Why You Need A Blog (And How To Get One)

Yes You Do and Yes You Can.

Stop with all of that ‘I can’t – I don’t – I won’t’ stuff and read on.

Our real estate marketplace is largely electronic.  Today, real estate businesses and careers are made online.

That’s where the buyers are and that’s where the sellers expect to be.

You know this and have done a pretty good job of getting more than your big toe into that ocean.  You have an optimized website, a social media presence, a syndication arrangement that broadcasts your listings all over the place, and more.

But, so does everyone else who is serious about the business.

When everyone has the same tools, when everyone is doing the same thing online, the key is TO BE FOUND:  traffic.

How do you ‘Get Found’ in this vast Internet Ocean?  How do you build traffic to your business? 

There are many ways, but . . .

Not too long ago, HubSpot analyzed the website traffic of 1,400 companies.  They split them into two groups:  those with blogs (938) and those without (462).  The blogging group generated 67% MORE LEADS than the non-blogging group.

How can this be?  Why would a blog be better at generating web traffic and leads than almost anything else?  Here are 3 reasons:

  1. A good real estate blog is a constant source of local market information – and therefore, local market search terms used by local real estate consumers every day in their searches.  
  2. Unlike your well optimized website, the content of your blog is dynamic:  it changes every week, becomes bigger, gets indexed over and over as it grows.  
  3. A blog is immediate:  it is a near instant commentary on events and conditions in the local market, and is therefore very attractive to search engines.  

I believe that getting found today by buyers and sellers is a function of 3 things:

Inventory – And of course, Help-U-Sell has a competitive advantage in this area, a superior offer for home sellers.

Saturation –  A mechanism for getting information about your inventory out to as many Internet outlets as possible, which Help-U-Sell brokers have by virtue of their own websites and the syndication that occurs automatically as they add their inventory.

Blogging – Which is a search engine magnet.   They will find you with your blog.  Your blog will drive them to your website.

A few Help-U-Sell Brokers have taken on the blogging challenge, some with excellent results.  Most have not, because:

  • It’s an organizational hassle:  getting set up, learning how to do it, buying hosting and domain names and templates takes time and energy and is often a foray into unknown territory.
  • It’s a rather large time commitment:  You have to be prepared to sit down and write well and intelligently on a regular basis.  It’s not something you do just once or twice and forget.
  • It requires writing skill:  Even for many people who write well, writing is not easy.  It takes so many mental skills, not the least of which is concentration – something that is very difficult to maintain when you have 30 listings and 14 pending sales.  

I’ve been Help-U-Sell Blogging for almost 5 years (and have no plans to stop anytime soon).  It’s something that is very easy for me.  I have always invited Help-U-Sell brokers to borrow from this blog, make the pieces their own and use them however they see fit.  Now I’m prepared to go one step further.

Very shortly I’ll present a program where I will:

  • Set up you blog:   create and customize your template, research and buy your domain name, and set up hosting for you blog.
  • Ghost-Write your blog:  Actually post unique localized content to your blog on a regular and recurring basis.
  • Monitor you blog:  track page views, unique visitors, popular posts and search phrases and make appropriate adjustments.
  • Teach you about your blog:  How to post, how to respond to comments, how to monitor, so you can become as involved as you choose to be.  

Some of you may use this as a first step to blogging on your own – kind of blogging training-wheels.   Others may see this as a turn-key solution, a way to have a blog without having the hassle.  Either way, you’ll be steps ahead in GETTING FOUND, in building traffic and creating leads.

Stay tuned for details . . . and if you’re anxious to get started quickly, get in touch: jamesdingman@gmail.com

 

Blogging with Video

Dan Desmond, great Help-U-Sell Broker in Forked River, New Jersey, posted an article to Facebook that stated that 90% of Realtors don’t have blogs.  No surprise there.  90% of human beings don’t have blogs.  Actually, it’s probably higher.  Anyway, Dan’s comment was that he better get himself in gear.  It got me to thinking.

Why don’t people blog?  I believe it’s because putting together a coherent sentence and paragraph is difficult for most people.  Effortless writing is a gift most people don’t possess.  Not that we can’t write, it’s just that for most of us, writing is way too big a chore to take on with any regularity.  But you don’t have to be a writer to be a blogger.  If you can talk (most of us seem to have mastered that skill) and operate a video camera, you can blog with video.  It’s cheap and easy — much easier than writing for most — and is probably more effective in terms of being attractive to search engines.

Here’s a 6 minute video blog post I did.  It took less than 30 minutes to do, start to finish:  10 minutes to shoot (I had to start over once) and 20 to edit.  Uploading to YouTube took much longer, but required nothing of me but patience.  Embedding it here was nothing more than a copy/paste operation between YouTube and the blog.  I shot it with a Logitec Webcam with on-board microphone and edited it in Pinnacle Studio.

Ok, so it’s not a Hollywood masterpiece, but it is relevant and it will be noticed in searches. So why not try one yourself? And then tell me how many hits you get.