In March’s Marketing and Branding Month, we’ll go deep on agent branding and best practices for spending with Zillow, Realtor.com and more. Top CMOs of leading firms drop by to share their newest tactics, too. And to top off this theme month, Inman is debuting a brand new set of awards for branding and marketing leaders in the industry called Marketing All-Stars.
Developing a content plan for your real estate business means optimizing a host of online and real-world platforms. In our Content Marketing Game Plan, we bring you the rules to use to generate five different types of foundational content: your website, bio, blog, PR and self-published book.
As you’re growing your influence and your online footprint, you need to create ongoing, ever-evolving content. The written core of your content marketing strategy should be an SEO-optimized blog, produced on a consistent basis.
Writing a blog pays dividends both in the short term and long term and provides the foundation for all of your other content. Here’s how to create a blog that makes you look good to potential clients and referral partners.
Where are you in your career?
The purpose of your blog depends, in part, on where you are in your career.
If you’re a new agent, your blog offers a way to build your credibility and your professional reputation. While you may not have a huge amount of real estate experience under your belt, you can write about many of the things you learned in your licensure class, including types of ownership structures, contract elements and basic insights into your market.
In addition, if you came to real estate from another professional background, you can use those insights to add depth to your blog.
For example, if you were previously a financial professional, you can talk about how the financing and approval processes work in a real estate transaction. If you were a contractor, you can talk about home maintenance, repairs, home inspections and the construction process.
Once you’ve grown your business, you will have more experiences and insights to offer your readers. Your commentary on the market and the economy will have more depth, and you’ll be familiar with unusual challenges that come up during the purchase or sale process.
When you’re a market-leading agent, team leader or broker, you will have the opportunity to speak to big-picture industry topics as well as niches like investment or luxury. You may become a thought leader in the industry, with content directed toward newer agents and other real estate professionals.
How will you use your blog?
There are plenty of places to use your blog and a variety of purposes. Here are some of the possibilities.
On your website
One of the main places you’ll want to use your blog is on your website. Consistent, ongoing blog content added over time will help to build your search engine ranking and build your brand’s authority.
Keep in mind that if you’re creating other types of content, you can repurpose it as blog content. For example, transcripts of your videos can be organized and turned into blog content. A podcast interview can have a second life as a Q&A blog post.
On your social media platforms
Struggling to decide what to share on your social media platforms? Your blog post is a natural item to promote, helping you to drive traffic from your social media channels to your website and other content. Instead of being just another face in the crowd, your blog allows you to position yourself as a true expert.
In your marketing collateral
If you’re developing a newsletter or other email marketing to send out to your sphere of influence, make your blog the centerpiece. If you’re developing direct mail items for your geographic farm, use the talking points from your latest blog.
Have a great blog post on the listing process? Use it to create a printed flyer and include it in your listing presentation folder.
Through additional content channels
Never run out of ideas for your video content or podcast episodes. Create long-form videos based on whole blog posts and short-form videos — suitable for TikTok or Reels — around individual talking points from your blog posts.
What should you include in your blog?
There are plenty of different directions to take when you’re conceptualizing your blog. Here are a few things to include in your real estate blog:
- Evergreen content that rarely changes and describes basic information about real estate for your reader
- Timely content about current events, market conditions and your local community
- Q&As with lenders, home inspectors, appraisers, title company representatives
- Q&As with local business and civic leaders
- Information about the local school system
- Information about local charities and your work with them
- Information about upcoming events in your area
- Monthly home maintenance checklists
- Longform content (approximately 2,000 words) providing the “ultimate guide” to frequently asked questions or frequently requested topics
- Highly specific information regarding market niches
What else should you know about real estate blogging?
Here are some of the nuts-and-bolts items to keep in mind as you’re developing your blog:
- A standard blog post should range from 750 to 1,000 words with long-form posts at or exceeding 2,000 words.
- Consider a pillar post format with long-form articles followed by shorter standard articles based on each of the subheads in the associated long-form.
- Keep track of questions that you get in person, online and at client meetings. Use these to generate blog topics and titles.
- Looking up something you’re not sure about? Use your research to create a blog on the topic.
- Accompany the blog post with a header image from a royalty-free site like Unsplash or Pixabay.
- Use Canva to turn the talking points of your blog into an infographic or graphic takeaway quote that you can share on social media.
- Use ChatGPT to generate ideas for blog posts or to create elements like titles and search-engine-optimized outlines.
- Identify keywords and key phrases you want to rank for in online searches, and use them in the title, subheads and meta descriptions of your blog posts.
- Determine whether you can commit to a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly pace. Release your blog posts on a consistent schedule at approximately the same time on the same day.
- Embed related videos or podcast episodes within your blog posts. Link within the text of your blog posts to related posts both within your blog and on outside sources. This is good for SEO.
- Once your blog gains traction, you’ll have offers from other bloggers looking to use your platform to promote their content through guest posts. Avoid this, but consider reaching out to valued colleagues for guest posts or Q&As to keep the conversation going.
If you want to develop your voice, you have to use it. Put your narrative voice to work in a blog, and use it to build your credibility and gain traction as a thought leader.
Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.