Using my ActiveRain Blog with Current and Potential Clients
I have been here on ActiveRain for two years and two months (sounds a bit like the old Chuck Woolery "2 and 2" quote). During that time, I have been very pleased to see how many consumers have found my blog. I've written over 900 posts, and most of those are "public", meaning that they are indexed by Google and the other search engines.
One of my posts, Austin Texas Relocation Package, was the result of a contest that was the brainchild of one of my friends, Adam Waldman, and backed by Bob Stewart. It has been at the top of Google for a long while now, resulting in almost 31,000 visits (see graphic from my "Statistics" page below). As you can see, it only has 36 comments, most of which came during the first month or so that it was up, but it has averaged about 1500 visits monthly since it was written in early March of 2008.
The post itself is a collection of links and descriptions for 26 other AR posts that I wrote back around that time, including a somewhat-informal introductory letter to buyers, and answers to the most frequently asked questions that I get from people who are considering relocating to the Austin area.
I send this one to most out-of-town and out-of-state buyers that I speak with, and it gets them much further along in the process with very little additional effort. Sometimes, I get calls from buyers who are looking at that post and calling it my "site", as in, "Your site at Activerain.com has a lot of great information." :) It's clearly working.This post is not the only example, but it's the most dramatic with regard to traffic.
Sometimes, when I have a buyer with specific questions, I make sure to send them one of my posts on that subject when I email them. In fact, I would highly recommend using questions from your clients to serve as blog topics. If one client has the question, it's likely to come up again, right?
Frankly, and this may sound a little cavalier to say, but it seems to impress clients if we are discussing an issue, and I tell them, "I actually wrote about this on my blog. Let me send you that article after we finish talking." I guess it's much like the old saying about "writing the book" on any given topic.
I have also used my blog to train and instruct the agents who work at my company. As a broker/owner, this helps me to better leverage my time, so that I don't have to cover the same ground over and over again.
Since I share all of my public posts on Facebook via the "Notes" application there, I often have friends from church or other acquaintances who mention reading stuff that I originally posted here. I am typically surprised by which people took the time to read my blog - I guess I'm less surprised than I used to be, however.
One additional point which you may find helpful came up the other day when I had lunch with Ian Greenleigh of DriveBuy Technologies. We both think it's a good idea to peruse blogs outside of AR in an effort to get additional exposure and gain more friends/contacts. If you comment elsewhere regularly, you can become one of the "regulars" there, too. I realize that there are only so many hours in the day - it's just an idea to get your name out there a bit more. This notion is also discussed in "Trust Agents", by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. Whenever you do take the time to comment, make sure you link back to your AR blog (or outside blog) to gain more potential readers.
Thanks very much for reading!
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/barnett/2836828090/