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Putting your best face forward

Shailesh raged against a situation where information was simply dismissed because it was obtained from a blog. I understand his frustration. Many ethical, smart and honest bloggers spend time and dispense expertise with integrity.

However, it is no secret that with the eleventy billion blogs out there, all the “information” being passed is not necessarily accurate. It is this underlying current of blog BS that lumps us all into to the generic characteristic of “opinion that may or may not be based on fact.” Smart blog readers will free think and question. May we all have readers like that.

During the course of the conversation, Bob relayed an interesting occurrence. It seems he directed a client to a lender’s webpage. When the client saw it was a blog site, the lender was subsequently dismissed. So goes some folks perception of the blogosphere.

Bob went on to explain that the guy was not opposed to web based business. Bob successfully earned this client’s business after being discovered on the web. But Bob’s blog is not his front page.

Interesting. Neither is mine. It is a blog platform, but it is set up with a static front page that mimics a traditional site to achieve ease of use when I update and to keep the feel the same when you do travel to the blog. I built it that way because I liked the way it looked. I had not considered the blog perception of a new onlooker. Looking through many industry bloggers, you can find it done both ways.

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It begs the question…

How do you put your best face forward and is a blog the best way?

Written By

Writer for national real estate opinion column AgentGenius.com, focusing on the improvement of the real estate industry by educating peers about technology, real estate legislation, ethics, practices and brokerage with the end result being that consumers have a better experience.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Benjamin Bach

    January 22, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    VERY interesting April. I think you’ve inspired me to create a nice static frontpage for my blog (which is the only website I promote)

  2. Lani Anglin

    January 22, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Our local blog/website is run on WordPress with a front page that isn’t the tubular blog content but DOES have a running list of current articles on the front page. We have found great success with this format.

    Some people won’t get a tubular blog platform and think they’ve stumbled into the wrong place. Others get it and don’t care, just want to search the MLS or get your phone number to call you.

  3. Kelley Koehler

    January 22, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    I love that question. But first, April: are you curly haired girl like on the blog, or straight haired girl like on your site?

    There are so many categories of audiences that we can consider. There’s your daily reader, your direct referral, your search engine hit, your paid adwords, etcetera. There’s a whole market built around optimizing landing pages for each type of audience. Obviously, you can’t control every interaction, but you really have to think about WHO is visiting and HOW, and combine that with WHAT they want to see, what you need to present, in order for them to take the ACTION you want them to take: subscribe, come back and read again, whatever it is.

    It’s going to be different for someone looking for first time buyer info. Allow me to generalize and say that person is younger. They may know what a blog is so maybe we can show them stuff in a traditional blog format. But someone looking for luxury information is probably a baby boomer and may not know a blog from tuesday.

    That exact question you ask is why everyone needs to think about their audience and how all those kinds of different people are going to interact and travel to and through the site. Having good landing pages should reduce bounce rates and increase not only visit length, but retention rates. If you’re already providing fabulous information, then the question becomes how to present it better, to the right people, at the right time.

  4. April

    January 22, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    Ben – Glad your brain is churning 🙂 What about the topic made you think that maybe a static page is a good idea verses the way you have it now?

    Lani – I think you guys have come up with a great mix. It is that thinking they are in the wrong place aspect that I was thinking about when I decided to go the static front page route. The blogs are the meat, but I wanted it to have a traditional package.

    Kelley – Yes 🙂 Currently it is straight…but my hair is my favorite thing to mess with – color, cut style – so there is never any telling 🙂 Not great for my branding, but it keeps me sane (sort of)!

    I think your consideration of identifying your key market is an important one. You are right that you can’t control all situations. Maybe that is a vote for the traditional front site with an attached blog. Maybe it just means we should do business the way we are comfortable and move along.

    You really hit the nail on the head with the who, how, what and action.

  5. Larry Hotz

    January 23, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Bob is exception to rule among real estate bloggers. As a result he deserves the extra business generated by his extra efforts. It probably helps that he has an MBA is used to research and ethical writing.

  6. April

    January 24, 2008 at 2:55 am

    Larry – You are very right that Bob does great things. But, if his front page had being a blog, he would have probably been dismissed. The content of the lenders site was never even given the once over because of its “bloggy face.” I am curious if this is an isolated incident or if we really need to consider the chance that blog fronts are not as effective as their counterparts.

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