Business Blogging 101
Blogging is a great way for real estate agents — and really, any business owners — to attract new clients and customers.
But, you can’t throw up a blog every few months and expect to see results. A successful blog is the result of knowledge and commitment.
Here are eight ways to make your blog a must-read destination.
1. Create unique content
If your website has the same content as 10,000 other blogs, why and how will readers come to you? The trick is to find a content niche and unique voice that distinguish your blog from others in your field.
And even though the aim is to sell your services or products, don’t crowd your blog with your goods, achievements, and why you’re the best at what you do. It sounds like bragging, and readers don’t like it.
Instead, provide educational, data-driven, and provocative information. Readers will be grateful, return to your site over and over, and share information you provide.
2. More is more
The more you blog, the more successful your blog will be. A HubSpot study of almost 14,000 customers showed that companies that publish 16 or more posts per month attract almost 3.5 times more traffic than companies that publish up to four posts monthly.
The more a company posts, the more leads the blogs generate, HubSpot says. The tipping point, statistically, is about 400 posts; companies that published more than 400 total blog posts received 3 times more leads than companies that produced up to 100 posts.
And don’t post skimpy blogs. The average length of a blog in 2017 was 1,142 words, HubSpot says.
3. Understand SEO
It’s all about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). All the major search engines, led by Google, use algorithms that rank website content — presumably by factors that make that content more or less valuable to users. Those ranks determine where on the search page your business or product shows up. Higher on the first page is better.
SEO professionals spend their careers trying to figure out what Google wants. Links to outside websites? Links within your own website? Long stories? Short stories? And, as soon as they figure out what Google values, the search engine is likely to change.
You can hire an SEO professional to help you optimize your website, take a class, or study up on your own. The better you understand SEO, the more successful your blog will be.
4. Become a social creature
Social media is a blogger’s best friend, a free way to spread content and win over users. In the blogging world, it’s called “an amplification strategy,” which includes using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to sidestep search engines and promote your content for free.
To get the most out of social media, make sure you display your social media icons prominently on your site, which makes it easy for someone to follow and share your posts and tweets.
Also, don’t just use social media to promote your blog. Share great content and videos you stumble upon on social media, a generous way to attract new followers who will, in return, follow you and “like” your content.
5. Encourage engagement
A great thing about internet blogging is that it enables a conversation between writer and reader, creating a community of (hopefully) loyal members.
Encourage users to comment on blogs. Ask questions, which commenters can discuss amongst themselves, and ask for opinions and personal experiences. When appropriate, reply to comments, which helps to keep conversations alive. Make sure to keep replies friendly and factual; things can turn dark — fast — when commenters feel attacked or disrespected.
6. Add interesting pictures
Everybody loves a beautiful image and interesting video. In fact, HubSpot says that including multiple images boosts results; videos and audio reports are more successful than just pictures.
7. Always update
Old posts never die; they just become outdated, which affects your credibility as a blogger. Constantly update posts, inserting the latest statistics and most current studies.
8. Share and share alike
The blogo-sphere is a wash-my-hand-and-I’ll-wash-yours kinda place. If you share John Smith’s content, he’ll likely share yours.
That means you must read what’s out there, and “like” valuable content.
Another way to attract followers is to ask someone in your sphere to write a guest post — a smart way to bring their followers to your site.
And since the blogging world is rooted in reciprocity, don’t turn down bloggers who ask you to provide guest copy for their site.
If you find yourself stressed with the added pressures of blogging and bogged down in administrative tasks, consider hiring a virtual assistant to take care of social media and other daily marketing duties.