I am begging you, when it comes to Content – please Don’t JUST DO IT!

By
Real Estate Assistant with ha media group
http://actvra.in/csZ

No matter how many gurus, coaches, fellow bloggers or real estate agents tell you that you must. The recent featured post by Jermey Blanton prompted this post (and one of only two dissenting comments), so for those of you who missed it – go read it.  The gist, if I may, amounts to advice to just jump in and start outputting content, the more crap you write, the better you’ll get, and someone human or bot is bound to find you eventually.  The only bad content is content that doesn’t get written, and so forth.  Yes, I am over-simplifying, hence, read the original which is linked.

 

The thing is, every time I see a half-assed effort at communicating, whether it’s via a blog, an email or a status update or comment on AR, FB and a multitude of other places on the net – I cringe.  I cringe both, as a consumer and a marketer.  When stuff that is written is simply mediocre, once I am done cringing, I forget about it, but if something is so undeniably bad that I retain any bit of information associated with the post or comment, I file that name or brand as one to deliberately and actively stay away from.  So ALL future posts and comments from that author will be ignored, actively.  Should a question of a recommendation or a referral come up, my brain will analyze the file of who NOT to refer business to, which in this day and age of virtual relationships will largely be comprised of people  I’ve never met, and the only thing they could have done to influence how I view them was by their writing.

 

There is far too much crap written daily, hourly, minutely.  To think that by writing larger and larger quantities of crap you are going to get better at writing is pretty naïve. You would do better for yourself by reading great stuff and learning from it then by writing mediocre content.  And should your goal be to only be found by Google, unless google’s bots at the end of the day will be purchasing your product or service, I can’t imagine that strategy being successful either.

 

I have been blogging for a few years.  I’ve built a few virtual relationships with people I feel I know enough and trust enough to refer business to.  My trust has nothing or little to do with their abilities and talents in their respective fields.  Truth be told, I never asked for their resume.  I go by what and how they say online.  I go by how passionate and thoughtful they are in their responses, comments, status updates.  The bland, the boring, the careless just doesn’t cut it for me, and I don’t think any of these can be overcome or compensated for by sheer quantity.

 

Should a consumer actually stumble upon something you wrote somewhere – will they actually connect with you, on any level, or will they simply move on?  In my experience, if you write crap, they’ll move on, and justifiably so.  You might be growing a number of Twitter followers and FB fans or AR subscribers based on the quantity of your output, but I’d much rather have a few hundred people in my social and blogging circles who honestly and truly give a shit about what I have to say than thousands who click the like or suggest button as just one of the things on their to do list for social engagements for the day...  And above all, I'd much rather discover new people I like via thoughtful commentary on any subject than trolling the net for who outputs the most content on any given day.  Last I checked, relationships were NOT a numbers game, althought it appears it's treated as such much too often.  Do you build relationships by throwing crap against the wall and hoping it sticks?  

 

Your thoughts?

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Rainmaker
201,505
Inna Hardison
Wordpress for Real Estate & Design, Print HaMedia Group
ha media group

Dick - in my book, you don't have to be a blogger to communicate, as is evidenced by the fact that I met you (and liked you) through nothing more than a few comments you left on certain posts ages ago.  They were thoughtful.  Your, Sir, are thoughtful, and that's what counts.  Not the number of words, just the care people take to share them:-)

So with that said - I highly doubt what is bringing you clients is actually crap...

 

June 19, 2011 12:09 PM
Rainmaker
201,505
Inna Hardison
Wordpress for Real Estate & Design, Print HaMedia Group
ha media group

My dear Tanya - I've been wishing for all those things you wish for and more for the longest time as well. All symptoms of a larger problem that sadly appear to find their way into what we insist on calling civilized countries.  But if nothing else, I would have never moved away from my friends because of "good shopping", to Atlanta or elsewhere.  I hate shopping, and I very much like my friends.

The rest you know.  MWA-

 

June 19, 2011 12:13 PM
Rainmaker
201,505
Inna Hardison
Wordpress for Real Estate & Design, Print HaMedia Group
ha media group

Chris - I don't tweet much, so I tend to miss most of those nifty conversations in 140 charcters or less. I find it hard to follow, just the way my brain is wired, I guess.

As for all this - I suppose my rather adamant rebuttal could be interpreted as me advising people not to blog or to sub it out to a professional or somethign along those predictable lines.  It wasn't meant to be taken as such.  I don't believe in subcontracting this sort of writing out - unless its brochureware, ad copy sort of thing.  And then by all means.  I just think that throwing advice of Just DO It at a large number of eager newbies is a very careless thing to do.  I might give the same advice to someone struggling with some insecurity (hopefully an unwarranted one) about their ability to write well, but I would do it over a cup of coffee with a person I already know.  I find citing personal achievements with regards to blogging as proof that it works just as silly and dangerous, btw.  Unless we are all wired in exactly the same way and are born with the same basic skill set.  I don't think we are.  I believe some people are boring thinkers and boring writers and they won't be read.  Some, few, are great.  There are three of those who commented on this post - not a one is currently using their phenomenal writing gifts for writing hyper local real estate posts...

As for potentially leaving money on the table - I can point to quite a few people who definitely left money on the table by actively throwing crap into the virtual universe.  We never know how many people are walking away from us because we did or said something to inspire them to seek elsewhere.  We only count and know of the ones that do connect with us.  In terms of this particular industry, most people (some 80%, i think that number was) hire the very first agent they come across.  They are not by and large digging through your blogging portfolio - they are still looking for a home.  Great writing can help make them fall in love with a specific neighborhood or town - but lousy writing will most likely have them seeking a different agent.  Mediocre but grammatically correct writing will simply be ignored, hence it's unnecessary:-)

PS: The gold star doesn't like my style, methinks.  Just as well - I hate getting those rosy one-liner comments that tend to follow the gold.

Thanks for the thoughtful commentary, Chris.

June 19, 2011 12:30 PM
Rainer
148,540
Virginia Gardner
Realtor, Charlottesville, Serving Central Virginia
Roy Wheeler Realty Co.

I think one reason people don't blog is that they can't "just do it".  I have a very hard time "just doing it".  I blog daily, mind you, but it takes me hours.  I am incredibly enamored with the few real estate bloggers here on AR who manage two paragraphs and receive hundreds of comments.  I just talk too much, need to be thorough, whatever.  I'm the poster child for "just do it".  It takes forever, but I do it.

July 06, 2011 11:12 AM
Rainmaker
125,492
Stephanie Greenberg
Fresno Homes For Sale
London Properties

WoW!  What a great conversation.  I am one of the ones who finds it truly hard to blog.  I do so every so often but am not comfortable with it.  I can talk to just about anyone but writing is different.  I am a parent of a child with special needs and just taught a session today to other parents on how to tell their stories to the community.  This was my seventh year being part of this group and always find it easy to tell my story and show others how to tell theirs, however when it comes to writing it does not come as natural.

September 16, 2011 08:54 PM
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Rainmaker
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Inna Hardison

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