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Find Your Direction … Magnetically

One of the shows that my kids and I watch together is The Deadliest Catch about crab fishermen up in the Bering Sea near Alaska. In their lives, their financial success is tied directly to their ability to find large “biomasses” of crab in the midst of a vast and forbidden ocean. They use charts and graph to guide their efforts, but in the end, they must set some “test crab-fishing-real-estatepots” to determine where the best fishing is. And it changes from year to year.

Lately I have thought of online marketing (and more especially blogging) in the same vein. So often, the biggest question that real estate bloggers have for me is: “What do I write about?”

When you write, you are sending a hook line and sinker into the vast unknown of the internet. So many time folks choose their blogging subjects based on how they feel at the moment, when they would be better served to purposefully cast a line in the water with the intention for catching something or knowing that the fish are not there and simply moving to different grounds.

That is the secret of finding your direction magentically.

Write about the subjects that your target audience is drawn to. Utilize Google Analytics and other tools to test the conversion rates of those readers… Continue reading this post


Posted by: Eric Blackwell on April 5th, 2010 under Blogging Tips


Content Tips For Starting Your Blog

Content Building Blocks

The first month of your real estate blog’s life is the most important.

What you do during the first month can affectbuilding-blocks-blog-content the way Google will see your blog for the next year, so it is extremely important to build hyper local, keyword rich content in a structured and cohesive way.

The following are tips to building your first month’s worth of blog content.

Plan to post between 3-5 times a week.

Write “About Me” on Day 1. This includes:

  • Your past experiences
  • Your Team (if applicable)
  • Reviews
  • Boast posts: This is my favorite way to let you boast about your talents while couching it in an example and expert advice.  As a Realtor, you have the unique ability to solve problems most people feel are overwhelming.
  • Talk about your past experiences. People like to know that not only do you understand their problem, but that you have solved the very same problem for other clients. Example marketing helps you to establish your position as an expert and problem solver while also emotionally connecting with potential clients that share a similar problem.

On day 2, select another topic. Work your way down the list on each of the sections and by the end you will have a full blog of hyper local real estate content that WILL get you found on the search engines.

Think writing real estate blog content is like pulling teeth? Continue reading this post


Posted by: Mary McKnight on August 13th, 2009 under Blogging Tips


Blogging Tip: 5 Ways To Be Interesting


You probably have no problem explaining the First Time Home Buyer’s Credit—so do about 1,000 other real estate professionals.  That’s all well and good but it takes more to stand out from the crowd, more to stand out from your competition.

This lesson is about running ahead of the blog pack.

Here are 5 tips to help make your blog posts (and you) more interesting to readers:

1. Put up or shut up. Tell your readers about your real life real estate experiences. Show us your battle scars.   Prove you can walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

2. Be funny. OK, not everyone is good at humor, but give it a try.  Or just post an amusing photo, video or cartoon.  If you’re desperate, pick a bad photo from your MLS—and tell folks WHY it’s bad.

3. Color outside the lines. Be different in your approach to a subject.  Write about a topic in a way no one else has considered.  Make your reader scratch their head and say “Wow, I never thought about it that way.”

4. Be incongruous. Throw folks off their stride by doing the unexpected.  Mix and mismatch.  You’ve got to get a reader’s attention.  I like using images and cartoons.  Try an off-the-wall headline that grabs attention.  Unusual metaphors help:  Why Renting is Like Dating a Cheerleader (figure that one out)

5. Break news or be one of the first to spread it. Keep your eyes and ears open for news stories.  Think like a reporter.  Interview folks in your community to get a story—maybe you’ll be the first to talk about a new development or a new law.  Use Google Alerts and Tweetbeeps.

Blogging Tip courtesy of the HomeGain Blog Professor, Joseph Ferrara. To read the full newsletter article, “10 Ways To Be Interesting: Lesson 57″, and receive the weekly real estate blogging newsletters, sign up for AgentView and the HomeGain Blogging School.


Posted by: Joseph Ferrara on August 7th, 2009 under Blogging Tips


Blogging Tip: Finding Your Voice


Of all the ingredients in the blogging success formula, the one that can’t be taught is Personality.

So, instead, I offer these 4 tips to help inspire you to be yourself.

