Writing on paper isn’t just a romantic ideal. The act of using a pen or typewriter can activate different areas of your brain, promoting better focus and creativity. There’s a reason why these sheets of thin wood pulp have endured thousands of years of use. Studies published in Psychological Science demonstrate that writing things down by hand help you retain and understand information better than if you type it out. So how can you reintroduce paper into your blogging workflow? Take a look at some of these techniques. [Read more…] about Brainstorm Blog Posts the Old School Way with Paper
If you run a self-hosted blog through WordPress, you’ve probably seen mentions of Jetpack knocking around on your Dashboard or even in blogging forums. Jetpack is a multifaceted plug in that gives you significantly greater control over your blog content, statistics, subscriptions, activity monitoring, and a wide host of other features. Previously, these tools were only available to blogs hosted directly on WordPress.com. Jetpack broke the mold, bringing these premium features to self-hosted users for the grand total of free. Here’s why you should definitely consider adding the Jetpack plugin to your self-hosted WordPress blog.
Articles are the building blocks to a truly excellent blog. The bulk of a blogger’s time is used in creating the perfect content strategy. Jetpack features like Stats, Spelling and Grammar, and Photon can really hone the quality and overall aesthetic of your content. Stats can give you a firm grasp of your blog’s traffic analytics, allowing you to see exactly which blog posts receive the most attention. This tool is instrumental in establishing your SEO keyword and linking strategies, since you can also view search engine terms and referrers as well. This tool helps you understand the ebb and flow of your readership, so that you continually create blog posts that cater to the needs of your audience demographics. [Read more…] about Why You Shouldn’t Underestimate Jetpack for WordPress
Moving into a new city or state can be extremely intimidating, especially if you’ve left behind most of your friends and colleagues. The transition can be harder if the culture is unlike home, even in just small details like food or driving habits. While most bloggers consider writing a solitary experience, you can actually use a blog as an excuse to get out there, start meeting new people, and discover your way around town. Here are a few tips to get you started on your local explorations.
Think Like a Reporter
It can be difficult to approach strangers, even while you’re attending community events and celebrations. So think about using events as topics for your blog posts. It can be a lot less awkward to introduce yourself as a writer and ask for an interview. You will probably discover that organizations and attendees are very excited about sharing their stories and experiences. As you explore the new terrain, take a notebook with you. A potential story might be just around the corner. [Read more…] about Blogging to Learn More about Your New Neighborhood
Blogging for the real estate market is one of the most powerful ways for agents to make a wealth of information available for both seasoned and first-time home buyers.
People who are looking for a new home always have a lot of questions. An agent who can maintain a real estate blog has the perfect opportunity to answer the common and the more unusual questions that home buyers will have.
For their part, people who are hunting for a house might find the home of their dreams through a well-written real estate blog.
Establishing trust with potential clients
By establishing yourself as a knowledgeable authority on the current trends in the real estate industry and being able to answer some of the many questions that home buyers have, you will gradually but inevitably earn people’s trust, according to the IDX Central blog.
People will appreciate the fact that you are providing them with timely information about how to be a smart house hunter, as well as specific homes that are on the market in their area.
Answers that buyers need
A real estate professional who’s receptive to the needs of buyers can often anticipate their questions in advance. Below are some of the issues that will really impress home buyers if they’re covered in a blog.
1. Knowing in advance the amount they’ll have to set aside for the down payment and what other expenses are applicable in addition to the down payment. This is a good opportunity for the Realtor to describe the entire buying process in detail.
2. The types of mortgages that are available, and mortgage calculators that are available for potential clients to work out different scenarios for mortgage payments. If a real estate agent has a suitable blog for a forum, providing information from a guest mortgage broker is a good way to let home buyers know what options are available.
3. The pros and cons of buying a new home as opposed to an older one are a lively subject. Although many people prefer newer homes that are more energy-efficient and offer larger living spaces for the family to enjoy, others prefer the aesthetics of older homes in charming neighborhoods where each house has its own distinct character. Discussing the pros and cons of each will help potential home buyers to make an informed decision.
