Editor’s note: The following excerpt from the Inman News blog covers some blogging basics discussed by successful real estate bloggers at a recent event. We’d like to hear your insights on blogging, how it has impacted your business, and what you’ve found works and doesn’t work. To leave a comment, join the discussion at the Inman News blog by clicking here.

‘BEEP’ for blogging

How does a new agent come into a cutthroat market where other agents are dropping like flies as sales and price growth flatten? The answer for some may be blogging. A stellar panel of real estate bloggers discussed techniques, goals and philosophies around blogging during Inman NewsReal Estate Connect conference in New York last week. Memorable outtakes from the panel were:

1. You gotta read to write. This is basic for writers in any genre, and blogging is no exception. Bloggers must read other blogs to get their feet wet, but that doesn’t mean copying exactly what you see. Rather, it’s “innovation over information,” said Joseph Ferrara, co-founder of the Sellsius Real Estate Blog. He suggests new bloggers read around, figure out what blogs you like, and veer somewhat from what they are doing. “Doing something no one else is doing is rewarding,” he said.

2. Write what you know. UrbanDigs founder and blogger Noah Rosenblatt’s niche in blogging revolves around sharing what he knows with readers. Rosenblatt was a new agent and found blogging as a way to separate himself from the pack. Through his blog, Rosenblatt was able to strut his knowledge and background in equities trading to potential clients who otherwise never would’ve known his qualities as an agent. He also separates himself from other bloggers by offering a live chat with readers during specified hours. Rosenblatt said he’s met more than 200 people through the live chat and has done several deals that originated via his blog last year.

3. Save the sales pitch for the listings presentation. One of the weirdest things about blogging is that non-salesy content that’s not overtly self-promoting seems to attract the most readers and work best at promoting one’s business. Say what? Douglas Heddings, founder and blogger at TrueGotham.com, says he wouldn’t dream of putting a listing in his blog and he doesn’t even include a link to his real estate brokerage site. Yet, prior to his blog (which is about nine months old), he says that at 80 percent of his listings presentations he was competing with other brokers, but today at the same amount of presentations he competes with no one.

4. Blogs work offline too. While blogs are great for search-engine optimization, Richard Nacht, CEO of Blogging Systems, said that the offline networking effect of blogs is the primary benefit in many cases. Blogs introduce people to each other who later can work together offline.

5. BEEP if you’re a blogger. Sellsius blogger Ferrara threw out a nice acronym on blogging — BEEP, which stands for Building brand, Engaging reader, Expert (showing your expertise in your topic), and Presentation of useful content.

–Jessica Swesey, Inman News

Inman Blog challenge: What blogging techniques have worked for you and what hasn’t? Click here to join the discussion.

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