What Do I Blog About On My Brand New Blog?

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Last week I covered most of the steps to setting up a new blog in a post called “The Benefits of Blogging for Your Business”.

I also went over why you should be blogging which is to “build your expert status”. When I talk about expert status, I am simply saying that if folks are going to care about what you are writing, then they have to think you know what you are talking about. It’s a process that everyone has to think about.

Popular Types of Content

Pillar Content

There are several popular types of content which are typically called “pillar content”. These topics will often be evergreen topics or things that will be just as relevant a couple of years from now as they are today.

Pillar content is often around 500 words and it is intended to teach something. These types of posts will often have a title like:

  • 10 Tips for …
  • 5 Things Every …. Should know
  • 7 Ways To ..
  • How To ….

You get the idea. They are often simple ideas put into a list of action steps. I wrote a post a while back for BiggerPockets called “12 Tips for Being a Good Landlord and Having Happy Tenants” which is an example of pillar content.

This type of content is pretty easy to put together and is generally popular with readers. This is a quick way to put out content especially when you are just getting started. But don’t be fooled into thinking you can get a strong following by always creating quick content.

Fill a Need or Solve a Problem

In addition to teaching something, great content will almost always fill a need or solve a problem. Here are a just a couple of examples:

-If there are a lot of vacancies in your market for single family homes, then put together a post about “10 Tips for Getting Tenants in Your Rentals Quickly”.

-If you have just gotten your mold certification, you can put together a post on “How to Get Your Mold Certification in One Day”.

If you are a rehabber the list is endless. Not only will you have something to report, you will also have great pictures to post on your blog. People love pictures. This type of post often requires less writing too. Here are some examples:

- How To Find Great Contractors

- Finding Great Deals on Granite (or anything else)

- Easy Sink Installation

- The 7 Must Haves for a Great Bathroom

- Rehab Day 7; The Kitchen Installation

- The Importance of the Grade Around the Foundation

- Day 20 of the Main St. Rehab; We’re Almost Done!

Now you may be thinking that you aren’t an expert on these things. I can tell you from experience that you are more of an expert than most folks are especially the guys and gals just thinking about doing their first rehab project. So help them out; share your experience.

Have A Goal to Write GREAT Content; Not just Good Content

Now you have some tips to help you take the plunge and just get started. Once you have done that you have the feel for blogging and have begun to find your unique voice. Just when you are starting to get comfortable, then it’s time to think bigger.

To have a blog that endures over time, you must have a goal to write great content. Average will only get you so far.

One of my favorite blogs of all time is Pat Flynn’s “Smart Passive Income”. Pat is a great teacher, and I have learned a lot from him. He is just about the perfect role model as far as bloggers go so be sure to check out his site. Pat has built a group of over 50,000 followers in just 4 or 5 years.

Corbett Barr also has a phenomenal blog called “Think Traffic”. Corbett said it best when he wrote his post titled, “Write Epic S#!t”. I strongly suggest every blogger follow this site and read this particular post.

9 Tips to Get You Started Creating a Blog that Folks Want To Read

  1. Create the place where you will write every time or your “writing space”. It can be anywhere that you feel comfortable. I write at my desk. Most people write better in a space that is clean and clutter free. You don’t want to be distracted by the mess on your desk or the dishes in the sink.
  2. Decide on a subject. Think about the big picture; what is the “story” you want to tell today?
  3. Choose your title. This is one that often gets folks hung up. You have to have a great title or headline before people will want to read. If it doesn’t come to you right away move on to number 4.
  4. Just start writing; let it flow. Don’t worry too much about getting it perfect. You will edit later.
  5. Always write as if you are writing to one person. If you are making a list of tips for renting commercial property, think about that person that is your audience. Just for today, write your article for that person.
  6. If you are having trouble with any part of this, take a break. Walk away for a while and get a cup of coffee or tea.
  7. Preview your article. Read it out loud and do a spell-check on your computer. When you think you have it right, print out your article.
  8. At this point, I usually walk away for a few minutes and come back to it. I proof read the article again (and I will always make changes). More times than not, I will also have a different title than when I first started. That’s why I said in #3; don’t get too hung up on getting your title perfect in the beginning. Do a final spell-check.
  9. Quit obsessing and hit PUBLISH. Just do it. If you are like me, it will never be perfect.
      Photo: racheocity

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About Author

Sharon has been investing in real estate since 1998. She owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. In January of 2008 she took the leap of closing her business to become a full time real estate investor.

