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Top 10 Ways to Use Blogging in Real Estate: #1 Use Blogging as a Farming/Niche Tool

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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] with your new and special domain name in the address bar. Some ideas for domain names could be:
    • [area]
    • livingin[area]
    • [area]homes
    • [area]life
    • homesin[area]
    • …etc.
  3. 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
  4. 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)
  5. 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.

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Written By

Mariana is a real estate agent and co-owner of the Wagner iTeam with her husband, Derek. She maintains the Colorado Springs Real Estate Connection Blog and is also a real estate technology trainer and coach. Mariana really enjoys helping real estate agents boost their businesses and increase their productivity through effective use of technology. Outside of real estate, blogging and training, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 sons, reading, re-watching Sci-Fi movies and ... long walks on the beach?



  1. Danilo Bogdanovic

    June 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Awesome tips and advice. Just to add to your point about finding a niche…if you don’t know what your “niche” is, ask yourself this, “What am I most experienced in and passionate about?”

    For example, if you work mostly with first time home buyers, focus on things/resources that first time home buyers want and could use. If you focus mainly on condos, go with that. If you know your luxury home market like the back of your hand, run with that.

    Take Candy Lynn who loves horses and focuses on horse properties. Her blog is focused on that and she’s the go-to-source for horse properties in her area.

    Or take Jay Seville who mostly sells condos in Arlington and knows them like no one else. His blog is focused on condos and what’s going on in the condo world. He’s the go-to-source for information on condo real estate in Arlington.

    In addition, if you go with something you know well and are passionate about, that will resonate in your posts and you will have a community before you know it. Plus you’ll have an easier time finding things to write about.

  2. mariana

    June 15, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    danilo – Thank you! Those are excellent examples. Will you please provide links to them?

  3. Susan

    June 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Thanks Mariana, some great ideas. Also, thanks for the link to setting up the worldpress, that I need to learn.

  4. Jim Gatos

    June 15, 2008 at 5:26 pm


    That;s great. I’m assimilating all this..

    Very smart advice…


  5. Paula Henry

    June 15, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Mariana –

    Another excellent post! You say spam your site – and I agree! Back when I started blogging and had absolutely no idea what I was doing (am still learning) I posted about the communities and neighborhoods in Avon Indiana.

    Every post on AR, and there must be at least 50, has a link to my IDX solution, with the term, Search all Avon Homes for sale or ” Search homes for sale in (community name)” with the anchor text ” Avon Indiana Real Estate” or “Avon Indiana Homes” or Avon Indiana neighborhoods”.

    For several months now, a direct link to my IDX (wolfnet) has been #4 in Google for Avon Indiana Real Estate. It works! It took about six months to accomplish.

    I can see this being very powerful for individual communities. Thanks for all the great links. I am starting a new community blog and appreciate the tutorial.

  6. mariana

    June 15, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    jim – I hope you find this series useful for you and your blog.

    paula – That is very cool! I love to hear stories like that!

  7. Danilo Bogdanovic

    June 15, 2008 at 7:56 pm


    Sorry I didn’t initially put the links up. Here you go:

    Candy’s blog –

    Jay’s blog –

  8. Faina Sechzer

    June 15, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Great, specific and practical advice. My new blog (in addition to AR) is only 6 weeks, but as soon as it gets some traction I would like to set a community blog site as well.

  9. Brad Coy

    June 16, 2008 at 1:36 am

    @mizzle … been meaning to try and catch you on twitter to say thank a bunch for all the GREAT articles you’ve been posting. Much obliged! 🙂

  10. Bobby Carroll

    June 16, 2008 at 5:49 am

    Mariana – Excellent post. I would take issue with one really small point of yours. Posting featured listings just to have the listing in a post is a missed opportunity. Why not add a featured listing in your post in this manner. Say you have a market report for your niche (or in this case a “farm community”) and you post the market report. Why not refer to a “featured listing” you have in that community that serves as an excellent example of the homes buyers would find there with typical features, architecture, amenities and price point in your niche market report using your featured listing as a “Poster Child” for the area.

