I enjoy blogging. To date, I’ve published 472 posts on this blog. The majority of them are focused in some way about the mortgage industry but from time to time I throw in some that are more personal or about Social Media.
Why do I blog?
I create content with the goal of engaging, educating and building a relationship with clients and mortgage industry associates. I’ll be the first to admit that my blog posts aren’t always amazing, but I do hit publish in hopes that someone will find them interesting. I know I’ve done a good job if people share them.
Unfortunately, I also know I’ve done a good job if people steal them.
I don’t care about content scrapers
I’m not too worried about content scrapers. I’m confident that my blog will always do better in searches than the scraped content because I published the article first, my site is better coded for SEO, my site is better designed and isn’t at risk being penalized by the search engines.
Content scrapers may even help with my ranking according to Matt Cutts from Google:
When industry associates steal content it’s a different story
I would assume people steal content in the hopes of increasing their own exposure, but in the end, I feel they are devaluing our industry and damaging those of us who strive to create original content that educates our clients and industry associates. I see stealing content as an absolute disregard for our profession.
While it would be easy to call out an industry associate publicly for stealing content, instead I’d like to offer the following insights and share how they can get started in creating their own content:
How to start blogging
Get your own domain name. Don’t use the website template your brokerage might offer you. Also, don’t use a free blog service. You’re a business right? Nothing says I’m unprofessional like Blogger. I recommend a self hosted WordPress site. Look at purchasing a semi custom theme so you can differentiate your site from all the other ones out there. Themeforest has some great ones that aren’t too expensive.
What about content?
That’s what takes time. We all had to start from nothing. You don’t need to blog every day. The goal is to be writing more mortgages than blog posts. Just make sure you’re somewhat consistent. I usually have one post ready to go for Monday or Tuesday mornings as a “Tip of the Week”. If something else comes up during the week I’ll write up another blog post and publish it.
The goal when creating content should be to become an expert. Give people quality content and educate them about what mortgage brokers do. Our industry is constantly changing. Write about it.
Try video blogging
If you aren’t the best at writing (I’m not) that’s ok too. You could always create video blogs and get your message across that way. Video is a great way to show off your personality to visitors to your website. It’s pretty simple to shoot a quick video as well and you might find video blogging easier than having to write a post out. For filming my videos I use either the built in webcam on my laptop for each weeks Canadian Mortgage Hangout or I use an iPhone. Once the video is filmed simply upload it to YouTube then you can embed the video on your blog post.
Make it easy to share your content
Make sure your blog theme has social media buttons so it’s easy for your visitors to share your posts to Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. If you’ve written a great post you want to make sure it’s easy for people to tell their friends about it.
When will it payoff?
It won’t happen overnight. Being a mortgage broker isn’t easy. Blogging isn’t easy either. Building your blog and creating content takes time, energy and persistence. The payoff will be much greater if you take the time to build it yourself.