Being a successful Realtor® means demonstrating your value over and over again, and in order to do this, you need a platform where you can share your valuable knowledge. Increase your influence and entice prospective clients by starting a blog! You may be hesitant to spend time on something that doesn’t reap immediate rewards, but we’ll show you the true value of a routinely-updated blog.
In 2018, blogging is more popular than ever — and easier than ever. This is the first article in a three-part series all about blogging. In this article, you will learn more about what a blog is and how it can generate more business for you. In the coming weeks, we’ll talk about how to quickly but efficiently create a content schedule, and which blogs are must-reads for realtors.
Let’s start with the basics. What is a blog?
A blog — short for “web log” — is essentially a digital publication that publishes articles or “posts” around a central theme. Blogs are written by individuals or businesses and often coincide with the goods/services they provide.
Why should agents have a blog?
Creating a blog might feel like an unnecessary task in your already busy life. But hear us out – there is a ton of value in blogging. These compelling stats from AgentDrive help illustrate this point:
• Businesses who blog get 67% more leads than those who don’t.
• 6 out of 10 clients in the United States made major purchasing decisions — like buying a home! — based off of blogs.
• 70% of clients learn about businesses and agents via blog, rather than advertising.
• 90% of clients are more likely to become long-term clients when agents have a blog.
Blogging can help generate new leads when business is slow. Because selling/buying fluctuates throughout the year, you can ramp up your blogging during the slower periods and stock up on ready-made posts to publish during the busy season.
Blogging provides content for your social media profiles. We recently wrote about why social networking can be well worth your time, but it’s only as good as the effort you put into it. Blogging and engaging on social media should be a symbiotic relationship. What you write on your blog, you can then share on your social profiles. You can also share social posts on your blog!
Blogging makes discovery easier. While you’re out there prospecting, you can also put your blog to work for you. Blog content is often called “Google Food” because it uses “search engine optimization” (known as SEO). SEO allows search engines to pick up your blog based on your use of search-friendly terms. For example, if your target market is Austin, Texas, frequently using phrases like “Austin real estate” can help search engines find your blog and make it appear higher in search results. Then, when a prospective buyer searches “Austin real estate,” they are more likely to discover you!
Creating your blog
It might seem daunting to set up a blog site, but there are so many great services out there that make this easy and fun. Ideally, your blog should be a part of your existing website. If you use a service like WordPress, Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace, you won’t need to create a separate blog. If whatever service you use for your website doesn’t offer a blogging component, you can always post a link to your blog on your website (and vice versa — your blog should always link back to your website). Here are some free services that make it easy to just hop on and start writing:
• Medium: There is no setup required for Medium. Just create an account and you’re ready to create your first post! Medium provides a clean, minimal interface, and it’s easy to get your posts in front of the right people by using their tagging options. Medium’s readership is engaged and full of people passionate about their chosen industry, so you can expect high-quality readers.
• WordPress.com: WordPress has been the go-to platform for bloggers for more than a decade. The web-hosted version of WordPress is 100% free (which means you don’t have to download any software or pay for your own hosting) and you can easily set up a nice-looking blog with minimal effort.
• Blogger: Blogger was one of the first blogging platforms available on the internet, and it requires virtually nothing to set up. You can sign in with a Google account and get a domain name within minutes — or, you can use a customized Blogger URL and get started on writing right away!
Writing your first post
In the coming weeks, we’ll share ideas for content and how to develop a schedule that won’t take you hours to make. In the meantime, once you have your blog set up and ready to go, write a post introducing yourself. Post pictures, share your experience, and talk about the work you do. Earning long-term clients requires trust and authenticity. When clients know who you are and why you’re great at what you do, they’ll always know that you have their best interests at heart.