Blogging 1011. Why Blog?2. What type of Blog?3. Which Platform is Best?4. Essential Blog Elements5. What to Post?6. How to End your Posts7. Where to Find Photos8. How to Increase Your SEO9. How to Promote your Blog
1. Relationship Marketing2. Direct Communications3. Lead Generation4. Competitive Differentiation –It’s Cheaper and Easier to Maintain than a Website!5. Improve your SEO
1. What is Your Blog About? Establish A Clear Focus for the Content: 1. Real Estate 2. Location (real estate is all about location location location) 3. A Market Niche2. Which media? Or a combination of all? 1. Traditional Blog 2. Photo Blog 3. Video Blog 4. Content Curation
A Custom URL for Your Blog Should Be….• Use Keywords• Easy to Remember• Easy to Spell• Relevant to the Reader• .com is best
Which Platform is Best?1. ActiveRain2. Tumblr3. Wordpress.com4. Wordpress.org
ActiveRain• Not Free• You won’t own the blog or the content – it’s a membership.• Less control, not a lot of customization.• Great “Community” for asking questions, getting advice, learning from others• Great Google ranking due to the large amount of RE data and the popularity of the site. So you’re blog will be more easily found on the search engines.
Tumblr• Free• Again, you won’t own the data because it’s hosted by Posterous• Great templates, but not a lot of customization or plug-ins• Super EASY to use• The perfect platform for content curation.• Awesome for photoblogging• Perfect for mobile posting• A VERY VERY social platform• It was designed to me multi media friendly !
Wordpress.com• Free• Again, you won’t own the data because it’s hosted by Wordpress.com• Lots of fun & easy templates to choose from• EASY to use• VERY Limited Plug-ins• Cannot import IDX• You can own your own domain
Wordpress.org• The most popular platform• The owner (you) host the site• You own your site and data• Tons of templates with great customization options• Unlimited Plug-ins• IDX import• Most Realtors hire someone to create and host • Creating $600 • Hosting $10-$15/month
Essential Elements1. Contact Form and Social Links2. Archives/Categories3. Site Search4. RSS & Email Subscription5. Social Sharing of Posts
Contact Form and Social LinksThe best bloggers build relationships with their readers, and part of that is making it easy for yourreaders to connect with you, share information, and get to know you. Make it easy for them tocommunicate with you by providing a contact form or a link to email you, so you can talk off ofyour blog. Furthermore, be sure to include links to your social networking profiles such as yourTwitter, Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to continue building relationships off of your blog.
Archives/Categories make sure that for the life of the site the content is easilyaccessible to the readers especially once it moves from the first page or two of currentposts. Remember that one of the main purposes of a blog is to engage the readers, and youcannot do that if once the material leaves the front page it becomes lost.
Site Search Site searches give some users more comfort and familiarity than trying touse the navigation or archives to find what it is they are looking for on your site. They mayalso have come to your site via another and may want to just browse for a particularkeyword that is not apparent on whatever page of the blog they have landed. A site searchcan address easily these concerns.
Subscription by Email & RSS you want to be sure that you give the readersa way to subscribe to the site’s RSS feed
Social Sharing You want readers to share your posts! Encourage them by providingsocial sharing plug-ins and applications.
What do I Post?• A professional profile on yourself• Awards/Recognition• Client Testimonials• Things that Relocations Clients need to know about your community• Business Reviews• “How to” information – How to prepare you home for Photography• Review each neighborhood you farm• Explain the common architectural styles in your area• The history of your area and historic locations• A new Technology tool you like• Review all the area parks• Blog about the personal meaning of an upcoming Holiday• Events like concerts, fairs and sports.• Explain Real Estate – what to expect at closing, etc. *Always Consider your Audience*
Recurring Post Ideas• A weekly listing profile (mix up the media)• A monthly Q & A post. Post a question you frequently hear, and then answer it• A monthly local business profile - you could even break this down into multiple months posts – restaurants, new business, coffee, etc.• A monthly historical fact about your community• Monthly market stats• A monthly post on upcoming events in your community• A monthly interview with someone of importance in your community• A monthly neighborhood video post• A monthly profile on a luxury property• A monthly photo series– pick a pretty spot and do the same photos every month to show the seasonal changes.• A monthly “how to” post
How to End your Posts1. Sum up the key message in your post.2. Use a Call to Action.3. Ask a Question??? This encourages commenting.4. Add a link to another post your wrote on the same topic – or even a link to another resource on the topic.5. Ask the reader to share your post.6. Tell the reader what’s coming next – “tomorrow we will be…”
Where to find Content• Top News Sites• AllTop.com• Regator.com• Industry News Sites• Google Maps• Travel Sites• Chamber of Commerce sites• City and community sites• Google and Youtube
Use Photos!1. People are attracted to photos!2. Photographs help your SEO3. Photographs are easy to use.4. Photographs let your market your listings5. People like sharing photographs.
