• Christy Murdock Edgar

What "The Big Lebowski" Can Teach You About Blogging.


An early version of this article was written for Inman. Check out my author page to see more of my work there.

He’s an unlikely prophet -- dirty, disheveled, with a tatty sweater and a White Russian in hand -- but in the 20 years since The Big Lebowski premiered, The Dude has been one of the most beloved modern day poet-philosophers in our culture. There’s even a pseudo-religion called Dudeism dedicated to the wit and wisdom of this iconic character.

How can the Coen Brothers’ most beloved protagonist help you write your real estate blog and market your business more effectively? Here are five big takeaways:

“They call Los Angeles ‘The City of Angels’...”

The brilliant opening monologue by Sam Elliott is spoken over a slow pan that brings us up on a glittering LA skyline view. In many ways, The Big Lebowski is a love letter to the grimier side of the land of dreams and the people who wouldn’t live anywhere else.

Your real estate blog needs to be connected to the place where you work. While evergreen content is great, part of your content needs to connect to your specific market. Whether it’s a roundup of stats for your area, reporting on local events, or just a vlog from your favorite neighborhood, when readers think of your town or city, they should think of you.

“I’m the Dude.”

When confronted by the first set of henchmen, The Dude is quick to differentiate himself from “the other” Jeff Lebowski. In fact, in his mind, “The Dude” is his true identity. From his signature cocktail to his car to his style to his nom de guerre, The Dude is his own creation with a totally unique persona.

You too have the opportunity to define yourself in your blog. Do you love pop culture? Have a wicked sense of humor? Are you the biggest foodie in town? Whatever is unique to you, use it to differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack and connect to your audience. Some people are so busy being appropriate, they veer off into boring. Don’t make that mistake.

“Donny was a good bowler, and a good man.”

Wherever his adventures take him, The Dude is always sure to have a friend close by -- usually Walter, his excitable and overly enthusiastic wingman. While bringing along backup doesn’t always turn out for the best in The Big Lebowski, it always makes the journey more fun.

Blogging doesn’t have to be a solitary pursuit. Interview a friendly local lender or title officer for your blog. Feature a nearby business owner or entrepreneur. Co-write a blog with a colleague who specializes in a different niche or neighborhood or with your favorite home inspector. Bringing along a trusted sidekick means more fun creating content -- and more value for your readers.

"That's just, like, your opinion, man."

Don’t be afraid to tell your readers what they want to know. There are as many “rules” about content as there are content providers and marketing consultants. In reality, what really connects with readers is authenticity. And if you can fake authenticity, you’ve got it made.

Make sure that your content is in compliance with the rules of your state board and your brokerage in order to avoid any legal hassles. Beyond that, though, tell your readers what they want to know and avoid generic content and boring cliches. It’s your unique perspective that will keep people coming back.

“The Dude abides.”

It’s easy to get discouraged when your content doesn’t seem to land the way you want it to, when it seems that nobody’s reading, or when you don’t see immediate conversions from the content you craft. But like The Dude, you have to hang in there and wait for the results you want.

You may not hit the first page of Google or book a dozen new listings overnight, but if you stick with it you’ll start to see positive results from your blog and other content. Make sure you’re distributing it regularly, repurposing it, and adding great images and infographics and you’ll be surprised how quickly your blog will start winning you fans and followers.

#popculture #contentmarketing #TheBigLebowski #realestatewriting #blogging

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