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Keep your local blog buzzing with amazing content

Focusing your blog on a local or even hyper-local community is all the rage right now in real estate blogging.  And for good reason.  If you spread yourself too thin over a large geographic area, the “synergy” (to use an over used word) of all of your efforts is just not likely going to pay off as well as if you are laser focused on one specific area.

You can loop videos, photos, blogging, a Facebook fan page and much more all together with the focus being your target community.  Having your content appeal to the larger audience (not just ones looking actively to buy or sell real at the present moment) is one way to build your presence and fill your pipeline.  Keep them coming to your site for community info, and you will always be top of mind when they, or a friend of theirs, have a real estate need.

Finding fresh new info for your blog or content can become a challenge, but worry not!  There are some nifty tricks that may help you sift through what’s out there.

  1. Set up a Google Alert to notify you when anything new is posted on the internet.  This will keep you in front of the news about your community.  When news breaks, post it to your facebook page and/or twitter account.  You’ll be seen as the one providing the latest news, even before they see it on the 11 O’clock news!
  2. Subscribe to alerts on just about any topic on Everyblock.com (right now they have around 15 cities and growing).  Topix is another site as is Outside.in. I subscribe to all three!
  3. Sign up for a local coupon service like Groupon and/or LivingSocial, and share the great deals with your friends, fans and followers.
  4. Subscribe to social event sites like Daily Candy, Thrillist and/or local ones from your community.
  5. I’d search through YouTube, Flickr, etc. to find the local photographers, vloggers and bloggers and subscribe to their feeds and share new and exciting content from them.  Reach out to them as well and introduce your local blog.
  6. Centr’d is a more encompassing site, with info on just about everything from events to bargains.
  7. If you are on twitter, set up a search so that any time your local area is mentioned, you see it.  This is often the FASTEST way to get breaking news, as people tweet it in from their mobile devices.

Everyblock and Centr’d have widgets you can add right to your blog.

Right now, larger cities are more heavily covered by these sites, but you can get info on just about any community/zip by using a combination of them.  As time goes on, more and more cities are being added as well, so don’t despair, work with what is available and keep your eye out for new additions.

If you have a great hyperlocal source suggestion, please add it to the comments below.

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Written By

Janie has been in the development, construction and real estate industries for over 20 years. She began her career in commerical construction and has slowly worked into all of the related industries and added residential properties to her resume 7 years ago. She is currently the co-owner of sister companies, Papillon Real Estate and Papillon ReDevelopment (a construction and project management firm). Janie blogs for The Coral Gables Story. In her "free" time, she is a graduate student of Atlantic History with a focus on the history of business and technology. She is a lover of geo-anything. She loves the story.

33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Matt Stigliano

    July 21, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Janie – One of my favorite tips is to follow your local news team on Twitter and Facebook if they’re out there. Our local station, KSAT 12, has an excellent bunch of social media users that are very active. I follow the personalities that are the anchors, reporters, and weathermen, as well as the behind the scenes people who you wouldn’t normally know by name. Just the other night for instance, I knew about an officer involved shooting at 2AM as it was happening – not exactly blog fodder in this instance, but more than once, I’ve been able to “break” news, get a bit deeper into a story, or get connections to the people in the story because of my relationship with those at KSAT 12.

    I’ve also been involved in sending them bits and pieces I see – mostly photos of weather when we’re watching big storms, but occasionally traffic and accident “heads up” alerts when I come across them. In addition to being great resources, I’ve found them to be a fun bunch of locals as well and getting to know them has been interesting and enjoyable.

  2. Janie Coffey

    July 21, 2010 at 11:08 am

    OMG Matt, how could I forget local news stations/journalists? Doh! You are so right, they are a great resource to both glean info from and to provide info to. Journalists are people to and need sources, so if you should yourself to be a credible, willing and informative source, you could be the go-to person for real estate in your area. We were lucky enough to be on the 6 O’Clock news for our local ABC affiliate through our twitter friendships with local news people! Thanks so much for pointing out the big gaping hole in my story! 😉

  3. Miami Condo Shop

    July 21, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Great post. Janie pretty much covered everything. The truth is that if your content is mediocre, so will be your success. You need to keep your readers educated, enlightened, or simply entertained in regards to your niche to keep them coming back for more. I find it useful to use other blog links and whenever a reader leaves an interesting comment on one of my posts I usually follow their own blog and see what else they’ve written. Sometimes, I also get fresh ideas from Digg, Delicious,Technorati, etc. Thanks for the gold pot of infos and keep up the great posts.

