7 Tips to Get the First 1,000 Visitors to Your Blog
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Starting your real estate website is a fantastic first step as a beginner real estate agent. Why? Because that’s now the premier real estate lead generation method used by agents. And the reasons they create responsive, user-friendly websites are crystal clear: 90% of home buyers head online for their home search, with 52% using the Internet as their first means to research homes for sale and agents.
Before launching your real estate website, though, you need to have all of your ducks in a row. That means having plenty of blog posts ready for publication, along with a comprehensive marketing strategy for your blog. Discover how to start a successful blog and get your first 1,000 blog visitors with ease with these seven expert promotional tactics. (And you can easily share the stats in this post on Twitter by clicking on the images below.)
1) Create amazing, informative, relevant, timely content (and lots of it).
While setting up your website, work on creating as much content as you can fit into your busy schedule. Develop in-depth blog posts on subjects your audience enjoys reading about, like news stories about local businesses or how-to articles for prospective buyers and sellers. Find the long-tail keywords your audience uses in searches and include them throughout each post to boost your organic search ranking. Having a considerable amount of content ready for publication on your blog during the first several weeks it’s up and running is crucial to building an early audience.
When your blog has been operational for about a month, you can determine which posts have done well, which haven’t, and how to continue to grow your blogging strategy. Additionally, you can regularly write about big, breaking news — a blogging method called newsjacking — to add to your blog post total.
2) Consistently publish posts on a regular schedule, not sporadically.
Once you’ve created some search-optimized, educational content, develop an editorial calendar. Scheduling your blog posts randomly won’t do you any favors. Put together an organized schedule that includes specific days of the week and times to post your content. Data compiled by HubSpot’s Dan Zarrella, for example, shows 70 percent of users read blogs in the morning, meaning posting articles before noon and promoting them accordingly online could bring in the most traffic. Testing is a big component of any blogging strategy (as is the case with most real estate marketing tactics), so experiment with times and days each month to see what works best.
3) Build a social media following.
During your blog production, focus on producing a significant social media following as well. Social media plays a big role in your site’s and blog’s success too, and it all starts with how many dedicated followers you have on each platform: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest are ideal places to build an audience.
Some of the best ways to bolster your following and make a name for yourself in the socialsphere include:
- Following influencers, peers, and others with their own big followings. You’ll not only get an idea of what makes others successful on social media, but following those in your network and industry may lead to follow-backs and opportunities for engagement with those who can share your content to thousands of users.
- Sharing popular content from popular resources. The best content to share on social before you’re ready to share your own blog posts is others’ content. Find popular resources — perhaps those related to the real estate market, home decor, the mortgage industry (ones of interest to your audience) — and share their content with your followers.
- Engaging with those who comment or share similar posts. Small touches like this could pad your follower totals and help you build relationships. For example, if someone comments on a Facebook update you commented on, engage with them on the topic in question.
- Entertaining and educating in equal measure. While you want to inform your audience, many social media users want to share fun, light-hearted content. It’s okay to mix in posts of funny images, videos, and comments … as long as you keep it appropriate, of course.
- Using relevant, highly used hashtags. Twitter is no longer the only platform using hashtags these days. Facebook and Google+ have adopted the feature, making it simpler for users to find content. Add highly searched ones to every post, update, and tweet to make your content more findable.
4) Promote your content heavily through social media and email.
Head to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and any other social channel where you can find your audience and schedule your blog content for the short and long term. The second you publish an article, share it immediately on the social platforms. However, you also need to schedule your posts over the next several weeks so your content is a constant presence on your audience’s social feeds. Your scheduling options are many: Buffer, Hootsuite, SocialOomph — each allows you to schedule your social media promotion months in advance.
Another way to spread word of your blog content on social is through social sharing buttons. Add widgets to our site so these buttons will show each major social medium next to your blog posts, making it simple for visitors to share your content with their networks. Include share counters to show how many times your posts have been shared for social proof, if possible.
Send email blasts to your leads weekly including the most recent and relevant content from your blog. Over time, you can curate lists of similar posts from previous weeks and months into emails to re-use content to different lead segments.
5) Promote your posts through other effective channels.
Social media and email are by no means the only promotional options. Other prime ways to market your blog content include online forums, speaking engagements, and community meetups.
Voicing your opinions on forums regularly is a great way to get your name out there and earn trust in the online community. For forum threads on topics related to real estate, occasionally drop in information about your blog or even particular posts you think users may find interesting or helpful. If you’re able to speak in front of others — whether it’s a national real estate conference or a small-town event — incorporate mentions of your blog in your presentation. Creating visual presentations like PowerPoint allows you to inform others with your real estate acumen, but also to promote your real estate website.
6) Build links on others’ sites that lead back to your site.
One of the best ways to get visitors flocking to your real estate website while simultaneously increasing your site’s SEO is to build links. This means getting links that lead back to your site on others’ sites. But you don’t want to build links on just any site. Rather, you need to find those that:
- Are highly searched in Google: Those ranking on the first few pages of search results are ideal.
- Are related to your business and content: Focus on getting links on other real estate–oriented sites.
- Implement strong anchor text: Pick sites with links to relevant, long-tail phrases, like “keys to building relationships with buyers.”
- Aren’t spammy: In other words, avoid misleading links on sites that do nothing but provide links.
Buying links is something many marketers have done in the past, thinking it’ll boost their site’s SEO. In short, it doesn’t. In fact, it hurts your SEO quite a bit. Trading links with other sites you deem a good fit is a better method for link building. You can accomplish this by building relationships with those who run other sites and sharing your content with them regularly via email. Offer to share links to their content in exchange.
7) Guest blog for other sites and secure guest posts for yours.
Technically, this is also a link-building strategy: If you get your blog posts published on another website, whatever links you include in your post linking back to your site will drive traffic and will build SEO. Again, this is possible mainly by developing relationships with the right people. Perform research to identify appropriate sites — reputable ones in your industry or that post content from your industry regularly — and reach out to them. Email them and include samples of your content. Make your case by creating SEO-rich posts that cover relevant news or your expertise on a particular topic. Be sure to write in the voice, tone, and structure their site uses so you can exhibit the ability to write in their style.
On the flip side, getting guest bloggers for your real estate website can also yield significant traffic. Find out who the big influencers and major voices in your field are (perhaps experienced brokers or real estate coaches) and offer to share their blog content through your site. Most guest bloggers want to share their posts with sites that have proven to bring in lots of traffic. Even though you may not have lots of traffic yet, offer select guest contributors a regular spot on your blog. If their posts bring in plenty of traffic, chances are they’ll want to continue providing content for your real estate website.
Download The Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Every Real Estate Professional Needs to schedule your blog posts effectively.
What do you enjoy writing about or plan to write about on your real estate blog? Tell us about your real estate marketing efforts below.
Published on September 12, 2014
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.