12 Comments

  1. Great post Sharon, these are some very helpful tips. I’m also a huge fan of Pat Flynn and Corbett Barr. Both of their websites were a great resource for me as I got my blog up and running.

  2. Seth –

    I appreciate it. These guys are both top notch bloggers. They continue to turn out great content week after week. Anyone that aspires to be a great blogger should definitely follow these guys.

    Sharon

  3. Good stuff Sharon!

    I have gotten hung up so many times on the title, that it is now common practice for to simply write the article first. Because what I started with usually evolves by the time I finish, it’s almost like the title speaks for itself after the article is done.

    I also deliberately don’t publish in the same session, except in rare situations. I usually save it, and come back later, because that is the time it takes me to get it off my mind, and actually spot grotesque typos I made or sloppy non sequiters.

    I feel like these two things alone helps improve my writing a notch. But great writing only comes with much writing so it will be a long journey for me. :)

    • Greg –

      I agree with you completely. I think that whenever you put down what you have written and come back to it later, you end up with a better blog post. And yes, we all get better with practice. I hate to read some of the things I wrote early on, but even Pat Flynn says that about his work. I guess it is the same experience for all of us.

      Sharon

  4. Great stuff Sharon!

    This is perfect timing for me as I start my blogging. I have my topics and I am excited to start sharing information.

    Thanks for the reminder to write Epic S#!t

    Glenn

  5. Melodee Lucido on

    Yes, great again Sharon. EXCEPT the last line.

    Because your blog is always an enjoyable contribution to your readers and . . . well . . .
    I think it’s about perfect. When I am blogging I have in the back of my mind, “i hope this sounds good . . like Sharon”

    You have a way of speaking that feels like we are having coffee and you are sharing from your heart and experience. I don’t open everything right away that comes to my inbox but I always smile and open your posts when I see them.

    • Melodee-

      It is so nice of you to say that, but it is really the truth. I think just about every blogger wonders if they have done their very best with each blog post; is there anything they could add to make it a better experience for their readers? Once you can begin to write to that “one person having a cup of coffee” as you said, I believe you are on the right track.

      I for one don’t take it lightly that folks take the time to read my blog posts. I really do appreciate it, so I am always trying to write about something that folks will find useful in their business. What I have learned is that if you really try to create content that isn’t “just average”, over time you naturally will get much better at it.

      The important thing for everyone to remember is that unless you are a seasoned writer when you start your blog, we all pretty much start from the same place.

      Thanks for commenting as always Melodee.
      Sharon

  6. Jan Whitney on

    Sharon – thank you for this blog post. If a post has your name on it, I always read it knowing that I’ll learn something I didn’t know before and that I’ll enjoy the content. After reading Brandon’s email with step by step instructions on how to set up a website using Wix.com, and another post you wrote about that topic, I worked at it with your voice in the back of my mind telling me “just get one out there – you can always improve it later”. I’m not sure but after reading this post, I might consider adding a blog. I’m not much of a writer so we’ll see. Thanks for sharing a cup of coffee with me.

  7. Sharon Vornholt

    Jan –

    You really need a blog component. Here is what you do; just commit to writing one (or two) things each week. Don’t post anything on your blog yet.

    When you get 6 or 7 done, start posting them one at a time on your site. This will keep you from feeling the “pressure to create”. Don’t go for really long posts. In the beginning, I would try to hit 400-500 words; no more. Over the past few years since I started, I have done some longer posts. The reason for that was mainly that they were instructional and they just took more “words”.

    If you want to send me a message with your email address, I will help you brainstorm ideas. You should always write about what you know, or what you have just learned. I just wrote a post over on my blog about creating infographics. I always wanted to do this, but I just figured it was way to “techie” and way to hard. Once I started looking into I found some awesome free tools that were … easy to use! Imagine that. So I wrote about that.

    If you go back and look at some of the early posts on my blog, they were simple. I didn’t even have a picture on the post. I just wrote something about what I knew. The other thing is, create short little videos or even audios if you like those better. Or just mix them up.

    You can do this. The hardest part is just getting started.

    Sharon

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