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By Kelle Sparta

RISMEDIA, Nov. 17, 2007-According to wikipedia.org “a blog (or Weblog) is a Web site in which items are posted on a regular basis and displayed with the newest at the top. Like other media, blogs often focus on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news. Some blogs function as online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic.

Since its appearance in 1995, blogging has emerged as a popular means of communication, affecting public opinion and mass media around the world. Blogs can be hosted by dedicated blog hosting services, or they can be run using blog software on regular Web hosting services.”

Getting Started

There are many services that offer blog software. Google offers Blogger which is a free blogging service, but beware – it doesn’t offer the ability to categorize your posts, so it won’t get you ranked as high in the search engines. If you want the ability to categorize and/or you think you might want to expand into podcasting at a later date, then you may want to look at Liberated Syndication (www.libsyn.com) which offers both blogging and podcasting capabilities starting at $5.00/mo.

Improving Your ROI

There are two ways to improve your return on investment on your Web site. You can either: increase the number of people who come to your site, or you can increase the percentage of people who contact you from your existing site. Blogging can do both for you.

Increasing traffic to your site: blogs are one of the hottest ways to improve traffic to your site. If you publish a blog with information about the market and different issues that buyers and sellers encounter, then you run a better chance of being discovered on the relevancy-based search engines. Buyers and sellers looking for information will be linked to your blog and then hopefully, you will be able to convert them from there.

Improving conversion rates: For your existing traffic, a blog can be a way to improve your credibility. Those looking at your site can see how knowledgeable you are by reading what you have to say about different issues in your blog. This may make them more likely to contact you to help them.

Increased Contact

Because people can subscribe to your blog, you have the opportunity to talk to these people often over time. They will read the information on their news service (which is where the blog comes to them) every day. This is much more of an open-rate than you typically get with a newsletter campaign.

Blogs are the new venue for informal communication. They can be casual and chatty, they can be informal in their tone, they can be conversational in their style – all while imparting valuable information. A blog gives a visitor a chance to get to know you. And this bodes very well for improving your conversion rates.

Kelle Sparta is the author of The Consultative Real Estate Agent – Building Relationships that Create Loyal Clients, Get More Referrals, and Increase Your Sales, as well as being a speaker and trainer specializing in the real estate industry. Kelle is the founder of Sparta Success Systems, a real estate training company that provides tools, products, and training to empower agents and brokers to create lives and businesses they can love.

For more information, visit her Web site at www.spartasuccess.com.

© 2006, Kelle Sparta. Used by permission.

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