1. Play to Your Strengths

Real estate is a complex business.  It involves both the left and right sides of the brain, if you will.  Yes, there are facts and figures, credit scores and financing options but there is also lifestyle, neighborhood amenities, client feelings, and a host of other intangibles.  I have heard finding a home compared to finding a mate.  Yes, there are the physical characteristics but also those hard to define “feely” qualities.  The real estate agent is the matchmaker, trying to blend all the elements together.  But each of you is better at certain aspects.

Are you more comfortable and confident analyzing statistics and financing to find the best deal in town?  Or do your strengths lean more toward quality of life and neighborhood amenities to find the perfect match for a first time buyer?  Do you enjoy marketing, staging?  Write about the topics that show your strengths… and your passion.  Find your talent and you will find your voice.

2. Reveal Yourself

If you have hobbies or interests (even pets), share them with your readers from time to time.  Perhaps you volunteer for an organization, at your church or synagogue, or are involved in community events.  Write about your experiences.  If you can (and maybe you can’t) relate them to real estate.  The point is to open up to your readers so they get a sense of the “unprofessional” you – Gee that doesn’t sound right, but you know what I mean.  You will be surprised to find that others share your hobbies, interests, volunteerism….and pets.  Continue reading this post


Posted by: Joseph Ferrara on July 3rd, 2009 under Blogging Tips


Blogging Tip: 5 Tips For Better List Posts

Certain types of blog posts attract visitors and generate a lot of interest (clicks), increasing the likelihood they will be read and maybe spread across the Internet. The first type of blog post hitting the mark is the “List” post.

Five Tips For Better List Posts

  1. The number 10 seems to be a popular list number  – Top 10 list. The same is apparently true for odd number lists.  Don’t ask me why.  Even a post of 1 will work – The Number 1 Reason Homes Don’t Sell.
  2. Use these powerful buzzwords to further attract readers, such as: Top, Best, Easy, Fast, Cheap, Simple, Popular, Tips, Tricks, Secrets
  3. Don’t neglect the negative list.  For example, 7 Big Mistakes to Avoid When Photographing a Home for Sale.
  4. Appeal to curiosity.  Secrets. Tips. Tricks. People are curious to know what the experts know.
  5. Bold your list items.  It helps the list items stand out.

Blogging Tip courtesy of the HomeGain Blog Professor, Joseph Ferrara. To read the full article and receive the weekly real estate blogging newsletters, sign up for AgentView and the HomeGain Blogging School.


Posted by: Joseph Ferrara on April 24th, 2009 under Blogging Tips


What Good Are Tools If You Don’t Know How to Use Them?

Real estate agents are bombarded daily with offers from vendors—free trials, free blogs, free this, free that. Sounds great. But is it? Not always.

The problem with any product sold or given to real estate agents is, what I call THE MISSING MANUAL. Unlike the bikes I had to assemble at Christmas which had instructions – and still were tough to put together—the tools you get from vendors do not come with a manual of how to effectively use them. At best, you get the basics.

Let’s take blogging, for example. You can get a free blog from WordPress or Blogger and strike out on your own. Or you can pay for a blog at any number of real estate websites. But there are 2 major problems.

1. The blog providers give you virtually no instructions on how to:

  • Set up the blog
  • Post content
  • Add images, video, slideshows, listings widgets, etc. -– Do you know how to use an HTML editor -– Or know what the heck HTML is?
  • Tag your posts (and images) -– did you know that images are indexed by Google?
  • Categorize your posts -– did you know that choosing too many categories actually hurts you?

You have to learn by trial and error. That’s how I learned. It sucked. It took a long time and I made many mistakes, some of which I did not correct until years later — that’s right, years.

2. It takes time for Google to index new blogs.

You can write for months and months before folks can find your posts on Google, i.e. on the first page of Google. Let’s face it, no matter how great your content is, if no one can find it on Google, no one will read it. So you end of toiling without seeing real success and it’s discouraging. You’re likely to quit.

If only someone showed you how to write blog posts to effectively take advantage of SEO (search engine optimization)…………….

Continue reading this post


Posted by: Joseph Ferrara on April 7th, 2009 under AgentView, Blogging Tips, Blogging and Social Networking


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