    If you still desire to post featured listing advertisements, ask yourself these questions. How many site visitors reading your post at that moment will be in the market for a home with the desired characteristics of your featured listing? How many reading your post at that exact moment will be in the market for a home in that price point and with those exact desired features in that particular neighborhood? I could go on and on. I’m all for target marketing and post on its virtues often. If the post is nothing more than a “featured listing advertisement”, it’s probably targeting too small of an audience. To me, (IMHO) there are better ways to use your posts then to simply use it for a featured listing advertisement.

  11. Mariana Wagner

    June 16, 2008 at 6:48 am

    Danilo – Awesome! I figure the more great examples we can put together, the better!

    Fiana – Good luck with your blog! This whole series is designed to be very step-by-step.

    Brad – Thanks!!

  12. Mariana Wagner

    June 16, 2008 at 6:49 am

    Susan – There are a few really good WP how-to sites out there. That one just looked the most comprehensive.

  13. Holly White

    June 16, 2008 at 7:58 am

    I have been so concentrated on using my website to capture buyers that I had left alot on the table when it comes to sellers. This is a fantastic way to get more listings!!!

    Be sure and include condo developments as well. They can be as much like a neighborhood as single family living. And farming them might be even easier on the feet!

    We had only been blogging about neighborhoods and condo developments within the main site, but generating neighborhood specific sites and linking them back to the main site is much more targeted and marketable. This type of marketing will truly make us experts in our neighborhoods and condo developments.

  14. Jim Gatos

    June 16, 2008 at 10:48 am


    Well.. want to ask you to look at my new free site (why I went free is in my latest post on that site) and ask you if is okay or should it be something else? Now is the best time for me to know because I don’t want to copy and paste a LOT of posts..

    Thanks for any help you can give

  15. Ken Smith in Chicago

    June 16, 2008 at 10:50 am

    To help increase exposure I think that you should stay away from domains with real estate or homes in them. Naturally you want to showcase what you do, but people do not share links with their friends and family of commercial sites nearly as often as non commercial sites. If you can find the correct balance between selling yourself and providing community information this can be powerful.

  16. Jim Gatos

    June 16, 2008 at 11:05 am

    The reasons I went from a paid hosting account to a free WordPress account will be on my site hopefully by tonight; I have an emergency to take care of now. Let me say I wasn’t looking to save money; I even tried Typepad for a couple of hours yesterday. They have just online support and even though they have multiple blogs the way they do domains is not to my liking. God I wish they had a tech support number..

  17. Ken Smith

    June 16, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    Jim I would stay away from as your blog. This isn’t easy to tell someone about and people will not pass it along. You used YourName.wordpress which if you are attempting at a hyper local blog is the wrong approach. It doesn’t make me instantly know what you are talking about on the blog.

  18. Mariana Wagner

    June 16, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Holly – Good luck! The condo ideas is excellent…

    Jim – For now, I think that is a fine domain name. But I would change it to a non as soon as you can. It costs about $10 for a domain name and $10 to make that new domain name be the address.

    Ken – I definitely agree with the domain, but we are talking baby steps … First, people need to get the blog set up, and then tweak it to make it more personal/professional.

    I do, however, disagree with the no-real-estate-in-the-title. I want people to know they can go there a.) for all the real estate info on their area, and then b.) other area information. I guess it has to do with your overall intent. I am a real estate agent first, and a community reporter second.

  19. Bob

    June 16, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Mariana, Ken has valid points about the non-wp domain and not having real estate in the domain.

    This is business – do it right the first time. Baby steps are for babies, not someone running a business.

    I do, however, disagree with the no-real-estate-in-the-title. I want people to know they can go there a.) for all the real estate info on their area, and then b.) other area information.

    They are only going to go there if they can find it. get it ranked in the top 3 spots and the domain name doesn’t matter.

