So by now you are ready to dive in – or you already have and you write content on some kind of schedule (hopefully consistent, as previously mentioned). You know who you are speaking too, and you have some idea of topics that you might choose. After all, what you talk about is going to be centered around what your targets are likely to find interesting, or likely to be looking for when they are online. The last thing to do is to create a plan to follow.
I call this plan and research because in order to have continuous consistent content creation and publishing, you need to have some sort of research plan in place to make the process manageable. Before we get to that though, let’s look at the plan.
So the overall idea is to create and publish content on a regular schedule. You want to treat your website as a resource or platform which you utilize to serve people and bring in prospective tenants (and potentially extra revenue via ads in the future). In order to do this, people need to be attracted to your website to begin with, and then ideally they should be compelled to delve deeper into what you have to offer and to return at a later time.
The rate at which you publish is largely going to be up to you. I think there is a range of publishing frequency that is best, however, so choosing just any old pace won’t do. On this blog for example, we publish every week day – and on some days we have multiple posts in other categories. There are blog/news style sites out there which post multiple articles every day (and they have many authors working for them). On the flip side, I have seen tremendously successful blogs which post no more than once per week.
In my experience, for an individual trying to build market leadership presence, sticking with a rate of between 1 and 3 posts per week is probably best. You need to be able to give yourself time to create the content (or have someone else create it) and be sure that it is of the highest quality before posting. The less you post, the more awesome you need your content to be. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to create really long (2000+ words) posts if you are on the once per week schedule, but that does tend to be the case for those types of blogs which do post only on a once per week basis.
The best way to decide your pace then is to figure out what sort of articles you want to write. Do you want to write really long detailed articles with many sections? Do you want to write average length articles (these tend to be in the 500-700 word range) which narrow down the topic a bit compared to those longer ones? Or do you want to write short tidbits of wisdom?
Keep in mind, if you go shorter on posting, that doesn’t make it easier. In fact it makes it much more difficult. To my mind, I’ve only run across one really superb blogger who tends to blog short posts (and he does so on daily basis, that is Seth Godin – http://sethgodin.typepad.com/).
For the typical property manager wanting to create a market leadership presence, I would suggest twice a week posts of around 700 words – use this simply as a general guideline. Your style and passion will ultimately dictate what you do here.
So now that you have an idea of pace, getting the Research in is the next important step. There are two main places you can go for this – personal experience (stories make for awesome content), and other blogs/news/facts/etc. For myself, my own personal experiences tend to just drift into my content, and I use either knowledge I already have of a topic, or knowledge I gain through my weekly reading of the market.
Here is my basic process. I utilize Google Reeder and RSS feeds. When starting a blog, I look around for people who have an influence in the market (ideally the market leaders) and other websites of interest. I add their RSS feeds to my Google Reeder account, and then once per day (or week) I go through these feeds and pick out articles that I find informative and relevent. Many of these articles educate me on the topics I will discuss, and many of the articles I will share directly with my readers.
It’s a straightforward process of simply listening to the market you are in, finding awesome content out there, learning what you didn’t know, and sharing with your readers.
Remember – create awesome content on a consistent basis, and you will build a rabid fanbase.