25 January 2011

Blog Traffic: 5 Insider Tips Your Competition Doesn’t Want You to Know

Everyone in real estate is talking about blogging. You may have heard stories ranging from “untold riches” to “never getting enough leads” as a result of blogging.  While both stories have merit, the truth is you can build the world’s best real estate blog but if no one is reading, it’ll be a fruitless endeavor.

Your successful competition knows this. Here’s what they’re likely doing and don’t want you to know about getting more blog traffic:

Get noticed in the “real world”

If you knew every local newspaper reporter in town and were known as the local real estate market expert, how likely would you be to get interviewed about the market? Other real estate related articles?

Insider Tip: Reach out to your local newspaper reporters who frequently write feature articles and/or real estate pieces and ask to send them free market reports.

If you really want to go above and beyond (highly recommend it) don’t just use MLS reports. Write a half to one page summary of the report and attach it to each report personalized with the reporter’s name.

Get to know the competition

You may be working in the same market but you will be surprised to see the camaraderie that exists between local real estate bloggers versus the masses (agents without blogs.)

Insider Tip: Offer to write free blog posts about the local area on your fellow agent blogger’s blog in exchange for a link back to your website.

Not only will you get a link back to your website (which looks like a vote of confidence in the eyes of search engines) but you’ll be helping the other agent by keeping their blog updated.

Release a free “tell-all” eBook about your market

“Tell-all” is a sexy word. It’s just brimming with tabloid possibilities. Create an eBook about the local area including favorite restaurants, things to do and a commuter guide.

Use the intriguing power of tabloid-like headlines to name all of your eBook chapters and offer it for free on your blog.

Example: “Top 5 New Jersey Restaurants Chefs Love”

Insider Tip: eBooks do not require an entire editorial staff and designer to create. Use Microsoft Word or Apple Pages on your computer and write your eBook. When ready, save the file as a PDF file and add it to your website.

Hold a contest on your blog

Who can resist a chance to win something for free?

Example: If your local town is known for its local grape festival, hold a contest for most beautiful grape display photo on your blog with a grand prize trip for two to a local vineyard tour.

Insider Tip: Holding contests can be expensive so consider partnering up with another local business who would be willing to do the service for free in exchange for contest exposure.

As an example, you could create a contest on “most cluttered room” photos with the grand prize winner receiving a free home staging consultation with a local stager.

Share “a day in the life” on your blog

The first four insider tips are all about getting traffic to your blog. The next step is to intrigue them enough to come back again by revealing what really happens behind the scenes in real estate.

Example: Jay Thompson of PhoenixRealEstateGuy.com does a great job of sharing “a day in the life” on his blog.

Insider Tip: Using catchy headlines will intrigue people enough to read each post but you can take it a step further by using video. Videos on things you find during a home inspection or staging are always of interest to website visitors.

What tips and tricks would you share with an agent new to real estate blogging?

8 thoughts on “Blog Traffic: 5 Insider Tips Your Competition Doesn’t Want You to Know

  1. Photo blog! Use your camera phone to photograph anything remotely relevant to your blog, blast it off to Flickr, and then use Flickr's "blog this" feature to post it to your blog, nicely formatted with whatever text you enter. It makes it easy to post when you have writer's (or curator's) block, and it's a great way to incorporate long-tail keywords into your blog.

      1. @Daria – Great advice, thank you for sharing it! I picked up an iPhone 4 recently and am always amazed at the picture quality for a cell phone camera.

        @Ben – Haven't tried Posterous yet. Favorite feature? Recommendations for someone just getting started with the service?

        1. I've been using Posterous for awhile now, mainly for photo sharing. It is very similar to Tumblr from what I can tell. The ease of just being able to email a photo from my Android and have it shared with Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Flickr or many other services is amazing.

          1. @Ben – I may have to sign up and give it a shot. I have a Tumblr account that is collecting dust but Posterous may be different. The ease of use sounds great, look forward to trying it out!

  2. Here are a few on my personal list

    1.) Respond to every comment with an authentic genuine response and if possible spark a conversation.

    Example in this post, instead of saying well thanks guys you engaged the commenter in a discussion.

    People love that, I love that when it goes beyond the blog post and more into a 2 way street.

    2.) Write about your city – events going on, interesting places and so forth. Not the 365 things to do in your city because that has been over used already just like "Million Dollar Producer. Instead create something like " The guide to living in LA" or just something catchy yet don't make it seem spammy.

    3.) Videos – Blogging is great but when you do videos to compliment your blog it really deliver your message/points alot more deeply into your reader.

    Example – Tom Ferry RE coach has a video blogging email series that he does and while his content is great in just writing, in video you can really feel his passion,energy and it just moves you more then a blog post.

    4.) Speak about other topics out side of real estaten that interest you. My personal rules are to never blog about politics,religion,tv shows or anything violent. Something I would blog about is if I lived in Seattle I would make a blog post with pictures of me hitting the slopes and my experience at so and so location.

    5.) Actually blog, if you don't blog then any following you might have worked for or are looking to get will never exist or die.

    So there is my post.

    1. Hey CF, good to see you here! 🙂

      Agree on all points! "#2 – Write About Your City" is one of the key ways to build a web presence in your local area but the idea is definitely in need of a new title. It's amazing to see how many "365 Things to Do in…" sprung up in the past year. The idea is still fresh, just needs to be repositioned.

      Wendy Forsythe (SVP, Network Services for BHGRE) once mentioned "What's Happening This Weekend in Los Angeles" as a good alternative that still accomplishes the same goal but with a different angle.

      #4 – Topics outside of real estate — I believe one of the biggest challenges when blogging is choosing topics that are still relevant to your blog. You created a great example of a topic outside of real estate that is still relevant to your blog when you talked about reviewing your experience at a local ski resort.

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