I was participating in a real estate forum recently, when I came across one new thread that boldly asked, “Blogs, are they a waste of time?” Immediately I recognised this question as one being contemplated on a daily basis in the minds of many realtors and that it related to the contradiction between what all the online real estate marketing experts say that a blog is essential and the experienced reality of real estate blog owners who see little in the way of new leads coming from them.
A Good Real Estate Blog Is Hard To Find
At the time I happened to be putting together one of the initial blogging lessons for the Listing Engine Program and I needed to find really good examples of real estate blogs to illustrate the essential features of those that followed best practice. Well, this was certainly easier said than done and it made crystal clear to me that, based on me looking at dozens of blogs, around 80% to 90% are indeed wasting their time with the blogging efforts. This is not because blogging itself is a waste of time, it is because realtors themselves are not applying best practice principles.
Now that may sound harsh, but it would be more cruel to watch hard working agents squander their limited time building a real estate blog that doesn’t meet their objectives – and may, in fact, turn off those few people that stumble upon it because it doesn’t measure up to their observations. Here are the biggest and most frequent mistakes I’ve seen in realtor blogs:
Mistake 1. Unclear understanding of a blog’s purpose or intended audience.
I have ranked this is number one because so many of the other errors stem from this basic misunderstanding. Many, if not most, realtors treat their blogs as a platform to sell themselves or get an SEO bounce to their website. Instead the focus needs to be on answering specific questions or solving problems of people in or about to enter the housing market – as either buyers or sellers. Do this and the other benefits from a real este blog will follow.
Mistake 2. Blog posts include new listings or open houses.
Neither of these “topics” answer questions or solve problems, which is the main purpose of blogs – they belong on your website or email list. However, by simply “re-packaging” the new listing as a “lesson” then you make these sorts of posts serve your audience – instead of just promoting yourself. For example, you can explain how a new listing’s well-established garden helps the marketability the property.
Mistake 3. Blog is difficult to navigate.
Visitors to your blog will find their way to it by a search engine pointing to a post that may answer their question or solve a problem they have. You want them to stay on your blog site as long as possible, but too many realtor sites lack basic navigational tools that will help your new visitor to find more information on what concerns them. A well thought-out category list and search box are essential. Internal links to other posts within your website are also good for navigation and SEO.
Mistake 4. Blog title, headings and images are not search engine optimized.
I’ve seen a real estate blog post title that said, “What’s Next?” Indeed. Neither human or search engine would have any idea of the focus of that blog topic. Titles need to have keywords and clearly reveal the topic of the post. Break posts up into sections and use Heading tags to help readers and search engines understand the nature of your posts.
Mistake 5. Blogs is part of a realtor website instead of linked to it.
As you go about answering your visitors’ questions and solving their problems, your blog is uniquely positioned to establish you as a credible, reliable and trustworthy expert. Visitors are more likely to establish this perception via a detached, impartial blog than they would through a business website. Blogs that are merely an extension of a corporate website loses this advantage of being impartial.
So those are my picks of the most common and serious mistakes by realtor blogs.
Have I missed any big blog no-no’s. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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