18 Blogging Tips to Cure Your Real Estate Marketing Blues
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Writing a blog post isn’t hard. That may sound untrue, but if you have the right tools, approach, and work ethic, you can create enticing real estate blog content that gets found by home buyers and sellers interested in your market. Sure, some creativity, previous experience, and general knowledge of how to write blog posts helps, but even novice content creators can become brilliant bloggers. Whether you’re stuck at the start, struggling to develop real estate blog ideas, or just hoping to find new inspiration, the tips and tricks below can get you on the right track.
1) Embrace blogging! Don’t view it as an unnecessary burden — because it’s not.
If you don’t accept that content creation is vital to your overall marketing success, you’re dead in the water. There’s no two ways around it: Online marketing is here to stay — and it beats the heck out of promoting your brand through flyers, posters, billboards, and cold calls. Accept that blogging is a necessity to gain traction with your digital strategy, from getting your website found in search results to bringing in qualified leads (in practically half the time or less than it took you to do so with your outbound/offline marketing plan).
2) Build your email marketing list to share content with leads.
You won’t find anyone better with whom to share your blog content, than those contacts already stored in your customer relationship management (CRM) database. Think about it: Would you prefer strangers who may or may not turn into qualified leads reading your blog posts, or would you rather have existing leads in your funnel — whether they’re in the “I’m still looking” phase or the “I’m ready to buy/sell” stage — consume your content? The answer is pretty clear.
3) Update (a.k.a. modernize) your real estate blog design.
It’s not enough to simply make your blog look pretty. Today, real estate agents — professionals of all kinds, really — need blogs that are well-structured (single-column, good mix of design elements and whitespace, include appealing multimedia (high-quality stock images, listing photos, and real estate videos), use a readable typeface (attractive and relatively large font size), and are responsive (meaning your blog looks just as good on desktops as on smartphones and tablets).
Ensuring all these must-haves are checked off your list doesn’t have to cost you a significant amount — in fact, it shouldn’t take up much of your budget at all. Real estate website providers offer pre-made themes that are already responsive and designed for top-of-the-line user experiences for your audience, meaning you don’t have to spend days researching prospective designers to hire.
4) Examine your real estate blogging data.
What’s the point of taking time to write and post articles if you can’t see immediate dividends … right? Except that’s not how blogging, or most inbound marketing tactics in general, work. You need to give your posts time before delving into your Google Analytics reports to track clicks, sessions, time on page, and other key data points. Later, when you do, you can accurately gauge which real estate blog topics you should continue exploring, which need to be revamped, and which to ditch altogether.
5) Revitalize the keywords used for poor-performing posts.
For topics that don’t trigger the response or results you expected, you might not have to eliminate them from your content creation altogether. The reason some pieces may not improve your traffic or lead gen efforts is that they have the wrong keywords. “Wrong,” of course, is a subjective term: The initial keywords you put into a post may have been optimal at the time of publication, but after a while, terms and phrases can drop considerably in terms of how often they are searched online. All this requires to fix, though, is some keyword research time, and since this is already an ongoing activity for your real estate advertising (you do use Google AdWords, correct?), adjusting articles that need some new life breathed into them shouldn’t be time- or energy-consuming.
6) Reevaluate real estate blog topics you’ve written before.
The types of content you produce could also be the culprit if your real estate blog isn’t thriving. You need a strong mix of both timely content, like breaking news and the latest information on housing trends, and evergreen content, including top-10 posts and how-to articles that are as relevant now as they will be months and years down the line. If one or both kinds of posts are missing from your editorial calendar, it’s time to add them into the mix. Sharing knowledge of your area’s housing market and other facets of your community shows you’re in-tune with local goings-on and real estate conditions. Moreover, dispensing advice on a range of housing-related topics (anything from the best ways to prepare your home to sell to the best ways to redesign your kitchen with the latest trends) relays to your audience you’re aware of what home buyers are looking for with properties today and how sellers can earn the most bids and, eventually, highest sales price for their listings.
7) Enhance your brainstorming by working with others.
Whether it’s your spouse, best friend, agency colleague, or even your head broker, it’s useful to find at least one person in your personal or professional network with whom you can ideate real estate blog topics once in a while. Getting a second opinion on subjects you think would be good for your blog, or even fresh ideas from those with a different perspective, can reinvigorate your content marketing efforts. If you don’t have anyone you can work with on this, consult other real estate agent blogs to determine what’s being written about and discern how you can “spin” those articles into original ones for your blog. Also, check out blog post title generators, like the ones offered in this post from WordStream, to figure out new possible posts to produce.
8) Get content creation advice from those who do it best.
If creativity is what’s lacking from your blog strategy, don’t worry. If there’s one thing marketers love to write about, it’s marketing — and how to do it really, really well. Search “blogging tips” in Google and you’ll find a bevy of experts who know how to create original content. All you need to do is glean their insights on what it takes to actually get words onto your screen and how to form those words into something attractive and useful for your audience. Some of the best content marketing pros in the biz you should check out further to advance your real estate marketing blog include (but are certainly not limited to):
- Heidi Cohen: This esteemed marketer produces tips for brands of all sizes on how to boost monetization through the latest and greatest inbound marketing tactics.
- Brian Clark: Clark founded and runs the widely respected Copyblogger, which offers unique takes (via posts and podcasts) on how to create content that truly resonates.
- Robert Rose: The Content Marketing Institute’s Chief Strategy Officer literally wrote the book on how to successfully manage and run a content marketing campaign.
- Ann Handley: Her MarketingProfs venture regularly publishes in-depth articles on social media best practices, email tips and tricks, and — yup — how to blog better.
