After I found out my dog had a blog I wrote a column ( Garage Carport Automobile Parking Driveway Gravel Asphalt Paving Work Garden Sheds ) buffooning blogs entirely. "If someone is telling you that you've got to get a blog, then it's probably too late" kinda thing. It was a good article. Still is. In fact, it got some press on other blogs, blogging that I was an idiot who needed to get into the 21st century and that I needed to get my own GPS because I was "lost" and such.

Sticks and stones, dogs.

However, I'm a Libra so I have this astrological urge to view both sides of the issue so I started my own blog, fashioned after my dog's blog. Just to see what would happen. And surprise, surprise. Guess what?

So far, nothing has happened. I've got 5 visitors, one from a lady blogger who earlier blasted me but said that she was glad she didn't make an enemy out of me and to feel free and visit her blog any time I felt like it. The other comments looked suspicious and two of the comments were mine, so it really makes three comments.

That and $3.85 gets me a tall nonfat latte with room for cream.

Mysteriously though, I soon got a neat book in the mail called "Realty Blogging: Build Your Brand and Outsmart Your Competition" (McGraw-Hill 2007) written by Richard Nacht and Paul Chaney.

There was a nice note inside that said (sic) "read this book" so I took a couple of hours and did so. Not a bad book, really. In fact, it addressed my main concern with blogs and that is how in the heck can one get found in the sea of blogs in the first place! You might have the greatest blog ever blogged, but if no one visits then is it worth anything?

These guys know what they're talking about and I could tell they've had some experience with search engine optimization, getting found and promotion. If you've got a blog and it's not doing anything for you other than being your own personal diary and want to get noticed, then spend the $18.95 and pick up a copy of Realty Blogging.

If you're into blogging and haven't read this book you're wasting your time.

Another thing I've noticed when goofing around looking at other people's blogs is that 1: if you're successful at getting found then 2: you'd better know how to write.

Writing anything means people enjoy reading what you've written and get what you're trying to say. Not always an easy task that some find difficult to do. Speaking and writing are two different animals.

It's also a good thing to know how to spell. If you can't spell and use a spell-checker, that's fine. But make sure the spell-checker is spell-checking the correct word. "Flees" vs. "fleas" for instance is correctly spelled but have entirely different meanings. At least that's what I learned on my dog's blog. Fleas can flee but flees can't flea.

If you can't convey your thoughts in a way that you want it conveyed, or your blog comes across a little dry, then you simply need some practice. I'm not saying don't do a blog at all, but make sure you've got something there that people want to see. There are other blogs that don't do any writing at all but instead pull copy from other sources (attributed, usually) and fashion their blog around the imported story.

I liked the book, Realty Blogging, but I'm just not a blogger. But then again I'm apparently in the minority. I just googled (btw, can you believe we're using words like "blog" and "google" in every day language without getting slapped in the face?) "how many blogs are there" and got a site called cyberjournalist.net who reports that last summer there were 50 million blogs and that number is doubling every six months, so I guess by now we're right about 110 million blogs.

If you want to play the blog game, go in with eyes wide open. There's a lot of them and they're all vying for eyeballs. And most need a new spell-checker.

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