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Agent Resources


Top tips for running a blog

Note the title of this piece - running a blog. A blog involves much more than just jotting down some observations on the agency world, or your specific business. In fact, many long term business bloggers find that the writing is the easy part. It’s the rest of it that’s difficult, from thinking up engaging topics, to making sure people read it. So here are some tips on how to run your business blog without it running you.

1. You need a blogging strategy

Before you start devising topics, let alone writing, make sure you know the answers to these questions:

Who am I writing for?
What kinds of content will interest them?
How often am I going to blog?
How long will most of the blogs be?
Can I do this myself or do I need help?

2. You don’t need to do it all yourself

Although the blog may go out under your name, you can always ask a bright spark in the office to have a go at drafting a blog post if you are busy. You’ll need to read it through and edit it, but you may find someone with a real talent who is happy to write a weekly or monthly blog on a topic you give them.

Guest blogs are another popular route - if you know a business person locally who always has something to say for themselves, you can ask them if they’d like to contribute a guest column.

Many businesses, with an ongoing need for blog content that is relevant to their business, find that they just can't spare the time to write a weekly piece. So they commission the blogs from a third party. It's better not to go for highly generic content, so choose a provider who can write content that is focused on your sector. For example, nethouseprices.com provides blogs that are focused on the property business, lettings, sales and key tips on how to use portals and marketing media effectively. They can also produce general business pieces, if that's what you want.

3. Use blog formats to generate ideas

All over the internet, you’ll find “listicles”. These are blogs or articles in the form of lists. For example, “9 reasons you should rent in the city centre”. These are popular because people prefer reading information that is split up into sections, rather than long prose pieces. Remember, they’re often reading while commuting, or between other tasks, and may be reading your blog on a mobile phone. Listicles work well on mobiles.

Other formats that you can use to generate ideas include practical “Dos and Don’ts” and “How to ” pieces, along with comments on topical issues and news stories that are relevant to your audience. Obviously, don’t introduce politics, religion, or anything controversial. But you can quote other sources such as newspapers, the Bank of England, the BBC, trade press and so on.

Seasons and big holidays are your friend - Christmas is a lifeline to bloggers, as are summer Bank Holidays, because the articles pretty much suggest themselves. The weather, time of year and next big calendar event can all add topicality to the blog.

4. Keep it fresh

Blogs need to be reasonably current. If the last blog on your site dates from months ago, it makes your site look a bit curled at the edges, like an old sandwich. Either take it down, or much better, do a fresh one.
 

Source: Nethouseprices, 07/10/17

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