When starting a blog, real estate agents often wonder what to blog about.
In particular, should the blog be focused on local topics?
The short answer is yes.
And also no.
Yes - Blog About Local Topics
When people look for a realtor, they will search for something like "realtor" or "real estate agent", and the locale where they hope to buy or sell.
You want to be visible when they do that.
That's why you'll definitely want to include terms like the name of your town or province in your website, about page, blog posts, and (only occasionally), your titles.
Tip: Avoid doing this too much in your titles. It will start to look spammy, or like you're trying to game search engines by keyword stuffing.
No - Don't Blog About Local Topics
Unless you're the local tour guide or Chamber of Commerce representative, you'll probably have a hard time talking about all about your local area in interesting and passionate ways. Especially if that's all you talk about.
Readers want to know you. Not information, not facts, you.
Example: One of my clients is an expert and leader in the industry. He teaches realtors annually, is on multiple boards to shape the industry even at a legislative level, and he has been in the game for decades. But you know what his readers connect with most? What gets the most engagement, and what most demonstrates to visitors and readers that he's a good, trustworthy guy? When he shares personal stories about his special-needs cats. All the excellent, highly researched posts are good to have too, and important to demonstrate his extensive knowledge and experience, but it's the peek into his personal life and his heart that grabs readers.
It was a process of hit-and-miss to discover that though - to get to know who his readers were and what they wanted.
What Should I Blog About Then?
Remember, it will be a hit-and-miss experiment.
First, figure out what you're about - what unique thing you offer, and how your readers might benefit.
Then it's a matter of finding topics that connect with you and your readers.
These might include:
* Reviews of local businesses
* Opinion pieces on local news
* Local lifestyle (Top 20 Things about living in ____, or 15 Unique-to-______ Features You'll Wish Your Town Had )
* Interview local people of note
* Local market reports, stats, insights, predictions or assessments
* Neighborhood highlights (up and coming? Best neighborhood for families?)
* Your hobbies (writing, photography, knitting, wood carving...) Yes, people care.
* Stories of client experiences (case studies, success stories, funny happenings)
* FAQs - be the answer
* FASQs - what clients should be asking that they don't.
* guides and checklists for readers about home decor, preparing to buy or sell, cost of purchasing, getting ready to move, etc.
* lessons you've learned (from hobbies, parenting, real estate, peers, ... anything)
* and, if you haven't already, you can also grab our free blogging cheat sheet for realtors to kickstart your content.
Writing a blog post is simple, but it's also more complicated than you think.
It's an art.
Like sales. Sure, anyone can do it, but also... not.
So let me send you off with a few encouragements on this bumpy marketing road:
1. Stick with it.
Yes. Blogging is a valid, effective marketing method. It works. But, just like your first year in real estate, sales and traffic don't just beat a path to your door because you want them to. It takes time, work, and an ability to connect with and help people. Thank goodness, you're a realtor, so we already know you have the chops.
2. Remember: You Don't Know What You're Doing. Be Willing to Learn.
Learn, practice, repeat.
Even my clients, who hire a professional, skilled, experienced ghost writer who specializes in real estate, still have to face the learning curve. Even just finding the thing to talk about takes some time and a bit of hit and miss. (What you think your readers should read and what they actually want to read is likely very different- it takes humility to accept that,. and more humility to change course..)
Learn, practice, (change course, experiment), repeat. That's just how it goes. Even with pros in your corner.
3. You're Not Stuck
After trying it for a while, you might feel like giving up. Most bloggers do. (Heck, most entrepreneurs of any kind, am I right?)
When you're face down in a puddle of your own tears, wishing you could just understand online marketing for once in this life (trust me, I've been there and you will be too), know that you're not stuck.
I know, you're used to doing it all on your own. Being in control. Knowing stuff.
But, if you're willing to accept that you need help, there are options!
Options when you feel stuck:
* check in with me here (on this blog) for blogging helps
* get the blogging cheat sheet and blogging prompts for free in your inbox
* delegate blogging to a ghost writer
* hire a specialist to polish up your existing blog post
* email me with your questions! I'm excited to answer them as best I can! (That's how this post got written -- it was sparked by an agent's question)