• You can set up your own blog with WordPress and other content management systems.
  • Of course you'll want to write about "hard" real estate topics, but you also can branch out to include a variety of themes related to life and living in the communities you serve.
  • How often should you post? There's no definite answer, but here's a good one: post as often as you can.

Blogging is definitely the wave of the present, so it’s surprising how many agents let this marketing opportunity slip away without properly exploiting it. Done right, blogging can open you up to more business, more leads and more name-recognition.

If you’ve never done a blog, here are some things to help you do it right. (If you already have a blog but it’s dead in the water, read on.)

1. Platform

Assuming you plan to post your own articles and personally manage your blog site, my advice is to go with WordPress or a similar content management system (CMS). Doing it yourself isn’t all that difficult, and you’ll feel better knowing you have total control.

2. The point of a blog

Whether a blog is part of a main website or an entity unto itself, there are only two possible purposes for it:

  • To give people a place to go to read about real estate topics.
  • To draw potential clients and other people of interest through your articles and then send them to your primary website to make believers out of them.

You’ll have a much more profitable time of it by focusing on purpose number two.

3. Topics and themes

As an agent, you likely have plenty of useful information about your market that people would be interested in. Of course you’ll want to write about “hard” real estate topics — price trends, inventory trajectories, speed of sales, interest rates — but you also can branch out to include a variety of themes related to life and living in the communities you serve.

My blog, for example, contains diverse article categories such as:

  • Around the house
  • Communities
  • In the news
  • Local events and attractions
  • Outdoor living
  • Relocating to Silicon Valley
  • Silicon Valley real estate
  • Silicon Valley schools

4. SEO for blogs

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a critical element for a successful blog. If the whole idea of SEO confuses you, you’ll be glad to know that help is available. Yoast.com provides an excellent WordPress SEO plugin tool that’s free (there’s also a paid version), and it will guide you through many important tasks in optimizing each post you write for the best search engine exposure.

Yoast and other similar plugins help you with keywords and keyword density within the text of a post, creating optimized title tags and meta descriptions, optimizing photos, videos and graphics, and more.

5. Frequency

How often should you post? This is a common question when a person is contemplating launching a blog site. There’s no definite answer, but here’s a good one: post as often as you can.

Google and other search engines tend to pay more attention to sites where new content appears on a regular basis. Aim for one or two posts per week, minimum. If you can do eight per week, do eight.

Obviously there’s more to the whole blogging process than these basic steps. But as you familiarize yourself with your new online environment and use the Internet to more fully research blogging philosophies, you just might become a real expert blogger in a short amount of time.

Hadar Guibara is a Realtor with Sereno Group of Palo Alto, California. Her blog site is SiliconValleyHomesAndLiving.com.

Email Hadar Guibara.

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