Want to grow your real estate business and improve your status as an industry expert? Are you looking for innovative, low-cost ways to promote yourself as a leading real estate agent online?
You need a great blog, written by a great ghost writer
Creating and maintaining an interesting, current blog is one of the most effective and affordable ways to promote yourself as an experienced, knowledgeable real estate agent. A blog can boost the organic (free) ranking of your website on search engines like Google and Bing, helping to increase your website traffic among both clients and colleagues.
In the real estate business, sellers and buyers want to be convinced that you are the right real estate agent for their needs; a blog allows you to actively engage and build relationships with your website visitors. Blogs encourage comments and conversations that can convert into listings and sales.
So, you know why real estate agents need to maintain active blogs, but chances are good you don’t have the time, desire or skills needed to create blog posts that generate the kind of ‘buzz’ you want.
Thankfully, real estate agents have access to a virtual army of skilled, knowledgeable and cost-effective blog writers online – ghost writers. These bloggers-for-hire are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, making it easy to access high-quality articles for your blog – once you’ve found the right writer.
Ghost Writers 101
Virtually anyone who has a computer and Internet access can claim to be a blogger – there are no specific job descriptions or criteria per se, and ghost writing is a completely unregulated industry. Bloggers hail from all walks of life and all corners of the globe, resulting in massive variances in the quality and price for online content.
On the upside, this means that real estate agents who want to hire a ghost writer have lots of choices; Realtors can opt to hire a blogger directly, purchase pre-written articles or use a content brokerage site. You can find content writers who will work for virtual peanuts or you can hire bloggers who are full-time professional writers whose skills and experience demand a premium rate.
Where To Find Ghost Writers Online
In general, there are three basic options for real estate agents who are seeking to hire their own ghost writer; direct orders, custom content brokerages and article brokerages.
Ballen Brands – Your lead generation company
Whether you’re creating your website’s foundation or establishing yourself as an expert in your area, words are the straw in which you draw your audience. Ballen Brands can help create optimized content to fit your needs.
With direct orders, Realtors deal with the writer to negotiate payment, content and quality issues. Bloggers for hire often post ads on local Craigslist sites; they also may operate their own sole-proprietor businesses that they promote through blogs and paid Google ads. Real estate agents can also find writers by posting a paid ad on writer sites like Problogger.net.
Direct ordering can be a great way to find and retain high-quality writers, however, this method of hiring ghost writers also involves the greatest risk and biggest investment of time for real estate agents. With direct ordering, both the buyer and the writer risk being scammed; if you choose to hire a blogger directly, do your research and ask for references.
Custom Content Brokerages
Also known as ‘content mills’ these online brokerages let real estate agents order content from either a pool of writers or specific bloggers. Depending on the website, you may be able to select the quality of the content, specify details about your blog and choose from a variety of pricing plans. Payment is processed through the brokerage and clients usually have the option to ask for revisions or even reject content that is unsatisfactory.
Standards vary among content brokerages; for example, Crowd Content is a Canadian company that pre-screens writers and limits writer registration to native English speakers from the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia. This brokerage ranks writers based on client feedback and payments are made thru PayPal.
Other content brokerages allow non-native English writers from any country to register, such as Amazon’s MTurk and bid-based sites like Freelancer.com. This can mean lower initial costs for you content, however, be aware that the quality of content from offshore content mills is often poor.
You can also purchase pre-written articles online from brokerages like Ghostbloggers.net, where writers place ready-made blog posts for sale. This can be a great way to content in a pinch, however, article brokerages rarely permit revision requests or customization of the content.
Ghost writing pricing varies widely; factors like writer experience, location and market demand all impact the cost of buying a blog. For a native English writer who can craft clear, on-topic content, expect to pay anywhere from $10 to $100 for a 500-word piece. Factors like quality, the amount of research needed and search engine optimization of the content all impact the price of a blog post.
Cost Vs. Quality
Generally speaking, when it comes to hiring a ghost writer, you get what you pay for. There are numerous dirt-cheap content options available, however, these blogs are usually written by non-English writers or are the product of automated writing programs that churn out computer-generated blog posts.
Look for native English writers who understand the culture of your target audience; remember, you want your blog to be a reflection of you and your business, so quality, tone and style all matter.
Always Use Copyscape!
No matter where you source your blog content, always run it through an online content checker like Copyscape to protect yourself against copyright violations. Search engines like Google severely penalize websites that contain duplicate or copied content by reducing their ranking, or in some cases, blocking the offending website from appearing in their search results entirely.
Real estate agents need to include a current, active blog as part of their marketing strategy. With the right ghost writer, you can enjoy increased website traffic, name recognition and client referrals for less than the cost of a classified ad in your local newspaper.