Real estate blog posts can be one of the most effective marketing tools you have, but if they aren’t written wisely they can turn away clients just as easily. Here are 10 helpful tips to help you write and maintain a successful real estate blog that will help you generate new clients, while keeping current clients happy and well-informed.
1. Start with an Attention-Grabbing Headline
The headline is the first thing potential visitors are going to read. Make it count! Sell your subject matter with an exciting, humorous, or you-don’t-want-to-miss-out-on-this headline. At the same time, don’t underestimate the power of a more serious, you-need-this-information kind of headline either. A great headline will pique your reader’s interest, and when followed by amazing content, you will gain a client for life. If the opportunity presents itself, interject key word phrases that can help get your post ranked well in the search engines i.e. Sacramento Real Estate Market Heating Up. The key word phrase being “Sacramento Real Estate.”
2. Don’t be too Wordy or too Brief
Most visitors will start by scanning your blog post, before reading it word-by-word. So, how do you ensure that they keep reading? Avoid large blocks of content! Paragraph breaks, bullet points, numbered lists and other techniques are great ways to break up the content and make it easily to digest. If your post is extremely long, consider breaking it down into more than one post, or present it as a series. If you are trying to rank a certain key word phrase or topic in search engines creating a series of blog posts about the subject is a good technique.
Try to target your posts to 250 words or more so that it gets indexed by the search engines. Anything less and the page could possibly be overlooked altogether. When search engines scan your copy they look for key word phrases that are used to rank your site. Example key word phrases include the following: Lake Tahoe homes for sale, or Lake Tahoe real estate. For more information on search engines and using key word phrases please refer to this article: How Search Engines See Keywords
3. Spelling Tips for SEO Success
Spelling is just as important to your real estate blog as grammar, if not more. First of all, most sites that rank high on the SEO scale have few spelling and grammar mistakes, while those sites that rank low on the SEO scale tend to have mistakes. Spelling is the first indicator that your site is one that can be trusted. Your visitors’ first impression of your blog could be instantly tarnished by spelling mistakes.
There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. If your business name (or other key words related to your content) is often misspelled, you might want to incorporate those unconventional spellings in your posting. The trick is to do it in such a way that your readers will know that it was done purposefully. For example, let’s say your business name is Fischer Valley Real Estate and people searching for you often spell it as “fisher.” In a case like this you might want put it in parenthesis following the correct spelling, use a slash, or address the issue directly (i.e., Fischer Valley Real Estate, not Fisher…).
4. Avoid Plagiarism like a Plague!
Plagiarism can discredit you as a reliable agent and could bring unwanted legal issues as well. You might get ideas from other online sources or even other real estate blogs, but you must make the writing on your blog your own original work. Search engines can find duplicate content and if yours is not original work you will not get any SEO (search engine optimization) benefit.
If you do find use for another’s work, make sure to give due credit to the author. Put the information in quotes and follow it with a hyperlink. If you rephrase or summarize someone else’s work, follow it with a hyperlink as well. If you are still unsure of yourself, hire a reliable copy writer to provide the content you are looking for.
5. Know Your Facts
People love facts and figures that can help them make sound decisions. Give your real estate blog more power by using reliable sources to back up your content. Your visitors will recognize your website as a dependable source of factual information and will return again and again. Be smart when you are doing your research and make sure the sources you are using are reliable. This is especially true when you are writing real estate market reports. Current market data is usually offered by your local real estate board. The following article provides excellent ideas on how to provide an informative market report: The Value of Writing Market Reports
6. Make Grammar Count
Grammar is critical to a successful real estate blog post. The use of proper grammar indicates that you are a professional and you care about what you are posting. A great way to make sure that your posting is clean of errors is to follow these three simple steps:
a. Read, re-read and read it again! Make sure to read it out loud at least once, pronouncing each individual word as you go. This helps you avoid skimming over mistakes.
b. Take a break! After you have written something and think it is ready to post, step away from it and think about something else for a while. Wait overnight if possible, so your mind will be fresh and more likely to catch the little mistakes.
c. Have someone else read it—a family member, friend, colleague, or even a stranger will do. Use your best judgment, but this person doesn’t necessarily have to be a grammar expert.
If after following all of these steps you find that your writing still needs a lot of work, you may want to consider taking a grammar class at your local college. There are also plenty of online sources that can answer your grammar questions; one of my favorite free resources is Grammar Bytes www.chompchomp.com.
7. Never Trust your Computer to Edit your Writing
Some agents make the mistake of relying too heavily on Microsoft Word, or other “helpful” word processing programs to fix grammar and spelling mistakes. Be cautious and consider the following:
a. Occasionally, the word processing program may be out of date and will underline words as incorrect, when they are actually correct.
b. Sometimes it won’t catch mistakes because the spelling is correct, even though the usage is wrong (i.e., their/there, to/two/too, bare/bear, and rain/rein/reign).
c. Don’t completely ignore the suggestions given by your computer; just make sure you review them carefully.
8. The Dictionary and Thesaurus are your Friends
Really think about the words you are using in your real estate post. If you don’t know the exact meaning of a word, then look it up in the dictionary to make sure you are using it correctly.
Give your blog post variety by avoiding repeated words. A Thesaurus is an excellent tool to help you keep your readers reading!
9. Engage your Audience
A popular blog technique is to focus topics on the hottest new developments in real estate. This includes changes in the market, foreclosures and short sales, great buys on specific homes, neighborhood profiles and market reports that can be broken down by neighborhoods, etc. More and more people are Googling hot topics to learn more and if you have posts covering these subjects your odds of capturing them goes up. Giving your readers valuable information will keep them coming back for more.
10. Develop a Distinctive Writing Style
Writing professionally does not mean you need to be boring. Make your writing catchy, easy to read, and friendly. Write like you are talking to a friend. This will enable you to connect with your audience on a more personal level, which will encourage repeat visitors to your real estate site.
Treat all of your real estate blog posts seriously and don’t be intimidated by perfection. Mistakes will happen, just do your best to prevent them before it is too late. The time spent on this free marketing tool will be well worth the effort. As you start to build a strong client base by providing interesting and reliable content your real estate blog posts will continue to attract new clients through high SEO rankings as well as referrals. Happy posting!