Want to get noticed? Boost the chances of people finding you online? Check this out! Send regular useful info to your clients and contacts? Post relevant content to your Facebook page and just generally position yourself as the local real estate authority in your area? Okay great! You need a blog and you’ve come to the right place.
At the bottom of this post is a video showing you how ridiculously easy it is to post your blog to your website
A regular well written, presented and delivered blog (short for Web Log) will do all the above and so much more.
In fact there are simply too many reasons to start writing a regular blog as soon as you can.
What’s that you say? You can’t write? Well have you ever written an email to someone? What about a letter? That’s writing and it’s way easier to do than you think.
If your first effort sucks, who cares? You’ll get better as you go and before long you’ll be coming up with great topics and ideas.
What’s the Number 1 mission?
The main reason why you want to write a blog is to make connections. Your mission is to build a big fat list of contacts because a big fat list of contacts is the oxygen to real estate success.
When I say a list I mean a first name and their email. That’s all you need. You want their first name so you can use your email data base to send them emails using their first name. This personalizes your message and boosts engagement.
If you want more listings, engage more people
Let’s face it. If you’re not buying or selling, real estate can be pretty boring so use your blog to build a following by reaching out and making a real connection with people in your local community.
Good content is king so creating great content abut interesting subjects is a very effective and powerful way to boost engagement and connections.
What to write about.
There’s a million things you can write about and the most boring is probably real estate. You can do anything from recipes to movie reviews but one thing that’s going to get you noticed real quick is blogging about people.
Let’s say you write an article about a local home stager you work with. When you publish it, you send them a link to show them what you’ve done. Your blog says how awesome they are and you also post it on Facebook and Twitter. Then guess what happens next? They share it with their contacts, feature it on their website, Facebook page and Instagram account and suddenly your blog is being read by people you don’t even know. People who are potential clients in your area.
The low hanging fruit is people and events seeking publicity.
Let’s say you’re an agent in Portland Oregon.
Like most big cities, Portland is a super busy market with lots of agents competing for space. But the great thing about Portland is there are always events going on year round.
For example, May is Oregon Wine Month so why not write a quick article about one of the wineries. If you’re like me and enjoy the odd glass of vino, you could even taste one of their wines and write about that too.
Can you see how that’s going to engage readers?
I believe the best blogs tell a story and the really great blogs will tug at the reader’s emotional heartstrings and what’s more emotionally than an unwanted puppy looking for a home?
Free to a good home
Animal shelters almost everywhere have a major problem; They are always looking for good homes for the rescue animals (mainly dogs and cats) that end up in their care.
In fact the problem deepens because there are often plenty of people looking for a dog but less for a cat, which means that after some time, the animal may be destroyed.
So why not run a regular feature about your local shelter and feature a dog or cat that’s up for adoption.
You MUST have a photo because that’s really your big selling point. People see a photo and then read the copy, not the other way round. In fact I would say a blog without a great emotional or thought-provoking image is pointless. More about that in a moment.
So you write your blog about an Australian Shepherd that was found wondering the highway north of Whistler BC in the middle of winter. He’s a little thin and looks like he’s been on the road for some time. But he’s been checked out by the vet and is in perfect health. Now all he needs is a good home, an owner that will love him and a warm bed. If he’s lucky he might even a family with kids he can play with,
For example, your blog might go something like this:
Blogs don’t need to be long. I believe there is nothing worse than writing words for the sake of writing words. Just tell it like it is and get it out. Non-fiction books are often filled with ‘padding’ just to make them look like a bigger better book. Who has time for that? The perfect blog will engage your reader and quickly connects with them.
The power of a story
Can you see, in the blog about Ben, how telling a story ads compelling interest to your piece. The image of Ben has tuned up the reader’s emotional interest about this lovely dog who’s fallen on hard times,
The is interest and intrigue right from the start and (pardon the pun) this story has legs, which means it will e remembered well after the reader has read your blog.
If you need proof as to the power of a story, look no further than Hollywood. Movies like 12 Years A Slave, Schindlers List and The Shawshank Redemption are compelling stories that take us on a journey.
The best blogs do the same.
How to get a great image for your blog.
