Everybody wants to have traffic to their site, great rankings and high conversions. What many agents do not understand is what content to provide that will achieve this aim. In the following article, we'll be going over the do's and dont's of basic blogging concepts.
The first thing to know is, don't blog your listings.
I know this may come as a surprise, but I do not recommend blogging your listings for sale. There are a couple of reasons:
- Listings have a temporary "shelf life" where they will go pending and then the page is no longer of any value.
- An individual listing as a topic has a very limited reach to your visitors. Anyone not actively looking for a home of that exact type is not going to view your article.
- If you are syndicating your posts to social media, you are training your friends/followers to ignore your posts.
Blog Updates are beneficial to search engine rankings
Your blog helps boost overall traffic levels from visitors, and increases lead generating activity in other areas of your site.
The following two links go into greater detail about the need for good original content on your site updated regularly.
Your Goal with a blog:
Attract and build a viewing audience who returns to your site to see topics of interest to them.
This is about building brand awareness, expertise in your niche market, and providing "entertainment" to solidify your brand offering in their minds. Think of any commercial you have watched - and it's instantly obvious that targeting the lifestyle, choices, interests, hobbies, and local community events that are of interest to your target market are a way to "tie" in your brand and service offerings to end users.
Recommended topics will vary by location and real estate agent - but it's crucial that you determine some underlying characteristics of your most common transactions.
For example, if you're business is primarily with lake shore owners, your blog should include community oriented topics relating to the lake, real estate tips and ideas for lake shore living, local events on the water, tricks for improving your lake shore home etc.
The point is that these posts are going out to your social media to be shared and viewed by others. Attracting traffic to your blog will involve blogging about topics that your followers en mass will want to click on to read.
Some of the most prolific and successful real estate bloggers I've ever seen write about their favorite socks, the christmas tree lighting downtown, and ways to ensure your pool stays clean.
Remember, you aren't the only one learning how to do this:
In this inman news article, you'll find that real estate as an industry has the lowest engagement rate online of any industry category. Agents post more frequently, with less results than literally any other online marketer.
The reason is simple.
YOU AREN'T JUST TARGETING CURRENT BUYERS AND SELLERS. YOU ARE CULTIVATING AWARENESS AND CREDIBILITY WITH FUTURE BUYERS AND SELLERS. A GOOD BLOG POST CAN HAVE YEARS WORTH OF VALUE ONLINE AND 1000's OF VISITS FROM POTENTIAL CLIENTS.
Don't forget, you have Blog Assist!
Our Blog Assist Plugin exists specifically to help with overcoming writers block. The key here is to select a few locations around the web that have RSS feeds of their news that you could "piggy back" and write your own spin / follow up to them. It's a way to easily stay relevant in the news cycle, get ideas for new posts to write, and easily provide valuable back links to the original authors. Search engines, and users love this stuff.
But writing is hard! I don't have the time.
Indeed, it can feel like there's no time in the day to also be a real estate blogger. While good blog posts are a big part of an overall success story for any real estate website, you do need to consider where your time is best invested. That is almost always in lead curation and closing escrows.
To overcome this challenge, many agents, offices and teams find that "off loading" this effort to low cost providers is an excellent way to boost productivity and focus where it needs to be, while ensuring that the value of your site continues to increase overtime.
Outsourcing your post creation
Ghost writers for creating new content on the fly can be a great alternative for minimal investment overhead. A few example companies below provide on demand original writing services:
You may also consider hiring a virtual assistant to help manage posting of new blog entries to your site, or ordering of new blog posts from these writing companies. Don't forget your time is valuable - and you need to be spending it closing transactions and fielding new leads, not becoming a professional journalist in your evening hours.
There are many services for this, but our favorite has always been Fancy Hands.
Making it Fun, you're the expert!
Whenever you are blogging a topic or article, remember that you as an agent in your area have a wealth of useful knowledge that you are taking for granted. All those years learning how escrows, reos, inspections, disclosures, HOA's, etc are ripe for the picking when it comes to being able to educate and interest your customers with your knowledge.
In the same way that sitting down with a new client begins with "small talk", let your personality, shared interests and charm shine through in your writing. You are building a relationship, and that requires helping your client believe in you.
Good luck and happy blogging!