When I talk to new or potential clients they always ask the same thing, “why blog and who really does this?”
Blogging is basically a ‘web log’ so put together it makes the word’ blog’. It became an official word in the dictionary about 10 years ago and since then has exploded on the Internet with blogs about cooking and recipes, life experiences, diary inputs, and of course, real estate.
Most of our clients are real estate but no matter what industry you’re in, you can blog about it. You might think, ‘well I just sell something, so how can I blog about it’? But if you sell something you can certainly do a review about it, write how much you love it or why someone else would love it. It’s the content that matters. Google loves content. They love people adding value to the website and to the Internet. If you have something unique to bring to the Internet and people are finding it, sharing it, and commenting on it, it must be of value and therefore Google loves it. Remember, when Google loves something, it’s to going to rank the site higher.
So what do you blog about?
There are literally millions of things to blog about; our client in Panama City Beach California blogs about the local hotels and restaurants, Beth Atalay from the Clermont Florida area blogs about trending real estate news, and Beth and Rich Witt blog about real estate training and consultation. No matter what type of industry you have there’s always something to talk about.
What’s the difference between a blog and a webpage?
A blog is interactive; it is revolving; it bumps down the last blog with the newest one. A webpage is static, meaning it never changes. There’s no interaction, typically no comments, no discussion, and it remains the same. While these are important to have since there are certain topics of your industry that never change such as Bob Soloker’s Louisville real estate community pages or Chris Harrison’s military services in Las Cruces, there are some pages that you want to revolve and rotate with the changing times. If something’s trending this week, it may be bumped down next week when something new happens. Craig Simpson works a blog for where to live in Savannah in which he links back to the main IDX website for buyers and sellers. Dan Rosenfield works a college scholarship website in which he blogs about ways students can find better scholarships, how to take tests, and the basics of getting into university.
Everybody can offer something different because each person has a different perspective even in the same town. Jim Blankenburg and Randy Bocook are both in the Savannah Georgia area but each one handles a little bit different niche. Randy works on homes near Fort Stewart and Jim works more of the Pooler and Savannah real estate area. Dave Grbich is an expert in coastal properties but he specializes in San Juan Capistrano real estate, which is a community within Orange County. Because he focuses so much on this area and a set of other neighborhoods, this is what his website is known for. When you cover a large area you have to focus on specific communities or a specific niche. Djana Morris covers the entire Arlington Virginia and Washington DC area but her niche key phrase is where to live in DC. This phrase has been searched for thousands of times with very little competition so she really dominates that corner of the market. Don Payne manages a brokerage in the Columbus Ohio area and his forte is short sales so he dominates the market with Columbus Ohio short sales. Even if you’re new to the Internet like one of our clients which is Greater NW Realty, and you’re trying to focus on the entire area such as the Puget Sound real estate market, you can get specific with neighborhood and community posts, events, certain types of homes in specific neighborhoods and details on homes such as five bedroom homes in Tacoma, or short sale properties in Seattle.
Marcus Brown is a Real Geeks website user which is a great platform that offers an IDX solution, a website with static pages and a revolving blog. We blog frequently for him about Portland real estate and he’s starting to get over 2500 visitors a month in just six months.
If you choose to blog on another platform this is actually a really good way to link back to your website gaining more traffic and more authority to the site itself. Julie Tuggle does a great job of this; she’s the Charlotte buyers agent and she blogs solely on sites such as ActiveRain. Linda Abraham and Dennis Holland also blog on ActiveRain and a variety of other sources linking back to their main website which is DenLin Properties. Lynn Donn does the same thing for her website which focuses on Nanaimo Homes.
Maureen Fukumoto has a pretty solid site and she focuses on Oahu real estate but instead of a lot of blogging she does specific blogs for all of her listings. She handles more condominiums and townhomes so she’ll do an individual post for each one and optimize it for how many bedrooms it has and where exactly is located (the community or neighborhood).
Peggy Wester is a new blogger and we just set up a WordPress site here recently. She wants to blog specifically about different counties since there’s not a lot of searches for individual towns in her counties. She deals with two specific counties, Ozaukee and Washington, both along the North Shore Wisconsin area. She can specifically direct each one of her blog posts to be about each of those different towns instead of trying to combine it all on the homepage of the website.
If you already have a handle on your market, you will want to keep that handled by continuing to blog about local news, events, but make sure you keep at least 60 to 70% of it about your main focus. People don’t want to know you for other things besides what you actually do. Rob Shepherd is an excellent example; he’s an expert in Florence Oregon real estate and continually blogs about local events, history, news, but also keeps the main focus about real estate. Travis and Amanda Howard operate a brokerage out of Huntsville Alabama and cover the entire area which also includes a couple different counties. So they specifically have community static pages with their listings on those pages but also maintain a blog that talks about local events, news, and real estate information.
Blogs NOT about Real Estate
At Personal SEO we also manage a lot of blogs that are not just about real estate. In this case we have to talk about whatever their main focus of businesses. We manage a paintball and laser tag website for the Springfield Missouri area, we also manage a Davis-Bacon website that talks about prevailing wages and contractor plans, we operate a children’s Bible website for life publishers, which is a great way to talk about children’s devotionals and Bible studies. John Pinto owns a landscaping company in Philadelphia and we talk about composting, gardening, and the many communities and towns surrounding urban Philadelphia.
Food Channel.com is probably one of our largest websites that we manage with thousands of webpages and blogs that talk about recipes, food trends, how-to videos and much more. Perry Silverberg runs a phenomenal company for credit card machines for small businesses, large businesses, kiosks, home businesses and more.
No matter what type of business you have you can always blog about it. Write about it, comment about it, start a discussion or ask questions about it, start an FAQ blog for people can respond back to you. Offer reviews, tips, basically any type of answer that you would give someone if the email to a question. All this type of information adds unique value to your website. More than just regurgitating content from somewhere else, you’re providing clients, customers, and readers with unique information from your perspective and your area.