When you’re spending more time doing business remotely, you can focus your attention on things you wouldn’t normally have time to do.
Sure, you can work on a jigsaw puzzle, watch a new show or crack open a book.
But you can also invest time in something that will enhance your business for years to come — like starting a blog for your real estate company.
Blogging is one of those things many people have on their list of future “to-dos” that they never quite get around to doing. But now, you have the time, and with these tips, you can start creating helpful content and growing your following.
Starting a blog doesn’t have to be intimidating or overwhelming. I'm going to show you how easy and simple it is to get started.
Why should you have a blog?
- As a real estate agent, people expect you to be in tune with the current market in your area. A blog is the perfect way to communicate valuable information and engage with your community.
- People are looking for reassurance now more than ever. You can instill confidence in people’s current investments and any real estate transactions they may be considering. Many people can benefit from your expertise, and you can deliver value to a wide audience with a blog.
- You might increase your Google ranking. The higher your name appears in search results associated with real estate in your area, the greater your chances of attracting and converting leads. Your blog can drive traffic to your website and help establish your brand.
What kind of content should you share?
Your content should be engaging, entertaining, and educational. It should grab people’s attention, keep them reading and tell them something they didn't know before.
Even if you’re a new agent, you still have a lot of knowledge to share. You've gone through the education, you're familiar with your market, and you know things the average homeowner doesn’t know.
If you can share helpful information in a short, precise way that's engaging and educational, you'll be the agent people in your area reach out to when they have a real estate question or want to list their home.
In this post, I want to talk about eight steps you can take to write an effective blog post.
1. Plan your blog posts.
Don't just sit down and throw together some random content and stock photos. Plan out what you want to say and how you want to say it.
Draft an idea list of content you think would be relevant and interesting to homeowners in your area. Do some searching to find out which topics are trending (check out popular real estate hashtags on Twitter or the most recent Google News results for real estate). Consider recent questions you’ve been asked on listing appointments. If you’re an expert in a certain area, focus your efforts on sharing information about it.
A lot of writers start by writing down a main idea, then drafting smaller subpoints they’d like to cover. This is an effective way to break down a topic and make your writing task seem less intimidating.
Once you have a topic, research it a little bit more — maybe do an interview, make some phone calls, then create a more in depth outline. Double check your facts and find statistics to back up any points you want to make.
2. Generate attention.
Every good blog post has a catchy headline and “hook” — something that draws people’s attention.
Consider what your clients and potential clients might be worried about or interested in. Speak to their pain points. An interesting story or statistic is often a good way to spark people’s attention from the start.
From there, you can transition into the main points of the article.
3. Write your blog post.
Once you’ve properly laid out your outline and researched the topic you want to write about, writing the actual blog post is easy.
Piece together the parts of your outline in a way that makes sense, and be sure to maintain your own personality and voice. Include helpful and relevant examples throughout your writing, and draw on your own experiences whenever you can.
Transitioning between points of your blog can sometimes be difficult. An easy way to transition is by using subheads or lists, like we’ve done in this blog post.
These devices help to break up big chunks of text and make them more digestible. Plus, if someone is quickly scrolling through your post, one of the subheadings might jump out and catch their attention in a way that regular text wouldn’t.
4. Don’t forget the visuals.
A picture is worth a thousand words, right?
Pictures and graphics not only look good, but they also help you increase engagement and communicate important information.
Choose images that enhance your message or charts/data relevant to the topic you’re writing about. When applicable, include your own real estate photos or images you have permission to use from photographers you’ve worked with in the past.
It’s important not to just grab any old image or chart off the internet. Make sure that you have permission to use anything you post or you could be liable for copyright infringement. There are lots of websites with royalty-free images, or you can sign up for a subscription service like Shutterstock.com.
5. Edit your post.
If you’re not an experienced writer, this part of the process can seem daunting. This is the time to rely on other people to read and proofread your work.
Reach out to someone you trust — maybe a colleague with a knack for writing or even a former teacher you’ve stayed in touch with.
If you don’t know anyone who fits the bill, you can join a freelance website like Upwork.com and hire an editor for a small fee. If you find someone you trust who delivers high-quality work, you can send them content to proofread on a consistent basis.
It’s important not to be too hard on yourself. Take any constructive criticism as a learning opportunity to improve your writing skills.
If you edit your work yourself, here are some things to look out for:
- Repetition: If you’ve said the same thing over and over in multiple ways, cut it down.
- Unfocused content: If you’ve found you started to ramble in an irrelevant or confusing way, try to simplify your message.
- Overcomplicated information: It’s easy to fall into the trap of using real estate lingo your readers wouldn’t necessarily understand. It’s always best to assume the people reading your work need more of an explanation.
Reading your work aloud is another great way to make sure everything you’ve written makes sense. If you find yourself stumbling over a sentence, your readers will probably have trouble reading it, too.
6. Share your content.
So now that you’ve written and edited your content, you need to get it in front of people. There are a number of free websites where you can post your content, or you can share it on your own business website.
When you create new content, share it on your social media pages and send out emails to people in your sphere. Set a content delivery schedule so people know when to expect new content from your blog and can look forward to reading it.
7. Track your engagement.
Most blogging platforms have a way for you to track your results. You can study what content is getting the most views and tailor what you write based on the response.
8. Stick with it.
If you start a blog while we’re in quarantine, you should commit to sticking with it once you don’t have as much extra time on your hands. Create as much content as you can now so you have things to share in the future.
Write about some evergreen topics so that when you get busy, you have blog posts already lined up and ready to share.
The most important thing is not to overcommit or overwhelm yourself. Figure out a content schedule that will work for your business — even if you can only realistically post once or twice a month.
The most important thing is to just get started and reach as many people as you can with the helpful content you produce.