Can Blogs Make You Money, Save You Time?

By Craig Forte, Founder - Posted on
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Everyone these days is telling you to get a blog.  But is it right for you?  Or if you already have one…how do you avoid getting suckered in by the biggest lie involving real estate blogs? In this article I’ll give you the skinny on how to use a blog for your real estate business…and quickly attract high-quality clients from the web. A blog is nothing more than an easy place to post regular content on a focused topic.  Somewhat like keeping a journal, only publicly where others can see it.  And you’ll want to post more valuable stuff than just your thoughts (more on that in a minute). Blogs have become popular for TWO primary reasons:  1) they are easy to set-up and maintain (even by non-techies), and 2) unlike a web site, a blog “talks” to various other sites and search engines in a way that creates automatic marketing and exposure for you. Every time you make a new post to your blog, it will PING (techie-language for “talk to”) various other sites and search engines – thereby creating a “buzz” about what you are posting. This is important because if you only have web site, you could be missing out on a lot of free traffic (and new clients) that search engines will give to regularly-updated blogs. Search engines love the fresh content posted on blogs because it’s their job to serve up relevant and timely content to the searcher.  And if you keep you content focused on real estate in your local area, they’ll gladly reward you with a high search ranking…netting you more exposure and more business—that is, if you avoid…
The Biggest Real Estate Blog LIE Revealed…
What is the biggest lie you’ve been fed about using a blog? That it should be about YOU! Yes, a blog should be PERSONAL…it should give visitors a feel for your personality and uniqueness.  But its content should focus on your prospect…in this case your blog visitor. What are they are looking for?  What real estate information did they click on your blog to find?  And how do you best help them with their real estate problems? You become helpful to blog visitors by posting quality, local real estate information that gives them a flavor of what’s happening around them.  Especially by sharing updates on changing property values. Keep these questions in mind to build a blog that gets noticed, gets repeat visitors, and makes you money. Now that we’ve cleared up the confusion…can you save time by blogging or is it a waste of time?  And how do you get started – or know you’ve set up your blog to pull in clients?  I’ll show you how to get this done with the right tools in 4 simple steps…
How To Set Up A Blog in 15 Minutes…
STEP 1: Choose A Blog Platform That Is Easy To Use If I didn’t mention it yet, rest assured, blogs are FREE!  There are several blogging systems (or ‘platforms’) you might consider, but the quickest and easiest one is… POSTEROUS (You can learn more by going to http://posterous.com/faq) If you can write an email to yourself, then you can have a blog!  Posterous is by far the easiest platform to use a blog.  All you do is email them and their online system posts to your blog for you.  Their service is FREE and makes your blog look professional (with no web designer fees, and no programs to learn). Here’s an example blog post I did so you can see how my blog looks: http://danhollings.posterous.com/twitter-invented-in-1935-who-w Real estate blog tip: With Posterous, you can take a bunch of pictures of a new listing, email them to yourself as attachments, and Posterous will automatically put the images on your blog in a great looking “slide show”.  Talk about a huge time-saver. Here are two other easy-to-use (and free!) blog platforms you could also investigate: STEP 2: Set Up Your Blog To Attract  Local Prospects What do you put on your blog before you start posting content?  As I mentioned…your blog should be about your site visitor (your prospect), but you do need to include a few tid-bits about yourself, what you do, where you do it, etc. Here’s a checklist of initial items to add to your blog:
  • Testimonials
  • Reviews of local places
  • Helpful resources area
  • Your photo (perhaps a family photo)
  • …and a BIO about yourself (should make you sound professional and knowledgeable, but not a know-it-all or uppity expert)
CRITICALLY IMPORTANT: Add your LOCAL keywords, terms and phrases with your bio and services description, and in a natural way.  Especially your CITY and local area paired with real estate terms. Above all, your blog should be a friendly and helpful place that visitors come for local real estate information.  You should have a way for visitors to contact you.  And also an easy-to-see OFFER to join a newsletter or get some valuable report in exchange for an email address. Once you get a visitor’s email address… you can send them notices about updates to your blog or follow up with the information they requested, and start to build a relationship.  If you don’t offer something to visitors, they may never come back to your blog and you’ve missed out on business. STEP 3: Post Great Content To Convert Visitors To Clients Here’s where blogs really save you time.  If you had to add a new page to your web site every time you wanted to post news about the local real estate market, you’d have to create the page, send it to a designer (or take the time to do it yourself if you know how), and then upload it to your site.  This can take days. If you’re using the right blog platform, all you have to do is login, write up your content, and press “send” (or “publish”)…and it’s now live to the world. What types of content do you post do your blog?  Here are a few ideas…
  • Local (and some national) market news
  • Local events
  • Real estate tips and how-to articles
Remember to lightly pepper your posts with KEYWORDS, TAGS, and LOCATIONS with every blog post.  Yes, there are umpteen other “strategies” and things you should do to make it an “authority blog” – but you can get lost in that for weeks and my goal is to get you going. How often should you post?  As a general rule, make a post at least once a week to maximize the full search engine benefits of blogs. STEP 4: Add TAGS to Your Blog For Maximum Visibility You are likely familiar with Google (as a search engine), but blogs have their own search engines.  One great blog search engine is called Technorati and if you post to your blog, you’ll likely show up in numerous such blog related sites here. To make sure your blog shows up in the right CATEGORIES in blog-specific search engines, you can add TAGS to every new post.  These clarify what a particular post is about   Here’s a list of TAGS you can use:  Technoriti Tags At this point you may be asking, “So what do I do with my web site?  I say forget it.  Blogs are cheaper, faster, and work better at bringing you clients from the web. If you already have a website – use it as another place to put your business profile and give you credibility.  If you don’t have a web site – get started online with a free blog service.  Either way, your blog should be your central “hub” where people learn about you and what you can do for them. Start implementing the 4-steps in this article and you will quickly be “up-and-running”…dominating search results for your local area, connecting with more prospects, and harvesting more business from the web – while spending a fraction of the time money most spend on traditional web sites. Happy blogging!

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Craig Forte
Craig Forte has helped more than 32,000 real estate professionals over the last 22 years, helping them generate more clients, more referrals and repeats, and grow their production with less stress, time and effort – all by using innovative marketing training, systems and tools.
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