Are you at the beginning stages of developing a content marketing strategy? Do you want to add another powerful lead-generating tactic to your marketing plan? Could it be that you’re excited to share your expertise with your audience of ideal clients?
All of these are supremely good reasons for starting a real estate blog.
Real estate content writing is a lucrative business in its own right. But, with the guidance and blog-writing tips offered here and a willingness to put in the time and effort, you can write your own blog posts and start attracting an audience and, eventually, well-qualified leads.
The benefits of starting a real estate blog
When you maintain an ongoing real estate blog, you can expect to receive 4 business-boosting benefits:
- You build brand awareness. When you combine great content with an equally great SEO or social media strategy, you can put your brand in front of thousands of people.
- You establish yourself as an authority. When you consistently provide high-quality content, people begin to associate your activity with your productivity. From there, it’s easy for readers to assume your status as an expert and your success as an agent.
- You bring value to the table. You become a trusted resource when you consistently offer solid information that your intended audience can use. Readers will keep returning to your blog because they know they will find what they need. And, when the time comes to buy or sell a home, you’ll be top of mind because you’ve been there for them in the past.
- You generate leads. Let’s not kid ourselves. While it’s gratifying to offer knowledgeable advice and insight to those who need it, the ultimate reason for doing anything in this business is to generate more leads. When readers subscribe to your blog, download your lead magnets, or leave a comment, you get email addresses to add to your database. From there, it’s a matter of nurturing those leads until they need your services.
There are additional benefits to starting a real estate blog that may be more or less enticing to you. For example, sending your blog to your high school English teacher, who told you that no legitimate writer would ever start a sentence with a conjunction, can be very satisfying. 😏 Regardless, starting a real estate blog is no walk in the park.
Writing blogs takes serious work and commitment.
With researching topics, drafting an outline, doing keyword research, seeking information, verifying facts, writing, editing, selecting images, and inputting the final copy into our content management system, I can easily spend 6–8 hours preparing a 2,500-word blog. And then there’s the tracking of KPIs because there’s no point in writing a blog if you’re not following how it performs.
But if you’re prepared to go through this process at least once a week, then read on . . . there’s helpful information in what follows.
However, if you find that, at some point, you’re not as keen on blogging as you thought you were, then you might consider using our Branded Social Media Posts.
We do everything needed to share engaging posts that you would otherwise need to do yourself. We’ve got hundreds of real estate blogs for buyers and sellers, but we also have just as many blogs about travel, gardening, health, DIY projects, recipes, holidays, and dozens of other subjects—it’s an incredible collection. And we add your photo and contact information to each post.
All you need to do is select the blogs you want and when you want to publish them. We even make that easy with our Facebook Scheduler that allows you to schedule posts weeks in advance.
Appropriate topic selection
Even though you’ll be writing a real estate marketing blog, you need to include content about topics other than real estate if you want to maximize your following.
Of course, a real estate blog for clients and prospective clients will include information about real estate; it simply shouldn’t be the only subject you write about. Think about it this way—would you hang with someone who did nothing but talk about their job and business all day? Of course not. They’d bore you to tears.
And you definitely don’t want to be writing about how great an agent you are—that’s self-serving and doesn’t add value, which means your readers will move on to other content (giving someone else your lead). Leave information about your credentials and record-setting sales volume to your website and LinkedIn profile.
Instead, some of the best blog writing is educational, entertaining, and endearing.
- Educational content is information that your readers can use to solve a problem or meet a need. An example of a real estate blog with an educational intent might be “10 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Real Estate Agent.”
- Entertaining content is any content your ideal client would find enjoyable. A blog of this type might review “The Top 5 Places to Get Real Barbecue in Montgomery County.” (Notice the focus on the local area.)
- Endearing content lets your readers know that you aren’t just about making a buck. News about the community, your office’s involvement in a charity, the accomplishments of a local school athlete or musician, the success of a volunteer drive—there are countless blogs you can write to have your followers appreciate you for caring about things they care about too.
You can mix it up a bit. One week, write an educational blog. The next week, write an entertaining blog. Consider creating a schedule where, for example, every Thursday you feature a restaurant just in time for the weekend. Whatever you decide, be sure you can commit to your plan and stay consistent.
Consistency is critical because your readers will develop a relationship with you through what you share with them. That’s what makes blogging such a great marketing tool—blogging not only allows you to provide value but also is an exceptionally effective way to encourage people to know, like, and trust you. But if you only post occasionally, then there is no reason for them to stay loyal to you.
