We’ve all heard the same question over and over again: “Do you have a blog?” What is your answer? If you have a blog (noun), then do you blog (verb)?
In its earliest form, blogging was often seen as nothing more than online journaling, but over time, blogging has become a whole new form of media. Now bloggers act as storytellers and reporters in their locale. Blogging holds many advantages both for your business and your website.
Blogging For Your Business
As a business, blogging can help you stay connected with consumers. It can also be a means of drawing leads and customers to your main website. But most of all it gives your business a voice. Sure your main website gives your visitors a run down of what’s available in terms of real estate in your area and a general idea of who you are, but it doesn’t go as far in establishing your involvement as an expert in your locale.
The key here is actually being a voice for your community. Don’t just blog every time you get a new listing. If people want listings they’ll go to your site or one of the larger real estate portals. That doesn’t mean your posts can’t be real estate related, but the best formula is to mix real estate and local news to drive more traffic to the blog and gain a larger local following. If you want to promote your new listing, relate it back to a larger concept. For example, if you just listed your fourth luxury home in two months and that is somehow related to a trend you are seeing in the area, talk about that.
Hyperlocal blogger Matt McGee and his wife Cari, a real estate agent in the tri-city Washington area, have managed to do this quite effectively with their four local real estate blogs. Each blog covers a different locale that in which Cari sells real estate. Matt typically writes articles targeted to the local audience with articles about the area happenings, while Cari writes for both local house hunters and for the real estate industry. Her posts are very real estate centric and cover things like changes in the area housing market, real estate statistics, new construction, and open house information.
Blogging For Your Website
Blogging does more than provide a voice for your business. It can also benefit your real estate website. One way blogging helps your site is by providing one more avenue of promotion for your website, which gives you more chances to get links to your website. Another advantage to blogging is that you always have the ability to create links back to your real estate website within your posts using relevant anchor text. Let’s say you were an Anaheim real estate agent. You could write a post about current changes in the local market and when you use the term Anaheim real estate in the post you can link back to your website.
Where Do I Sign Up?
Before you commit, remember that blogging takes work and time. You need to be dedicated to blogging in order for it to be successful. You can’t just “set it and forget it”. You need to be active and post at least once every week or two. If you don’t regularly engage your audience, you won’t capture their attention as an authority.
Still interested? Ok. There are a number of blogging platforms available these days; the most popular is WordPress. Regardless of where you decide to setup a blog, the basics are all pretty much the same. You can choose to give the blog its own domain name or you can set it up as a subdomain of your current website using something like blog.yourwebsite.com. There are advantages to both, and really it will just depend on your marketing strategy.
If you’re looking for more information on where to get started, Matt McGee did a series of posts on how to start a hyperlocal blog. His posts explore everything from your startup strategy to things like domains and content development. I would highly recommend you start there if you are serious about blogging.
Real Estate Blogging Resources
I keep the following three posts nearby which give over 500 ideas for real estate blog posts. Some may overlap, but there are still a wealth of ideas available here. Remember, its not all about real estate. Your own community has a wealth of newsworthy things to write about as well.