Earlier this month I launched a membership forum called the 21 Days of Real Estate aimed at helping REALTORS® understand the business use of having a blog to serve as a marketing engine and a listing publication tool. Along the way, some REALTORS® had their own blog while others didn’t so we’ve been working on setting up new sites on wordpress and tweaking/improving others. As we’ve done this, here are some technical observations that I’ve made and my suggestions to you for how to improve your own blog.
Some Basic Steps:
- Focus on writing better headlines. Copyblogger has some great advice on how to do this: http://www.copyblogger.com/magnetic-headlines. A good headline serves a dual purpose: 1.) attracting readers, 2.) great for SEO. Think about it, pick up a magazine or the newspaper… Something they all have in common are great magnetic headlines. For more on headlines, read: http://www.ribeeziemedia.com/2010/07/interview-with-real-estate-blogger-irina-netchaev.
- Break up your paragraphs or consider series posts. We live in an age of information overload and short attention spans. If your articles are too long-winded, you run the risk of people not reading them at all and skimming through them instead. A good rule of thumb is that if your article is a page in length, you should split it up into a series of posts instead. In addition, series posts are generally known as being sticky (they keep readers coming back for more).
- Have an excellent “About” page. The “About” page is going to be one of the most visited pages on your blog. Why? Because people want to know who’s behind the blog or if it’s a company blog, they want to know who’s behind the company. Here’s what you should include in your About page:
- A good photo – if you don’t have a professional photo, you should get one. If you’re shy, try not to be. The benefit of showcasing a good photo is that you let strangers connect with you quicker and easier. This is especially good if you’re trying to sell something through your blog. If it’s just for hobby, then don’t worry about it.
- Background information -as it relates to your knowledge and expertise. If you’re a REALTOR® with tons of achievements, no need to be shy, include them on your About page. See Dan R. Keating’s credentials: http://www.danrkeating.com/credentials. Then, if you want to get casual and talk about your fun side, that’s ok too.
- Answer comments and emails frequently and often. It’s rare that someone will comment on a real estate blog. So when they do, make sure you give them the appropriate attention they deserve for stopping by to do so. A simple thank you email or reply is a great way of saying thank you and ensuring that you’ve just earned yourself a new subscriber. And when someone sends you an email through your contact form, chances are that they’re “shopping” and business is going to go to the person who responds to that email first. So keep in mind that you’re running against the clock and make it a habit to responds to emails quickly and often.
- Make yourself easily accessible. I can’t begin to tell you how many real estate websites I’ve seen that don’t have a phone number listed on them. THIS IS A MISTAKE. Think about it, if you have a question about something or a specific property, would you bother to try and find more information on this agent or are you going to go to someone else who DOES have information available…someone who’s accessible. Your contact information should be readily displayed and accessible on your Home page. At the very least, you should have a Google Voice number. Read: http://www.ribeeziemedia.com/2010/07/how-to-add-a-google-voice-widget.
What Else Would You Add:
What else would you add to this list as a tip for improving your blog? What have you seen on other sites that don’t seem to work very well? How have you improved your own blog by making changes?
PHOTO CREDIT: kevindooley