An agent asked me not too long ago if she should have a blog or a website.
Beginners often ask questions like that, but as Internet marketing guru Trish Jones points out, blogs can pretty much do what web sites can do. That’s because a blog (short for web log) is a kind of website. Blogs can have pages that never change. They can have pdfs for clients to download, videos, music, and links to articles and other websites. In addition, however, blogs offer some advantages over traditional websites.
- Blogs are dynamic while websites are static. With a traditional website, once your clients have seen it, they’ve seen it. It doesn’t change much so clients have little reason to return to the site. But blogs allows you to have fresh content all the time, which gives your clients a reason to want to come back again and again.
- Blogs are easy to update. Relatively speaking, a traditional website is hard to change. Doing so takes time and may require the help of a professional. If you’re blogging, on the other hand, making a change can be as simple as typing your new content and hitting “enter”.
- It’s easy to learn to blog. Most blogging platforms are so easy to use that you can have a basic blog up and running within a matter of minutes. Start by writing and posting one article; gradually add more as your time permits.
- Blogging requires few financial resources. It’s free to get started and it’s free to run. You don’t have to purchase a domain name or buy any software. You don’t even have to hire a professional unless you’re trying to do something out of the ordinary with your blog.
- Blog technology helps you build your readership. Blog hosting sites automatically communicate with the major search engines making it easier for someone using, say, Google, to find you. Blogs create RSS feeds automatically, making it easy for readers to subscribe to your content and receive notification when you post something new.
In fact, blogs work so well as a marketing tool, they have few drawbacks. One of the biggest is that they’re not a set-it-and-forget-it kind of enterprise. You can certainly write only one or two blog posts and never write anything again, but doing so defeats one of the best qualities of the blog—that it’s always new and fresh so it keeps people interested in you and what you’re doing. To get the most out of your blog, you will have to work at it.
The other major drawback affects business people more than real estate pros: many blog hosting sites don’t allow you to run ads or use e-commerce applications to sell things. For some business people this is a minor setback that requires special solutions. For most real estate professionals, it’s not a problem at all.
So, blog or website? Use what works for you, but don’t rule out blogging until you’ve given it a try.