  20. Jay Thompson

    June 16, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    They are only going to go there if they can find it. get it ranked in the top 3 spots and the domain name doesn’t matter.

    That’s true. But, branding is important. And the right domain name can, in and of itself, become a brand. If it’s easy for people to remember, and if they can associate it with what you do, that can become a very powerful wrench in the toolbox.

    I wouldn’t trade “Phoenix Real Estate Guy” for anything. (well, not anything, but it would take a LOT for me to give it up.)

  21. Mariana Wagner

    June 16, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Bob – I agree … to a point … (but like Jay said) if you are doing more than just SEO then the name does matter. I want something memorable and relevant.

    Jay – Thank you.

  22. Jim Gatos

    June 16, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    Mariana, I already have the blog forwarding to and Sorry I did not say that before…

    I made a post of my own “blogging” dilemma and here is the link. If anyone would like to read and comment I’d appreciate it. I also tried to make it humorous…

    Here it is..

  23. Ken Smith

    June 16, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Mariana I have no interest in being a reporter for all local content, but I want people to be willing to share the domain with as many people as possible. This requires a semi stealth approach with a lot of non real estate local content. You can have a link to your Home Search in very prominent locations and link to your main website when it makes sense, but remember that web users are becoming more sophisticated. If they smell a sales pitch website they will not add you to their RSS feeder, they will not pass along the address to friends and family, and they will not return.

    You have one opportunity to make a first impression and if you just want to be “another real estate site” then label it as such with the URL. If you want to be a source of information about the community and build some real relationships then you need to move past keyword stuffed domains.

    These hyper local blogs are just an online form of networking. It isn’t about shoving your real estate card down everyones throats, it’s about building long term relationships. You can become the authority about your neighborhood, but only if you can get the people to keep wanting to hear what you have to say.

    IMO the best marketing is marketing that sells without the person realizing they are being sold.

  24. Ken Smith

    June 16, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    @ Jim – No matter what issues you had with the hosted version you have just taken a step backwards IMO. If you are comfortable with that then you might as well just blog on Active Rain or REW and call it a day. Personally I would rather pay someone a few bucks to take care of any upgrade issues and have my own domain, but to each their own. Also nothing says you must upgrade each time WP decides to put out an “upgrade”.

  25. Jim Gatos

    June 16, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    Activerain? I don’t think so.. I signed up with them a looonnnggg time ago and then I canceled my membership. Not my cup of tea.

    I am trying Typepad again. I see Theresa Boardman and a couple of others using it. Expensive but seems to be a “business blog”.. Sent Theresa an email but haven’t heard back. Hopefully this time I’ll get Typepad working the way I want to.. Something’s amiss..


  26. Jay Thompson

    June 16, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    Jim – Ask Jim Cronin at the Real Estate Tomato about using Typepad. He’s said several times he wishes he’d gone with WordPress.

    Self-hosted WordPress is used by hundreds of thousands of blogs every day. You should be able to get help with any problems you have (give me a call, I’ll give it a shot)

    I agree with Ken 100%, there is no need to upgrade WP with every revision. They are usually very minor updates that will have no impact on how you run your blog. (there are also new plugins available for easier upgrading).

    Forwarding domains is rarely a good option for optimal SEO. You’ve got a huge head start on WP, lets just get your WP issue fixed and then you can move on!

  27. Bob

    June 16, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    I understand the branding issues as well as the SEO. IMO, and based on my experience, branding for an agent real estate web site is over-rated. I developed I owned pretty much whatever serps I wanted since Google came on the scene. I got a USPTO trademark on the primary registry. After getting an offer i couldn’t refuse, I sold it a year ago. It was one of the top 100 domain sales worldwide. I picked up another far less memorable domain and within 3 months I had most of my rankings and traffic back. The traffic from “branding” that generates business in the real estate space is negligible.

    With blogs, branding may help with some traffic, but you can get same or better ROI with anything as long as you have search engine exposure.