Advantages of blogging for real estate agents
According to Dal Sohal, a real estate investor who blogs, one of the best ways to build credibility as an expert is to blog. Adding a blog to your site can increase your sales.
It can also help to increase your rankings with the search engines, because they crawl the type of information that appears in a blog on a regular basis. Using a blog to advertise your services can give you an edge over competitors that advertise in more conventional ways.
A blog enables you to provide more depth about your expertise as an experienced real estate agent and the advantages of using your services. You can build personal relationships with clients even before you meet them, and they’ll come to trust you from reading the information on your blog.
As you build a reputation with local home buyers, your business will increase.
The Internet has become the new meeting place for savvy Realtors. From websites to social media accounts, it’s become a fairly easy matter to locate a qualified professional for a home-buying or selling situation.
Blogging, or online journaling, offers Realtors a way to communicate with hundreds, even thousands, of existing and potential customers. From home-buying tips to decorating ideas, there’s room for all kinds of information.
However, it’s also too easy to offend some readers, which reduces your blog’s effectiveness for cultivating future clientele. Try to avoid these common blogging mistakes and keep your real estate business flowing.
Forgetting to include images
Don’t let a real estate blog turn into a wall of text. Although readers want pertinent information, they also want to see property pictures.
Place some photos on the page, but don’t overwhelm the text. Too much data will slow your blog’s download times. To make more pictures available to clients that are interested without slowing down your site, link a picture website such as Pinterest to your blog.
Users can use that link to see as many images as they like for one or more properties. Pictures play a huge role, and drive real estate sales every day.
Boring the reader
Real estate blogs are soon left behind if they bore the reader. You should avoid blogging about sales all the time.
Keep the information fresh with homeownership tips. Blog about patio gardening or garbage disposal care tips.
This information can be useful and interesting, and if the Realtor is passionate about property care, that impresses clients. Readers may visit more often if you supply such tips, and gives you a platform to slide in occasional commentaries about new properties up for sale.
Clients know that Realtors are in the business to sell, but you don’t need to overwhelm them with a sales pitch every day.
According to Zilbert.com it’s possible to add a live feed for new properties listed on MLS in real time. Realtors may regard their blog as just a diary, but a resourceful blog can get people to come back to the site on a regular basis.
For example, they might look for the MLS live feed, but stumble upon a blog about their desired neighborhood’s amenities. They’ll read the blog and check the live feed, and possibly contact you about buying opportunities.
Staying resourceful and noteworthy is a strategy for lucrative sales.
Overlooking the community effect
Engage blog readers rather than speaking at them. Consider adding in comments or “likes” to the page to generate conversation.
You can even add invitations to upcoming real estate events, such as open houses, to create a bond with clients. Although not every client interaction is a sale, don’t overlook the value of community and personal trust.
When clients are ready to start hunting for a home, they’ll think of their trusted blogging Realtor to help them out. Relationship building is critical to real estate businesses everywhere.
Read over each of your blog posts before uploading to make sure the content is appropriate. A second look can make a huge difference and save you from possible embarrassment.
There is an abundance of good reasons to write and post a real estate blog. For a fledgling agent, it’s a great way to get your name out there.
If you gain enough followers, you can make a little side income via advertising or affiliate programs. Even if your goal isn’t to build a real estate business or make money, blogging can be an excellent way to keep your writing skills sharp and engender constructive discussions with other like-minded individuals.
To be honest, most real estate blogs fall well short of their potential. Either they are too sales-oriented, they don’t provide relevant information that readers want or need, or they are just poorly written.
The result, of course, is that all of them attract few to no regular readers. Most of their authors don’t track their stats and thus don’t realize they’re orating to an empty room.
To make the most of your real estate blog, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Focus on a specific area
A lot of attention has focused on national real estate trends over the last few years. To be sure, the spectacular housing crash and fledgling recovery have offered interesting studies.
But most people who conduct online searches relating to real estate are looking for information about their local area. If you live in Phoenix, try to become the go-to person for real estate matters in the Phoenix area, or even a specific portion of the metro, such as Glendale or Tempe.
