Here's what I do when I write a blog post---how about you??? I have put off writing this post for some time because I almost felt that I was giving away trade secrets..:) But as I go forward in my blogging experience (since '07) I see the value in sharing with my fellow mates here on AR and so I will now give you what it is that I do when I write my blog posts and maybe some of you will have things to share also!!
First, Let me say that until I incorporated the use of the Draft mechanism I was spinning my wheels as far as writing anything of merit. This was not because I couldn't come up with ideas, it was because it was so inefficient to make notes to myself--make sure I was "into" what I was writing about on the spur of a moment and when I had time, and to be focused so that I wrote quality content. All of these things plus finding the time to blog held me up from becoming a proficient blogger!
In real estate, I am sure we can all agree that the time we put into our work far exceeds what we expect it to. What I have found is that a great deal of that time is in the "waiting" state....waiting for a customer; waiting for an appointment time; waiting for a call back; waiting for an "up call" (office time) waiting to recieve documents on a new listing; waiting in general is one of the blank spaces in my day where I try to fill with my blog ideas and writing. If I am anywhere near a computer I take advantage of "wait time" to get my creative juices going and to "put it to paper", so to speak.
A list of the things I do to take advantage of "wait time":
- Use "wait time" to formulate your posts and ideas for posts.
- Write a title and a sentence on the blank page; JUST ENOUGH TO REMIND YOU OF THE SUBJECT MATTER WHEN YOU HAVE TIME TO WRITE AT LENGTH...
- ALWAYS SAVE AS A "DRAFT" FROM THE MENU BELOW THE POST. (Use draft VS. Members Only, Public, etc.)
- Take your "WAIT TIME" to brainstorm with others in your pod at your office. I am always amazed at the ideas floating out there which can be captured in just one conversation .
- Write down those ideas as a beginning of a post asn save as a draft
- Go back to the "Draft" which you have saved and work on on until it "sings"
- Writing and re-writing a post should take several trys to bring it to the state where it is ready to be published.
A way to create new ideas for a post:
- Take a strand or a thread of a conversation and start a post on that topic i.e.: "My buyers are all cash buyers and they are buying now in order to put their money in something besides the stock market."
- Look at the last few deals that have taken place in your market--ARE THE HOUSES NEW?...ARE THEY RENOVATED? ...ARE THEY LARGE? ...OR ARE THEY SMALLER THAN BEFORE THE MARKETS DECLINED?..Then write a post on that topic.
- Take the last quarter of sales in your particular area and write a synopsis of the figures with an evaluation of the market.
- ANYTHING UNUSUAL HAPPENING IN YOUR"NECK OF THE WOODS"? IF SO, WRITE ABOUT THAT.
The way I add photos and illustrations to my blog post:
- First, I find the best source for illustrations--I use my own photos and I don't like to use someone Else's.
- Check out "Dreamstimes.com" for a good source of illustrations to help get your subject matter across.
- You do have to pay for these illustrations but I find it less risky to do it that way and minimize any chance of copyright infringement.
- Illustrations can make or break a post--be very careful in selecting the best, most applicable to the post.
- Select the very best illustrations and save to a "Post Material" file in your "picture" document file.
- Once selected, go to the post and put your cursor at the most obvious place on the post and then select the little tree icon at the top of the page.
- Then click on the little square under "General" and browse those pictures you have saved.
- Always give a theme and a name to the illustrations and then select "Appearance" and select the appropriate picture.
- make sure to make it a smaller size to fit the post; I always use 100X100 or maybe 200 x 200 at the most.
- Then select "right", "left" or "Middle" or any other spot---that will allow the text to wrap around the picture---very nice on the saved post!
If I could recommend one thing more than anything else, besides using the"draft" mode, I suggest that re-writing is the single most important thing to do with your posts....massage and baby your posts until they are exciting to read---make any changes that you feel will enhance the subject matter; add related links as often as you can and use illustrations or photos to enhance as well. Let the post
"marinate" for a time until you are ready to write--it may take a day or two, or more in some cases. I keep 3-4 posts waiting for me to finish at any given time.
Now you are on your way to contributing a major amount of work and creativity to ActiveRain!!...and you will benefit by all of it!
**ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY
Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995; Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York
Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005
Click here to see my Hampton's website to see all my listings; please email me or call me for all your real estate needs in Southampton, Bridgehampton and Watermill: http://www.elliman.com/paulahathaway
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