  28. Jim Gatos

    June 16, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    I read Jim’s blog and I remember him saying that. I have 14 days to try Typepad out…I was a self hosted blog for a long while, I’ll just try it out like that for now.. See what happens..


  29. Jim Duncan

    June 17, 2008 at 5:52 am

    Jim –

    Check out Benn’s awesome tutorial on how to do a WordPress post; one of the best things about WP has been the community that is willing (and able) to help.

  30. Jim Gatos

    June 17, 2008 at 6:25 am

    Agreed and thank you. However, over the weekend I made a long list of “distractions to good blogging…” LOL..
    One of them that kept hitting me in the face was :fixing blog code” and so on and so forth.. It will be interesting to see what I decide but I have the 14 day trial and I’ll use as much of it as I deem okay.. Won’t hurt…

  31. Mariana Wagner

    June 17, 2008 at 8:13 am

    Ken – I completely respect what you are saying and agree. Ultimately, it is a balance that each agent must find for themselves, and how they approach their business. My site is WAY more popular in my area than my site … and I advertise them exactly the same way.

    Jim – THANK you for the link to Benn’s tutorial. 🙂

  32. mariana

    June 17, 2008 at 9:01 am

    I recently combined both my greenhaven sites … making my image more cohesive & making everything easier.

  33. Jim Gatos

    June 17, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Update on my dilemna … Typepad makes it very hard to have a multilple author blog and for the cost, I am looking into WordPress again, externallly hosted. If I can find a multi site host with good service and at least two blogs I will get that. Under $10 a month..

  34. Ken Smith

    June 17, 2008 at 10:53 am

    Jim try, know people that use them for multiple blogs.

    Mariana there is never just one way to do something. As long as it’s working for you then keep going with it.

  35. Jim Duncan

    June 17, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Jim – I use and, despite my occasional complaints, they do fairly right by me. And – AG uses them as well – how could they be wrong? 🙂

  36. Jim Gatos

    June 17, 2008 at 11:52 am


    I can’t stand Bluehost, especially their CEO or whatever he is, Matt Heaton. I had a couple of heated exchanges and he NEVER offered to help me, all he did was try to blow me off and his attitude towards customers is VERY bad. I just signed up with HostRocket. If I can’t easily use two blogs on HostRocket, I am NOT going to simply go back to the free sites (with paid upgrades).. I cannot become “Mr. PropellerHead…). This is becoming so time consuming it’s ridiculous. Also, I see using the free WordPress version and I see others too. Just because the basic version is free doesn’t necessarily mean a step down.

  37. Benn Rosales

    June 17, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Hey, we all have unique experiences with various businesses, I say go where you want, but I do suggest looking to for suggestions on preferred vendors. The reason this is so important is because these vendors will have updates prepared for upcoming releases of WordPress as well as upgrades to necessary to the mySQL database in most cases.

    I have an alternative hosting company I use for other projects that is so far behind in updates that they have nearly obsoleted themselves in the use of WordPress or any other blogging platform.

    We have a pretty good relationship with bluehost, but as a flatfee hosting company, they offer a lot for very little.

  38. Jim Gatos

    June 17, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    Thank you to all,, I changed hosting providers and I’m definately happier at this point. Now with HostTRocket.
    Over the next day or so I will create my brand new blog plus a specialty blog. I want to come up with a better name than Too long and even I get confused in spelling that one LOL..

    You’re all a bunch of true professionals.. I really appreciate all your help,

  39. Holli Boyd

    July 15, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Mariana – just want to say thanks for this article and the many others you and the genius’s add to the forum – just got a request for a cma and when i asked how she heard about me she wrote:

    “The website was found by accident, I was searching for something else – (the breeder that we bought our basset hound from who lives in Averill Park), but I also happen to be looking to sell my house so I took a look at the website and was impressed.”

    It works!!

  40. Hernando County Real Estate

    July 15, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    I have set up a community site for a subdivison in Hernando County Florida. The site has what is active on the market and what has sold in the past. This is the main page the neighborhood uses to find out whats available.

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