Blogging For Bucks

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Education & Training with Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals.



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.

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"The best way to predict the future is to create it!"
- Peter Drucker

"Information is FREE. Knowledge, Experience & Integrity Are Priceless."

-Carol Williams

Retired: Real Estate Broker/Owner, Property Manager 
Coaching, goal setting and marketing consultant by appt.

Active: Golf & Travel Blogger
"Golf isn't a sport. It's a lifestyle."
SeniorWomenGolfers.com
TopTeamCarol@gmail.com


 

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Rainmaker
1,309,176
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager
Joanne:  Jump on this bandwagon, because it's going places.  The internet can be a distraction, but it's really where the buyers are coming from!  I don't know the statistics but it's something like 70% (or is it more) of buyers start their search on the internet.  They want information and lots of it.  Information is FREE all over the web.  But you have the knowledge to put it to use for them.  That's why they need you.  I notice your website is your corporate site.  Get a site of your own.  Start blogging.  Link them together.  Fly girl.  Fly.
Nov 13, 2006 03:11 PM #28
Ambassador
807,548
. 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC
REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK - Asheville, NC
What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779
Hi carol...After years of online work from my website, I began blogging, but it wasn't until I happened upon Active Rain that I began to find what YOU have found...just a huge elevation in my placement on Google,especially. Thanks for the depth of your explanation.
Nov 13, 2006 03:22 PM #29
Rainmaker
1,168,524
Jay Thompson
Zillow - Seattle, WA
Hi Carol - did you know this blog was the subject of a post on Zillow Blog?
Nov 13, 2006 03:26 PM #30
Rainmaker
1,309,176
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager
Jay & Francy:  Oh My Gosh!  I'm famous!  I had no idea.  Thanks for the heads up.  I'm going to have to get a bigger hat!  

This, though, is an example of why you have to be careful about what you say.  You don't know who's going to read it and where it will end up.  That's why I didn't give any details about my BIG deals brewing.  Can't tell everything I know. 
Nov 13, 2006 03:38 PM #31
Rainer
509,186
Jacqulyn Richey
Prominent Realty Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Real Estate
I wouldn't worry too much about yahoo and msn. You'll bounce back. Google will give you a lot more traffic than either of them. -Charles
Nov 13, 2006 04:20 PM #32
Rainmaker
1,309,176
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager
Mariana:  Attaching a blog to your website is just a matter of adding a prominent link on your home page. 
Nov 13, 2006 05:25 PM #33
Rainer
76,527
Mary McKnight
Sacrilicious Marketing - Orlando, FL
Thanks for the mention!  I love that you can show people that blogging really works.  Congrats on your front page search engine placement.
Nov 13, 2006 09:46 PM #34
Rainer
146,936
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY
Carol - thanks for sharing your story.  Sometimes when I'm blogging I ask myself if it is really worth the effort.  I just started to blog so I am yet to see the rewards.  It is nice to know they will pay off eventually. 
Nov 13, 2006 11:52 PM #35
Rainer
58,077
Christine Adler
FindAHomeWithMe.com - Fort Lauderdale, FL
SE Palm Beach, Broward & NE Miami-Dade Counties FL
You are right and one thing people here may not know is that Mary has a company that will set up the blog site for you and the fee is reasonable. Go for it, all you have to loose is more business.
Nov 14, 2006 12:48 AM #36
Rainer
5,622
Barb & Jennifer White
Re/Max Xecutex - Centreville, VA

Thanks Carol for sharing your Blogging Success, I am new to blogging and when I see story like yours it inspires me!  I think internet is the future for real estate business, and I am all for expanding through cyberspace. 

Good Luck,

Yasir.

Nov 14, 2006 01:13 AM #37
Rainmaker
1,309,176
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

For those of you who are new to blogging... keep at it.  Don't be discouraged. Be consistent and build up good quality content so readers will want to come back to see what's new.  It does take time and patience, but there is reward and, like I said before, it keeps your antenna up for news and you become a better resource and more valuable to your customers.

Nov 14, 2006 09:31 AM #38
Rainer
27,556
Barry Hurd
123 Social Media - Seattle, WA

Blogging was a huge topic at NAR this weekend.

The real 'best of the best' forward-moving real estate professionals were either doing it or realizing they needed to be doing it ASAP. Our booth was slammed for the entire convention and the blogging panel our CEO gave on Saturday morning had hundreds of listeners. 

It is great to hear someone from Wenatchee is using blogging to move forward. I am a native from Yakima (just a wee bit from Wenatchee), knowing the challenges of the region Carol faces on a daily basis is really an exciting benchmark that blogging can work anywhere. Most people would never consider Wenatchee a net oriented client market. If done right, blogging can really work in any market. 

Nov 15, 2006 05:16 AM #39
Rainmaker
1,309,176
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager
Barry, I would have loved to hear all the blogging sessions at NAR.  I bet it was a huge topic.  A bunch of agents will jump on the blogging wagon this coming year, but it still takes patience and commitment to build an archive of good quality content worth coming back to. Many of these late converts will fall off the wagon before it gets too far down the trail... and, unfortunately they won't reache the promised land.  LOL.
Nov 15, 2006 08:10 AM #40
Rainer
10,932
Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate - Saskatoon, SK

Carol,

What a great success story.  Thanks for drawing my attention to it.  I also thought that blogging wouldn't hurt me on the SEO front and that is one of my primary motivations in blogging.  Thanks again.

Dec 06, 2006 12:33 PM #41
Anonymous
john harper

I hope you have blogged a little on Lake Stehekin. Little posts like that can bring in tangental traffic.

I'm sure this post has inspired and given support to more than just the folks that have left comments.

Keep it coming

Dec 07, 2006 10:32 AM #42
Rainmaker
755,474
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Phoenix - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

It pays to be persistent, and obviously you reap the rewards of that persistence.

Dec 06, 2015 09:20 AM #43
Rainmaker
1,309,176
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi David Baker Realtor - Laveen Homes for sale ,
Persistence really is the key but, done properly and with AR Google juice, ranking can happen quite quickly.   Thanks for reading!

Dec 06, 2015 09:29 AM #44
Rainmaker
3,247,520
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC

Carol

Congratulations on earning the gold star for an outstanding post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Dec 06, 2015 10:56 AM #45
Rainmaker
797,909
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Carol - This was a great post. It's no wonder it was featured.

You are right about blogging, it can be very addicting to some, but at the same time, very effective.

Dec 07, 2015 07:03 AM #46
Ambassador
3,982,858
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Oh that would also get featured today. Maybe you could write an undated version and sit back and watch the gold star appear.

Dec 09, 2015 01:44 AM #47
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