Where to Find LEGAL Photos1. EveryStockPhoto.com2. Flickr.com/CreativeCommons3. Stock.XCHNG http://www.sxc.hu/4. Google Advanced Image Search5. CreativeCommons.Org http://search.creativecommons.org/6. 123RF Free Image: http://www.123rf.com/freeimages.php
SEO Tips1. The Search Engines like TEXT, so write!2. Google likes Formatting Lists, bolded type, sub headings, etc.3. Google likes fresh content – blog about hot topics4. Use lots of Outbound links. Links to your own posts, and links to other sites.5. Use lots of backlinks (Inbound)6. Google love location information, so always include that in your posts.
Promote Your Blog1. Blog Directory Submissions2. Guest Bloggers3. Social Networks4. Bookmarks5. Additional Exposure6. Blog Commenting on other blogs7. Exchange links on blogrolls with bloggers you know.8. StumbleUpon
Blog DirectoriesBlog directories are great for both the reader and the owner. Readers can searchout new blogs and owners can use the directories to promote their blog and buildlinks back to their blog, or backlinks. 1. Technorati.com 2. Alltop.com 3. Blog Catalog.com 4. Blogarama.com 5. Blogflux.com 6. Bloggernity.com 7. BlogExplosion.com 8. SuperBlogDirectory.com 9. Bloggeries.com 10. SpillBean.com
Guest BloggingThe blogger who does the guest spot wins because it exposes them to a newreadership and. They can link back to their blog or use a byline with a link in it todraw traffic back to their own blog.The blogger who owns the blog wins because they get to take a break and keeptheir blog ticking over, they get to involve another blogger (and they get a freshperspective on their topic. The Guest Blogger promotes your blog, bringing in newreadership.
Social Media• Promote every Blog post on Twitter. You can send out the link 4 to 5 times over a 1-2 day period, just change the way you send it.• Use NetworkedBlogs to auto post every blog post to your Facebook Page and Profile.• Using Linkedin’s Blog Application, import your blog’s RSS for auto posting.• Share every blog post on Pinterest, but make sure you are using powerful photos on every post!• Share on Google+ for a big SEO boost.
Bookmarking Sites for Every Post 1. Digg 2. Delicious 3. Reddit 4. Diggo 5. StumbleUpon 6. Tumblr http://www.shareaholic.com/
Blog Commenting• Research and identify the blogs your customers/audience are reading Use tools like Alltop, Technorati and PostRank.• To track and follow these blogs daily/weekly, you’re going to need a system— I use Google Reader• Provide insightful comments concentrate on just delivering one super-useful contribution to the post. Specifically, look to add one quality piece of content.• Leave a digital “breadcrumb” Don’t go overboard here. Your comment should stand on its own merits—just leave readers a way to get to your blog by adding your URL.
Exchange links on blogrolls w/ bloggers you know Blogrolls are great traffic driving tools. With each blogroll that your blog is listed on comes the possibility that readers of that blog will click on your link and visit your blog. Blogrolls equate to publicity and exposure across the blogosphere.
Additional ExposureBusiness Cards, Print Products, SM sites
Read and Learn from Other Bloggers1. Ines Garcia: www.Miamism.com2. Kris Berg: www.SanDiegoHomeBlog.com3. Jay Thompson: www.phoenixrealestateguy.com4. Janie Coffey: http://www.thecoralgablesstory.com5. Susie Blackmon: http://cowgirlcravings.com6. Dana Moos: www.mainelodgingbroker.com7. Diane Haley Brooks: http://tuesdaysintempleton.com8. Nikki Beauchamp: www.yournycrealestateresource.com9. Diane Guercio: http://towne-country.com10. Monica McGillicuddy: http://NHRealtyScoops.com
Marci James Marci.James@Obeo.com www.Facebook.com/SayObeo www.Facebook.com/Marci.James Twitter: @Obeo & @MarciJames www.ObeoSphere.comObeo Training Center: www.Obeo.com/Training