If you are a real estate investor (or thinking about becoming one), a blog might help you build your business so you get more deals and can profit from them faster.
Here is a step-by-step to start your own real estate investing blog:
1. DECIDE WHO YOUR IDEAL READER WILL BE
Who do you want reading your blog? The answer to this question will be influenced by what kind of real estate investor you are. Do you focus on commercial or residential properties? Do you like to wholesale or flip or rent (or rent-to-own) for the cash flow?
With your real estate investing preference in mind, you can decide exactly what kind of blog you want — maybe you want a blog that builds a relationship with your bird dogs. Or maybe you want a blog that tenants will read. Or maybe you want a blog that attracts other investors. Or maybe you want a blog that attracts homeowners with bad credit who might be ideal for your rent-to-own properties.
My recommendation is: Start with just one audience in mind. This will help you to focus your writing and attract more readers to your blog. (In the future, you can always branch out… or, better yet, you can start additional blogs that is specifically designed for each of your audiences).
2. DETERMINE HOW YOUR READERS WILL GET TO YOUR BLOG
Most people are savvy enough to realize that people won’t just automatically appear on your blog because it is on the internet. Rather, building web traffic takes time and strategy.
Best place to start building web traffic in a situation like this is to think about who your audience is and where they are most likely to get to your blog from. Do they arrive on your blog because a column you write for your local newspaper? Do they arrive on your blog because of aggressive press release promotions you do?
You don’t have to already do this type of marketing but you should be thinking about what you will do in the future. My advice is: Start your blog, get used to blogging for a couple of weeks, then turn on the marketing and promotional efforts. By then, you’ll have a solid foundation of content that your readers can click around in.
And, the advantage of doing this kind of advanced thinking is because it helps you decide what you’ll be writing about. For example, if they have been reading your newspaper column, they already have some awareness of who you are and what you do so you can write very different blog posts than if you were using press releases. (More on that in a moment).
3. DETERMINE WHAT YOU WANT YOUR READERS TO DO ONCE THEY ARE ON YOUR BLOG
Your real estate investing blog is meant to build your business. To do this successfully, you need to think about how your blog fits into your sales funnel. Ultimately, you want your blog’s visitors to perform an action that advances them in your sales funnel so they get one step closer to doing business with you. (More about that in my blog post: Identifying the steps in your sales funnel stages).
So, what is that one step you want them to take? Choose one or two actions for them to do and focus all of your efforts on encouraging those two actions. (I talk about that further in my blog post: Little known marketing secret reveals how to get your phone to ring off the hook).
4. SET A GOAL FOR YOUR BLOG
Because you’re just starting out, you don’t need to set too many goals for your blog. (For example, don’t bother with how many visitors you want to get or how many comments you want to get. That stuff takes time and it all depends on different factors.
Instead, create an effort-based goal. In other words, take a look at your personal schedule and decide how much time you have and then set a goal for how many blog posts you can realistically write and publish in that time. My recommendation is that you publish at least once per day. (But that’s not always possible. That’s my personal goal, too, and I rarely achieve it). You should try to publish a few times a week… at the very, very least, you should publish at least once a week. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to publish even once a week then you should really re-think whether blogging is for you. There might be better mediums for your content if you are going to publish that infrequently.
5. BRAINSTORM SOME BLOG POST TOPICS
Now it’s time to brainstorm some blog post topics.
Using what you know about the people coming to your blog (step #1), where they came from (step #2), and what you want them to do (step #3), you can create content that speaks to your readers.
Here are a few other blog posts that might give you some ideas:
- Check out this list as a starting point: 10 blog posts a real estate investor should write
- Read 8 ways to discover what problems your prospects desperately want solved and then plan to write several blog posts about how you solve each problem identified
- Definitely read the blog post The most commonly blogged phrase and how to avoid it
Want to know how many blog posts to plan for your real estate investing blog? The answer is: As many as possible! When I write for my real estate investing clients, I try to plan at least 3 months (and often an entire year) of blog posts… even if I end up writing about something else on a given day, I want to always have more than enough ideas.