9) Revisit your buyer personas so you know who you’re writing for.
Assuming you have at least one persona in place whom you keep in mind when conducting your marketing activities, you may forget from time to time what exactly it is they want to read. This is the perfect time to revisit the nitty-gritty details of your personas — their average age and income, the lifestyles they have, what types of homes they tend to purchase, etc. From there, use this information to alter your blogging plans accordingly. Maybe you forgot many buyers you’ve worked with are parents who want mid-sized homes with large backyards for their kids. Thus, you should blog about how to make backyards kid-friendly and the best neighborhoods in your market for homes with significant-sized yards.
10) Determine the content your audience desires.
In the same vein as revisiting and reworking your buyer personas, you should also take the time to reach out to your current audience — leads and past clients alike — to figure out what drove them to your real estate website, what keeps them coming back, and even what they don’t like (yes, it always stings to get criticism but if constructive, it can help take your blog to the next level). Use online survey tools to reach out to your audience, or simply send a short email asking prospects and clients for their thoughts on your articles and content.
11) Create more appealing, less bland blog headlines.
Look at a handful of the blogs you read regularly and inspect the headlines they use. See a pattern? Chances are you do, since there are certain types of headlines that tend to produce the most clicks and engagement for blogs, and even for social media posts and email subject lines. It’s okay to emulate what others have done and proven to be successful. What’s not okay is to simply stick to this formula. Over time, your content will become stale-looking if every article title starts with “The Essential Guide to…” or “The Most Important…” or similar phrases. To liven up your blog, come up with other ways to make your headlines appealing. Even using conversational tone or pop culture phrases can change things up enough to spark readers to check out your content.
12) Develop blog posts of varying lengths and formats.
Another component to modify is the length of your content. You may have become the master at producing 500-word articles, but since search engines (especially Google) favor content that’s much longer in search results, you’re better off doubling, tripling, or even quadrupling the length of your content to see if that helps inch you up the search results ladder over time. There may be instances where shorter posts work more to your favor, like image- and video-heavy pieces that don’t require much copy to accompany them. In these instances, just make the most of the limited copy you write by optimizing it with keywords. For longer copy, though, map out how you can augment posts with additional sections that further expound upon a topic. That’s not to say your additional paragraphs and bullet points should just be there to add to your word count. This added copy needs to have substance.
13) Publish your real estate blog posts at a greater frequency.
Just as the real estate keywords in your content need to be refreshed from time to time, your posting schedule also needs to be varied. Once you get to a point where writing becomes a cinch, you can easily get into the creative production rhythm and consider adding more articles to your publication calendar. On one hand, doing this can lead to more opportunities to promote content and get it in the hands of your audience. On the other hand, you don’t want to overdo it and end up sleep-deprived and not paying as much attention to your other marketing and sales tasks. So, gradually add posts to your editorial calendar. Develop a distinct goal, like adding one extra blog post to your schedule each week. Then, you can level off and reevaluate how that posting frequency has affected your content campaign.
14) Be more consistent with your content publication schedule.
This is different than simply posting more blog content than you originally did. This refers to publishing content on a strict (or at least relatively strict) schedule. If your audience knows they can expect a new blog post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon your time, they know they can check on your real estate website at those times to see what new content you’ve shared. Conversely, if you publish content sporadically — two posts on a Monday and Tuesday one week, then nothing published for a couple weeks, for example — the chances of you developing a loyal readership diminishes greatly.
15) Remove sales pitches you’ve incorporated into posts.
Your blog may be a focal point of your real estate website, but that doesn’t mean it’s the ideal place to sell yourself to visitors. Annoying pop-up ads or copy in your articles that overtly mentions how great you are (e.g. “And when you search for agents, you want to find someone reputable and with a stellar sales history — like yours truly”) won’t do you any favors in terms of gaining the trust of your audience. In fact, it could lead to some agent-bashing online in the form of negative-themed tweets, comments, or even emails directly to you. Avoid this mess by keeping your blog strictly informational. Educate buyers and sellers on tactics and approaches that can save them money. Anything that allows you to be of assistance to your audience and teach them something new is what you should stick to.
16) Include members of your audience in your blog content.
Have a lead you’re nurturing through your sales funnel who has sold their home before? Ask them to answer a few questions on what sellers need to know when putting their homes on the market. This new touch point not only provides you with a potentially revitalized relationship with the prospect, but also helps your audience get new insights into what it takes to sell a listing from someone who’s been there before.
17) Promote your blog posts … then promote them some more.
Head to social media to share messages with links to your content and include tags of people who would find your posts beneficial in some way. Arguably the best way to share your content is via email, which has shown to be a force in content promotion efforts for brands and professionals of all kinds. Make images in your content pinnable on Pinterest. Include social sharing buttons on each post page. These efforts account for half the battle, so don’t forget to allocate time and use the right automation tools to spread awareness of your articles.
18) Increase content exposure via syndication and guest posts.
Organic searches for various topics and terms potentially can generate traffic to your posts, but you need to have a proactive approach to spreading word about your content on top of promoting it through the usual channels. You work so hard to create it, after all, so not going the final mile of the content marketing marathon isn’t an option. Leverage connections in your network to get post placement on others’ blogs. Write to a bunch of local publications to see if they can re-publish an article (or even series of articles over time). Any external avenue that could help get a new audience’s eyes on your content is worth pursuing.
What other real estate blog ideas have helped you overcome stagnant content creation? Share your blog writing tips with us in the comments section below!
Published on July 2, 2015
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.