We’re going to guess that many of our blog readers are also blog writers. Blogging is part of a complete real estate social marketing strategy. It keeps you relevant in your market place, boosts your SEO and gives you content to share on social media. Your blog also gives prospects a way to learn more about you before they interact with you, functioning as a sort of indirect sales agent for your personal brand.
But, we’ll be the first to admit it: blogging isn’t easy. It’s certainly not for wimps. Or quitters. But neither is real estate.
This post is inspired by all of you out there that bravely face the blank page, whether it’s once a month or once a week. Today we have 5 real estate blogging tips that will, hopefully, make your blogging life just a little easier.
Don’t have a blog yet? If you’ve been hesitant to get started, let this be the push you need to take the plunge.
Stop! Step away from the keyboard! Before you do anything, take just 15 minutes to disconnect from everything (except your cell phone – clients always come first!) to brainstorm potential blog content. Grab a pencil and paper and make four lists:
- Questions buyers frequently ask you
- Questions sellers frequently ask you
- Real estate things you know a lot about – terms, niche markets, mortgages etc…
- Real estate things that interest you (but you may not know a lot about)
Ta-da! You just came up with piles of content for your blog. Way to go! Keep these lists somewhere handy so you’ll be ready to add to it anytime inspiration strikes. Did a prospect ask you something you had to look up? Add it to the list. Read about a great new house-hunting app? Put it on the list. Now you’ve got the swing of it!
2. Set a Schedule
Thinking of great post ideas is just the beginning. Now you need to find a time to put your thoughts into words. Consistency is key when it comes to building an online community of readers, so you’ll want to create a blog content calendar.
First, decide how often you can realistically post. Every other week? Once a week? Twice a week? Good.
Now pick a day that you will commit to having those posts live. Tuesday? Great. Thursday? Neat-o. Saturday? Hold your horses. Weekend posts tend to get fewer views – presumably because connected blog readers spend less time in front of their computers. Try to stick to weekdays if you can, but if you can’t, no worries. Weekend posts are better than no posts at all.
Finally, go back to your four topic lists from step #1. Space topics out evenly on your posting calendar. If you’re posting once a week, you will address one idea from each topic during the course of the month.
Here’s a sample blog content calendar for twice-weekly posting for the month of April:
Set aside 30 minutes to an hour to write each post. You want to have time to form and proofread your ideas, but remember: this isn’t a professional thesis. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s better to create a quick post that showcases your enthusiasm and personality than a long, dry post that is technically accurate.
3. Be Spontaneous
Feel free to go off topic and off schedule from time to time. Blogging should be spontaneous and fun. Not everything you post needs to be relevant to real estate. Sure, you’re a real estate agent but you’re also a person. Like to cook? Throw in a great recipe that involves locally grown ingredients. Sports fan? Blog about the local team after a big game.
As long as the majority of your posts contain valuable real estate information, your audience will appreciate learning more about the author behind the posts. As a bonus, these are posts are tailor made for social sharing. Share links to your blog (with great headlines) on Facebook or Twitter to attract new readers.
4. Hire a Robot Auto-Blog
No matter how busy you are, you must resist the urge to hire a robot to do your blogging for you. And by robot, we mean outsourced-blogging-stranger who promises you timely posts in exchange for a small fee. Your readers want your industry knowledge and your expertise, so hiring someone else to blog for you simply won’t do – unless it’s a trusted assistant, then use your best judgment.
If you’re a Point2 Agent Professional or Elite user, the easiest way to add content to you blog when you’re super busy is to enable our auto-blogging features. By check marking strategically placed boxes within your listings and in some website modules, you can generate new posts instantly when new listings are posted, listing prices change or community events are added. Click here to learn more.
5. Beg, Borrow & Steal
Ok, you shouldn’t exactly steal, but sharing other people’s posts is a great way of adding content to you blog, providing you give the original author credit. For example, if you see a post on the Point2 Agent Blog that you think your readers would find interesting, we invite you to copy the information to share it with your readers. Just be sure to give us a byline that reads “This blog post originally appeared on the Point2 Agent Blog” and include a link back to our post.
You can also invite guest posts from relevant experts, participate in a blog exchange or post interviews. Including and sharing outside sources will show your readers that you are well-connected in the real estate industry.
These are our top 5 blogging tips, but we’d love to hear from you. Do you have any questions about real estate blogging that we can answer? Any advice to share with readers?