One of North Florida’s most popular swimming holes is a chilly seventy degrees year round, and while there’s always a throng of people on the diving platform waiting for their turn to leap into the water, it’s very rare to see a dry person waiting to leap in. Most newly arrived swimmers wade in slowly, step by step, hip deep before plunging under the water.
Similarly, finding a real estate agent is not a commitment most buyers or sellers are willing to dive right into. Most spend weeks or months searching online before they reach out to an agent. That’s where your blog comes into play. It helps buyers and sellers test the waters by proactively finding answers to questions they may have about the market, how the home buying and selling process works, and the benefits of the different housing options in your market. How can you be sure you’re connecting with these potential clients? Here are five steps to help get your blog up and running!
Step 1: Pick a Host
Do a quick Google search for “blog hosts” and you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. Do a bit of research to find one that appeals to you. Once you have a host in mind, Google the pros and cons of that particular option. For example, WordPress is a great blog site for beginners because it’s free, has a lot of different templates and layouts, and is easy to use. However, it doesn’t give your visitors a lot of search options for older blog posts so your content may be tricky to find in the future.
Step 2: Schedule Content
Once you know where you’re going to post your content, take time each month to consider what and when you’re going to post. Pull out your calendar and take upcoming holidays and local events into consideration when deciding what topics you will cover. Try to incorporate major events into your blogging, but make sure you create plenty of “evergreen” content as well. Evergreen content is good year round and can be updated and reused periodically. An article on what a seller should do to prepare their home for an open house is an example of an evergreen topic. If you have trouble coming up with topics, browse other real estate blogs for interesting or popular topics for inspiration.
Step 3: Create Content
There are three big things to consider when creating your content. First, what are you going to call your article? Next time you’re online, consider how the names of various links and articles affect your decision whether or not to click for more information. Pick a name that will spark your reader’s interest and make them want to know more.
Second, make it easy to read. Don’t stuff your post with keywords. Use them where they fit naturally, but make readability a top priority for your articles. Include section headings or lists where possible so that people can easily jump to the part of your post that interests them. Be careful to avoid typos and auto-correct issues. Avoid overly long paragraphs and run on sentences. Also, have someone proof each of your articles for you before you post them online.
Third, remember to add a call to action (CTA) in your posts. It’s pretty standard to add the CTA to the conclusion, but experiment with in-text calls to action as well as anchor text CTAs. When writing your CTA, consider who your article is addressing. Many posts will apply to buyers and sellers, but if your post is targeted more towards one or the other, have a more directed CTA. For example, you can offer a free CMA to sellers or an area guide to buyers as an incentive in your CTA. Make sure each CTA involves contacting you, whether that be through a form to get a free resource, a landing page form, or a request for a phone call.
Step 4: Find/Create Images
This is technically part of creating content, but images are so crucial to your blog that they warrant their own section. When choosing images for your blog, find pictures that will spark interest in your content, but be careful to avoid copyrighted photos. Websites like Thinkstock and Shutterstock sell stock photos that you can use, or you can create your own graphics if you have a knack for photography or drawing.
Step 5: Promote Your Content
Creating great content is just a piece of the puzzle. Once you’ve written a great blog post, it’s time to share it. Homes.com websites come with a social broadcaster, which makes it easy to send out your posts to multiple social sites at one time, but you can go to each site individually to post your message as well. Decide which social sites you want to focus on for your business and post your blog image, a short introduction, and a link to your blog on each social site. You may also want to consider buying some social ads to promote your blog posts and drive more traffic to your blog. If you want to see some examples of how we promote our blog content, visit our Facebook or Twitter pages.
You don’t have to dive in all at once. Take it slow, start with two or three articles a month and go from there. Want to learn about more ways you can connect with buyers and sellers? Homes.com has solutions that can help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 888-510-8795 to learn about becoming a Featured Agent or Featured Office on Homes.com.