photo courtesy of stuckincustoms
A blog can be a great way to dominate your real estate farm (or niche) … if done correctly. In fact, if you are newer to blogging, I recommend creating a niche blog to start … and ease your way into more prolific blogging as you feel more comfortable. Here is post #1 in the “Top 10 Ways to Use Blogging in Real Estate” series:
How to Use Blogging as a Farming Tool
This post goes hand in hand nicely with another post I recently wrote: How to Dominate Your Geographic Niche in under $83 a Month, but will go more in depth on how to utilize the blog element.
- Create a blog specifically for your niche. You could make it a facet of your current blog (if you already have one), but I recommend creating a wholly different one. Why? Well, when people go to/find your new niche blog, it will show that you are the real expert in that area and not just “one of many” area that you service. Also, you can link to and from your current website(s) and/or blog(s) to your new niche blog – helping (even just a little bit) the SEO of all of your sites.
- WordPress.com is a great place to get and start a free niche blog. (Check out this pretty nifty and highly comprehensive post on setting up a blog– scroll about halfway down the page to 4b for a great how-to on WordPress.com)
- Choose a template that has a customizable header. My favorite templates are cutline theme and misty look. Check the parameter for the customizable header and upload a picture of your niche/farm as the header image.
- Examples of niche/farm blogs: Greenhaven Real Estate & Westbrook Village Real Estate.
- Get an appropriate domain for your new name. The smaller the niche, the better names you can get. Start by just pointing the name to your new site, but eventually spend the few bucks to replace the [area].wordpress.com with your new and special domain name in the address bar. Some ideas for domain names could be:
- Set up a custom IDX search for your niche/farm. Whomever you use as an IDX provider (WolfNet, 1ParkPlace, dsSearchAgent, etc. …) can help you build a custom search for your niche. Take that search and spam your site with that link. Yes. I said “spam” … But, it is okay, because it is your site. See, I want that “search for homes” available the minute someone decides they may want to search for homes. Call me weird (and trust me, I know that most of you do anyway…) but giving consumers what they want, when they want it just seems like a darn good idea.
Where should you put this IDX search?
- As a page on the top/side of the blog
- As a link on the sidebar
- At the end of each post
- Inside each post whenever appropriate
- Post niche-specific posts 2x-4x a month. See? I am not asking you to quit your day job to maintain a blog. I am just suggesting that you replace a fraction of your pointlessly-surfing-the-internet-in-the-middle-of-the-night with productive niche blogging. Some ideas on what to write about include, but are not limited to:
- Market reports (active, pending, sold and DOM data)
- Neighborhood events (garage sales, BBQ’s …) (example)
- HOA guidelines and meeting minutes
- Happenings immediately surrounding the area (parades, new schools, etc…) (example)
- Local business information. – You could showcase home based businesses in your niche.
- Featured homes for sale (preferably with the Listing Agent’s permission … which most will happily give if you preface it with, “May I feature your fine listing on the [area] website?”) (example)
- Advertise and promote your niche blog. Don’t be a secret agent niche blogger. Promote this blog in all the marketing materials that you send out to your blog … and even in your other marketing materials.
- Physically TELL people about it when you are talking to the people in youe niche. This would be a good argument for making sure you get a remember-able domain name.
- When you have a listing in the neighborhood add the new niche blog site to your sign riders and/or your flyers.
- Make a custom business card that you send out to your niche area.
- Add links to this niche blog on your other websites and blogs, and link to it whenever your write something about that area in your other blogs (if you have one).
This is just ONE way to use blogging in real estate. But, in my opinion, it is a relatively easy way to incorporate blogging into your business plan, and a great place to start.
If this is something that you are already doing, I would LOVE to hear how YOU are using a blog as a farm/niche tool.