In recent years, real estate blogs have become an increasingly popular marketing tool used by real estate professionals to attract/engage potential clients and share helpful information/resources within their sphere. In many instances, well-constructed blogsites, in which good quality content is published consistently, can out rank/out perform more traditional ‘static’ websites, resulting in more traffic and more business.
However, blogging isn’t for everyone. Just like any other meaningful marketing method, it takes time, effort, and consistency to achieve results. There are no ‘easy’ buttons.
Perhaps one of the best ways to test the writing waters and get your blogging feet wet, is to join a social network like ActiveRain. Launched in 2006, ActiveRain has grown to nearly 200,000 members throughout the US and Canada. The basic free membership allows you to set-up your own blog publisher, post articles, read/comment other member blogs, etc.. For a monthly subscription fee, your blog content (articles) can be made accessible to the Search Engines, allowing your blog to be found by consumers.
Although there are other blogging platforms, like Blogger.com or WordPress.com, and niche microblogs like Tumblr and Posterous, you will find that some don’t get crawled and indexed by the search engines as well as others, and you end up feeling like you’re having a very long, frustrating one-sided conversation.
Ultimately, your blog should serve as the primary ‘Hub’ for all of your online marketing activities and social media involvements.
For those who discover the value of blogging and find it to be a good fit in their marketing plan, a natural evolution is to eventually migrate over to a WordPress.org or TypePad blog. The primary benefits are having a greater degree of control and ownership over your site and content.
The process for creating your own WP or TP blog is not as difficult as it appears. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a Techno Geek or a Code Monkey to successfully launch your own blogsite.
Here’s the basic steps in a nutshell:
1. Name and Claim Your Domain:
What are you going to call your blogsite/blog? Ideally, it’s best to use a name that describes your local real estate market or niche, like “HoodCanalWaterfront.com” or “HomesOnHoodCanal.com.” This will help improve the ‘findability’ factor of your blog.
2. Select Your Hosting Server
Once you’re chosen/registered your domain name, you’ll need to select a Hosting Service Provider, like BlueHost or GoDaddy. Personally, I prefer BlueHost because they make the overall set-up process fairly painless.
3. Upload Your Blog Software
WordPress.org is by far the most popular blogging platform currently available, and it’s FREE! You can go to their website and download a .zip file to your hard drive. Or, as is the case with BlueHost, they have a WP icon that allows you to quickly install the WordPress software onto your hosting space.
4. Select/Upload Your Blog Template/Theme
One of the great things about WordPress is the seemingly limitless array of themes (free or paid) that are available for use. For my most recent blog project, I simply did a Google search for ‘WordPress Themes’ and downloaded a free theme that fit with my intended marketing niche.
For my latest blog project – HomesByHarbors.com – it took all of about 15 minutes for me to register a domain, secure my hosting provider, and upload a theme. Now the fun/challenge will be to generate good, relevant content that potential clients will find helpful/valuable.
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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional providing Relentless Representation and Knowledgeable Empowerment for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.com, ActiveRain, Everyday CK, HomeByHarbors and Crabbing in the Hood, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org