6. CHOOSE A BLOGGING PLATFORM
Many people make the mistake of putting this as their first step but you shouldn’t do it too early. But by now, you will have figured out if blogging is right for you and just how much time you’re willing to devote to it. Here are some good blogging platforms to consider:
Free blogging platforms
These blogging platforms are usually co-branded between you and the platform, so your domain name would be something like www.aaronhoos.blogspot.com. However, they are the easiest and fastest to set up.
- Posterous: In my opinion, this is the easiest, most user-friendly blog in the universe. If you want to just go in and blog without any fuss or muss, use this one. It’s great and ridiculously simple.
- Blogger: I like this one, which is owned by Google. It was where I put my very first blog (so there might be some nostalgia with this decision) and there was a while when I wasn’t as happy with them, but they have made some impressive enhancements that convinced me to add them back to the list.
- Tumblr: This is another really easy-to-use blogging platform. I’m not as familiar with it but I know a lot of people who swear by it. It seems to be similar to Posterous.
- WordPress.com: WordPress is a popular blogging platform that has a huge userbase and lots of plug-ins and add-ons. If you like to customize your blog, this is the one for you.
Paid blogging platforms
These blogging platform take a little extra work to set up but if you don’t mind investing the time, you end up with a blog that is entirely your own (i.e., you can have your own unique domain name, like www.aaronhoos.com).
- You can buy a domain name (I use GoDaddy.com) and connect it to your Posterous blog, Blogger blog, or Tumblr blog and you’ll get a blog with their functionality, hosted on their servers, but with your unique domain name. This is a good middle-ground between the free blogs above and what I’m about to describe next…
- WordPress.org: This is where you buy a domain name and hosting (I use Godaddy.com for this) and you add the WordPress open source software to your host. This allows you to access a content management system (similar to what you’d get with the free blog platforms, above) while giving you the most control over your blog.
So, which one should you choose? The WordPress.org option is the best, in my opinion, because it gives you the most flexibility for your business. However, it costs the most and requires the most work.
If you would like to “test out” blogging for a year or so and see what happens, you can always go with a free blog platform at first and then later change to a paid platform. The free blogging platforms give you the ability to make quick decisions to test things.
7. PREWRITE SOME OF YOUR BLOG POSTS
Now that you have a list of blog topics to write about and you’ve chosen a blog platform, prewrite a couple of blog posts. I say “prewrite” because you don’t need to publish them right now. Instead, get a feel for your blog and try to find your own blogging “voice”. If you write about 5 blog posts, you’ll start to see your blogging voice emerge and you’ll also start to get a realistic idea about how long it will take you to write a single blog post. From here, you can decide whether or not to continue.
If you choose to continue, you can schedule in those blog posts to start publishing regularly.
8. GET STARTED!
Now that you have prewritten some blogs and they’re being published regularly, it’s time to get serious about actually blogging.
Blogging can be a lot of fun but it can also be a lot of work. Here’s what I advise to help make your blogging a little easier:
- Set aside time to write every day.
- Try to write 2 blog posts per day. One for today, one for the future.
- Try to write a combination of timely blog posts (about what is happening now) and timeless blog posts (which can be published at any time).
- If you have content from other sources (for example: previous marketing you’ve done or an ebook) repurpose them into your blog posts
- Plan your blog posts as if each post is part of a chapter of a book. This allows you to repurpose your blog content in the future for other things (like ebooks, books, ecourses, etc.)
- Don’t expect immediate results. Success from blogging can take time.
- You can start to dial in keywords over time but be careful not to stuff your blog with keywords
9. PROMOTE YOUR BLOG
After you have a batch of blog posts (somewhere between 5 and 15), you should start promoting your blog. Start using the methods you thought about in step #2… since you’ve already thought about it. Of course you can always branch out but that is the best place to start.
A REAL ESTATE INVESTING BLOG CAN BE GOOD FOR BUSINESS
A real estate investing blog can be a lot of fun… but it can also be a lot of work. Stick with it for a while (it takes time) and try to not to be discouraged. Have fun with it and be consistent and you should see the positive results in your business.