As appraisers, most of us are interested in doing less AMC work and more non-lender assignments. One of the best ways to obtain and keep alternative appraisal clients is through blogging. However, I find that many appraisers have a general disdain for writing and either won’t give it a try or do not keep it up once they jump into the arena. Blogging is really not that difficult and can actually be fun. The goal is to learn the “tricks” that will successfully translate your blog posts into new work for you. Rather than tell you how to do it, however, I will try a tactic I sometimes use on my four children– reverse psychology. Here is how NOT to write a blog article or how to guarantee your articles will never be seen or read.
Pick a Random or Boring Topic
Since you would never want your material seen, begin by choosing a topic that is obscure and is of no interest to your target audience. If you are writing for Realtors® or home owners for example, pick topics such as roller-coasters or how to fold sheets rather than talking about the local real estate market or how the appraisal process really works.
Give Too Many Facts and No Stories
Everyone loves a good story… so, at all costs, do not share one. If you want to avoid the fuss of an audience, fill your blog posts with details, facts, figures, and boring statistics. For heaven’s sake, do not make this personal.
Make it Long and Drawn Out
A smart person once advised me to make blog posts short enough that the typical reader could get through it in less than three minutes. Since the average human reads 250 words per minute, you will want to make sure your blog post are consistently longer than 1,000 words—in fact, shoot for 5,000-6,000. This way, most potential readers will look at the length and pass it by without even reading the first paragraph.
Do not Allow Comments
We live in an interactive society. Social media invites all points of view. Your audience will want to be part of the story. Thus, a great way to avoid an audience altogether is to just not allow people to comment on your stories. I am often asked why I do not answer all of the opposing views on my blog posts. In general, I think the story should stand on its own. Of course, if you turn off the comment feature, you will never have to worry about negative remarks (or any remarks) in the first place.
SEO is for Losers
“The greatest article ever written is worthless if it cannot be found on the internet.” Therefore, learn nothing about search engine optimization (SEO) and you can avoid your posts being found in the first place. If you happen to stumble upon a few tips and tricks on how to organize your content for great SEO, no matter what, do not incorporate them into your writing. There is also the keyword rank tracker that one might require when it comes to SEO.
Do Not Proofread Before Publishing
If you really want to look like a fool, publish your blog posts without ever having another person proofread them. No matter how many times you might look over your posts for mistakes, you will never find them all. It takes a separate, trained eye to catch some of the misspellings, grammar errors, punctuation typos, and other common errors. Avoid a loyal following by simply hitting the publish button as soon as you write your first draft.
Blogging takes some effort. It comes easier the more you do it, but in order to find success, you must be consistent about it and the content must be interesting to your target audience. Getting out of your comfort zone is never easy. Therefore, use my six point plan above to stay comfortable and remain dependent upon AMC work the rest of your career.
Now, go create some value!
Dustin Harris is a super-successful, self-employed, residential real estate appraiser. He has been appraising for nearly two decades. He is the owner and President of Appraisal Precision and Consulting Group, Inc., and is a popular author, speaker and consultant. He also owns and operates The Appraiser Coach where he personally advises and mentors other appraisers helping them to also run successful appraisal companies and increase their net worth. He and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children.