There are plenty of free websites where you can download a free image. (see the resources section at TopAgentsPlaybook.com) and naturally you need to make sure you’re not infringing someone’s copyright.
If you need to buy an image, you can usually do so for a few bucks.
Are you reading this blog because you saw an image of a dog linked to a story that he was looking for a home? I guess that might have been an influencing factor or maybe you just really want to start a blog and have been looking for the right ‘how to’ guidelines. Either way you’re here and so far you’re still reading and engaged as long as I keep the good stuff coming to help you achieve your blog writing goal.
Here’s a link to my Resource Page and a list of 14 free image websites.
Where does your blog actually live and what the heck is a lead magnet?
Your blog is going to live on your personal website because that’s the place you want to drive traffic to and here’s the thing: You want to see if you can collect a first name and email when someone visits your site and that’s where you lead magnet comes in.
A lead magnet is an irresistible offer that targets a potential client and offers them something of value in exchange for typing in their name and email.
Many agents use my books ‘How To Sell Your Home For More’ and ‘The Ultimate Homesellers Guide’ to attract site visitors and harvest their infomation. They offer it to people who visit their site in the form of an eBook. Here are some examples of how agents customize my books
How To Sell Your Home For More eBook
Hot Seller Tips eBook
The Ultimate Homesellers Guide eBook
A lead magnet offers value and quickly convinces a visitor to your site to share their info in return for the ‘prize’ which is almost always information.
Many agents offer a quarterly property report to site visitors. Cool idea. Get creative. What do you know that property buyers and sellers in your area want?
What’s the best website platform to use as your blog
If you don’t have your own personal website, you need one because that’s where you’re going to host your blog.
When I first started writing my blogs, I had to send my copy and images to the web dude who would post it to my site (when he got around to it) then send me a link and a bill for $250. And that was more than 10 years ago!!
Today we have WordPress which is an easy-to-use, open source website building platform. Basically, it’s online software (stay with me here) that let’s me upload my blog copy and image and click publish. It’s honestly that easy in fact, I’ve made a short video to show you just how easy it is.
WordPress will also help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) so you want to use what they call ‘key words’ and ‘key word rich phrases’ in the content of your blog to help your overall search ranking.
How does writing a blog help people find me?
The main search engine algorithms (an algorithm is the background code that gives Google its brain) are built to like regularly updated and mobile friendly websites.
In search land, ‘like’ means rank and rank means money.
Let’s say you’re an agent in North Vancouver. When you write your blogs you’ll often make reference to things like ‘North Vancouver real estate’ ‘North Vancouver homes’ ‘North Vancouver condos’ and ‘North Vancouver real estate agent.’ These are what’s called key rich phrases which are typical search words used buy people looking to buy and sell in North Vancouver. In other words, your potential clients.
As a rule, a regular blog will rise in the search rankings and blogs built on a WordPress platform seem to do better than most.
How long should your blog be?
I’m already at 1876 words but I have a lot of info to share. You can get away with 2 or 300 words if your content is good. In fact, a short blog is often better.
The important thing is to just begin and let me share my formula.
I normally get a blog idea days or sometimes weeks before I actually sit down and start writing so I put it in my ‘ideas’ journal.
Today is Saturday and it’s 7.30am
We had a ton of snow overnight and I want to take my new snowmobile out for a rip but I want to get this done first and make a video to show you how simple it is.
My fresh coffee is beginning to fuel inject my brain and I’m in the zone. The ideas come quickly and I spill them just as quick onto a word doc on my mac.
I have read over my article and I like it.
When I’m done I’ll send it to Ricky, my amazing VA who’ll correct my typos and iron out any glaring grammatical errors.
Just need to shoot the screen video and get it up on Vimeo and Youtube so I can embed the link in my WordPress website back end. I use Camtasia to shoot and capture screen videos. If I’m just sending my VA and explainer video I use free software called Jing and you can download it here
It’s time to push this blog out of the nest so you can read it and convert these ideas to cash.
*Their real name is actually The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This story is total fiction and made up to give an example for this blog. However, rescue animals are offered for adoption all the time. If you’re considering adopting an animal, simply search ‘rescue shelter animals for adoption’ in your area. Who knows… maybe your Ben is there waiting for you.