- Your actions must be rooted in the right strategy so that you are converting leads before they come into your pipeline.
- There is a process that you can go through that makes blogging a breeze. But when you don’t use these tools or understand this process, blogging becomes drudgery.
- Putting out canned content will work against you in a multitude of ways.
- MAS is an acronym for measure, analyze, scale. Always be measuring, analyzing and scaling.
If you want a business that builds know, like and trust relationships before they come into your lead pipeline and eliminate the awkward follow-up calls trying to convince uninterested, unmotivated people that they need you, then you need to blog — but with a caveat: You’ve got to blog with the right strategy.
So today, let’s dive into that strategy — the five essential pillars of a lead-generating real estate blog.
Pillar No. 1: You’ve got to know and implement the right strategy
Not just any strategy: Your actions must be rooted in the right strategy.
Instead of constantly trying to figure out how to convert your incoming leads, you are converting them before they come into your pipeline.
What do I mean? I mean that when you know how to blog strategically, you build know, like and trust relationships with people you’ve never met — so that when they do call or email you, they are connecting with you to schedule an appointment.
They aren’t calling you and requiring you to convince them just to give you their name. They already know you. They already like you. They already trust you. And, they are ready to take action, now.
This isn’t about “hyper-local” blogging. It isn’t about “keyword-rich” blogging.
It’s about having a conversation with your ideal clients and helping them in their (or toward their) journey of homeownership.
This is the strategy. This is the key to blogging in a way that will change your real estate business.
We get so caught up in the minutiae that we miss what’s most important, what is the most powerful, what has the most potential for changing our results.
And with the ever-changing algorithms that Google throws out at us about 500 times a year (let that one sink in for a minute: 500 times a year Google changes its algorithm), you’d think that chasing the algorithm would be the last thing we would be taught. But it’s not.
Instead, we go to CRS (certified residential specialist) classes and are taught how to “steal meta tags” from our competitors and use them on our blogs.
Yes: This is a real — and very recent — example of a well-known trainer teaching a CRS-level blogging class for real estate agents.
This is not a strategy. This is a pathetic grasping in hopes that it will help us get to the closing table with someone.
I’m here to tell you, it won’t get you there. It doesn’t get you there.
The key to blogging in a way that will actually change your real estate business is to blog with a relationship-focused strategy.
Help your prospects on their journey. Be helpful. Be valuable. Be intentional.
It works. All the time. It’s worked for years. It’s just that most bloggers won’t do it.
Most of us would rather throw out canned crap and then hire inside sales agents to try to convert whatever happens to come into our pipeline.
Most of our blogs — if we blog at all — are shallow. You’ve got to stop trying to pump out 500 words and throwing uninteresting, unhelpful junk up on your blog.
Is it any wonder that the general public thinks we are charlatans? That they don’t like us? That they think our commissions are too high? That they don’t see us giving any real value?
It’s because we treat them like a paycheck, especially on our blogs. Get them in our pipeline and pump out the commission checks.
If you want a blog site that will actually convert people before they come into your pipeline, you need to be blogging with this focused strategy.
It changes everything, for you and for your prospects.
Pillar No. 2: We’ve got to stop shirking the prep work
If you’ve ever painted a room before, you quickly learned that the quality of your end results was directly dependent upon how well you did the prep work.
In other words, if you didn’t clean your surfaces well, or with the right products; if you didn’t mask off correctly, or use the right masking tape; if you didn’t lay down painting tarps, or use the right kind of tarps for the type of paint you have — then your results were less than stellar.
In fact, in many cases, you might have created more of a mess that you then had to go back and redo. You’re spending more time and creating more work for yourself.
When you don’t know the right tools to use, the work is overwhelming and often creates a mess.
When you have the right tools to use, and spend the time to understand and use those tools correctly — when you know the right process — painting is pretty darn easy.
It’s exactly the same for blogging.
There are tools that make blogging a whole lot easier, including where you put your blog, how you write your blog posts and how you drive traffic to your blog.
There is a process that you can go through that makes blogging a breeze. But when you don’t use these tools or understand this process, blogging becomes drudgery, and we don’t get the results we want or need to get from it.
We get frozen by what we think is the tech involved with blogging — when in reality, there doesn’t have to be a lot of tech involved. Blogging is for the tech-challenged, the tech geniuses and everyone in between.
You can DIY your blog site, or you can hire it out. Even DIYing doesn’t have to be such a big tech hurdle — but we think it is because the language sounds foreign to us.
We must take the initial time to learn about blogging, to understand blogging and then to prep ourselves for each blog post we produce, understanding that the process gets easier and faster the more we do it.
Pillar No. 3: We’ve got to understand the actual ‘nitty gritty’ of blogging, and then do it
So many real estate agents just want to hire a copywriter, or someone from Fivvr, or join one of those services that sell canned content.
Honestly, it’s better to just not have a blog than to resort to using something that will ruin your reputation and will not bring you closings.
In fact, putting out canned content will work against you. In a multitude of ways.
Think about it: Which articles from your local newspaper or favorite media site do you like reading? The generic AP wire articles, or articles written by someone local and/or an opinion piece?
