By Kim Rempel
For real estate agents to get noticed online, blogging is a critical part of a digital marketing campaign. But who has the time?
And even if you manage to carve out time, you still have to think of what to write and how to write it.
Luckily, blogging doesn’t have to be as difficult or time-draining as sitting down and trying to pen a masterpiece. There are options to blog simply and efficiently.
1. Video blog:
Smartphones make video blogging one of the fastest, easiest options for creating content. When a fantastic idea hits (they have a way of popping up during a commute, don’t they?), there’s no need to wait until you’re back at the office. Just whip out the phone and take a video. (Pull over first, if you’re driving, of course!)
It can be as complicated as a well laid out webinar created as part of a sales funnel, or it can be a simple greeting or thought for the day. The key to remember is to draw traffic to your site by featuring the video there, not just on social media. With video content production and consumption on the rise, video blogging is an important element to include.
2. Photo commentary:
A picture is worth a thousand words or, in this case, an hour or two of writing. Compelling images command clicks. A blog post can be made up of largely photos, with brief commentary in between, or can be a single photo and a paragraph or two relating to it.
The trick with this one is to feature imagery that conveys a point, tells a story or elicits emotion in line with your goals or brand. The commentary you add makes the image specific to you personally, or relevant to your industry. For example, TerribleRealEstateAgentPhotos.com does this by simply adding witty single-sentence descriptions to Realtor-submitted photos. Lightersideofrealestate.com also includes the use of photo blogging in an infographic.
Interviewing an industry pro is an easy way to add reach and credibility to your site. Mortgage specialists, insurance brokers, interior designers, landscapers and local businesses offer a wealth of knowledge your readers want to know.
The process is easy too. List five to 10 questions in an email along with an invitation to be featured on your blog. When they send it back, you can print it pretty much as is. All it needs from there is an introductory paragraph from you.
If your subject finds email questions too daunting (they’re busy too, and writing may not be up their alley either) recording a Skype interview with them is a quick and easy alternative.
Use a cheat sheet: There’s no need to reinvent your blog post every time. Even the biggies use a template to guide their writing. (See the template of Michael Hyatt, a busy author, speaker and businessman.)
Also, grab a list of killer headlines (they’re out there) or keeping a running list of writing prompts and topic ideas is a sure way to fight blogger’s block and keep that content flowing. With these tools on hand, blogging becomes more about expressing the idea and less about trying to come up with one.
4. Get it done for you:
Good news – you can delegate blogging! And there are a few ways to do it.
a) Curate milled content
Quality is dicey with milled, reusable articles, but it may be worth the effort of searching. Sites like brandpointcontent.com or NAR.realtor.com can provide articles for reprint on a variety of topics.
They won’t be the personal, authentic kind of content that makes readers like, know and trust you, but it will create links, show you’re active and give you some breathing room in between those highly authentic blog posts, should you choose to write them.
b) Hire a ghostwriter
Add a writer to your team. Think of it as a marketing expense of the modern salesperson. With a skilled writer, knowledgeable in marketing and real estate, your content will be top quality, highly customized and have that personal authenticity milled content never will.
c) Hire a marketing-minded editor
If writing isn’t your biggest struggle, crafting content that actually sells or garners any kind of attention may be the tough part. Perhaps your posts just need some tweaking from a marketing perspective (keywords, SEO, compelling titles that get clicked). You may just need a marketing-minded editor.
Writers and editors can both be found through referrals, online searches or through professional associations. As with hiring anyone, finding the perfect fit for you will be a process of trial and error, but well worth it when you find the right writer for you.
With multiple blogging options available, lacking time isn’t an excuse anymore. Blogging is a critical part of growing your visibility online.
Bonus: Don’t know what to write?
One of the biggest challenges besides lack of time is knowing what to write, isn’t it? Here’s a quick fix to help get your creative juices flowing. Set aside 30 minutes to brainstorm. List topics you want to cover, scan what posts are popular on other sites, or search for a list of blogging topics to kick start your creative thinking.