Great Advice On How to Blog Straight From a Real Pro

There are so many great blogs out there about CRE tech, but the posts that impact me the most are the ones that come from someone who actually works in the industry and that emphasize education and information as much as opinion.

Chris Clark picOne of my favorite bloggers is Chris Clark, an information/technology consultant with experience in website development, databases, social networking, and SEO.  On her blog, CREOutsider, she writes about CRE tech trends, news, cool new sites, and more.

Chris and I were able to chat about her experiences and advice she has for new bloggers.

Michael: How did you get into blogging? Chris: As a consultant, I was getting a lot of questions on social media/networking for CRE so I was doing a lot of research. But reading about something is not the same as doing it. During my research, I came across Duke Long’s posts on AGBeat. When he left there to start his own blog, I watched what he did and figured I’d try the same thing. And it worked.

Michael: Where do you get your inspiration for each post? Chris: Sometimes the ideas come from something I’m working on for a client or an idea just pops into my head. I also get ideas from other bloggers and articles I read.

Michael: What are your favorite CRE-related tech sites? Chris: There aren’t a lot of CRE tech sites out there… But for what’s new in CRE tech, I like CREApp ReviewReal Open and I also check out the blogs on CRE software/app sites just to see what’s going on.

Michael: I see you're on LinkedIn and Twitter - how do you use those and other social media sites to promote your blog? Chris: On LinkedIn, you need to target the right groups/go where you think potential readers might be. Participating in discussions gets your name out there so you become a familiar and even trusted “source”. I totally ignored Twitter for a while until I realized it was driving a lot of traffic to my site. I prefer to use it for information gathering and “meeting” interesting people than promotion. The trick is writing content that other people will promote on Twitter.

Michael: Are there any other methods you use to promote or market your blog? Chris: If my livelihood/getting work depended on blogging, I’d do more promotion but thankfully it doesn’t. Otherwise, I’d be on Facebook though it’s not that easy to get the content/interaction mix right on FB. I do have a Google Plus account, mainly for the authorship feature. If you’re a “registered” author through G+, that adds some credibility to your posts and provides even a small advantage in organic search results. I’d also look at some of the content curation sites like Scoop.it.

Michael: Do you ever do guest blogging or invite others to write a guest post on CREOutsider?

Chris: I’ve done guest posts but it’s all I can do sometimes to get out one a week for my own. I am asked quite a bit to write about new sites or apps but they have to fit into my niche and I really have to be excited about it to do that. I’ve had several guest bloggers on CREOutsider – either writing about something I like but don’t have time to write about myself or who have something useful/a different perspective to offer CRE agents.

Michael: Do you follow any other bloggers? Chris: There are so many! I’m working on a better way to aggregate them... But sometimes I just get “blogged out” and don’t read anything for weeks. Then I kick myself when I see what I missed.

Michael: What tips do you have for new bloggers? Chris: There really is no better way to promote yourself online than with a blog. For CRE agents – anyone really – it can be difficult. Not everyone likes to write, or is good at it for that matter. And it takes a while to get established. But don’t even start if you’re not prepared to make a long-term, regular commitment – either writing/promoting yourself or working with a social media person you hire to help.