I’m a writer at heart.
When I got into real estate, I needed something to drive the business. Something I was passionate about, because in all honesty, as much as I like cool houses and luxurious villas. It’s not my passion.
Writing is my ultimate passion.
But how can you insert writing, especially creative writing, into a business full of legal contracts, client meetings, and statistics?
The answer for me was blogging, which also happens to be my primary lead generator, as I don’t like cold calling and believe it’s an absolute waste of mine and someone else’s time.
And I’ve done well with blogging. I’m now ranked top 50 in the world for real estate blogs, according to Detailed.com.
The truth is that we live in a generation where anyone can buy a domain name online, build a website relatively easily, begin writing quality blog articles, and have a sustainable business from consistent web traffic within a year’s time.
Yet, I see a profusely large number of real estate agents who don’t realize that they can create a blog, and the ones that do, have no plans of ever creating one. In fact, the National Association of Realtors reported that just 9% of real estate agents have a blog. 13% don’t have a blog but plan to.
That means a whopping 78% of real estate agents do not have a blog and have no plans of creating a blog.
It tells me that there is no better time for you as an agent to create a blog, as there clearly isn’t much competition.
This article will go over the following points:
Pros of Blogging
Cons of Blogging
Pro Tips for Blogging
The Pros of Blogging for Real Estate
24/7 Lead Generation
Lead generation is a real estate agent’s hardest task.
Most agents are taught old fashioned techniques like door-knocking and cold calling. You know, the stuff that worked in the 1980s and the 1990s.
I’m not saying that those methods don’t work anymore, however, I am saying they are not nearly as effective as they once were. If you want to know why then I encourage you to read my article here.
Blogging does something that cold calling and door knocking can’t do.
Work by itself 24/7.
Blogging requires a significant amount of effort in the beginning. However, as time moves forward and you build your database of blogs. Suddenly, the entire world changes. You start getting leads, comments, traffic by the dozens, every single day.
Now, you’re busier than ever, so you reduce your article output to just once per week. Meaning, you’re only lead generating once per week.
But guess what? The backlog of articles you’ve written. They still exist and are still working for you, all day, every day.
Sure, it’s a bold move to finally “put down the phone” and start writing blog content. But if you do it right, you could dominate your local market without spending hours per day actively making phone calls.
Blogging is Extremely Fulfilling
At the end of the day, humans want to be heard.
We want our ideas to spread, we want people to appreciate what we have to say and think, and we want to be respected.
If there is anything I’ve come to find with blogging, it’s that I feel whole when someone comments on my work. I feel appreciated when someone begins discussing how what I wrote can connect to another issue somewhere else. I feel respected when someone personally emails me, telling me that they really loved what I had to say and when they decide to buy a home soon, I’ll be the first one they contact.
Blogging allows you to really speak your mind. To not play the game of salesman or saleswoman, and actually let people know how they can buy a house with bad credit, or how they can sell their home faster if they do such and such, or how external economics can affect the market.
And trust me. After a while, people will find you, and they will listen.
You Can Dominate the Local Search Results
I get web traffic from all over the world, but my primary goal remains.
Dominate Asheville, North Carolina.
I have some of the highest-ranked articles for real estate in Asheville. In terms of competition amongst Asheville real estate companies, I have the highest-ranked blog.
It was easier than you think.
Once you figure out your writing system, get your SEO tactics in order, and start producing articles consistently, the lack of competition amongst Realtors becomes very apparent in the online arena.
It will probably stay this way. We’re now well into the age of the internet. You’re not going to see a cataclysmic shift in real estate blogging any time soon.
Getting involved in blogging now could cement yourself as one of the most discoverable real estate agents in your local market.
The Cons of Blogging for Real Estate
You Need to Be a Decent Writer
Writing is an art form, and this a big reason why so many real estate agents shy away from blogging.
Writing is mentally draining and difficult. Slapping words together and posting it online will not help you at all. In fact, it will be detrimental to your success.
Google does not like junk.
Google’s primary job is to answer people’s questions and they’ve become the best in the industry at doing that.
It’s essential to their reputation that they provide web searchers with the best answers to their questions. If you’re not satisfying their quality requirements, then you will not rank.
And if you don’t rank your articles, then there’s no reason to waste your time blogging.
However, if you take the time to learn how to write, especially SEO writing, then you can reap huge benefits.
It Takes a While to See Results
Google doesn’t rank your website immediately.
They want to know if you’re a quality source.
That means you’ll need to write a lot of articles over a long period of time before you start coming up with any results. Furthermore, your writing needs to be quality each and every time.
