You have a lot on your plate. You’re juggling multiple tasks. You’re opening emails, responding to texts, listening to voicemails, reviewing your calendar for the day’s appointments – all while wondering what you might make for supper. Or what chores will be on your honey-do list when you get home. Or if you’ll be able to make it to your little one’s sports game or concert recital. And nagging at you from the back of your brain is your inner marketer telling you that you should be blogging. Blog writing for your real estate blog is a crucial part of lead generation. If you’re not generating leads, the money-machine stops. Then, instead of wondering what’s for dinner, you begin to wonder how you’ll pay for dinner! So you confront your inner marketer and agree to at least think about your real estate blog.
When a recently polled group of real estate agents were asked if they were blog writing, a few answered yes. They blogged at least once per week. But when asked why the remaining agents in the group (which was the majority!) weren’t working on a real estate blog, these were some of the replies:
- I’m too busy.
- I suck.
- I don’t know what to blog about.
- No plan in place.
- Deciding whether to write my own content to save money, or outsource to save time.
- Hard to think of topics.
- Poor time management.
- Focusing on other areas of my website, such as community pages.
As you can see, you are not alone. Many genuine hard-working agents struggle with the same issues you are facing. Starting and maintaining an engaging real estate blog can feel like an overwhelming task. The good news is blog writing is not as difficult as you may think.
It is true that in real estate, community pages should be built out first – before your real estate blog. But blog writing can still be incorporated into your schedule. While you focus on building your community pages, commit to producing at least one blog post per month.
Some posts can be considered crossovers between community pages and blogs. For example, a top performing post is Horse Properties For Sale in Las Vegas. It’s a community page because of the focus on a niche: equine properties. It’s a blog post because of its rich written content.
There’s no such thing as over-blogging. Over notifying, maybe. But not over-blogging. Try to focus on one healthy, informative, well-written blog post per week. Then work on other areas of your business.
The Power of Blogging
Blog writing can help you gain rank in search engines, foster engaging relationships with your blog’s viewers, and educate prospects about your business. Each of those results translates to lead generation. Lead generation is the engine that keeps the financial wheels turning.
For those of you who already have a real estate blog, you can track the performance of your current and past content to assess what’s working and what might need revisited and refreshed. If you don’t have a blog yet, you have the advantage of being able to track results as you build. Tracking and measuring your real estate blog for results is a necessary habit to form so that you keep your blog healthy and your viewers happy.
Clicky Analytics can tell you about the performance of your blog’s content. Visit your clicky.com account and select the website you’d like to evaluate. Next, select the time frame for content you want to review. Finally, click “content”.
Take a look at your top performing pages. Top performing pages means traffic. Top performing pages are your most visited pages. Reviewing your successful posts can be a shining example of what you’re doing right. What is it about those posts that keep viewers coming back for more? Emulate those posts by creating additional content in similar fashion.
Blog writing isn’t a hobby. Creating and maintaining a real estate blog for your business is an essential part of your digital marketing strategies. One well-written blog post can generate more than a hundred leads. Don’t just throw some words on a page, hit “publish” and then walk away hoping the post does its job. Track and measure for results. Keep doing what’s proving results. Adjust techniques on under-performing posts.
Outsourcing and Delegating
Let’s face it. Not everyone is a good writer. Not everyone is equipped with grammar skills. In fact, few can climb successfully over the hurdle of the blank page. And in some cases, people just can’t type. That’s okay! Grammar and spelling handicaps have been combated with technology. Word-processing software and speak-to-text dictation programs squash the excuses of those who don’t excel with spelling, punctuation, and grammar. One such program is Grammarly, which not only helps with spelling, punctuation, and grammar, but also has a plagiarism checker!
Or, you may be a phenomenal writer, but lack the time it takes to produce written content. Not being able to write, or not having time to write, are not valid reasons for failing to maintaining a real estate blog.
If there’s one thing you’ve learned during your climb to the top of your real estate mountain, it’s the power of delegation. Use that. Delegate to someone in your team, or outsource the blog writing to ghostwriting services. There are ample ghost-writing services on the Internet just waiting for you to assign work to a freelancer or starving artist, such as Crowd Content and Ghost Bloggers.
Ghostwriting services come with options. You can pay by the word, or by the project. You assign the subject and the guidelines, and the writer conjures the content. Of course, you still have to proof read and process the information so it’s blog-ready, but the writing of it is handled. The threat of the blank page is vanquished.
Blog Writing 101: The First Year of Your Real Estate Blog
Your first year in real estate is a busy year. Tenderfoot toes lead you down paths you’ve never traversed before. You’re trying to build a name for yourself, to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Give yourself plenty of room to grow. Be patient with the process. If you’re past your first year but haven’t yet begun to build your real estate blog, it’s time to go back to the basics.
During your first year in building a real estate blog, focus your blog writing on two areas. First, build out your community pages. Second, produce one blog post per month having to do with real estate. Here are some examples of topics for your real estate blog.
- What first-time homebuyers can expect.
- What first time home sellers can expect.
- What is a mortgage?
- What is a C.L.U.E. report?
- What is a home warranty?
- What to look for when buying a home.
- How to stage various rooms in a home.
The list of real estate blog writing ideas is endless. But instead of trying to fill up your blog as fast as you can, bite down on one per month to start – and make it a good one! After your first year, you’ll have your community pages stacking up and your blog writing well on its way to establishing you as an expert in your industry.