By posting regularly, readers will start to expect to see your new articles and, if they like what they find, will follow you. Frequent and consistent posting will also help your SEO, which is vital to your blog’s longevity.
SEO blog writing
There’s an old joke that asks, “If you want to hide a dead body, where’s the best place to put it?” The answer is “On page 2 of Google.” The joke points out a certain truth—unless your content appears on the first search engine results page (SERP), your blog is likely never to be found.
On the other hand, if your blog appears as the first organic result on a SERP, you’ve got a nearly 40% chance of winning the click! (It’s even higher if you have a snippet.) But the odds of you earning a click go down from there—quickly.
Writing blog posts for SEO (search engine optimization) is all about getting your published posts to appear as close to the top of the organic search results as possible.
You could hire an SEO blog-writing service to push you to the top of the results, but these services tend to cost a pretty penny. And, if you’re in the beginning stages of starting a real estate blog, they aren’t necessary.
Instead, I recommend using the SEO content-writing tips described below. After one year of integrating these basic tactics into the blogs I write, many of my posts are appearing at or near the top of the SERP when my targeted keywords are used to search. Additionally, Google Analytics reports a 120% year-over-year increase in the number of blog sessions. This means people are finding my blogs.
1. Use your blog to answer specific questions
Google’s job is to find the best answers to users’ questions and then present them in its list of organic search results. How it does this is a complicated process, but you can use a few different tactics to encourage Google to select your answers as the best. The first tactic is to write a blog that answers a specific, popular question.
Most often, when you search for something in Google, you’ll see a section on the SERP titled “People also ask.” This section is a list of additional questions—usually with a narrower focus—related to your search, and you can use this list to spark your thinking about popular topics people want to know more about.
For example, when I searched “how to buy a house,” in addition to the articles provided, Google presented me with this list:
With some searches, Google may also deliver a section titled “Related searches,” which offers associated topics. Select one of these topics, and you can start the narrowing process over again.
The point of these additional searches is to find a specific question you want to answer and then work that question into the title of your blog. (A little more about titles in a minute.)
2. Use strategic keywords
A good keyword strategy is essential to your blog’s ranking.
When Google (or any other search engine) is looking for the best answer to a question, it looks at the words on a page for clues to tell it what a piece of content is about. Your keywords describe your post and are the terms you want to rank for. The goal is to have your intended audience find your content when they search your selected keywords.
Given this information, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting and using keywords.
First, while we call them keywords, they are often keyword phrases or long-tail keywords
One word alone isn’t especially descriptive and is too broad to help anyone searching to efficiently find what they want to know. Consequently, a keyword is usually several words strung together to create a “keyword phrase” or “long-tail keyword.” For example, “house” or even “buy a house” are not going to return useful results if you are interested in “how to buy a house.”
Second, you need to include keywords and phrases often and throughout your content
If you use a keyword phrase only two or three times in a blog with 2,500 words, it isn’t going to stand out to a search engine as having any more value or meaning than any other words you use.
At the same time, you don’t want to include a keyword so often that you fall prey to “keyword stuffing,” a frowned-upon tactic where a writer uses a keyword so often that they disregard the natural language normally used to write and read. Forcing keywords into your content creates awkward sentences, poor grammar, and general confusion for your reader.
It’s right about at this point where I am typically asked, “So how many times should we include a keyword in our content?”
The answer is not as straightforward as I’m presenting here (it’s more complicated than you might think), but it’s sufficient to know for now that the most advantageous number isn’t a number—it’s a percentage.
Referred to as the “keyword density” or “keyword frequency,” it’s best to strive to have your keywords be between 1% and 2% of your total word count. If you write a 1,000-word blog, then, according to this guideline, 10 to 20 of those words should be your keywords.
Third, where you place keywords matters
Google will search specific parts of a page for clues that will tell it what the content is about. You’ll want to ensure your keywords are in the following places:
- Title (also called the H1 headline)
- subheadings (H2, H3, etc.)
- first paragraph
- image captions
- meta description (the information that appears on the SERP below the title)
3. Build your authority
Remember that Google’s job is to provide its users with reliable, best-in-class information, and your website’s authority plays an important role in whether Google includes your content in its SERP.
One of the most effective ways to build your site’s authority is to publish top-quality content. Writing that is within your area of expertise, original, unique to your website, and as detailed as possible is better than rehashing in broad strokes what’s already available.