Which ones do you resonate with the most? The generic AP wire stories or articles written by someone local and/or an opinion piece?
Do you see where I’m going, here? When you publish canned content — or, as I like to call it, “canned crap” — you can expect the same reaction from your traffic.
When your goal is to develop know, like and trust relationships before they call you, you have to put you there. You have to create and nurture that relationship.
Canned crap won’t do that. It can’t do that.
As I always say, you definitely want to outsource tasks, but you never want to outsource the relationship. The strategy.
Writing blog posts is the relationship. It’s the conversation. It’s the nurture. It’s dating.
Do you want a marriage, or do you want to perpetually speed date, never getting to the proposal?
You need to realize that you won’t get to the closing table (the marriage) if you’re throwing out canned crap and expecting traffic to respond to it. They won’t.
And as an added negative bonus, canned crap doesn’t get you anywhere with Google, Bing or Yahoo.
Well, actually, it does get you somewhere: It gets you thrown out of their ranking algorithms. They don’t look kindly on unoriginal, irrelevant, uninteresting canned crap.
The search engines value relationships. They value relevancy. Canned crap is none of these.
Pillar No. 4: Getting traffic isn’t the goal; getting the right traffic is
It is not about traffic. Ever. What it is about is getting the right traffic.
Here’s an example: Sure, you can blog about your listings.
But though that might seem like a good tactic for search engine ranking — and you’ll often hear people touting this strategy because they want to come up in the search engines for the address of the property — in reality, you are spending a whole lot of time and energy on the small things, the minutiae.
You are wasting your time on things that produce minuscule results rather than focusing on what will get you scalable results.
It’s all in the 80-20. Spend 20 percent of your time doing the things that get you 80 percent of your results.
Blogging about each of your real estate listings is doing the opposite. You are spending 80 percent of your time for 20 percent of your potential results — if that!
You are focusing on the transient nature of the listing, rather than focusing on the long-term element of the prospects journey. Blogging your listings is not a great tactic for actually capturing high-quality prospects.
If you keep chasing after tactics, you’ll be stuck with a whole lot of traffic bouncing off your site — and that bouncing traffic is bad bad news. It lowers your search engine ranking and makes your capture conversion rates rather dismal.
In other words, pretty much no one is giving you their contact info. You’re trying to drive traffic to your site that isn’t going to give you a chance to build a know, like and trust relationship with them — traffic that is going to just bounce from search to search because no one is capturing them through conversation, through value, through relationship.
Most people who teach blogging are trying to tell you that to get traffic, it’s important to:
- Write a certain number of words in each blog post
- Or that you have to have very specific keywords included a certain number of times in each post
- Or that you must hyper-local blog to be successful
- Or that you’ve got to focus on your meta tags and your alt tags
- Or that you’ve got to exchange links with other websites
- Or that you must blog every single day
All of these tactics have some small value (maybe), but in the overall grand scheme of things, they are a whole lot of time for a little amount of results.
I’m here to tell you that though these sometimes work for traffic, they don’t work well for driving highly motivated traffic, and they definitely don’t work for conversions.
And let’s face it, trying to cover all of these tactics just holds us back. We become paralyzed because of the expectations placed on the process.
Blogging for keyword traffic isn’t the answer. With the average real estate blog site bounce rate sitting at well over 70 percent and Google telling us that a bounce rate over 40 percent is a colossal failure, you’d think we’d change what we teach and do. But we don’t.
And, let’s face it. Are you really going to blog every single day?
Yeah, I thought so. Neither am I. Nor do I. Nor have I ever — and yet, I am able to build fabulous know, like and trust relationships with people before I’ve ever met them.
I don’t do sales calls. I’ve never need to. I don’t hire inside sales agents. I’ve never needed to.
When you blog with the right strategy, you never have to do those things, either.
Pillar No. 5: Always be MASing
I can hear you now: “What on earth do you mean, Christina?”
Well, MAS is an acronym for measure, analyze, scale. Always be measuring, analyzing and scaling.
When you know what to do and how to do it, it’s easy to measure, analyze and scale. You have a foundation upon which to build, upon which to expand, upon which to bring in more business.
The key questions here are, what do you measure, what do you analyze and how do you scale it?
You want to measure the response to your blog posts — traffic, leads you capture, emails you receive.
You want to analyze what’s working and what isn’t: headlines, capture points, post types.
And you want to scale, to use your posts to bring in more of the right traffic.
This involves post distribution: to the right audience, on the right platforms, at the right times, and it involves post repurposing: using one post to fill many gaps including, Facebook ads, emails, snail mails and in-person handouts.
In other words, blogging is awesome. Blogging with a solid strategy will change your business and your life.
I know this is a struggle for you. That’s why I created a free blogging challenge: Get Your Blog On: A 5-Day Blogging Challenge For Real Estate Agents.
I want to help you get started! Let’s get through that first hurdle and get you blogging!
You can click here to join the free blogging challenge.
Christina Ethridge is the founder of LeadsAndLeverage.com, helping real estate agents capture, convert and close Facebook leads.