Figuring out what to blog about is one of the toughest roadblocks real estate agents face when starting a blog. This is the one thing that can stop someone from ever trying in the first place.
If you’re looking to make a change to your marketing strategy, word of mouth referrals will always be the most powerful strategy when it comes to lead generation. Old school marketing tactics such as mailers, bus bench ads, and strategically placed business cards are an effective strategy, but today’s savviest agents know content creation is key to catching the eye of today’s buyers or sellers. In today’s digital world, people are turning to the Internet to consume content, ask questions, and find answers. If you’re looking to incorporate another lead generation channel to your marketing strategy, blogging is a fantastic option!
Before we dive into how to start a real estate blog, let’s first take a closer look at why you should even be blogging in the first place.
Why real estate agents should have a blog
You’ve probably already noticed your clients are active online. They’ve viewed homes before they even call you, they’re mentioning stats they’ve read online and they’re hungry for information. Where are they finding it? Likely by searching for and reading blog posts on topics that interest them.
It’s no secret that online content marketing has become the new frontier for real estate agents.
It’s inexpensive, highly effective, an easy way to establish trust and credibility, and a great lead generation tool.
Your blog is like a salesperson who works nonstop when you’re busy meeting clients and showing listings. It gives potential clients the information they’re looking for and helps build your authority in a way that moves them through the sales funnel on their own. They want to learn more about a specific topic. They type their question into Google. They come across your blog post.
Because of this process, they’re already further down the sales funnel than some of your other leads. They’ve expressed interest in some part of your business by reading your blog, and a clear call-to-action in every blog post — sign up for my newsletter, call now — can encourage engagement from your readers. Next thing you know, you have a new lead!
If that’s not enough to convince you to start a real estate blog, it’s worth mentioning that blogging helps boost your SEO by positioning your website as a relevant answer to peoples’ questions. One of the first places you go when you have a question is likely Google, and your potential clients operate in the same way. Blog posts that use a variety of on-page SEO tactics can give you more opportunities to rank in search engines and make your site more appealing to visitors – aka it’s a great way to get your name in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
Our motto is: write for the people, and the search engines will take notice. If your text is written in such a way that it’s relevant to your target audience, it will be successful with search engines also. Use simple language to explain complicated jargon and share real-life examples when discussing real estate concepts.
How often to post: Blogging is a long-term commitment. Don’t expect your blog to generate incredible results and dozens of leads if you’re only posting twice a year. We recommend posting once a month – once every two months at least– to ensure you’re keeping your audience engaged and interested.
How many words to write: A blog post should contain at least 600 words in order to rank well on Google. However, long posts (1000 words or more) will rank more easily than short posts. We recommend focusing on posts of 1000+ words.
How long for results: Building authority takes time. Remain consistent and you should start seeing incremental spikes in traffic around the 6-month mark.
What you should blog about
The key to starting a real estate blog is simply carving out some time to sit at your computer and start typing. Easier said than done, we know.
Many agents get stuck at this step. “What should I write? How do I know if people will care about this?” We know writer’s block can sometimes get the best of you, so here are some quick ideas on how to get the words flowing:
1. Tailor your content/topic to your specific audience
If you’ve been in the industry for awhile, you probably have a list of commonly asked questions. If a handful of clients asked a specific question, there’s a good chance it’s something other people are wondering and turning to Google for the answer.
Educational content is a great place to start. You have more real estate knowledge and experience than the average person. Are home sales up or down? Is this a buyer’s or seller’s market? How do mortgage rates affect local buying? How much property taxes can buyers expect in specific neighbourhoods? When’s the best time to buy your first home? These are all great topics to dive into for your first blog post!
For many, buying or selling a home or condo is a major financial decision and life event. And the people where it isn’t… well they’re not reading real estate blogs.
Your next potential client doesn’t just want to know that you have the proper license to help them buy or sell a home. Ultimately, they want to know if you sound like someone they can trust. The more value you can provide through your content, the more comfortable they’ll feel signing on as a client.
2. Ask your audience for ideas
Coming up with blog ideas really can be that easy! Real estate is one of those industries that people have a general understanding about, but it’s complex enough that there’s still a lot of knowledge gaps. Your network is a gold mine of content ideas.
Ask your newsletter subscribers, current clients, and network what they would like to read more of – and then give it to them. What confuses them about real estate? What was the hardest part of buying/selling a house? What burning questions do they have?
3. Use targeted searches to ask the internet
We mainly use the Internet to search for answers to our questions, but have you ever used it simply to find questions? This is one scenario in which falling down Internet rabbit holes can lead to something good: an abundance of ideas you can write about and questions you can answer.
Use the following tools:
- Google: Google is your best friend. Search for the term and look under “People also ask” and “People also search for.” Be sure to touch upon those topics in the post. You can also type real estate keywords into the search bar and take note of what questions auto-populate.
- Quora: Quora is a question and answer website where people go to ask questions. Browse forums and threads to get a sense of what people want to learn more about.
- Answer the public: When you place your keyword into this tool, it will give you a list of questions related to that term. This makes it the perfect place to brainstorm blog topics.
4. Look to others for inspiration
A great way to come up with initial ideas for blog posts is to familiarize yourself with what other agents are writing about. What topics pop up multiple times across agents’ blogs? What kind of questions are they answering? How do they showcase their expertise?
Remember – you’re looking for topic suggestions, not actually stealing their content. A good rule of thumb is to only read the blog post’s title to eliminate the urge to copy sentences that sound perfectly phrased.
In order to stay ahead of the clutter and make your content stand out from your competitors, it needs to be better than what’s already available. Check out our Top Five Technique to learn how you can produce high-ranking content for your niche.
Another strategy is to look at popular non-real estate blogs to help you get a better grasp on the logistics of blog writing. Keep in mind:
- Visuals: Look at the blog’s branding, color palette, and theme. How do they break up the text to keep readers engaged from beginning to end?
- Copy: What type of tone and writing style do readers respond well to?
- Topics: See what subject matter their readers enjoy reading. Do they gravitate more towards educational or personal content?
Now that you’ve got some ideas floating around, it’s time to start writing! Make sure your website visitors are engaged and driven to take action by leveraging this powerful copywriting tool and tactic.
Personal trainers tell their clients to weigh-in on a weekly basis rather than daily, as doing so won’t highlight much change. The same could be said for blogging. Growth will be slow in the beginning, so don’t worry about traffic or engagement for the first few months. Focus on creating valuable content consistently and, if you’ve done your homework and have a clear understanding of your audience, trust that they’ll find you.