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3 Tactics for Increasing Blog Readership

April 30 2012

bloggerOther real estate agents and brokers tell you that you simply "must" blog. They say it's a great way to draw attention to your professional services and your listings. So, you either started your own free blog (i.e. with WordPress) or you have started publishing regularly in the built-in blog that comes with your website. But no one is reading your posts. In fact, hardly anyone is visiting your blog. So now it's time for you to use some marketing tactics to meet your readership goals.

1) Write about topics that will interest readers.
If you were just writing for search engines, I suppose there would be little harm in creating a blog post about each of your listings – with the address as the title and the body of the post itself as a description of the property. But you're not writing just for the search engines are you? You actually want human eyes to read your words, and human minds to absorb your message – hopefully taking some sort of action. That being the case, you need to write about topics that will actually interest them.

"So I can't write about the properties I'm selling?"
No – I'm not saying you have to keep mum on your listings. An occasional post that focuses on a specific property is fine. However, make sure that this is not the bulk of what you blog about and make sure that the post actually tells a story. If people just wanted property details, they'd use the property search functionality on your site, not read your blog. Tell the story behind the home, or use the post to teach some sort of lesson that will help other buyers/sellers to accomplish their goals.

"Okay, so if I'm not blogging about properties, what in the world am I supposed to write about?"
Ultimately, your content needs to be helpful to your reader in some way, or they're not going to read it. We are living, after all, in a "what's in it for me" sort of world. So, share your unique expertise to help them, whether it's with:

  • Advice on a specific type of transaction – i.e. "10 Things Buyers Need to Know About Short Sales," "Should I Sell My Home or Rent It Out?" etc.
  • General advice about a successful home search – i.e. "3 Reasons You Need to Consider the Commute Before Buying," "Buyers: How to Find Out About Local Schools," "6 Tips for Choosing Your Buyers Agent," etc.
  • Advice to sellers – i.e. "5 Tips for Staging Your Home," "The Importance of Curb Appeal (And How to Get It)," etc.
  • Local info - "10 Things to Do in San Francisco in June," "Don't Miss the Strawberry Festival," "Your Summer Activity Guide," etc.

2) Share your content with others in the media and on social media.
It would be great if people were reading your content and organically starting a conversation about it. But, if they were, you wouldn't be reading this article. So let's assume you need a little help getting the word out. Where do you turn? Here are two suggestions:

  • The media: If your content is truly providing value, it might be interesting to local journalists. They need subject matter experts in the real estate field and people with strong ties to the community. The first step is to create a list of contacts (email addresses are all you really need). If you have a particularly newsworthy, popular, or helpful post, send it out to your list. Ask that, if they quote you or reference the article, they include your blog as the source (and include a link if they write for an online publication).
  • Social media: First of all, you should be creating a powerful network of prospects, colleagues, and other connections on social media sites (i.e. Facebook and Twitter). If you don't know who to connect with: take a look at you friends' Facebook Friend list, perform a keyword search in Twitter, look for social media links in the signature block of emails and on websites. Once you've built your network (so you know the right people will be seeing it), you can link to your blog on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and talk about recent posts.

3) Encourage people to subscribe.
I'm so busy I can't even remember what I ate for breakfast this morning – can you? I'm certainly not alone in having a bandwidth problem. So you can't count on people remembering you blog and checking back every day for new content. That's why it's especially important to encourage people to subscribe to your blog via an RSS feed or with email alerts. Include these links at the bottom of every post, as well as in other prominent places on your blog. You may also want to consider including this in your email signature and on your website.

More Help with Blogging
The waters of blogging run deep. If you're looking to dive in, we have a few resources for you: