Posts Tagged as real estate blog

Get More Traffic to Your Blog

Blogging. Do you do it? As a real estate professional on the Internet, you’d probably have to be living under a rock to not have heard of some of its many benefits. It takes time, yes, but once you get into the habit it really isn’t so hard. What can be difficult is getting people to actually find and read your blog. That’s why I was so excited to see Josh Coffy’s FlightMedia Blog post “25 Bite Sized Action Steps to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog.” In his fantastic article, he outlines 25 relatively simple things you can do to get more traffic to your blog.

Blogging. Do you do it? As a real estate professional on the Internet, you’d probably have to be living under a rock to not have heard of some of its many benefits. It takes time, yes, but once you get into the habit it really isn’t so hard. What can be difficult is getting people to actually find, read and share your blog. That’s why I was so excited to see Josh Coffy’s FlightMedia Blog post “25 Bite Sized Action Steps to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog.” In his fantastic article, he outlines 25 relatively simple things you can do to get more traffic to your blog.

1. Coffy starts with a blogging MUST: Write killer content. He calls it “epic” content. Same-same. Call it whatever you want, but it has to be good. It has to be error-free, interesting and it needs to serve a purpose.

2-3. Next, he wants you to increase your tweeting and set up Twitter cards. Now, you might not be using Twitter yet. Maybe you think it’s not for you. But it really is a great tool for conversations and relationships. And Twitter can help you build you brand recognition.

The rest of Coffy’s list includes:

4. Email your list.
5. Practice good web design.
6. Thank everyone who shares your content.
7. Take the 30-Day Content Challenge. [What Coffy means here is challenging yourself to write a blog post every day for 30 days. It’s been shown to get results. In fact, he says that the first time he challenged himself, he went from 814 monthly visitors to 9,575 visitors by the 30th day.] 8. Create a social posting schedule and schedule your posts out. [Hootsuite is one of my favorites for this.] 9. Pin all your articles to a “Blog Posts” board on Pinterest.
10. Write an “Authority Roundup” post.
11. Ask a question in a Twitter auto-direct message and then respond.
12. Guest blog and accept others guest blogs.
13. Leave 100 comments on other blogs.
14. Host a giveaway.
15. Run some Facebook ads.
16. @Mention social influencers in your social posts.
17. Set email follow ups.
18. Cover relevant, trending topics.
19. Write headlines that get shared.
20. Practice good SEO.
21. Start a podcast.
22. Use Click-to-Tweet.
23. Keep your posts short.
24. Follow other people.
25. Interview influencers.

I love, love, LOVE this article!!! Read the entire thing—complete with all Coffy’s explanations for each tip—right HERE. That’s the best part, really. His explanations and reasoning behind each recommendation are pulled right from his own personal experience of what has worked.

Could You Be Stealing Stock Photos?

Lawyers and artists are on the lookout for stock photos users who don’t pay for the photos on their blogs and websites. Could you be stealing stock photos?

I’m part of a couple of different business groups, and in the last two months, a serious but surprising topic has come up among the group members three times: My professional peers were contacted by lawyers telling them that they’d used an image on their blog without paying for it or citing its source. If this is something you’ve ever done, say, scrolled through Google images to find what looks like a great pic to include with your latest blog article, you could be the next facing legal action. So, I have to ask – who took the photo in your blog post? And did you pay for it? Could you be stealing stock photos?

“Come on,” I can practically hear you saying, “I don’t want to/can’t afford to buy a new image every single time I post a new article to my blog.”

Well, I have two responses to that. 1) It’s a lot more affordable than you might think (and a LOT more affordable than legal fines), and you can rest easy knowing you’re covered, if you do purchase all your images; but, 2) There actually are many free resources for images that you can use safely.

Designmodo recently published a Carrie Cousins’ article on great places to source free stock photography. Titled 16 Places to Find the Best Free Stock Photos, it’s just that – a comprehensive and fabulous list of 16 separate sources of free stock imagery.

Cousins’ selections include:

1. Raumrot
2. Unsplash
3. Little Visuals
4. Gratisography
5. Free Refe
6. Jay Mantri
7. Magdeleine
8. Foodies Feed
9. Picography
10. Im Free
11. Death to the Stock Photo
12. New Old Stock
13. SuperFamous
14. Public Domain Archive
15. Picjumbo
16. The Pattern Library

I’ve personally used Death to the Stock Photo ever since I heard about the photo sharing site months ago. I look forward to trying some of these other options, too. Tell me, where are your favorite stock photography sources?

