Last week, we announced that we’d start focusing on how people can use technology to help their real estate businesses. I think one of the most important ways for both real estate investors and professionals (Realtors, lenders, etc) to begin to market their businesses is by creating a blog. What Exactly is a Blog? There are many ways to define what a blog is? Darren Rowse over at Problogger has a great post introducing some of the various “definitions,” and then takes a deep look at the main features of a blog. This is a great read from one of the most famous bloggers on earth. Frankly, I think Daniel Scocco at DailyBlogTips has the most clear and concise look at what a blog is: A blog is basically a type of website, like a forum or a social bookmarking site. As such it is defined by the technical aspects and features around it, and not by the content published inside it. Want more articles like this? Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox Sign up for free The features that make blogs different from other websites are: * content is published in a chronological fashion * content is updated regularly * readers have the possibility to leave comments * other blog authors can interact via trackbacks and pingbacks * content is syndicated via RSS feeds Keep in mind that it is the bundle of those features that should define a blog. An online forum could also offer an RSS feed for example, but that would not make it a blog. Now that we’ve got a clear idea of what these entities are, its time to get going with the main goal of this post — to start looking at the mistakes new (and many experienced) blogger make in terms of their domain and hosting. Why Blog About Real Estate? I’m only going to glance-by this topic, but the short answer is that blogs are, IMO, the easiest type of website to build and spread the word about your business, thanks to the genius of RSS feeds and trackbacks. Blogs have features (described above) that allow your content to easily be spread across the web, which simply put, makes it easier for others (including the search engines) to find you. If people are reading your blog and see that you’re an expert — be it in your neighborhood (Realtors, service people & Investors), your field (lenders & others), etc. — they are more likely to remember and trust you. With that trust & recognition comes new business! There is obviously more to it, but like I said before, I just want to briefly talk about this here and now. Top Mistakes Made By Real Estate Bloggers in their Domain and Hosting Last year on my personal website, I wrote about the top 77 mistakes that new bloggers make, and I’d like to use that list as a base to start helping all of you with your own blogging. Real Estate Blogging Mistake #1 – Not Hosting Your Own Blog One of the most important things about growing your real estate business is to build your own identity or brand. This is why Realtors use their headshots in their cards (personal branding) or why Coke spends countless billions of dollars on marketing their logo across the world (business branding). The simple fact is that it is difficult to build a brand on a hosted blog (a blog hosted at another domain, such as WordPress, or even a BiggerPockets Blog). That’s not to say that you shouldn’t explore hosted blogs, but it is difficult to build a brand using one. The key to this branding is in registering a great domain name. There are many theories about picking a memorable domain name, but you want to be sure that your domain name is not only memorable, but also good for your brand (we’ll get into this in a later post). Think about it . . . do you think people will find you more easily at denverlandlord.wordpress.com or DenverLandlord.com? There’s simply no question that the latter is easier to remember and to get to. Additionally, when you’re running a hosted blog, you often times have many more restrictions on personalization of your blog. Simply put, you’ve got more options available to you when you establish your own domain and host your blog there. Hosted Blogs are Great for Beginners! I think it is a great idea to establish a hosted blog if you’re just getting started in real estate blogging. Frankly, most real estate blogs are awful; they lack in focus and purpose. Simply put, it is NOT easy to blog. Not everyone is built to write. What a hosted blog does is give you the opportunity to try blogging out. It lets you see if you like blogging, or if you’re any good at it, without incurring yet another business expense for hosting and domain registration. Conclusion I hope we’ve given you some reasons why you need to start looking into blogging on your own domain. If you’ve got any questions about hosting, blogging, domains, or anything else pertaining to websites for your real estate business, please don’t hesitate to post your comments below.