August 09, 2017

Real Estate Blog Do's and Don'ts


Writing a blog that people will want to read takes more than just typing up a few paragraphs and posting them online. As a real estate agent, you want to pull in an audience and make them see you as a valuable resource. Your blog is an important component of your online marketing, so you want to make sure it is high quality.

Remember - no one creates a great blog overnight. It will take some trial and error. But the following information can help you understand what you should be doing with your blog, and what you shouldn't be doing.

Keep in mind the landscape has changed. With more and more people writing content daily, things have gotten far more competitive. In order to be really successful, you need to create exceptional content and also be somewhat versed in content marketing/SEO.

You can't just think you'll hit publish and expect to have business come flooding in. If only things were that easy! They say that content is king but I would tell you understanding SEO is queen. Without having both you are bound to get lost in a sea of content not getting noticed.

Frankly, it can take a while until you hit your peak. There are no quick avenues with real estate blogging. My real estate blog, Maximum Real Estate Exposure, has taken years to get to be so recognized both in search engines and socially.

Do's and Don'ts for your Real Estate Blog:

1. Know your audience.

You have some idea of the type of clients you want to attract to your business. If you specialize in first time home buyers, your writing will cater to a different audience than if you are focused on flipping distressed properties. By knowing your audience, you can write blog posts that will appeal to that audience. This doesn't mean you can't write to more than one audience, some of the best blogs cover numerous real estate topics. You should, however, know what your focus is and who you are trying to reach.

2. Understand the difference between evergreen and topical content.

Evergreen content is designed to appeal to readers for years to come. Topics like "How to Sell Your Home By Owner" are usually interesting to readers year after year. In contrast, topical content like "Massachusetts Market Trends In Spring 2017" is much more specific to a time period.
Evergreen and topical content have their places on your blog. Most successful bloggers create a mix of both, although it is possible to lean heavily towards one or the other. Evergreen content may continue to attract visitors to your site with each passing year, whereas a good topical post could draw a nice spike in visitors over a shorter time period.

One thing I would highly recommend to have on your site are Real Estate community pages. A real estate community page is a highly focused reference page about the cities or towns you cover. They are designed to show off your local expertise as a real estate agent. One of the best ways to get immediate business is to optimize these pages to come up in searches for terms such as "real estate agent city state" or "Realtors city state". When you do this your phone will be ringing. People doing these kind of searches are looking for an agent to work with immediately!

Here is an example of a real estate community page for Holliston Massachusetts, one of the towns I work in as an agent. Notice how the page is constructed much like Wikipedia with some information on my real estate qualifications as well. This is an example of the kind of local real estate content to have on your blog.

3. Pick your topics wisely.

You only have so much time to write blogs. You obviously want those blogs to be as useful as they can be and hopefully draw in visitors to your site. But how do you pick your topics?

    • Write what you know - Your best blogs will usually be based on what you know. Your insight into real estate in your area is special and sets you apart from the competition. It is also easier to write about things you already know a lot about.

    • Keyword research - You can find free tools online to analyze what keywords people are searching for. A lot of bloggers will find the keywords that people are looking for and build blogs around those words/phrases/topics. Keywords are a part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is a huge subject beyond the scope of this article.

    • Answer the questions you are asked most often - Your clients may always ask you questions about certain aspects of selling or buying. "How do I get my home ready to sell?", or "What renovations should I make before the sale?" When you find yourself answering the same questions over and over, you have probably found a good topic for your blog.

4. Take advantage of images.

People like pictures. When you write a blog, you can add one or more pictures to break up the text, to illustrate a point or just to add some flair to your work. You really don't need a reason to use images other than the fact that your readers will appreciate them.

Remember when choosing images that you need to find ones that are free for you to use - like those in creative commons - or you need to be prepared to pay for them. Sites like Flickr have a search option for images that you can use without cost. Alternatively, you can take your own photos if you are good with a camera and post them on your site.

Once you get comfortable, I would highly recommend using a site such as Canva which makes it easy to make custom graphics. Awesome graphics can take your blog from being great to the top of the industry. Not only that, killer graphics can skyrocket your blog visitors coming from social media sites like Pinterest and Facebook. Using Pinterest for Real Estate is a natural. Once you get good at it you'll be surprised at what a boon it can be.

5. Read it out loud.

If you are worried about the quality of your writing, one of the easiest ways to check it over is to read it out loud. By reading it out loud you can verify that it flows well and that nothing sounds weird or out of place. Even if you are confident in your writing, this step can be handy to help you avoid posting something that you will later regret.

6. Consider writing blogs that will help other Realtors.

Although your first priority with your blog is attracting potential clients, there are some benefits to be gained by writing for other real estate agents as well. When you write a blog that other agents find helpful, you are solidifying your position as a resource on real estate - one even other Realtors look to for help. The more of an authority you become, the easier it is to attract business.

7. Be helpful.

You want people to remember your blog in a positive light. The best way to accomplish this is to be genuinely helpful. You are taking the time to write a blog and post it for free, why not make sure it is something that will actually be useful to people? When you are working towards benefiting others, you will find that your work is generally better as a result.

8. Avoid writing just to write.

Having a real estate blog does not mean you need to write something and post it everyday. In fact, creating something every day is not only exhausting, it generally leads to sub-par posts. It is better to write less, but make sure that every piece is good quality, than it is to write more and publish mediocre or bad posts. Your audience will appreciate your dedication to quality over quantity.

Over at Maximum Real Estate Exposure, there is only one article published a week and it's on Mondays. I would rather write one outstanding post than publish numerous articles without much substance.

Other Helpful Blogging Resources Worth a Look

Use these additional resources to learn more about how to become a better real estate blogger. Enjoy!