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Blogging for Business - NAR Annual Convention 2012
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Consistent blog content can enhance your website’s SEO strength, keep your clients updated with fresh and relevant information, and bring you new business. Have you been thinking about adding a blog ...

Consistent blog content can enhance your website’s SEO strength, keep your clients updated with fresh and relevant information, and bring you new business. Have you been thinking about adding a blog component to your website? Have you started a blog but you’re not sure what your next steps should be? Or are you interested in starting a blog but writing about the same old/same old real estate content just doesn’t inspire you? Successful bloggers keep their heads around many different aspects of the world around them – but most important is being able to write compelling and engaging content on a consistent basis over time. Objectives include: discussion of blog platforms to help you decide which one is right for you and your needs * the advantages and benefits of having a blog to enhance your website’s SEO value, to bring you more leads and make you more money * in-depth look at content creation – what types of posts to include and on what topics * ways to measure your blog’s strength and effectiveness, to look at the demographics of your readers, and to assess your content and pinpoint what type of content your readers are looking for * how to master cross-promotions over your other social media platforms, integrating your blog content with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Google+ and more!

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  • “Blog” has been a buzzword in the real estate community for some time. During this webinar, we’re going to look at the advantages to blogging, how you can blog to build your business, and ideas for content and for sharing that content. We’re also going to look at some examples of great REALTOR blogs that you can visit later to help inspire your own blogging efforts.
  • Build Your Audience – Simply put, more traffic equals more potential clients. The more people you touch – the more people who find your website and read your blog – the most potential clients you have in your audience. They may not be looking to buy or sell right now, but if they find your content valuable, they will keep coming back and you will be top of mind for them when they are ready – or when they have a referral.
  • Be seen as the Local Expert – I think it’s fairly safe to say that real estate is a very local business. We are no longer selling houses – we are selling a lifestyle. Our buyers want to know about more than just the house they are moving in to, about more than just about the subdivision and schools. They want to know about the local shopping and dining, about parks and playgrounds; they want to feel out the local scene, to see if it is a good fit for them. Blogging about your local world can show that you are a local expert and can help them find more than just a house; you can help them find a place to really live.
  • SEO -
  • You Have Something To Say – you have knowledge to impart to future clients based on your day-to-day experiences. You answer the same questions and tell the same stories day in and day out – why not let that experience work for you? Gain you potential clients and increased web traffic?
  • The obvious: local market statistics. The public wants them, so you can give them what they want. Whether you gather them from your local MLS or you subscribe to a service, such as Altos Research, you can not only provide the data but you can (and should) comment on it, help to demystify it, decipher and interpret it for the public so they can understand the numbers.
  • Local dining – if you dine out in your market area, then you can let your readers know about where you love to eat and why. Websites like Foodspotting and Yelp have turned diners on to the idea that eating out is a social event – as if there was any doubt. When we break bread, it is often social. Why not turn your culinary adventures into blog posts that allow you to not only share your love of locally owned restaurants, but also to help promote those places, too – they are small business owners just like you!
  • Local events – what does your area have to offer?
  • DIY transformations
  • Running short on time? A quick photo of a local spot is a great conversation starter! People love photos and videos – they may spend more time on these posts than anywhere else on your site – and it will keep them on your site longer.
  • Who Are You? Help your readers get to know you! Today’s consumer wants to get to know you and trust you before they will decide to do business with you. Putting some of your own personality into your blog will help your potential clients do just that. That doesn’t mean talking about what a great REALTOR you are – it means giving a little bit of personal insight into who you are – your likes, your dislikes, what you like to do in your town, where you enjoy going. And this shouldn’t necessarily be a huge number of your blog posts – it can just be in the tone of your posts, the personal tidbits you include (for example, when writing about local dining or events). But the more the consumer feels she’s getting to know you, the more likely they are to connect with you and keep coming back.
  • Post a link to your blog post on your Facebook page – write a short teaser line to let people know a little more about what your post is about and to encourage them to click through to read more.
  • Post a link to your blog post to Twitter with a teaser line – be sure to tag local businesses (as appropriate) with their Twitter handle. The easiest way to find their twitter handle is via Google (for example, Google “atlanta ballet on Twitter”) or on the company’s website. Also be sure to use the event’s hashtag (like #ManInBlack) or a hashtag for your city (i.e., #Atlanta) if you have room in the post so that your tweets will show up in those tweet streams.
  • Using video? Take advantage of the fact that YouTube is the second most powerful search engine on the Internet. When I make a video to accompany a blog post, I always post a link to the post on YouTube. If someone finds your video and wants to read more or find out more about you/the video subject, it’s an easy one-click away.
  • Have an active LinkedIn profile? Use the “Share an Update” function (much like a Facebook status update) to post a link to relevant and appropriate posts. Keep in mind, these should be more of a professional nature, to fit the tone of LinkedIn.
  • Are you a photographer or just love taking photos? Use your Flickr account to store your photos and also as a way for other photo buffs to find them…and your blog posts.
  • Are you a photographer or just love taking photos? Use your Flickr account to store your photos and also as a way for other photo buffs to find them…and your blog posts.
  • It will most likely be difficult for you to track leads that come directly from your blog and your blogging efforts. If you’re expecting to see immediate and measureable results, you will most likely be disappointed and quickly frustrated. That’s not to say, however, that you cannot measure your blog’s effectiveness at bringing people to your website.
  • Installing Google Analytics will help you to see the effects your blogging has on your web traffic.
  • You can easily see how many people are visiting your site per day. You can also see how long they are staying on your site and how many pages they are viewing while they’re there.
  • You can see where your readers are – first by country, which could be important to you if you work with international buyers or are targeting international investors with your marketing and blogging efforts.
  • …and then by city, which if you’re blogging about local topics is important. You can see if your audience is local or not. Are they mainly in the cities where you work or the cities you’re targeting?
  • You can even see the visitor flow, which is a graphical representation of the paths visitors took through your site, from the source, through the various pages, and where along their paths they exited your site. This can be helpful to you to see if consumers’ actual action son your site represent the path you want them to be taking form one page or blog post to the next, which can then help you to make modifications to your site.
  • You can also see which posts get the most pageviews, to help you determine which topics are the most popular with your readers. This can help you make important decisions about content. If you are posting lots of posts containing real estate stats and they are not getting as many hits as your posts about local things to do, then you may want to adjust the percentage of posts you write about stats. Perhaps you can condense 5 or 6 posts into one, and then produce more about the topics that are getting you more traffic.