It’s probably the case that you’ll attract fewer readers from other parts of the country, but you’ll have a better shot at becoming much more engaged with your local readership.
Offer useful advice without explicitly trying to sell anything
Pick any city in the country and look at a few of the real estate blogs. Almost all will be littered with sales-related content: articles about new listings, calls to action to buy in an “up and coming” part of town, and so on.
Instead of trying to promote your business with every post, present useful information that isn’t offered simply as a pretext for making you money. Write about general market trends in the area, tips for dealing with oppressive HOAs, or how to get the best deal on homeowner’s insurance, to give a few examples.
These are topics about which your readers probably won’t find much information on your competitors’ blogs, which should keep them coming back to yours to learn more.
Let your personality and sense of humor come through
Ask anyone if they would rather read something by Mark Twain or Bill Gates, and they’ll probably answer Mark Twain, even though Gates has a lot more useful information about a topic that’s important to everyone: making money.
The majority of people want to read content that entertains them, and that’s written in a personable, conversational tone. They don’t want to be overwhelmed by esoteric industry jargon.
If they can also pick up a few pieces of useful knowledge, that’s a bonus. Entertain your readers while also teaching them about real estate, and you are sure to build a loyal following.
Blogging has become a powerful tool for real estate agents to improve their web presence and overall market exposure. After the collapse of the housing market seven years ago, some predicted that the market would never fully recover.
The situation looked bleak from almost every angle. Fortunately, the prognosticators were wrong in their postulations concerning the housing market.
The market is strengthening, however uncertainly, and although sharp rises in prices have kept some home buyers on the sidelines in the last couple of years, the steady rise in prices generally has lead most experts to believe that there will be a significant increase in home sales this year.
As home buyers enter the market, the competition will be steep for agents looking to secure their business. One way to gain a clear advantage is to use a blog to reach your target audience.
Building value with potential clients
Agencies such as Lucy Kelts use blogs as a method of providing current and relevant information to their target audience. This helps them build an ongoing relationship that’s centered on trust.
The accumulation of this trust raises the likelihood that, when these individuals decide to go for an active home search, they will opt for the exceptional services offered at a agency whose blog reports they’ve been reading.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a central element of building a business these days is to establish an effective and consistent web presence. One of the most effective methods of doing this is to create a blog.
The blog allows a real estate agent or firm to disseminate informative content that’s useful to their target audience of potential house hunters. One of the best at this is Zillow, which uses its blog to furnish how-to articles on a number of different topics.
This type of useful information has enabled Zillow to develop long-term relationships with existing customers and potential clients alike.
Building intrinsic value
A blog is a powerful tool that you can use to establish your level of expertise and authority in any particular subspeciality of real estate. You can use it to set yourself apart from the competition while building a following that will be primed for the process of enhancing customer loyalty.
According to Top Ranking, blogging is one of the best ways for an agent or agency to build the brand as well as establish a consistent voice for it. What this means is that your blog can be used to shape and mold the impression that others have of your brand.
If you can refine your brand over time with a blog, you’ll have more control over how your company is perceived than businesses have enjoyed in the past.
When social media activity is integrated with the blogging process, it creates the potential for exponential growth, because social media users can be encouraged to help disseminate your blog’s content. Every time the “Like” or “Share” buttons are clicked, this creates the potential for thousands more people getting to view your site content.
When a blog is used correctly, a real estate agent can create positioning and value in an astonishingly brief period of time.
There is no questioning the power and reach of the Internet. It’s a platform that provides potentially unlimited exposure for businesses, marketers, and authors.
Companies operating over a wide range of markets are using blogs as a way to distribute content that helps them brand their business and engage their target audience. The world of real estate has certainly taken full advantage of this unprecedented tool.
In fact, many Realtors are benefitting from the use of blogs. You can managed a lot through a blog that’s built a loyal following.
The importance of building a web presence
Make no mistake about it, you live in web-based culture. Purchasing choices, employment decisions, and even dating behavior are evaluated and set on the web. Building a web presence should be a vital part of any company’s marketing and branding strategy.
