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November Blogging Plan: 5 Topic Ideas

November 04 2014

running businesmanDid you know that November is National Novel Writing MonthNational Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? The idea is for participants to turn off the excuses for just 30 days and commit to putting pen to paper. While we're not asking you to write a 50,000 word book this month, how about committing to writing just 5 posts and shaking the dust from your blog? We promise you'll feel accomplished by the time Nov. 30 rolls around.

Here's a productivity hack to get you moving that NaNoWriMo participants use. It's called a "word sprint" where you set a goal to write a certain number of words within a set time limit (usually 10-30 minutes). The idea is to just let the words pour out without second-guessing them or yourself. You can save that critical eye for later, when it's time to edit! You can follow this Twitter account to easily participate in sprints.

Below is this month's list of topics. Sprint on, real estate bloggers!

1. Post-election Round-up
The votes are in and (mostly) counted. The best thing about the election being over, besides not having to watch those terrible campaign ads anymore, is the topic fodder for your blog! In most places, something significant will have changed, be it a new property tax, new elected official, or new law. Summarize these in a blog post for the areas you serve. Who's your new representative? How much of a tax change will the owner of an average-priced home in your area expect--and when? You don't need to offer your opinion on election outcomes, but do recognize it as an opportunity to show off your community knowledge.

2. First-time Homebuyer Programs
First-time homebuyers are at a 30-year low, according NAR's newly released 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Nearly a quarter of first-time buyers in that survey said that saving for a down payment is difficult. As we've talked about before, while down payment assistance programs are out there, few buyers know that they exist or how to take advantage of them. Use this post to highlight programs in your city or state as a way to move qualified first-time buyers off the sidelines. Don't forget to add a call-to-action that asks readers to contact you with questions or to learn more!

3. How Did This Neighborhood/Street Get Its Name?
Here's another opportunity to put your local knowledge on display--and draw in traffic! I've noticed that posts on agent blogs that share local history and trivia attract a significant amount of visitors. People are curious about where they live (or are thinking of moving to) and this is an opportunity to capitalize on that. For example, I'm a Michigan native and a post about the naming of 8 Mile Roadthe naming of 8 Mile Road (made famous in the Eminem movie of the same name) has been wildly popular on my social networks lately. If you know a little local history, or aren't afraid of research, a similar post may be very beneficial for your blog. Why is a certain neighborhood or street named what it is?

4. The Pluses and Pitfalls of Online Lenders
The vast majority of consumers turn to the Internet when looking for a home, so it's no surprise that some turn the Web when it's time to shop for a mortgage, too. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of online lenders? Chances are that a lot of your readers don't know, so here's your chance to educate them. For example, online mortgages can be easier and quicker to qualify for, but lack the face-to-face relationship (and availability) that a traditional lender offers. Buyers will need to do their homework, too, as scams are common online. Suggest that buyers stick to known lenders like Quicken Loans. If you have experience working with buyers who used an online lender, this is also a great time to trot out stories. Let people know what worked and what didn't.

5. Opportunities to Give Back This Thanksgiving
There are all manner of holiday post ideas that you can write about, but this month we're only going to highlight one. What ways can people give back in your community? Put the spotlight on local charities, food drives, and volunteer opportunities in your area. This can easily be expanded into a series of articles that you can trickle out all month long. Highlight one charity per post, or compile a list of volunteer opportunities in one post, and list of food drives in another. Bonus points if you write a profile of a person who's dedicated to giving back in your community.