I’ve discovered gold in them thar blogs!
I'm no technological geek but I love using today's technology in my real estate business. On April 6th of 2005, I discovered blogging and my life hasn't been the same since. I quickly became addicted.
Seriously blogging now since May of 2005, I started because Wenatchee, Washington is booming and we get a lot of out of town inquiries. Since I enjoy writing, it seemed like a good way to share my knowledge and become known as THE local expert.
I soon discovered how powerful (and addictive) blogging really is, even for someone who doesn‘t understand the math and science behind search engine optimization. It’s not only powerful, results actually come very quickly.
Mary McKnight is, of course, the blog guru, but I’m here to tell you even if you don’t understand it, it works! You don’t need to know how a watch works to tell time and you don’t need to be a mathematician or scientist to have an effective blog. If you do some very basic stuff, with consistency, you will see results. I love reading Mary McKnights articles but, frankly, I just don’t have the time to read them all, follow the links, and actually follow through. I wish I did.
Despite the fact I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing in the beginning, blogging had an almost immediate impact on my search engine rankings and, more importantly, inquiries from prospective customers. My Yahoo & MSN rankings increased very rapidly on both my primary blog and my primary website. I was amazed how the blog impacted my website traffic and rankings.
The four simple key factors to my initial, novice, approach to blogging was:
1) Determine what my key words were and use them consistently
2) Blog almost daily until I built up a good archive of articles
3) Link all my blogs and websites together.
4) Link to other relevant blogs when practical
As I got a little more savvy, and really learned to use key words, I have been able to work my way up to the first page of Google. If you go to the Google search engine and type in “Wenatchee real estate agent”, I will come up 5 times on the first page. Twice with my primary blog twice with my primary website and once with Active Rain.
I learned early on that by linking all my sites together it compounded the results. When I actually think about what this means, I am almost in awe. There are about 350 agents in our local market area and I have 5 of the top 10 positions on Google. It’s almost mind boggling. I am just one little independent punk that blogged my brains out for a year and am now reaping the rewards.
I noticed an immediate spike in traffic and inquiries and it’s built up to the point I can’t handle all the leads any more. I have three people studying for their licenses to help me with showings and as I need them to follow up on leads.
I can tie several actual sales (and referrals) to people finding me through my website and blog. An investment group intending to buy 3-6 homes per month found me through my blog. I was interviewed by 5 levels of management, and was approved! YeeHaw. I also have some other, potentially, big stuff in the works now with contacts through my blog and website.
To balance this article out, though… I admit that I don’t fare as well with the key words “Wenatchee real estate” (without “agent” at the end). I only come up 2 times on the first page of Google. Still respectable for an independent little agent, competing with all the big guys like John L. Scott, Windermere, Coldwell Banker, etc. Since I am independent, and don’t have the promotional clout (or advertising and office frontage) of the biggies, I find the web is more than compensating for it. I do know Wenatchee real estate and have found a way of getting my name found in the vastness of cyberspace.
On a side note, ironically, about the time my Google rankings surged, my Yahoo and MSN rankings dropped. I’m not quite sure why but the term “key word stuffing” has been mentioned and maybe that’s the problem. Their crawlers may not like that I use my keywords in every single article. Not sure about that. But, as long as Google likes me, I'm not too worried about it .
Must go now, and follow up on some of those leads! I started out mining for leads with a small shovel, but now I need a big bucket to hold them all.
My addiction keeps me in the mine a lot. I come out for food, to let my husband know I'm still alive... and to carry on my day-to-day business of selling houses, etc. But I love to blog (I mean mine) for leads and it's working.
* NOTE: December 2015: My (then) primary blog and websites were retired when I retired as an active agent / broker / property manager. The techniques in this article are still valid.