Happy New Year!
In the last few weeks I've been looking back on 2014 and looking forward to what 2015 will bring. About a year ago, I started focusing on internet marketing, specifically hyperlocal blogging, to drive my real estate business. I was learning a lot (and continue to learn) from hyperlocal real estate internet marketing heavy hitters Lori Ballen and Katrina Benton.
As 2015 begins and I look forward to the year ahead, I feel that it's time for me to contribute back to the conversation and share my experiences to help others as they start or continue they're online efforts. That will be the focus of my ActiveRain blog over the next year. It's my hope that I can help you as others have helped me.
Internet marketing is a powerful tool. It includes blogging, search engine optimization, social media, photos, video, IDX and lead capture, creating engaging landing pages, offering items of value, lead capture, and lead nurturing, and lead conversion. It can include pay per click advertising, Facebook Business Pages, Google+ Business Pages, an ActiveRain RainMaker account, Wordpress, and more. I plan to cover all of this as well as miscellaneous tips like 'how to get great lighting for your webcam videos for less than $20' and 'why my Mom almost unfriended me on Facebook' (hint: it had to do with open houses).
Where to Start
If blogging will be a part of your 2015 business plan, the first thing that you'll need is a blogging platform. Here's a rundown of some great places to start . . .
If you already have an ActiveRain RainMaker account, you've got a great place to start. ActiveRain has strong authority with search engines which can help with getting your posts ranked in SERP's (Search Engine Results Pages). The cost is very reasonable and it's easy to set up your profile. Keep in mind that you'll need to paid RainMaker account to be found in the search engines. If you just want to see if you can be consistent before spending the money (you'll need to be consistent in your blogging), the free account is a great option. Just know that you won't be found on Google.
One of the biggest advantages of a Wordpress site is that you can integrate listings with IDX (Internet Date Exchange). In plain language, you can create a community page and show all of the listings of homes for sale in that community. For an example, take a look at the Andorra PA neighborhood guide page on my Wordpress site by clicking here and scroll down on the page to see the integrated listings. This is great for the user experience, a very important part of ranking on the search engines. It's also a great tool for lead generation.
For Keller Williams Agents
If you're a Keller Williams agent, you have access to your own eAgentC and Market Leader sites. Both are excellent tools that can be used for hyperlocal internet marketing. You can have your eAgentC site set up with Wordpress through Brandco's Piggyback Blogs. Wolfnet can set up your IDX feed. This is a great option for it's ease of use and many features, but you'll get more control and options with your own Wordpress site. I use the eAgentC/Piggyback Blogs option on www.jonmillerhomes.com. I've been very happy with it though I'll likely switch to my own Wordpress site within the year.
Will You Blog for Business in 2015?
If blogging and internet marketing will be a part of your business plan in 2015, I invite you to share your goals, insights, and questions in the comments below and follow my blog here on ActiveRain as we work toward developing consumer oriented content and discussing best practices to help you develop your internet marketing in 2015. Happy New Year!