog to be a successful real estate agent.

Don’t be a Blog John

Blog JohnDon’t pay someone to write your content for you. Don’t provide this level of disservice to your readers. They want to connect with you not someone you hired to write content so you could get a “Lead”.

Look at this from an inside the industry blogging approach. What would everyone think if I set up an “Active Rain” account then hired people to wrote posts there for me.

Would you see that as a good business decision or would you see that as something else. What kind of impression do you think I would make on the Active Rain Community?

There are companies out there prostituting themselves claiming for a fee they will write your local blog content for you. If you have never blogged and you don’t know what a blog is but you want one then let me tell you something you should know.

When people read your blog they expect:

  • That you wrote the content
  • That you are knowledgeable about the content

What do you think the impression will be the first time you get an email, or better yet a phone call from someone wanting to talk to you about your post from this morning and you don’t have a clue what they are talking about. What kind of impression is that going to make on this “Lead”/potential client.

If you don’t like to write, if you don’t have the time to blog then don’t blog.

Don’t muddy the waters on what real estate blogging is all about. It is about transparency, it is about communication, it is about your local community and why people would want to live there. It is about taking pride and interest in the place you live and work and sharing your professional and personal insights. IT IS NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE ABOUT GETTING YOU “LEADS”.

If you have a blog as described above it won’t get you leads and you will help destroy a great marketing tool for real estate bloggers. More than that you will hurt yourself, your integrity, and your business.

If you have a blog or are thinking about having a blog then be a blogger, but don’t be a Blog John.

Check Out “The Art of Blogging: Business or Pleasure” for more insight into this topic.


  1. David — If blogging isn’t about generating leads, which ultimately generates new business, then what’s it about?

    Taken to the logical conclusion, all those fantastic sports books I’ve read since in elementary school, ghost written, were fraudulent?

    Should I infer paying a pro writer to write on one’s blog is a crime, even if it expresses the blog owner’s thoughts, feelings, and knowledge?

    I certainly appreciate your thinking here, but I think it runs off the tracks when you compare these folks to johns.

    Funny, but off track. 🙂

    I write every word on my own blog, with the exception of guest bloggers, which of course are identified as such.

    Have I totally missed your point here?

    Great subject matter.

  2. Jeff,

    Yeah, you missed my point. It all came about from a spam comment left here at the Lab from a guy who is now advertising his company services to busy agents that don’t have time to write so his stable of writers will write local content for you.

    I too have guest blog authors and completely believe in having a community of RE bloggers on a blog.

    What I think really dilutes the whole transparency of a Web Log is it not being the Log of the person who is leading the reading public to believe it is their Log.

    As to a Blog John. : ) Yeah it was the warped sense of humor and seems to at least have a few talking LOL.

    But I am passionate about blogging and I don’t want it to turn into RE Agents buying Canned Blogs like Canned Websites.

    Too many good RE Agents put a lot of time into communicating to their readers to turn it into just another Advertising Program until the next new thing comes along.

    What I’m talking about here is just buying canned local post so you can say you have a blog.

    Not the hiring of someone to write because you aren’t good at it (A ghost writer) so to speak. But canned generic stuff for the sake of having a blog and getting “Leads”.

    To reduce RE Blogging to the level of a drip campaign or post card mailings is . . .

    Leads are not the end all and be all of a blog. Do leads come from blogging? You bet they do we get almost all our leads from our blogs.

    But I write to met needs and provide valuable information whether the readers ever become clients or “Leads” doesn’t matter.

    It might appear to be a fine line, but it makes a huge difference.

    And Jeff, you are cool.

    I love your writing. Glad you stopped by the Lab even if it did take calling some poor schmucks John. : )

  3. Gotcha Dave, thanks.

    We’re in total agreement on this, right down the line.

    Also, for those reading this thread, this is how two intelligent, rationally thinking folks figure things out between them. 🙂

    Thanks again, Dave. I read pretty much everything you write.

  4. Jeff,

    I’m glad you gave me the opportunity to clarify the point. I’ve got a couple more post brewing on the issue.

    Really, you read my stuff? Thanks.

    Have a great weekend.

  5. Funny you should mention the word John in here, since as it turns out that’s my name, but it would appear by metaphorical extension that I’m a hooker:

    Using a Real Estate Blog Ghostwriter

    But beyond ghostwriting, I also believe people should be able to sell Private Label Rights content. This is another way for writers to get paid. Writers getting paid is a good thing. It’s free enterprise.

    “To reduce RE Blogging to the level of a drip campaign or post card mailings is . . .” What? Gosh, Dave, it’s blogging. Given anonymous bubble bloggers and people trying to sell real estate in Boise in my comments and blog wars and everything else, I guess I don’t share your view of this as some noble literary enterprise / vision quest.

    I for one don’t get leads from my blog. I get thematic PR from my blog. My leads come from my web site, of which my blog is a part.

    Interesting topic.

  6. John,

    I would never consider viewing you as a hooker any more than as a place to poop. Or a guy facing rejection from a girl.

    What can I say, I’m sentimental about some things. I came into blogging to increase our internet presence. So people could find what I was writing about Tucson. I don’t much care about the industry as a whole. I have no passion for it. I leave that to the Bloodhound. But I do have a passion for people purchasing a home for themselves and their families.