You begin with establishing a functional website, but it doesn’t end there. According to Real Estate Tomato, the fallout from launching a blog can be observed almost immediately once the protocol is in place.
Given the dynamic manner with which a website can be designed, a Realtor has the option of creating a standalone blog or incorporating it into your primary site. It all depends on how you intend to use the blog whether the agent or firm will want the content to be closely related to their primary activities or simply use it to build interest and redirect traffic.
Real estate firms such as McMillin Realty rely heavily on their Internet presence not only to help build their client base but to keep their existing followers well informed.
Maintaining an active blog is one way for a Realtor to maintain a consistent level of customer engagement. This means you’re able to interact with clients and potential clients in a manner that will be non-invasive, and allow them to build a trusting relationship with you.
Because a home purchase is such a significant event, some Realtors make the mistake of looking at their customer as a one-time encounter. You might be surprised how much business one well-managed customer can produce for a real estate agent he or she likes.
A blog maintained by online real estate powerhouse Zillow is an oasis of information for both real estate agents and potential home sellers and buyers. It offers tips on ways for homeowners to spice up their property, news on interest rates, and a multitude of other relevant tips that are valuable to visitors.
Zillow’s blog is a great model of how a blog can provide quality content that’s relevant and useful without overselling, so it creates an ongoing relationship with its readership.
Some of the no-nos
According to RealEstate.com, real estate agents commit several routine blogging mistakes that can only be counterproductive. At the top of the list is disrespecting or badmouthing other agents. Posts should remain positive and focus on providing the ideal user experience for visitors, not carry out vendettas.
When blogging is used in the proper way, it can be an effective mechanism to build and sustain business as well as maximizing your online exposure.
Whether you want to make big bucks or just get a little extra cash without being away from home for hours on end, there are ways to make money with just your computer skills. You can use the Internet to create some cash flow.
Blogging can do it for you. Businesses actually use the research and opinions of everyday people to advertise or gain information about how consumers are responding to products or services.
Whether you’re new to the web or Internet savvy, you can find a way to make blogging into a source of income. As long as you can read, type, and are able to do a little research, it’s not very difficult.
Here are a few suggestions for getting paid to blog.
1. Search engines
If you aren’t sure exactly where to start, do a Google search for companies that pay people to blog about their products or services. This may require you to try the products. Some of these companies are willing to send out samples if you’ll commit to write about them.
2. Direct contact
There may be a company whose products you use on a regular basis and you’d like to let the world know about it. Some companies are open to letting someone advertise on a blog for them.
If you look on most product labels or websites, you can find contact information for the firm. Call or email them and request permission to advertise for them on your blog in return for coupons, discounts, or even free products.
Amazon.com has a program known as Amazon Associates that allows people to place a link to their site for visitors to shop online. The pay you receive is based on what gets purchased through the link from your blog.
3. Blog requests
You may already have a blog that’s mostly devoted to providing free entertainment and information, but you could turn it into something more lucrative. Try publishing a request for companies to advertise on your page for a small rate.
You can research the cost of advertising online and come up with a competitive rate that might make you a little money, because it saves the company in advertising costs.
4. Contact magazines
A friend of mine created an online blog on which she advertises and writes articles for magazines. She is given a small assignment to write about in order to create interest in a magazine.
She includes the required content along with the name of the magazine, and the company pays her for the article. This helps her build more blog viewers, and in turn helps to sell more magazines.
These are just a few ways that blogging can become more rewarding for your time. If you put in the effort and do the research, you can create a money-making operation, or at least put a little more spending money in your wallet.
The Internet is becoming the most popular source of information for just about everything these days, so take advantage of all the opportunities it can offer you. For examples of how to get coupons, discounts, or money-saving tips online, visit the Savor Blog.
Twitter. “You’ve been hacked,” the first one read. “Check your blog,
it’s hacked,” went the next.
Even though these people were my friends, I ignored the messages.
After all, I watched my blog continuously and it looked just fine. I
had customized a WordPress.org template into a unique site design, and
updated nearly every day with what I hoped were attention-getting,
thought-provoking posts. [Read more…] about Is Your Blog Hacked? You May Not Even Know