Blogging for Business - NAR Annual Convention 2012 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Blogging for Business Maura Neill ABR, CRS, CDPE, REALTOR®
  • 2. Blogging – Buzzword or Business Booster?Photo credit: “BusinessWeek cover” by moxliukas on Flickr.com
  • 3. Why Should I Blog?
  • 4. Benefits of BloggingPhoto credit: “Audience” by thinkmedialabs on Flickr.com
  • 5. Benefits of BloggingPhoto credit: “Buy Fresh, Buy Local (lomo)” by stevegarfield on Flickr.com
  • 6. Benefits of Blogging
  • 7. Benefits of BloggingPhoto credit: “Bullhorn” by carolbrowne on Flickr.com
  • 8. What Should I Blog?
  • 9. Local Market StatsPhoto credit: “Central Scottdale *sic+ Real Estate Market” by athomeinscottsdale on Flickr.com
  • 10. Local Dining
  • 11. Local News
  • 12. Local Events & Things To Do
  • 13. Buyer and Seller Tips
  • 14. DIY Home Tips
  • 15. Photos and Videos
  • 16. YOU!Photo credit: “Who Are You?” by adewale_oshineye on Flickr.com
  • 17. Getting the Word Out:Using Your Social Media Channels to Drive Web Traffic
  • 18. Pushing Out Your Blog Content – via Facebook
  • 19. Facebook: Your Blog’s Best Friend Add the “Like” button to your website to link your Facebook Business Page to your site: http://goo.gl/aZbXf Integrate your page with your website: links to blog posts, website pages, etc.
  • 20. Pushing Out Your Blog Content – via Twitter
  • 21. Pushing Out Your Blog Content – via YouTube
  • 22. Pushing Out Your Blog Content – via LinkedIn
  • 23. Pushing Out Your Blog Content – via Flickr
  • 24. Pushing Out Your Blog Content – via Pinterest
  • 25. Who’s Reading My Blog?
  • 26. Where are my leads?Photo credit: “MAGNIFYING GLASS” by andercismo on Flickr.com
  • 27. How Do I Know If It’s Working? www.google.com/analyticshttp://www.google.com/analytics/learn/setupchecklist.html
  • 28. Google Analytics – Visits By Day
  • 29. Google Analytics –Where Are Your Readers?
  • 30. Google Analytics –Where Are Your Readers?
  • 31. Google Analytics – Visitor Flow
  • 32. Google Analytics – Popular Posts
  • 33. Tagging PostsTag your posts with the terms consumers are using to search for informationGoogle Analytics can tell you what terms people are using to find your site: Traffic Sources  Sources  Search  OrganicUse your common sense – tag with words and phrases that are central to your topic
  • 34. Keys to Success• Put a (written) plan in place• Make a topic list in advance• Keep a blog notebook of ideas• Know your audience• Write ahead• Identify guest bloggers• Be creative• Keep it fun – for you & your readers• Stay consistent
  • 35. Resources• Who can help you write your blog?• Interns – high school and/or college students who want writing experience• Vendors & service providers – think lenders, attorneys, handymen – anyone who can write about useful information WITHOUT too much self-promotion• Other agents – have an agent you frequently swap referral business with?• Past clients – better than a testimonial! Who better to talk about you than a raving fan?
  • 36. 20,000 a Day Start Blogs… …the Successful Ones Stick With It!Photo credit: “Britain Going Blog Crazy – Metro Article” by anniemole on Flickr.com
  • 37. Connect: about.me/MauraNeill