Property-search site Realtor.com today launched a free blogging platform for Realtors called Featured Blog that can be viewed as a standalone Web site page or within a personal Web site.

Realtors can visit http://www.featuredblogsignup.com to register for a Featured Blog. The site requires a Realtor membership number.

Realtor.com staff will pick blog posts from Featured Blog participants and highlight them in a “Let’s Talk Real Estate!” section of Realtor.com.

The new features “give Realtors another way to have direct dialogue with consumers who have questions about market trends, a neighborhood, or even local community events,” said Errol Samuelson, Realtor.com president, in a statement. “Through these no-cost real estate blogs, Realtors can share their knowledge, build relationships, and expand their overall referral network while talking about their favorite subject — real estate.”

The Realtor blogging tools are designed with search-engine-optimization features, Samuelson said, “to increase the odds that a post will get picked up by major search engines and receive a higher placement,” says Samuelson. “This means Realtors that keep their posts fresh, relevant and interesting have a better chance of attracting interest and driving traffic to their sites without the marketing costs associated with keyword purchases or pay-per-click.”

The blog-creation tools are also designed for nontechnical users who aren’t familiar with HTML coding, according to the announcement. Featured Blog pages can be branded with an agent’s or broker’s contact information, photos, links, logos and banner image. Only those visitor comments that are approved by the blog owner will be visible to the public, according to the announcement.

Realtor.com is also offering videos at http://www.featuredbloghelp.com to assist Realtors who are new to blogging.

Realtor.com is operated by Move Inc. through a contract with the National Association of Realtors trade group.

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