But, when done right it can be a massive boon for your business. Many agents can get huge portions of their business from their online brand, including blog posts, email series and newsletters.
The key, however, is to do it right.
Follow these tips to make sure your blog starts off on the right track and you will be poised for success.
Before You Start
Understand your audience – You need to know exactly who it is you are writing for. If you have a speciality you focus on, go all in on it. Yes, you’ll get less traffic, but you’ll be the expert.
Be consistent – Stick to a posting schedule that you can handle, and your readers can count on. Don’t be overly ambitious to start!
Stop overthinking – It is much easier to think about how daunting the process of starting a blog is, but guess what? At the end of the day, you’ve wasted a lot of energy worrying and spent zero energy writing.
Just ship – There is a common phrase among many entrepreneurs, “Just Ship” this means get the project off the shelves first, and then perfect as you go. No blog is perfect, you’ll learn as you go, but it’s really important to start.
Be yourself – One of the biggest benefits of having a blog is you can use that platform to really show your personality. Real estate is a people business. And people want to work with people they like. Show prospective clients your real personality.
Care about your clients – This is a big one that gets lost in the shuffle far too often. Your clients are real people, who are making a massive decision. Be sure you show them you are on their side, you care about the outcome, and you’re goal is to help them as much as you can.
Always be thinking - Brainstorm blog post ideas ahead of time. There is nothing worse than staring a blinking cursor knowing you have to get something published today.
Get an Editorial Calendar – Once I started using a calendar to visualize when my posts would be going live, it made things much easier for me to get writing.
Provide value - Always, always provide value in every post you write. You want your readers to establish a level of trust with you. Don’t publish anything you wouldn’t advice your own friends or family.
Think FAQs - Most potential clients are going to have the same handful of questions about buying, selling or renting. These are perfect blog posts. Why? First, because people Google their questions, and second, you build trust with the answers.
Make them easy to read – Readability matters. Writing for the internet is much different than writing for school. Keep sentences short, use quick paragraphs, and plenty of headers and white space.
Have interesting headlines – A headline can be the difference between a click and nothing. So think about what would make you click, provide value upfront in the headline to start.
Include a Call to Action – At the end of each post, instruct your reader to do something, it could be leave a comment, share on social media, or click on another similar post.
Showcase your expertise – After all, as a real estate agent, you are an expert in your local housing market. Show that off! Tell your readers tips and trends you are seeing.
Keep them interested – Too many real estate blogs toss up a “House of the Week” and call it a day. Vary up your content by offering value, industry insights, and even local business tips and reviews.
Use case studies – A great way to get make content interesting and showcase your expertise, case studies can be built in testimonials right on your blog.
Know SEO but don’t write for it - This is where some people fall into a trap. You need to understand how SEO can help your blog, but don’t focus entirely on it.
Keep your URLs short – This will help with SEO. Keep your URLs to just a handful of words, including your keyword.
Use meta titles and descriptions – These are both great for SEO and they can help attract readers when they spot your blog posts during an online search. So keep it snappy and informative.
Know your keywords – You still want to know what keywords your target audience is searching for, it can help guide you in creating content and help drive more traffic.
Use keywords sparingly – Yes including a target keyword once or twice is a great idea. But, anything beyond that and you’re overdoing it. If they keyword flows within the post use it, remember, though the key is to always focus on the reader first.
Link your content – When you write a post that can be linked to a previous post you’ve written, include that link. It will help with SEO and get readers staying on your site longer.
Include a photo – Photos always help improve your blog posts. If you can use your own photos, even better. Be sure to use ALT tags and always use proper credit for any photo you pull offline.
Use subheadings correctly – Subheadings not only break up big chunks of text on the screen, but headers (when formatted properly) are also helpful in SEO optimization and a great place to stash a keyword.
Promote the Smart Way
Add social media – Be sure to add social media sharing buttons to your blog posts, and certainly don’t be afraid to ask readers to share. Then again, if you are writing great content, the sharing will usually take care of itself!
Use the 80/20 method – Most bloggers spend 80% of their time writing and 20% promoting, but you should do the opposite. Don’t be afraid to really get out there to promote your stuff (just be sure you aren’t only promoting all the time!).
Try guest posting – Find other blogs who will feature your same target market and ask if you can do a weekly or monthly post for them, it’s great free advertising.
Link your blog – Include a link to your blog in your email signature, on your business card, in all your social media and anywhere else you might be advertising yourself.
Be active online – Hop on sites like Quora and LinkedIn to share your expertise (with a link or two to your blog), and get on social media as well interacting with people.
Use Twitter search – Get on Twitter search and type in terms like “buying a house” and your local area, you will see a list of people who are in the market. Help them out by answering questions and providing value.
Use graphics – Sites like Slideshare are perfect tools for turning a blog post into a quick slide that is easily digestible. Also, take photos from your posts and promote them on Pinterest as well with a link back to your blog.
Engage online – You don’t want to use social media only as a tool to promote, it’s a great space to interact with potential clients and find out some of the biggest questions and concerns they might have. When you provide value online, people will naturally follow to your blog.
Following these tips will be a surefire way to make sure your blog is on the right track.
What are some of your favorite blogging tips? Let me know!