Tip: If you find yourself inspired with ideas but short on time, jot down the ideas and stuff them into an idea box. This can be a traditional box in which you put ideas on paper, can be a folder on your desktop or laptop, or a digital file in your smart phone. One day, you’ll find yourself scrambling for a topic to write about for your real estate blog, and you’ll thank yourself for the list of accumulated ideas.
Tip: When your prospects or clients ask you a question about real estate, add that question to your idea box for blog writing. Any question asked to you from a client is brilliant real estate blog fodder.
Blog Writing 200: Hyperlocal Blog Writing
You first year in real estate blog writing was focused on community pages and real estate language. By your second year, your website and blog should have some maturity under their belts. You’ve defined your service area. You’ve developed your niche. You’ve established yourself as an expert in your industry. In your second year, it’s time to plant seeds. Year two is for establishing and cultivating relationships for a future harvest.
Hyperlocal blogging is laser targeted local information – specific information about a particular area or neighborhood that generates a lot of interest.
- Best places for kids
- Best restaurants
- Holiday events
- Where to take your Valentine
- Easter egg hunts in your area
- Where to see the best fireworks
- Tourist attractions
- Farmers markets
- Coffee shops
- Travel options
When you’re engaging in hyperlocal blogging, your goal is to bring people into your funnel to cultivate relationships. Your funnel is your campaign management: emails, phone calls, text messages – your “touches”. The top of your funnel is new leads. The end of your funnel is closed transactions. Your hyperlocal blog writing is to bring people into the top of your funnel as locals. Then cultivate those relationships by providing locals with lots of great information about your area.
These people may have no desire to buy or sell real estate today. Cultivate the relationship anyway. Continue sending that visitor pertinent information and value-packed newsletters. When they are ready to buy or sell real estate, your real estate blog comes to mind. Or, if that visitor knows someone who is ready to buy or sell real estate, they may be more likely to recommend your services.
Each of your blog posts should include an offer of some sort. An offer is an item of value for which viewers will be willing to exchange information. In the registration form, you can include a checkbox asking the viewer if they’re interested in buying or selling a home. If they do not “raise their hand” by expressing an interest in real estate, they’re not considered a lead. They’re considered a registrant. They’re sorted separately. They’re counted separately.
Consider creating a subscriber list exclusively for registrants interested in hyperlocal information. Registrants automatically go into a CRM such as Infusionsoft, a database, and they begin receiving materials from the local campaign created for them. Every month, those registrants receive hyperlocal content: Where to take Mom for Mother’s Day, Free things to do in _______, Where to see holiday lights, what to do for Cinco de Mayo.
When you have a page that’s performing well, a page that has evergreen content, there’s no point in refreshing the page. The old days where you had to refresh content to gain ranking on Google are gone.
Pages that aren’t doing as well at generating traffic, or that have outdated information, may need refreshed with better performing or current material. Dig out that old, underperforming content, dust it off, throw a fresh coat of creativity on it, publish it as new to your real estate blog, and re-blast it to your social networks. Then continue tracking to see if the changes you made were successful.
To publish an old post as new, simply change the date from the previous publication date to the current date. That post is now extracted from your archives and back on the list of fresh content. Use caution, though. In some blog platforms, such as WordPress, If you’ve created parent categories or child categories related to the post you’re updating, the hierarchy changes when you change the publication date. Only update pages in your blog that are stand alone pages, not pages that are connected to others through parent or child pages.
Hyperlocal blog posts are refreshable. Although they’re not evergreen material, you can easily recycle hyperlocal blogs. When you’re creating your first holiday related blog post, for example, do not include the year in the URL. Then next year, when that same holiday rolls around, see what’s new and update the post. Remove any out-dated content. Change the publishing date and send it out as new material for the current year. But hyperlocal posts in your real estate blog aren’t the only re-usable pieces.
Consider this. During your first year, you spent time each month carefully crafting a real estate related article. Some were geared towards buyers. Others were pointed to sellers. Now, you might create a post in your blog called, “What Every Buyer Needs to Know”, or “What Every Seller Needs to Know”. On those pages, include links to your previously published real estate related blog writing. This is a clever way to recycle old material in a new way.
You may have divided your home staging articles by room. How to stage your kitchen. How to stage your bathroom. How to stage the outside of your home. How to stage a bedroom. You could then create a single blog post called “How to Stage Your Home, Inside and Out!” and include links to each of those articles.
At year’s end, you could have a “Best Of…” blog post featuring your most popular posts from that year.
Celebrate Success with Your Recipe for a Near-Perfect Blog!
It doesn’t take pain-staking hours from each day to write or maintain your real estate blog. It can, but it doesn’t have to. The steps are simple to follow if you dedicate yourself to them, and delegate what can be outsourced. Start with one blog post a month on real estate related topics. Expand to hyperlocal blogging when you’re ready, and recycle content to keep it fresh.
The benefits of healthy blog writing can last for years to come, even if you’ve outsourced the tasks. Feed your future with blog writing and grow your real estate blog to new levels of success. By applying these simple steps, you are no longer bogged down by your blog.
And then go home and enjoy a delightful supper, or tackle your honey-do list, or celebrate that ball game or concert recital, knowing the money machine is in full swing. You deserve a life outside of real estate.