One of the worst things you can do if you want to make an impact with a blog is to take a long break from posting anything. I have two excuses that aren’t really legitimate. If you put a lot of effort into something you don’t want your progress slip back and make success even more difficult. My first excuse is that I got busy and had a pretty good end to the year with clients. I was able to use a number of the techniques discussed here and even learned some more from one of my clients.
There were the holidays too, but I also committed to start writing a book for home owners contemplating selling their homes. This will be by far the most ambitious thing I’ve tried to write. Unlike the ebook that is free to anyone who registers on the site and is written for listing agents, this one is not disguised as a short novel. This will be non-fiction; self-help. To be honest, I’m not sure what direction I am going to take with publishing this thing. There are an amazing number of options with the simplest being making it available in pdf format like the other ebook. The other extreme is trying to find an agent and go the conventional publishing route. There are a number of self-publishing alternatives in between.
I haven’t resolved in my own mind whether to make the book available to listing agents to use as a listing tool or to market it directly to consumers. Right now I’m leaning towards the latter simply because I’m not sure there are enough agents who would adjust the way they do business to make sharing the book a good idea. It’s a chicken or the egg thing. Does the way we market homes get more sophisticated because we as agents take the initiative to adopt new strategies and techniques or do we only change because consumers demand a better way? It’s probably a little bit of both.
I just passed the 30,000 word threshold and am still on pricing. There are a couple of important lessons the exercise has taught me. The first is that writing something this long is harder that just doing blog posts. Consistency and making transitions from one topic to another and make them all work together is a level of difficulty higher. The satisfying part is going back and reading a chapter and being surprised at how good it is. “Wow, is that me? Did I write that?” has crossed my mind more than once.
The second lesson I already knew but had kind of forgotten about about. Teaching something is the best way to learn it. Writing exposition definitely qualifies as teaching except the feedback is delayed. For example, there’s the chapter I’m doing at the moment on pricing. It turns out my ideas were not so well developed after all. Writing about it forces you to take a hard look at the point you’re trying to make. Like other parts of the book the pricing chapter will challenge some of the conventional wisdom. So far I haven’t asked anyone to read any of it but I have a few people in mind. What are friends for, after all?