Will You Blog for Business in 2015?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Jon Paul Miller RS313930

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 . . .

ActiveRain

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.

Wordpress

If you're a bit more tech savvy and want a tool with more bells and whistles, a WordPress Blog will be a great option. You'll have to spend some money on this, as well. Most importantly, the free Wordpress blogs are not intended for commercial use. If you've spent a lot of time developing your blog and driving traffic to it, Wordpress can decide at any moment that it doesn't meet their terms of use and they can permanently delete your site. 

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!

 

 

 

 

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Comments (100)

Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

My first blog of 2015 ...is a simple condo listing, it's what I do for all my new listings along with a handful of other internet sites... When I check my traffic after 24 hours the blog has been seen nearly 200 times. Yes, I'll keep blogging...you bet I will.

Jan 04, 2015 03:54 AM
Jon Miller
Jon Paul Miller - Philadelphia, PA
Digital Marketing for Real Estate Agents

Great result, Steve Loynd . By the way, I was up in your area a few years ago for my first ice climbing trip. Hope to be back someday for more. 

Jan 04, 2015 08:53 PM
Debbie Cook
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Silver Spring, MD
Silver Spring and Takoma Park Maryland Real Estate

 Blogging on AR and my Local Silver Spring Blog TheSilverBee.com Plus linking everything to my main website are what I will be doing in 2015.  This has worked very well in getting new business for me.  Last year I obtained a few listings that I can directly attribute to posting my AR blogs to Facebook!

Jan 04, 2015 09:09 PM
Emily Trampel
Wells Fargo - Ankeny, IA

This is a wealth of information. Thank you for having a heart to teach others.

Jan 04, 2015 11:55 PM
Susan Pomerantz
Coldwell Banker Resort - Lewes, DE
Coastal Delaware and Beyond

Wordpress is harder to setup but has many advantages.

Jan 05, 2015 12:33 AM
Liane Thomas, Top Listing Agent
Professional Realty Services® - Corona, CA
Bringing you Home!

Great job on your wordpress blog. It looks like a good, consumer friendly place for a buyer to start their home search. Do you get many hits?

Jan 05, 2015 01:15 AM
Kathleen Frawley
Keller Williams 916 730-4404 Elk Grove, Wilton, Folsom, Sacramento - Wilton, CA
South County Sacramento, 916 730 4404

I am looking forward to it!  I havent bloged in years but 2015 is a fresh start.  (Cant wait to hear why mom almost unfriended you...)  Thanks

Jan 05, 2015 04:03 AM
Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

Welcome to 2015, Jon Miller at (215) 627-3500 with Keller Williams to Philadelphia, PA.

Jan 05, 2015 05:01 AM
Mary Benton
TechTown Realty, Licensed in Texas - Lubbock, TX
TechTown Realty in Lubbock

Yes, I'll blog.   So, I have an Active Rain account and have since 2007.  Even though my blog is well-established, will it not be found by Google unless I pay?    If I go for the paid Rain Maker, will the search engine crawl back through all the many blogs I've written or just begin the day I sign up?

Jan 05, 2015 06:40 AM
Nora Sims
Northern Shadows Realty, Inc. - Sedona, AZ
helping folks like you since 1978!

Thank you for the nudge, Jon.

Jan 05, 2015 07:28 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Absolutely...been blogging for business since 2009 and it's been an amazing journey. 

Jan 05, 2015 07:47 AM
Jon Miller
Jon Paul Miller - Philadelphia, PA
Digital Marketing for Real Estate Agents

Mary Benton That's correct, your posts on the free account aren't indexed by Google and aren't searchable as they are with a Rainmaker account. I would hope that previous posts become indexable after the upgrade, but I don't know the answer. Kerrie La Guardia may be able to help . . . http://activerain.com/profile/kerrielil

Jan 06, 2015 06:15 AM
Jon Miller
Jon Paul Miller - Philadelphia, PA
Digital Marketing for Real Estate Agents

Liane Thomas - Corona & Riverside Real Estate Thank you for the compliment on my wordpress site. It does get a lot of traffic and it makes the phone ring! This year, I'll be adding more local content and working on increasing traffic conversion (and writing about those things here on AR, as well).

Jan 06, 2015 06:19 AM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 480-966-9353 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Jon, very attractive web-site - I liked the white background and the links from the home page. I have a question - do you require a log-in to read content? When I clicked on the link to your web-site (from the post above), and then clicked on another link "Selling Tips and Advice", it took me to the beginning of an article, and then there was an invite to click for more content. And after that I got nowhere - do I need a log-in, after that click?

Jan 07, 2015 11:45 PM
Jon Miller
Jon Paul Miller - Philadelphia, PA
Digital Marketing for Real Estate Agents

Steffy Hristova 

Thank you! I don't require any type of a log-in to read content so I don't know why that would happen. I just checked in incognito mode on my laptop and phone (incognito so it wouldn't recognize me as the owner) and all of the content was accessible with no invite to click for more. Thanks for letting me know about it. I'm curious what type of device you were on and which browser. I'd also love know what happened after you clicked.

Thanks again!

Jon

Jan 08, 2015 12:02 AM
M.C. Dwyer
Melody Russell Team at eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Jon Miller Great post!   I'm bookmarking it for future reference but one thing you said that gave me a jolt was that the free WordPress sites aren't for commercial use.    I don't remember seeing that anywhere when I set mine up - so many thanks!

Jan 08, 2015 01:18 AM
Jon Miller
Jon Paul Miller - Philadelphia, PA
Digital Marketing for Real Estate Agents

Thank you M.C. Dwyer Glad you found the post helpful. The commercial use issue with Wordpress.com is stated in their terms of service (which, of course, we all read in great detail right?). I don't know that blogs are removed often, but it does happen. Better to be surprised by a post than to be surprised when a blog disappears.

Jan 08, 2015 09:06 PM
Greg Steinaker

Will certainly keep blogging in 2015 for the shameless exploitation of my real estate company...

Jan 09, 2015 08:12 AM
Jairo Arreola #SOLDBYVETERAN
PRG Real Estate - San Jose, CA
VA Home Loan Specialist - SF Bay Area

I will start blogging again this year. Thanks for the info!

Jan 11, 2015 01:33 AM
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL
GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA

This was a super post and glad I came across it from the archives. Thanks for sharing.

Apr 03, 2015 02:13 PM