    • Janie Coffey

      July 21, 2010 at 11:57 am

      you are so right Marc. If it isn’t fresh, informative and helps them become more educated, they aren’t going to come back. I LOVE your videos on your blog, really great! Let’s meetup sometime!

  4. Jordan

    July 21, 2010 at 11:56 am

    Great Strategies! Don’t have much to do today–think I’ll hone in more on my target market. 🙂

    • Janie Coffey

      July 21, 2010 at 11:57 am

      keep me posted Jordan, I am sure you will find many great sources for your target market.

  5. Al Lorenz

    July 21, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    There were several here I had missed before!

    • Janie Coffey

      July 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm

      please share with me any others that you come across, the more the better!

  6. Geoffrey Kasselman, SIOR, LEED AP

    July 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Hey! I know the sign in that picture! It is at a children’s overnight camp in WI (my daughter goes there). Love it!

    • Janie Coffey

      July 21, 2010 at 5:04 pm

      where in WI? my maiden name is Sederberg which was a take off from Cedarburg WI, I was born near Hartford (not far from Milwaukee) and still have tonssss of family there

  7. Jonathan Dalton

    July 21, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    > You’ll be seen as the one providing the latest news, even before they see it on the 11 O’clock news!

    But to what end? Is the point to become a community journalist a la Curbed or to sell real estate in a given community? And will the time spent reporting local news really mean that when someone wants to buy or sell they’re going to remember that in spite of why they follow you that you sell real estate?

    Based on what all of us experience in our own spheres, I’d argue no. When I coached soccer, the kids’ parents saw me as a soccer coach, not a real estate agent. I could remind them as often as I wanted but at the end of the day their frame of reference for me was as a coach.

    It’s like trying to escape the friends’ zone … once you’re there, the odds of a romance rising are virtually none because that’s not how you’re viewed. Spend too much time trying to be more than what you are, a real estate agent, and people will see you as everything but.

    On a side note, a blog doesn’t have to be hyperlocal to be effective – I write about topics for Canadian buyers a handful of times a month and still rank extremely well for “Phoenix real estate for Canadians” and gain business. You also don’t have to have a blog to dominate hyperlocally, you can do the same with a static website with excellent content and plenty of listings info.

    • Janie Coffey

      July 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm

      Hi Jonathan,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You are right, you don’t have to have a hyperlocal blog to be effective. Or even a blog. There are lots of ways to be a successful and productive real estate agent. Blogging, and specifically hyperlocal blogging is just one avenue which could be a stand alone lead generation source, or a supplementary source to other efforts. I did not mean to say it’s the only way, and hope this post doesn’t come off as such.

      Why our team has moved from a Miami real estate office, to a more local focused one focused on a specific area was to maximize our efforts, our time with clients, etc. When we were spread too thin covering a large area, we ended becoming too all over the place. Hence the switch to a tighter focus.

      The goal of being the source of info is to build a blog (again, our approach, not the one for everyone) which is the community hub. So that people subscribe to our blog, see we sell real estate and then think of us when the idea of real estate arises. Our blog never tries to hide or minimize that we are Realtors.

      We also practice other prospecting such as SOI development, expireds, farming postcards, etc. It’s a more holistic approach to “cover” our target local market.

      The intent of this post was to provide suggestions to provide blog fodder for those who do, or are interested in, local/hyperlocal blogging, not to suggest it is the only way to sell real estate.

      I think any prospecting method, ANY, will yield results if done in a consistent, dedicated and professional manner. From networking only to door knocking only, and everything in between. I also think a good mix of “old style” and “new style” prospecting, will help you maximize your reach and minimize risk (if one dries up).

      😉

  8. Jimbo

    July 22, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Personally, I like fwix.com It lets you follow the latest local news (in my case, Charleston, SC) in your area via twitter, photos, blogs, weather, etc . You can create a customized widget for your blog (as I have on mine)and keep your blog “buzzing” with local news and deals. Once you’ve created a widget, you’re ready to go. Simply copy the code below into your site’s html. For instructions on blog installation, select your preferred blog type.

  9. Property Marbella

    July 23, 2010 at 3:12 am

    Hi Janie, I follow the local newpapers over internet. There can I find many interesting news and the best is; they dont use any SEO, so with little normal SEO and WP plugin “All in One SEO plugin” can I be first on Google very easy and get clients to my site.

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