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13 Milestones for a Commercial Real Estate Blog

Inspired by Picor’s blog launch this week I reflected back a little bit to my “blogging” past and came up with some definitive milestones of what can may and will happen if you step into the commercial real estate digital media world. Let’s take a look.
The Beginning
  1. Your first comment — getting your first comment is like a toddler’s first steps in the blogging world. Even more important is your first comment from someone you don’t already know.
  2. Your first retweet — this doesn’t have to be a retweet specifically,but the first time someone shares a piece of your content on a social media platform is an important milestone. Social media is now the mainstream and sharing is caring.
  3. Getting a link from another site — links are the “currency of the web” as they say, and getting organic (non-paid) links from other blogs and sites is essential to your site and brand.
  4. Your first visitor from search — if you’ve attracted a visitor to your site from the search engines, chances are you’re doing something right. Watch to see if those search visitors stick around and/or subscribe to your site for insight into how useful your content is.

First Signs of Growth

After your first handful of comments, retweets and incoming links, you’ll start to experience the first signs of real growth. This is an essential stage because it proves you’re writing about something that has a specific commercial real estate appeal.

  1. Your first viral article — it is certainly possible to grow a big blog without ever creating a viral post, but not likely. One of the first signs that you’ve created something appealing is when a post “goes viral.” There is no strict definition here, but basically a viral post is one that spreads on its own to a much wider audience than normal. Mine was a post of the Top 39 commercial real estate people that you must connect with on LinkedIN.
  2. Getting fan mail asking for advice — another great early sign of your growth potential is when readers start writing you to tell you how much they love your site, or to ask your advice on a related topic. This is now a constant for me and very rewarding for me personally.
  3. Receiving a guest post inquiry / submission — if a fellow blogger asks you to consider running a guest post, it means they like what you’re doing and think your audience will be interested in their blog. This is a growth milestone because it means your social proof elements (# of comments, subscribers, tweets, etc.) are influencing how people think of your site. Ironically the hard part of this is trying to fit your content to a specific site. I find this very difficult and sometimes it just does not work out.

The Dip,It’s Going To Happen

Every site will experience a dip or two on the journey to becoming popular and or gaining readers.Your site’s growth will seem to be stuck at a certain level for some reason. Some won’t get past this stage, give up and quit and others will fight to find a way out.

  1. Hitting a traffic / subscribers plateau — your site can be growing along nicely, gaining subscribers, visitors and comments, when suddenly things seem to stall. Is this a peak or is it just temporary? How do you get past the plateau? The answer is different for every site. My answer is: Consistency.
  2. The dreaded “no comments” post — getting no comments on a post is like throwing a gutterball in bowling. They’re common when you first start and then seem to disappear almost entirely. If you happen to write a post that doesn’t attract any comments after you thought you were past that, don’t stress about it. Just figure out why the post wasn’t comment-worthy and move on.
  3. Redesigning / repositioning your blog — part of going through the dips will probably involve tweaking things on your site, or even completely redesigning and/or repositioning your blog. I am doing this right now and hope to re-launch soon. Almost every site seems to go through it, and a refresh can sometimes lead to a breakthrough.

Breaking Out

Once your foundation is laid and you’ve struggled through a dip or two, you should start to watch for signs of “breaking out.” This is where your site’s growth starts to take on a life of it’s own because your readers and peers are pulling for you and bringing in new audiences on your behalf.

At this stage you can focus even more on creating great content, and less on spreading the word yourself. Beware though, periods of breaking out can always be followed by more dips and plateaus.

  1. Being mentioned in a “top blogs” roundup — when a fellow blogger goes out of their way to acknowledge your site as one of their favorites, you’re definitely doing something right. Maybe you will be put on a Top 23 CRE Blogs list. Just remember that your job is to write for your readers, not for other bloggers necessarily.
  2. Being asked to do an interview — this is an excellent sign that you’re starting to gain attention and that your content is interesting and/or useful. Interviews are a great way to grow your influence, so definitely make time for them when you can. I have done several and the personal connection is always great.
  3. Not having to actively promote your posts much anymore — perhaps the most rewarding part of breaking out is when you notice you don’t have to do as much work to promote your posts anymore. All you have to do is write something great, publish it and seed your social media profiles with a link. After that, dozens or hundreds of your fans promote your content for you. Now it’s time to write even better content and keep the cycle going.

Payoff

Time commitment,skill,creativity,structure,technical know how,blind faith are at least parts of what it takes to build and grow your piece of digital commercial real estate. Is it worth it? I think so. Will Picor gain what I am assuming is the goal of their blog ? That is to create MORE COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE BUSINESS. Answer: YES……..Your Thoughts?

Photo Credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/kh-67/

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  • Bob

    I love it, and I would only add that before ever getting started, there are three absolutely critical items to consider. The first: what is your goal. The second: who is your target. And the third: what is your content.

    Don’t get wrapped up in design. In fact, keep it as simple as possible. Keep in mind your target are real estate brokers and they are pretty boring people 🙂

    • Bob,
      Agree with all of your points but….I just write whatever …and it comes out!

  • Karen Bice

    Excellent post, Duke. I’m one of those who prefer email subscription over RSS feeds. Will you be including an email subscription option in your new blog? Thanks.

    • Karen,
      I certainly intend to.Hopefully my “guy” will get with me soon>>>waiting for that talent!

  • Shouldn’t your “first client” fit in the list somewhere? 😉

  • I’ve just started blog commenting in comparison to article marketing so it will be interesting to se the results.

  • Wish the breaking out phase would come on quicker! It certainly is tough trying to do two things at once… real estate agent first, blogger / social media guru second.

  • Peter Furbacher

    The company has successfully completed projects from large industrial and commercial developments to residential developments and custom houses.

  • great info you have shared

    thanks for sharing your view