4 Steps to a Better Real Estate Blog
You’re constantly being pulled in all directions, especially if you are a Realtor®, team leader or broker. Even when our days filled to the brim, we still make time for what’s important to us.
With a vast amount of real estate leads evaluating you online long before you meet face to face, presenting yourself accurately online has become a priority for many. As a Realtor®, acquiring online leads and website traffic can happen in a variety of ways.
Why should I have a Real Estate Blog?
One way to help capture more online leads and engage current clients for your real estate business, is blogging. Blogging is a major SEO tool. Search engines rank websites based on a variety of different metrics. You can improve your real estate website’s chances of ranking higher by featuring as much verified and unique content as possible on your website – on an ongoing basis.
They key is consistency. It’s widely accepted that writing one unique, interesting blog post every month is more effective in search engine rankings than willy-nilly posting quick blog articles without much thought to content or schedule. While there may be an occasional blog post that goes ‘viral’ on its own, most website hits come from posting a variety of useful content on a scheduled reliable basis.
Think of popular blogs you visit. Most of the articles are interesting and relevant to you, not just one or two – and they are posted on a consistent basis.
Now, we know that your job is to sell property, not to write blogs. That’s why we’ve broken the task of writing a real estate blog into 4 steps. You’ve got tons of real estate knowledge that is useful to your clients, peers and employees. Use your brain-bank to build your real estate presence online!
Quality Over Quantity
Before we go into the four steps of consistently writing real estate blogs, one major factor to keep in mind is quality over quantity. Writing one epic post per week is a better long-term strategy than writing mediocre content every day (remember your favorite blog sites…).
That’s what many good bloggers aim for – one great blog post per week. You don’t have to post one blog per week to have blogging success. You could post one every other week, or one per month. Whatever you decide, make sure you stick to it! We’ve found in the beginning it is better to underestimate the number blogs you will be able to write and post than to overestimate.
So, you goal is to post one weekly/bi-weekly/monthly blog that will attract attention, establish your authority in local real estate, and encourage people to share your information.
An important part of this writing plan is to work on each step on separate days. You can work on the blog 4 days in a row, or break it up over a week or two (just don’t space the days too far apart – you may lose writing motivation). Schedule 30 minutes to 1 hour each day to work on your post. Your subject knowledge and writing style will let you know how much time you really need to set aside.
Then decide where your creative mind works best. Is it at home in your pj’s? In your closed-door office? Outside on a park bench? Pick a spot where you can be 100% yourself, 100% comfortable and with the least amount of distractions.
Grab your computer, tablet or a piece of paper and your favorite pen. Start by thinking about your topic, and what angle you’ll approach it from.
Your headline is the most important group of words in your post, so spend plenty of time crafting one that will get your post the attention you’re looking for. Put that at the top of your outline.
Sometimes we’ve found it’s easier to work on other bullet points and come back to the headline last.
List your subheads below the headline. Subheads are the backbone of your content – get these right and everything else should flow together seamlessly.
Your subheads should be informative enough that someone scanning your post will understand overall idea.
They should be intriguing enough that if someone scans the subheads, they want to dig deeper and learn more.
And that’s all for Step 1/Day 1.
The first step is the most difficult, so don’t rush it. Many times you may end up with multiple ideas or outlines, so be sure to set aside enough time.
Step 2/Day 2 is where you will flesh out the details of the outline and write the rest of your post.
The devil is in the details. Or may we say… angels. SEO angels in fact. The body of your post is where you put all the details that use your SEO keywords. So, keep the content informative, but don’t leave out important descriptive words that can help boost your rankings.
(If you blog post includes any information about real estate, buying properties, etc, make sure to use those descriptions!)
Again, you should be somewhere that you are comfortable and can focus.
If not, take some time to tweak and change them. Reinforce the basic structure of your post so you have something organized and informative to write about.
Once you’re satisfied with the outline, it’s time to fill in the details.
Since we know time is extremely important in real estate, the fastest way to get the rest of your post written is to write it as fast as you can. Write your first paragraph. Write the rest of your introduction. Fill in the details under your subheads. Wrap it up at the end, and include some kind of call to action.
Yep – that fast, that simple.
Why so fast?
Because, at this step in writing your real estate blog, you shouldn’t be editing. Simply write (or type). Don’t worry about misspellings or grammar issues. Don’t worry if some paragraphs are out of order. You need to register your thoughts, not edit. Editing comes later.
Finally, before you wrap up working on your post for the day, look for an image. Spending a little time finding an image that will complement your words and draw attention to your concepts helps with reader engagement. An image that is intriguing on its own will entice readers to stay longer and read more. (We got these free images from Pixabay.com)
Then – put the post away for a day or two.
First, read over your entire post.
Then, re-read it and start marking it up. Reading it out loud can help you hear if the sentences make sense and sound good. Print out the post if it’s typed. Get out an ink pen with bright colored ink. Mark it up!
Edit, re-write and move copy around as needed. Keep reading and tweaking until you are comfortable with showing your post to the world.
The final part of editing is spending time formatting the post for readability (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Readability). Add bulleted lists where you can. Add excerpts using block quotes. Break up long paragraphs into smaller chunks to make them easier to read on screen (remember a majority of user will be reading on a mobile device).
If you want readers to comment on your blog, at the end of your post ask an engaging question to encourage comments and conversation. Double check the comment setting on your real estate blog if you want readers to comment.
Before you add it to your blog back-end and schedule for publishing, use the checklist below, aiming to answer “yes” to everything:
- Does the headline stop readers in their tracks?
- Is the image intriguing on its own?
- Do the subheads tell your story all by themselves?
- Have you asked an engaging question at the end to encourage comments and conversation?
Simple ways to promote your blog post:
- Social Media – Add a link to your post on all of your social media pages. If your blog doesn’t allow readers to add comments, use your engaging question on your social media pages then link to your new blog post. Use the intriguing image you found on your social media post as well.
- Email Newsletter – If you have an email newsletter, make sure to feature your post!
- Respond – Be available to respond to comments, answer questions and converse with readers. Set aside 30 mins or less for one or two days after you publish your post to interact and continue establishing your real estate knowledge authority.
- Share It – Depending on the content of your post, there may be multiple ways you can syndicate your post. Check with your local newspaper to see if the post is useful for their readership. Your local and state Realtor association may also allow you to post your blog article on their sites.
Keep it Going
It’s not easy to write epic posts week after week, but dividing the work up over several days will make it manageable. Go ahead and plan 4 days to work on your next blog. Get it on your calendar, set reminders and stick to it!
Here are a few final tips on writing a successful real estate blog:
- Keep good notes whenever you randomly think of a blog topic/idea so you have a vault of ideas to come back to.
- Build time into your schedule to work on the post weekly/monthly. Schedule a morning or mid-afternoon meeting with yourself and turn all notifications off.
- Get away from your post for a day or two before your final editing session and you will find mistakes and holes easier.
- …and doing it all in your pajamas or at the beach will make it feel more like fun than work!
What’s your writing schedule?
This is one way to write epic posts, but there are a variety of other ways. Let us know your favorite technique you use to write your real estate blog.