You have decided to add a blog to your real estate website – congratulations! You’re on your way to generating more leads for your business! Here are 9 tips that will help you get your blog off to a successful start.
1. You need a plan, Stan!
It’s tempting, once you have your platform sorted (I strongly urge you to use WordPress), to just jump right in and start blogging about the first thing that pops into your head. Usually, I would recommend exactly that – harness your enthusiasm and get a few blog posts written so you get that quick hit of satisfaction and a sense of achievement. Do the fun stuff before you have to tackle the boring stuff.
However, there are a couple of bits and pieces that you really need to do first to make sure your first blog is doing all the heavy lifting that you want it to do.
The first thing is you must create a plan. I call this a content calendar (see here for a short post on how to create a content calendar). It’s a simple document (I use Excel, but you can use Word, or Notepad, or even a blank exercise book if that’s what you prefer) that helps you keep track of the topics you’ve covered and the keywords you’ve used.
What’s that? What keywords, I hear you ask.
Well, that leads us to tip number 2…
2. Know your keywords
Keywords are crucial. Keywords are the cornerstone of your success and will be the secret superpower that helps your blog attract potential real estate consumers and then you can convert them into warm leads.
If you don’t know how to choose the right keywords, check out this post on How to choose the right keywords for your blog. If you’re a real estate agency that sells real estate, manages property, or acts as a buyer’s agent, your keywords are likely to be “sales agent [suburb]” or “buyer’s agent [suburb]” or “manage my property [suburbs]” or similar.
Make sure you weave your chosen keywords into your blog posts with military precision and alarming regularity.
3. Understand your target market
If you’re new to the real estate game, hopefully your mentor or principal is helping you understand the customers and how they arrive at your door. If you’re new to real estate you’re probably prospecting like a demon right now. This is a great opportunity to really get to know your target market. Make sure you ask them about their online journey at every opportunity. Listen to what they tell you. Remember the questions that they ask. These questions are like tiny gold nuggets that will form the topics of your blog posts.
4. Build blogging into your processes
One of Queensland’s most successful real estate sales agents is Matt Lancashire, from Ray White New Farm. When I spoke to Matt for a story published in the REIQ Journal magazine about his record-breaking $18 million Kangaroo Point sale, he said he makes at least 80 calls a day. “He who makes the most calls, wins,” he said.
That level of discipline requires systems and processes in place and a commitment to stick to them. If you want to be a successful real estate blogger, you need to understand that blogging properly takes time and you need to allocate that time into your ideal week. Start with about four hours a week and maybe, as you get better, you’ll be able to trim that to three hours.
For most of us who blog regularly, it takes a few hours a week.
5. Ideas come from anywhere
Blog topics are the bait that go on your hook (your website) that reel the big fish in. You need to constantly be on the hunt for the best bait possible (without lurching into click-bait territory).
Read the newsletters you’ve subscribed to, look at the content in the world around you. These are all rich sources of blog topics.
6. Be prepared
As mentioned in the previous point, ideas can come from anywhere. Usually it’s when I’m driving and my mind is casually turning over some idle thoughts, then whammo! a great blog post idea pops up! Make sure you have a way to catch those moments of genius, whether that’s carrying around a small notepad with you, recording into your phone’s voice memo app, or jotting things down in your phone’s notes section. Whatever it is, it needs to be readily available and at your fingertips 24/7. Sometimes the genius arrives in the middle of the night and wakes you up. It’s ruthless. It hits you whenever it feels like it. So, in the words of the Boy Scouts, be prepared.
7. Invite guest bloggers
Blogging is gruelling over the long term. A good way to ease some of the pressure on yourself is to invite guest bloggers to submit copy. This is a great way to share audiences and works well for symbiotic blog subjects.
For example, if you’re a sales agent in Ascot, Brisbane, inviting a property stylist who you sometimes work with (and who has their own blog) to submit a guest blog offering tips on why a property should be styled before it goes to market, is a great way to build and cross-pollinate audiences.
Be prepared to write a blog post for your stylist’s blog on how to choose the right sales agent, to return the favour!
8. Blog every week
A common question asked is, “How often should I blog” and the answer is weekly. Every week. 52 weeks of the year.
The reason you need to blog every week is because you need to build a body of work quickly that will establish you as an expert. You need to write many, many thousand-word blog posts to demonstrate to potential customers and to Google that you know your stuff, that you’re reliable and that you’re good at what you do (the real estate stuff).
Sounds tough doesn’t it? It is. That’s why being organised is the key to success. And if that all sounds a bit hard, then that brings me to tip number nine…
9. Hire a freelance real estate copywriter
A freelance real estate copywriter can help you plan a whole year’s content, can weave your keywords through all of your content, can write compelling copy that converts, can deliver material on time every time, which frees you up to do the things you’re good at (the real estate stuff!).
Don’t forget every blog post that you write can also be used as content in your weekly email newsletter to your database! AND, every blog post you write generates social media content for your Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn channels!
Here are three great real estate copywriters you can call (I don’t get a kickback or fee from any of them – well, except the one I’m married to!). I know all three copywriters very well and can vouch for their expertise, their professionalism and their exceptional writing skills. Contact them to see if they can help (or just ask me!).
If The Shoe Fits Media: Brooke Jacobson
Moore Media: Nick Moore (my husband)
Bricks and Mortar Media: Nicola McDougall
So that brings me to the end of the nine top tips for new real estate bloggers. Blogging is an important tool that will give your website (that thing that cost you thousands of dollars to build) extra power to attract new clients. A blog is a great way to get even more juice out of the dollars you’ve poured into the website. And a blog will help your social media strategy too.
You just need to be committed and organised.