How to Write Blog Articles That Inform Instead of Frustrate

    Has this ever happened to you? Suppose you’re seeking the perfect recipe for apple crisp (or instructions on how to paint something, clean something, build something, etc.). You scour the internet, looking for those how-to blog posts with good reviews and, finally, you find it: the 5-star apple crisp recipe.

    What should be a straight-forward list of ingredients and instructions is, instead, a 3,000-word discourse, starting with the author’s childhood reminiscences of the scents in gramma’s kitchen, tons of photos and, finally, if you manage to slog waaaay down to the bottom of the page, the actual recipe.

    It’s posts like these that created the invention of Tl;dr (Too long; didn’t read). But, it’s not just the overly-long introduction that ticks off many a reader, it’s the fact that the title of it promised an answer to a question and then made us work hard to find the answer.

    This is but one way bloggers can tick off their audiences. Since consistently blogging is the best way to gain organic online traffic to your real estate website, angering your readers is something you should avoid at all costs.

    Let’s take a look at ways to do just that.

    Who are you “talking” to?

    Radio dee-jays are taught that, before they open the mic, they should picture their audience. One guy or gal, maybe driving, cooking dinner or working. The trick, they’re told, is that they should be talking to one person.

    This works for writing as well. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. If you’re writing a blog post about an aspect of homebuying, write it to one homebuyer. Get inside his or her head, feel the confusion and angst and offer a solution.

    Each post should have a very particular audience and address a specific solution or action for that person.

    Skip the overtly sales stuff

    There’s a time to market your business and this isn’t it. Blogging is meant to educate, entertain and build website traffic. Save the self-promotion for other areas of your website.

    When it comes to real estate blogging, take a cue from Ernest Hemmingway: “Show the readers everything, tell them nothing,”

    Yes, you’re the agent they should hire and because you are writing about what you know, your expertise will shine through without having to overtly state it.

    The over-promise and under-delivery blogger

    The headline and intro to your blog post are a promise to your reader: what follows is the solution.

    If the solution is thin or weak, you’ve broken your promise. You’ve wasted the reader’s time. That kind of stuff frustrates people. They will find the answer–on someone else’s blog. Most likely, they’ll hesitate ever returning to yours.

    The way to avoid over-promising and under-delivering is to keep your topic at the top of your mind while writing.

    It’s ok to ride a stream of thought, as long as it’s in the first draft of your post. But to publish a post in which you’ve veered far off course is to break your promise.

    Along with keeping focused on the topic:
    • Don’t confuse a blog post’s topic with its title. Keep focused on the topic while writing, but write the title last.” “Before you write your headline, you need to know you’ll back up the promise it’s making,” suggests James Chartrand at copyblogger.com.
    • Let the thoughts flow on the first go-round.
    • Allow the piece to sit for a time and then go back and read what you’ve written.
    • Ensure that the post delivers on its promise.

    The last thing you want when trying to establish trust and credibility is to leave readers feeling deceived.

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    Lisa Gray
    Lisa is an accomplished marketer with years of expertise in direct response marketing, digital marketing, data analytics and business development working with both B2C and B2B.