The best place to start is the beginning

In a recent email, someone asked me the following four questions about starting group blogs around different real estate themes:

  1. Do you think it’s a good idea to charge authors a fee, even a nominal fee, to post articles on a blog?
  2. What are your thoughts about selling ads (e.g. banners), including Google ads, around a blog?
  3. I’m considering having blogs for several subject areas, do you thing it’s better to have only one blog, or multiple blogs on the site with a blog for each subject area?
  4. How do you keep spam from filling up your blog(s) with junk?

Here are my thoughts:

  1. You’ll get no traction if you think you can charge people a fee to post on your blog.  If you really want people to post make sure they are the ones getting paid.   Either pay them directly, or do what Greg and I do which is give them links, post their phone number, etc. to make sure that they get leads from the site.  Good content is hard to come by so do everything you can to get the best content possible.
  2. Google ads are a waste for real estate websites IMHO because the most relevant ads are almost always for local competition.  If you want good writers, then you’ll need to make sure they are getting the leads.
  3. I highly recommend one blog at a time.   With each successful blog, you’ll get “permission” to start a new one.   The more niche you can start your blog the more likely you’ll find early success.   In other words, I wouldn’t start one blog with lots of themes or multiple blogs on different themes.   I’d start with one blog on one theme.  If you can get substantial traffic, then move on to starting new blogs!
  4. Akismet.

Hope that helps!

7 responses

  1. Great advice, Dustin.

    I would only add that you have to have a firm idea of the goals for your blog. If you are just writing about real estate like Dustin and I do, then monetizing with advertising makes good sense.

    If your goal is to generate leads then advertising is counterproductive like Dustin said, you are just opening the door for your competitors.

    Like any business idea, understanding your motivation is the first step for success.


  2. Tom: You’re so right that is important to think about your objectives first and foremost!

    Understanding what you want to accomplish is key (at least for me) because it is not until I know the objectives that I’m even ready to give the blog a name!

    I’ve talked a lot about naming your blog in the past, but I happen to think it is a critical step.

    A appropriate name is the first step to success and a bad name is the first sign that the person hasn’t thought through their objectives!

  3. rerevealed Avatar

    Dustin- ditto to all you said, especially regarding paying authors. I know it’s done out there, but real estate is much more organic than tech blogs and should remain so.

  4. I am the type that has to see it for myself. I haven’t thought about a group blog by paying authors…However, I am creating one for the agents in the office to contribute to…they will get their own leads or I will distribute general leads on a rotating basis.

    I have been playing around with the ads on my site as an experiment. Truthfully think they are annoying. I block some of the local competitors but not the national ones.

    I started out with a basic theme that has been pretty general, but now I can see the search terms that are driving the traffic and will be specializing it towards those terms or create another one just for that crowd.

    Thanks for the insight.

  5. […] I can’t see paying to contribute… Published December 24, 2007 Uncategorized … In fact, I used to get paid to blog for someone else. […]

  6. Hi Dustin! 🙂

    As always, a great post. Thanks for the info! 🙂

  7. Thanks Bob, rerevealed, and Joe. I’m glad you got some good stuff out of this post!

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