Local bloggers in your city/town already have consistent and loyal traffic to their sites, so how can you capitalize on this? Simple, you can help them with their websites and offer value to their site visitors, which in turn, ensures you remain the expert in your geographic area. I run a popular Guide to NYC covering 1000s of events and things to do. The website has an extremely loyal local following, along with a lot of tourists, many of whom visit, and then decide to move here. Since they used my site before they became locals, the site remains their go-to guide for local activities once they have moved. And they ask me about everything in NYC!
As a website manager, it's my full time job to post, SEO, social media and make sure I get the traffic and eyeballs. My website traffic directly affects my income on a daily basis. On the other hand, while you may have a blog, and I'm sure it's great and does bring you business - it's not your bread and butter. Moving property is. But, you can leverage your own blog and others. I am asked 5-10 questions on a daily basis, many of which include queries like "what is the best area to stay/live in?" and "hi, we're moving to NYC and...." and "my daughter is going to college in NYC and we are considering buying an apartment..."
There are dozens more similar questions and while I certainly can answer them, I'd love for a local real estate expert to help me. It would get them exposure to 100-200K more people per month, while also building their reputations. Imagine if you could capture that traffic as the premiere local source for such information? You can! After a period of working with a local realtor, I'd gladly offer my own testimonial for them. Since my site visitors already trust me, they trust my recommendations. It also reduces my workload, while providing value to my site visitors.
How to Find the Best Local Bloggers
Start Googling for these phrases, customizing them for your area. Phrases: things to do in Town/City, best things to do in town/city, best things to do in town/city in January, town/city events in November, things to do with kids in city/town, downloadable map of town/city, best things to do on holiday XYZ in town/city, are just some examples. You want people with active blogs, who show up in the top spots, who clearly appeal to locals. Take a look at their sites and take notice of an article that would help them out. For every one of the phrases above, see if they are missing another of them.
Ways to Get on Blogger Sites
- Sometimes it's as simple as advertising. For example, I offer straight up advertising for local businesses on my site. They get a full page of their own on my website, and I manually add them in throughout the site where it makes sense and adds value to my site visitors.
- Sponsorship - many blogs have advertising spots that are on every page in the site. Usually a sidebar, header or footer. They are usually built in to themes and can be changed with a few clicks. They may publish their advertising rates on their site or maybe you can make them an offer. Look at the little boxes they have in their sidebar - many bloggers will accept a fee for you to take that spot for a period of time. It all depends on how much they make today. Sadly, so many bloggers really don't know how to monetize well, so sometimes $100 could be a large sum to them. Just remember - sidebars drop below the content on mobile devices, so depending on the niche, sidebars may not get many views.
- Sponsor a Newsletter - you've seen sponsored content in some form in your email. If they have a large email list, you can sponsor a newsletter. Or even offer to write one for them.
- Write for them. This is what we'll cover in the remainder of the article.
Pitching to Bloggers
Bloggers need the most high quality content with the least amount of effort. Period. If you make it easy for them to post your article, there's a great chance they will do so. Here are some ideas of pitches and how to word them. You want to be complimentary, personal and respectful. And you do not want to outsource this to anyone who does not speak your language as their primary language.
I love NYCInsiderGuide and use it all the time to find fun things to do on weekends with my husband. As a matter of fact, thanks to you, we used your referral, Mike, to get awesome seats to Shakespeare in the Park last summer. My grandkids are coming to visit soon and I noticed you could use another post or two on Things to Do With Kids in NYC. I'd love to write you that article if you would post it, provide me author credit and send it out in your newsletter and social media. If you have other writing needs on the site, let me know, I'd be happy to write an article that suits both our businesses.
How You Get Clients
If accepted, you write a genuinely good article that reflects your pitch to the blogger and add one or two original photos. In the last paragraph, you conclude with something like (and I'm not a real estate person, so feel free to finesse):
"Love These Things to Do with Kids in SoHo? Live right in the middle of the action and have these "things you mentioned in the article" right outside your door. SoHo is one of the best value places to live in NYC with kids and we can help you find the perfect home. Add an About The Author Box with your photo, background/business and a link to your site.
By writing about kids, you're targeting families. Most likely, Mothers, as that is who generally does family activity planning.
- Maps are one of the biggest search terms for city and local guides. You can create a free downloadable PDF, make sure to include your links in it (and confirm they work) and offer it on your own site as well as to others. Downloads go viral pretty quickly and they are out there forever with your name and info.
- Create an infographic - you can hire a graphic artist to create an informational picture that people can put on their sites, and again you can add it to your own. For example, here's one of the Statue of Liberty I use (search for the word Infographic on the page, it's at the bottom). You can see I gave a link back to the author, but if they had provided me a full article, I would have published it and given them much more than a link.
- You can write articles describing neighborhoods and the best things things to do in them - and go niche. "on rainy days," "in the snow," "during the holidays," "with kids" "best of beauty in Santa Monica" "best tennis courts" "best golf courses in Hilton Head" - and always tie back to your business and how you can help them at the end of the article.
- "Moving To" articles. Anything that helps people move to an area. In NYC, you need more paperwork to rent a studio than you do to get a mortgage. The posts that help people get their "packages" together are very helpful and highly trafficked. Co-ops, condos, cond-ops, guarantors, subleasing, pet policies - these terms can be mind boggling to newcomers and can never be explained enough. What is unique about your area you can write about?
Following are some of the other articles on Active Rain I recommend that are well written and can guide you on how to do great blog posts.
I hope this was mildly helpful and maybe encourages you to spend 2 hours to get 1000s of additional eyeballs on your business per month. Best of Luck!