    I also know I have be the receiving end of a lot of self-service and dis-service to me when on the buying or selling end of real estate.

    Which leaves me passionate about RE Blogging. There is so much that is disingenuos in our industry I don’t want blogging to just get thrown in the trash can along with all the postcards.

    As you know, I’m not big on blog wars or flaming other bloggers, I don’t agree with the advise to create a controversy to drive traffic.

    I think all those things are highly disruptive. War is war it has the same destructive effect no matter where it is played out.

    So call me John Quixote tipping at windmills.

  7. OK, then, you’re John Quixote tipping at Windmills. Or Don Rickels, even.

    Well, as you know you’re my only friend, so I certainly didn’t mean to accuse of anything — though I daresay it’s always a guilty treat to watch a certain crowd make the same disclaimers over and over again.

    Rather, my point is that — with all the monkeys and baboons already cavorting outside their cages — the difference between this handwritten zoological cluster-circus and one where the stupidity is licensed might turn out to be indistinguishable.

    As for blogs getting thrown in the trash along with the other postcards, that’s already an everyday affair. Clients don’t call and say “I was reading your blog and I want you for a Realtor”, they say “I saw a house on your web site and I want to go see it.”

    We even reveal this truth when we talk about web site “content”. Content is what you stick inside a container so it won’t be empty.

    One makes your case better, I think, if you focus on the economics and technical aspects of the argument. Canned content probably has to be general and non-local in scope, since the number of buyers wouldn’t support selling it locally. Therefore from a technical point of view, it fails compared to custom content, which by its nature can focus on local topics.

    In addition, canned content should be reworked enough to make it “original”, otherwise there’s no benefit if it already appears online in hundreds of places. However I doubt that many of the peoople who buy it will do this.

  8. John,

    Thanks, love the prose.

    Your experience is truly different from ours. People do call and say exactly what you said, “I’ve been reading your blog and we want to work with you.”

    We have several listings right now from people reading our blogs and wanting us to be their realtors(copyright thingy here).

    We work with buyers that say the same thing. They don’t just want someone to show them a house. They want someone they feel like they know and can have some sense of trust in guiding them through the transaction process.

    There is room for both. I’m sure. Which is why I have ways to search for homes on most of the blogs, not all of them. It is also why I have multiple blogs targeting different segments of our community at large.

    We rank high in google searches for keywords related to each of those specific areas, for me this is validation the extra work which goes into multiple blogs is worth the effort.

    I couldn’t agree more with what you said here. It is like watching the kids at daycare fighting over a piece of pizza which was dropped on the floor and stepped on but they still are fighting over who gets to eat it. : )

  9. Excellent article, Dave. And its one I’ve been echoing to some peers of mine. Personality counts – and while getting others to crank out content is some persons solution to writers cramp, there is a cost associated with it in the long run IMO.

    YOUR enthusiasm. YOUR knowledge. YOUR personality. All of those come through to the readers when visiting your blog. If your blog is like reading an encyclopedia (because someone else wrote the bulk of it) – sure its “content”, but you are far less likely to convert persons over to want to do business with you than if you write it yourself.

    One big upside: if a person likes your personality on your blog – they are much more likely to like you in a business transaction as your customer. Working constantly with people you like – because you do your own material – does pay off in the end.

  10. Malok,

    Thanks. I agree with everything you have said.

    And we do find it much easier meeting people for the first time if they have been regular readers on one of the blogs. Often they have been reading for some time before they ever contact us.

    We are finding that more and more people want to know something about the person they are going to work with, especially in the current state of the real estate market in this country.

  11. Absolutely agree! Having surrogate writers for your blog defeats the purpose of blogging , the content is often vapid and lack passion…they’re much more fact oriented articles which have been researched thoroughly. I can always research theory elsewhere, but good genuine opinions keeps you coming back…

  12. Authenticity. Such a lonely word. But the right one. It takes time to blog. It takes time to author. It takes time to do stuff right.

    I cannot agree more with Jeff, Dave and Malok on this.

    Great post, my friend.


  13. If I’m reading a blog I don’t wanna be mislead on who’s the author. If you got someone ghost writing for your blog then you might as well not have a blog. The blog is meant for you to get closer to your audience or customers. They can step inside your mind for a little while and try and get to know you. Do not mislead your customers or it will come back to you in the end.
    Great Work Dave

  14. Ken,

    Thanks, and thanks for stopping by the Lab, I have to get back to Realivant. Been too long since I had a day to snoop/look around. : )

    Eric, Authenticity great concept.

    Sidney, “step inside your mind for a little while” . . . LOL inside my mind for anymore than a little while can lead to serious side effects.

  15. Another thing I see over and over that I absolutely hate is people copying and pasting from newspapers. Even if credit is given, this is copyright infringement, which is just plain theft. If someone wants to take a story, make it their own and add their own thoughts and insights, that is OK, but the copy and paste is just wrong.

  16. This is hilarious and so true.


    Sorry I just wanted to make sure everyone got it. 🙂

  18. Paying someone else to blog for you is just defeating the purpose. In some cases if its pure market data I can understand. However, its my feeling that one of the best benefits of blogging is to reveal some of your sparkling personality! 😉


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