Even though there’s a lack of competition in the real estate blogging market, there are still big names for you to compete against.
Big names like Curbed, BiggerPockets (a source I write for), Zillow, and many others have a huge step over you.
Your job is to snuggle in between them. You want to write where they don’t and offer your local market in-depth coverage because odds are, those big names aren’t paying attention to your market.
Personally, it took about three months for me to see my first bit of growth in organic search traffic (visits from searches). Every month after that, my numbers would double, then triple, then quadruple.
Once you start ranking some of your content, anything you put out afterwards becomes easier to rank, since Google has determined you to be a valuable source.
The hardest part is getting to that point.
SEO and Digital Marketing Skills are Required
In order to be successful with blogging, you must learn search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing.
Let’s first talk about SEO.
This is your bread and butter. You can forgo learning digital marketing and still be effective with SEO, albeit not as much.
SEO is the process of writing your articles in a format that Google likes, thus, more likely to rank at the top of the search results.
It’s your discoverability.
But it’s more than just writing. It’s keyword research (figuring out what people search for), website design (if your website is pretty, it will rank better), and optimization (faster mobile optimized websites are ranked highest).
These are all things you need to know in order to rank your website. I recommend you master SEO, but if you can’t or just don’t have the interest, I understand. Not everyone likes techy-stuff like that, but it’s incredibly useful nowadays.
Here’s some resources that helped me learn SEO and should suit anyone looking to master or dabble in it.
Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Land
It’s marketing, but digital, and online.
I talk a lot about digital marketing in real estate in my other articles, as its central to my business model.
While it’s not as important to blogging as SEO, it’s still incredibly important.
It’s how you promote your blog articles, usually in the form of social media. With every blog post, you should post at least five social media posts promoting that article over the next 2-3 months.
You want to make sure your content isn’t getting dried up with time and remains in front of your audience. The problem, of course, is having a following on social media. Over time, though, if you continue to push really good content, then people should recognize your existence and be ready for more.
I use scheduling apps for my social media posts. I’ve used quite a few of them over the course of my career and I can vouch for most of them.
Pro Tips for Blogging
Create a Writing System
The most important aspect of your writing career is systematizing your workflow.
Let’s analyze mine, as I don’t know of any other way.
Here’s my workflow every time I write a new article:
Settle on a topic.
Create an outline.
Import finished project into WordPress.
Edit (grammar, prose, add links, proper headings, etc.).
Add images and create a featured image.
File information into my article log.
This 10-step process has become faster and faster as I continue to write more. I can write, edit, and post a 1,000-word article in less than two hours (as long as I have coffee).
I recommend you come up with a simple system to follow as well so that nothing falls through the cracks and you always know what comes next.
Set a Designated Workspace
This goes into basic writer necessities, but just like an office, a writer’s workspace is essential to their success.
My personal workspace happens to be in a Starbucks. I love the atmosphere, the high-top tables mine features, and the ambiance of chatter, soft music, and of course, coffee.
My best works have been written in Starbucks. A neuron is activated in my brain when I walk in that says, “It’s time to write.”
It’s important that you find this space. It can be a coffee shop, an office, or even your house. Regardless of where it is, you need one, and the sooner you get one, the better.
Write 1,000-Word Articles 3-4 Times Per Week to Start
Remember how I mentioned that Google’s job is to answer people’s questions?
Usually, a 1,000 word or more article will do the trick.
There’s a lot of talk out there that a simple 500-word article, or even in some cases 300, is enough to satisfy Google.
Do not listen to any of this.
You will find far greater results if you write to answer questions better than anyone else. This means you need to pack as much information in your articles to satisfy the question and then some.
Why write articles 3-4 times per week when you start?
As a new competitor in the arena, you have to move up the ranks fast and show Google that you matter.
To do this, you need to consistently post a high volume of quality content. Yes, you will write at a minimum, 3,000 words per week. But trust me, it’s worth it.
If you were to write 3,000 words per week for three months. You would have written 36,000 words.
That’s slightly under the average size of a nonfiction book!
Now think, if you literally have a full-fledged book on your website and it’s a really good book packed with great information and tons of answers about real estate.
Why would Google not appreciate you?
Just do it.
Blogging has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. It’s brought me tons of fulfillment and purpose to my business.
It’s also made me happy to wake up in the mornings since it’s my true passion.
At some point, I’m going to write a book. If you happen to know anyone who’s willing to give me a publishing deal, please let me know.
Also, let me know if you’d like an article about how to actually create a real estate blog. There’s a lot of moving parts and I think it could be beneficial to write about.
And of course, if you’re thinking about real estate in Asheville, North Carolina, I’m here to help.