Ever since blogging rose to mainstream popularity in the mid-2000s, it has been consistently listed as one of the most effective marketing strategies for brand recognition and gaining visibility from consumers online.
In fact, because blog posts are so scalable, easy, and affordable it is the third most common content marketing strategy for businesses, and marketers who prioritize blogging see an ROI 13 times higher than those who do not utilize this tool according to Hubspot.
Hubspot and Demand Metric also reported the below statistics surrounding blogging:
By 2018 half of the top 200 Fortune 500 companies had a corporate blog.
You can check out Inside Real Estate's 'Insider Blog' here!
80% of US internet users interact with social media and blog sites, and that accounts for 23% of time spent online.
Businesses who blog get 55% more website visitors and generate an average of 67% more leads than those who do not.
90% of consumers find that custom content produced by a business is more useful and interesting than traditional advertising, and they are more likely to engage with a business that offers that.
The good news is that blogging and creating custom content can be fairly easy and should be created with 3 goals in mind:
Offer high-quality information.
Be relevant to the industry.
Provide value to the consumer reading it.
With kvCORE, you have the ability to create quality blog posts, schedule them in advance, and track view rates all in one place! You can also streamline your social media posts by sharing your blog posts on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or another platform. Multiple platforms, one content post!
Creating Content for Blog Posts
What you decide to include in your blog posts does not have to be difficult! Blog posts do not have to be very long, contain a lot of words, or have a serious subject. Literally, anything can be used to create a blog post as long as you somehow link it back to your industry.
For example, you could have buyer-focused posts sharing your personal tips and tricks for easy moving, a list of vendors you partner with or endorse that buyers can use (like housecleaners, inspectors, etc...), or even cookie recipes that will make their new house feel more like home.
Seller-centric blog posts could contain tips on how to best stage their house for listing pictures, links to activities or places that retirees would find enjoyable in your area(s) of focus (or another niche group you cater to), or a seller checklist of items either you personally put together or find online.
Get creative, find a topic you personally enjoy talking about, and check out what other real estate agents are posting about on their websites for inspiration!
There are also a few guidelines you can follow to see the most views on your blog posts:
Create a catchy title. Online viewers quickly judge an article's value to them by the title so use a question to entice them to click on your blog post or an interesting statement that piques their curiosity. "Top 5 Most Interesting Homes in [City/Neighborhood/State]!" or "Have YOU Made This #1 Seller Mistake with YOUR Home?" work well to capture and keep online viewers' attention.
Position yourself as an expert. Show that you know the area by linking out to popular activities or hole-in-the-wall places only natives know about. Provide resources for relocating buyers, like links to the local town hall or newspaper. Show off your real estate knowledge by sharing tips and tricks for making buying/selling easier or feature a business partner, like your loan officer. You want people to keep coming back for more!
Use your own voice when writing. Blog posts are very informal and the easiest way to let people get a feel for you personally without actually knowing them, so avoid getting caught up in trying to sound super professional. Use a little slang, pepper in some funny pictures, and write as if you were having a relaxed conversation.
Avoid copying and pasting from another source. Not only does Google rank the uniqueness of your content, but you also do not want to run into a plagiarism issue if someone finds your blog post and has an issue with what you have copied from them. If you want to reference content from another writer or website, link directly to it with a reason why people should click on it. Or you can use quotation marks around the copied passage and add the website URL at the bottom of your post with a note that you used their content.
How to Post Your Content
TIP: If you are an Admin, you can choose to show your Agents' blog posts on the Company, Office, and/or Team website by selecting 'Yes' under the setting "Show Agent Website Blog Posts On This Site".
There are three ways to access the blog post editor tool in your kvCORE account:
1. Through Quick Actions at the top of your account.
2. Through the Web & IDX tab's "Blog" button.
3. Through the Web & IDX tab's 'Blog Posts' section.
Once you are in the blog posts section you will see a list of your previously published blog posts and the green "+ Add Post" button to the right.
This will bring up the blog post editor where you can create and publish your content.
There are several tools that you can take advantage of in this editor:
1. Title - this must be unique to each blog post and it will appear in the post's URL.
2. Text Formatting Bars - the two icon bars that run across the top of the Content box allow you to format your content in different ways. You can adjust how the text looks, create numbered or bulleted lists, and insert tables.
3. Source Code: <> Icon - if needed, you can copy/paste or create/edit HTML code right into your blog post by using this tool. This is useful for professional bloggers who may create content for you to use. They can simply supply you with the HTML that you then copy/paste into the box that appears when clicking on the <> icon.
4. Links: Chain Icon - you have the ability to add any external links (URLs) as desired by highlighting the word(s) or image that you want to make clickable and then clicking on the chain icon to paste your link into.
TIP: When creating the link, make sure to choose 'New window' in the drop-down that appears under 'Open link in...' at the bottom of the box that appears. This will make the new link open in a different browser tab and leave your blog post page up in the original tab so they can navigate back to it and continue reading.
5. Add Images: Picture Icon - using pictures in your blog posts can really catch readers' attention and spice up an otherwise potentially bland post. You have two options when it comes to adding images: hosting the image on another website, like Imgur, and using the link to pull in the image or uploading the image directly from your device.
Using a link to bring in an outside image is useful if you want to include an image that you found in a web search or on another website. Just be careful to only share external images that are not copyrighted or protected against outside sharing.
If you already have the picture on your device, such as a new listing's pictures, you can easily upload them by clicking "Browse For An Image" and selecting the image(s) you would like to add.
TIP: When adding images to your blog posts keep in mind the size of the image. The size limit is 2MB and you will generally want to stay lower than that as well since the smaller your image is, the faster your webpage will load the content. This will also use less data if a reader is viewing the post via their cell phone or tablet.
Alternatively, you do not have to create your content directly in the blog post editor. You can use another writing program, like Microsoft Word, Notepad, or Pages, and then copy/paste the content into the editor tool once it is ready to be published.
Please Note: If you do wish to create content outside of the editor tool, keep in mind that the formatting will not carry over. If you have a lot of text and paragraph formatting, you should paste the content as plain text otherwise you will need to perform some cleanup prior to publishing otherwise it will not look good on the webpage.
Once you have the blog post's content added and formatted the way you want it to look, you can publish it right then or save it as a draft and come back to work on it later.
Creating content for multiple posts in a single session can be a time saver in the long run, so it is usually a best practice to schedule some time at the beginning of your workweek or each month and aim to create 1-3 blog posts a week.
Remember that these can also be used as your social media posts for the week as well, so this could very easily turn into a "2 birds, 1 stone" situation.
If you create multiple posts for publishing on different days, you do not need to remember to come in and manually publish each post. There is a posting scheduler built right into the blog editor!
Simply select the future date and time you wish that particular post to be published on and click the green "Publish Now" button. That will tell kvCORE to wait until your chosen date/time and then publish that post.
It may take up to 20 minutes for any website changes to appear, including published blog posts so if you do not see it right away that is expected. If you want to see it sooner, open your kvCORE website and add "/index.php?FLUSH_CACHE=1" without the quotation marks to the very end of the URL.
Want to share your blog post on other platforms? Click here!
If you have any questions or need further assistance when creating and publishing blog posts, please reach out to Customer Support via the blue chat bubble to the right or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!