Why a Real Estate Blog is a Good Idea

We all know by now that having a real estate site is an important part of any realtor’s marketing strategy. An agent website is at least as important as any other marketing material you may create. It enables you to showcase your knowledge and expertise and – with proper optimizing and social media marketing – to attract new clients.

But what about a blog? Should you write your own real estate blog?

We believe that you should. Read on for some reasons why a real estate blog is a good idea.

A blog serves two main purposes:

1. A real estate blog enhances your agent website and gives you an opportunity to further demonstrate your knowledge, in a fresh, real-time format. A blog is published chronologically, which enables you to publish your thoughts and observations on real estate topics as they become relevant. It is much easier to update a blog than it is to update a web site!

2. Adding a blog to your real estate website will make your site more search engine friendly, because the more text your site contains, the more search engines have to work with, and the higher are the chances that your site will rank well in the search engine result pages for your main keywords.

For most real estate professionals, the main issue with starting a blog is probably lack of time. But a blog doesn’t have to take too much of your time: after all, you are not a professional blogger and the blog is a nice addition rather than your livelihood. Try to commit to publishing a weekly blog post with your thoughts and with updates, but if time is an issue, a monthly blog post is fine.

How to Grow Your Online Presence

According to NAR research, 90% of homebuyers use the internet as part of their search for a new home, as opposed to just 27% who still look in the newspaper. Yard signs factor in to 53% of homebuyers’ search methods. But look at that first figure again. You have to be actively marketing your homes online, and you have to have enough of an online presence that buyers will find your homes, right? So, here’s a quick ‘how to’ on grow your online presence.

“A website is an absolute must for any self-respecting business, and that includes real estate agents,” says Amanda Cornelius, co-founder and CEO of Properties Online.

But a website in and of itself is not enough.

To truly grow your online presence, Cornelius advises, you should ideally have a mix of the following:

1. An agent website. Your agent website is your online business card and resume, and should be used to highlight your achievements, experience and expertise and to provide clients and prospects with valuable information.

2. Single property websites. These focus around a single property, highlighting its features and benefits and providing all the information on that property at one place. Sellers and buyers alike love single property websites , and they are great at helping you to win listings.

3. Social media accounts. You need to have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Update your social media accounts frequently, add useful info and links, and reach out to new friends and followers weekly. Over a year or so, you can significantly grow these accounts. The beauty of social media is that it functions just like word of mouth marketing, but on a much larger scale.

4. Don’t forget email! Being active and proactive rather than passive when keeping in touch with clients and prospects can make a big difference, and email drip marketing programs are a huge help.

5. Incorporate offline marketing tools. Remember those 53% of homebuyers who looked for yard signs? Custom sign riders, complete with QR codes, are designed to direct people immediately to your website, while also logging and sending their mobile phone number to you as a lead.

“Growing your online presence takes time and patience, but it is also lots of fun and the return on investment is very real,” says Cornelius.

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5 of the Nation’s Top Ten Places to Sell a House are in California

The Movoto Real Estate Blog has analyzed the nation’s 100 largest cities in terms of population against a long list of criteria to determine the Top 10 cities in the nation for home sellers. When all was said and done, the results showed that five of the nation’s top ten places to sell a house are in California.

1. Fremont, CA

2. San Francisco, CA

3. San Jose, CA

4. Honolulu, HI

5. San Diego, CA

6. Plano, TX

7. Chula Vista, CA

8. Seattle, WA

9. Chandler, AZ

10. Gilbert, AZ

The study started with a list of the nation’s 100 largest cities in terms of population. Movoto then surveyed each across a set of six criteria. Says the Movoto Real Estate Blog:

Total Homes for Sale Per Capita
“A housing market with fewer properties available for sale will be more competitive, allowing sellers to set higher asking prices and increasing the likelihood that buyers will be willing to pay more.”

Median Days on Market
“Having homes that are on the market for less time is generally an indication that there’s high demand for them, but it also means that buyers will be in a weaker position to negotiate the sale price.”

Crime Rate
“The less crime there is, the more appealing a particular city will be to buyers, making the price they’ll be willing to pay to live there higher.”

School Quality
“On the same token, cities with better schools will also command a premium among buyers.”

Lower Unemployment Rate
“Finally, in a city with a lower unemployment rate, sellers can expect there to be more people who are actually capable of buying a home—getting approved for financing, potentially spending more, etc.

Last month, Movoto revealed the reverse – the Top 10 U.S. cities that favor the home buyer. These were:

1. Henderson, NV

2. Las Vegas, NV

3. Greenboro, NC

4. El Paso, TX

5. Lexington, KY

6. North Las Vegas, NV

7. Chesapeake, VA

8. Pittsburgh, PA

9. Fort Wayne, IN

10. Charlotte, NC