Marc Grayson has a post up on Real Estate Tomato asking whether bloggers should focus on the IN audience (industry peers) or the OUT audience (consumers).
You know what I realized after reading that?
If you have to think about IN or OUT, then this might be a good time get way out. As in, out of the blogosphere completely.
Seriously, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re just contaminating the blogosphere with that blogs-as-marketing crap.
More I think about it, more I believe blogging is a horrible, horrible marketing device. I know there are plenty of people who think that blogging is driving all kinds of traffic to their paying jobs and such. Maybe from a professional day-job standpoint, I should be a huge cheerleader for blogging-as-marketing, since each of those blogs is a potential customer of my company’s products & services. But this is my blog, not my company’s blog.
I’m a blogger — not as rabid or as clever as some, but I do it because I enjoy writing. I would do this even if I had no readers. (And believe me, looking at my traffic, I may as well have no readers. 🙂 ) I suspect that all great bloggers are the same way. Manolo probably would be writing about shoes and going “Ayyyy” even if five people in the world read his stuff.
In fact, that’s what makes blogs good: the personal passion, the personal voice, the uninhibited opinionating.
Marketing, in contrast, requires discipline, focus, and of course, ROI. And Marketing — even if you’re a disciple of Cluetrain like I am — does require thinking carefully about framing, positioning, and persuasive power, all towards a given business goal.
I have to say, even as a huge proponent of blogging (yes, I do believe all companies in real estate should blog, and allow their employees to blog more or less without restriction), I would rather see far fewer “blogs” that are just thinly disguised pitches for business. I keep seeing some site called tugboat.realestatesomethingoranother pop up in my Akismet spam filter. Turns out, it’s some bot-crawl operation that takes snippets of posts and puts it on their site with a link to mine. How lame. How silly.
Anyhow, if you’re blogging because you want to make more money selling real estate… I have to advise you to stop. Spend that time doing something else. Database marketing maybe. Join a civic organization or something. Work at a charity. Because there’s no way that you can be a genuine, authentic, personal voice when your goal is simply to drive more business your way.
If you’re blogging because you’re just… born that way, or something is a bit off-kilter in your head that you’d rather spend time in front of a computer than watching TV or whatever else it is that normal Americans do… then yeah, keep going. Keep blogging. Your opinions are probably interesting to read.
So if you’ve got to think about IN or OUT or target audience or whatever… please, just get out of blogging altogether.