Blogging can be time-consuming, but it is one of the most cost-effective ways to bring new potential clients to your website when done properly. If you’ve seen some success with growing your social media following, try doubling down on your audience building. Commit some of your digital marketing efforts to building and publishing articles on your blog. Agents that dedicate time to the channel can reap a successful post’s benefits for years to come.
Here is a step-by-step guide to blogging for real estate agents.
1. Pick your blogging platform
Before you start writing blogs, you need to figure out where you’ll be writing. There are many pros and cons to every major blogging platform, so be sure you take the time to understand the content management system (CMS) you will be using. For many agents, a blogging platform will already be built right into the website you currently use. For others, you might need to set something up to give yourself a bit more freedom and control.
When evaluating your content management system, you should look for a few things in particular. The platform should be easy to use, it should support images and basic SEO implementations, and it should look good on both desktop and mobile devices. Once you’ve found a platform that can do all of these things, you’re ready to begin. If your current website doesn’t meet your needs for a blog, a WordPress blog can set up and used as a subdomain on your existing website. Just speak with your website manager or web developer and let them know you’re considering adding a WordPress blog to your website.
2. Stay organized
If you want to bring traffic to your website via your blog, you need to get organized and commit to a plan. We’d recommend posting a new blog at least once per month, more than that if you can find the time. This sends a signal to search engines that you’re actively updating your website, which is seen positively in their eyes.
Start by creating a topic bank that you can access anywhere. It could be in a Google Drive file, a Microsoft Word document, or even just within the Notes app on your phone. The point is that you want to be able to jot down topic ideas throughout your day with ease. As you meet with clients, answer their questions, and ask questions of your own, you should be making a note of anything that you notice frequently coming up. If multiple people have asked you whether the school system in a particular neighbourhood is rated highly, write that idea down as a potential blog topic.
You should also create a content calendar where you can block off time for writing and assign due dates for your articles. A calendar will help keep you organized and on target in terms of production.
3. Selecting your blog topics
Block out some time to sit down and review your topic bank every month while sitting at a computer. This is when you should do some research to see where there is a gap that you can fill with your content. Cross-check your topics by typing them into Google and see how much competition you’ll be dealing with when you hit publish. If it looks like there are hundreds of blogs already written on a given topic, you may need to adjust your strategy.
In general, if you want to rank for a particular keyword phrase, you should aim to create a blog that is at least twice as good as whatever is in the top position on Google. To do this, you’ll need to spend time writing at length, adding images and videos where possible, and giving readers a blog full of information that’s relevant to their search. Aim to become the leading authority on topics you choose to cover.
When it comes to topic selection, don’t aim to rank for blanket head terms like “Vancouver homes.” Instead, try to target long-tail keywords with your topics, like “best neighbourhoods to live in South Vancouver.” You’ll have much less competition and plenty to gain should you wind up ranking for a term like this. Start small with longer, less popular search queries and work your way up.
4. The writing process
Writing can be intimidating, so be sure to set yourself up for success. Find yourself a good editor, use a writing software like Grammarly to help you find spelling and grammatical errors, and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Blogging can overwhelm some real estate agents, so we’d recommend setting a weekly goal and writing only so many words per week to start. Setting limits will make your task more manageable and keep you on schedule.
If you’re not confident in your writing skills, stick to the numbers. Real estate data is widely available online, and providing commentary on market trends and information is a great way to speak to your readers.
5. The basics of search engine optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a game-changer for agents. Even understanding the basics goes a long way towards bringing in more traffic to your website.
Once you have a target keyphrase (likely the topic you’ve settled on), you need to keep it top of mind as you write. You should be working your keyphrase into your headings, into the first paragraph of your blog, into the URL string, and into the title of your blog. Placing your target keyphrase in these positions communicates to search engines that your blog has value in answering a particular search query.
Other items you should consider from an SEO perspective include links, tags, and text length.
For links, you should be aiming to link out to one website (that isn’t your own) in every blog post while also adding internal links (links to other parts of your website) throughout your articles.
Tags include ALT tags for images and meta descriptions for your blogs. ALT tags tell search engines what is actually in the photos you use on your blog, and meta descriptions are short summaries of your blogs. These tags can be added with an SEO plugin or simply by communicating with your website manager.
Finally, for text length, aim for 600 words or more for all of your blogs. The vast majority of blogs on the first page of Google are between 600 and 2,000 words in length. Be sure to read our guide on how to rank higher on Google Search for real estate agents if you’d like to learn more about SEO.
6. Sharing your blogs
Once you’ve completed the five items above, there’s only one thing left to do: share your blogs far and wide.
If you have a newsletter, don’t hesitate to share relevant blogs you write with your audience. Some real estate agents will segment their email list depending on their interests and needs, so you could even write articles with a specific target audience in mind. You’ll also want to share your blogs on your social media channels, particularly on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, where it’s easy to click through to your website. If you’d like, you can even republish entire articles with LinkedIn’s publishing platform. Just be sure to add a link back to your original content.
Sharing your content with your audience is a great way to bring potential clients back to your website, where you can capture their information. If you’ve set up retargeting ads for your website, this is a great way to bring more people into your sales funnel.
Writing evergreen content for your blog that never gets outdated only gets more valuable over time, so consider adding it into your marketing mix. If you get stuck, refer back to this guide to blogging for real estate agents and follow our steps. After a few successful articles, you’ll find yourself thoroughly enjoying the process.