A second way to build authority is to have already authoritative websites build links to your website. They’re called backlinks or inbound links, and if your content is good, relevant, and useful to them, then other sites will want to link to it. Consider reaching out to page authors who might be interested in what you’ve written. Send them the link to your blog, and perhaps they’ll respond.
A third option is to include in your copy external or outbound links to other content on your site and to other authoritative sites. Make sure, however, that they are authoritative. Endorsing less-than-great content by including it in your own will give Google reason to pause and could harm your efforts.
Tips for writing blogs that will engage readers
High-quality content that is difficult to read will serve you no better than high-quality content that is never found. That’s why it’s important to write in a way that is easy for readers to understand and to use formatting tools that make your writing easy to scan.
1. Give your blog headline a hook
An intriguing blog headline is sometimes all it takes to have someone open your article. The best blog headlines tell readers what the content is about, but they do it in a way that captures readers’ interest and attention.
While “how to buy a house” may be a good search term, it’s a terrible headline. There’s no “hook”—there’s nothing about it that triggers an emotional response, whether it be curiosity, excitement, horror, or fascination. The headlines below have a much better chance of producing a click:
- Don’t Buy a House Before Reading These Critical Tips
- The 3 Mistakes Every New Homebuyer Needs to Avoid
- How to Buy a House with No Money Down
- Why You Should NEVER Waive a Home Inspection
2. Write in a conversational style
Blogging doesn’t require that you follow all the rules you were taught in school. You still need to make sure your reader can understand you (so punctuation remains a thing), but it’s perfectly acceptable to begin a sentence with a conjunction, indulge in contractions, and use conventional slang. In other words, write like you and your readers would speak rather than how you would compose an academic paper.
3. Use short paragraphs
No one wants to read a page that looks like one long-running block of text. It’s intimidating and impossible to scan. Instead, keep your paragraphs to three or four short sentences.
You can even use one-sentence paragraphs if it helps to keep your reader moving down the page.
4. Include headings, white space, and bullets
Headings, subheadings, and the white space created by inserting blanks lines help the reader to scan a piece of content. It also helps them recognize how you’ve organized your content, which is key to helping them understand the relationship among your ideas.
5. Insert relevant images
Pictures, video clips, illustrations, tables, charts, memes, and infographics are excellent tools for breaking up long sections of words. The right image will be relevant to the content surrounding it, add interest, include a caption, and can help clarify your meaning for readers.
6. Don’t forget to include a strong call to action
Remember that you’re not writing blog posts for the sheer fun of it. You’re writing blog posts to generate qualified traffic to your website and capture leads. Before you publish what you’ve written, make sure you’ve asked your readers to do something, whether it’s to fill out a form, visit your website, call your team, or some other action.
Resources for blog post writers
All of this may sound like a great deal of work, and it is. But there are resources you can use to make the job a little easier.
Idea generators. These tools will help you brainstorm topics and offer inspiration. Below are several options to help get your creative juices flowing:
Grammar checkers. Don’t simply rely on your word-processing software to catch errors. Grammar checkers such as these will review your content for grammar, spelling, punctuation, style, passive voice, and more:
Keyword finders. I’ve discussed above how critical a good keyword strategy is to the success of your blog. Use these invaluable tools to find the keywords best suited to your audience and topic:
Free images. The last thing you want is to infringe on someone’s copyright, so it’s not advisable to copy and paste random images from the web. Instead, use one or more of the websites below to select free images that have been vetted for legal use:
Headline analyzers. These will coach you on character count, the use of “power words,” SEO, reading score, clarity, and other indicators:
Before you begin . . .
Blog writing is a skill like any other. You need to understand the basics, improve with practice, and, over time, up your game with more sophisticated knowledge and a deeper understanding born of experience.
All this takes time and patience, so don’t be discouraged.
Experienced bloggers often struggle with writer’s block. Authority isn’t built overnight. Selecting “the best” keywords will forever be somewhat of a better’s game. And SEO will continue to evolve.
But, as a form of content marketing, few strategies beat blogging for generating qualified traffic to your site, demonstrating your expertise, and showing how your services can be helpful.
Even so, after reading this guide and using these tools, if you still find that regular blogging may not fit your schedule (or idea of a good time 😉), then remember that our Branded Social Media Posts could be your perfect solution. You can click the image above for a free, no obligation demonstration.