Already have a real estate blog? Congratulations! While you're already one step ahead of the game, it's all too easy to set up your blog and then quickly get in a rut. If you were one of the early adopters with blogs, you might be surprised by how much has changed in the past year. New advances in real estate blog platforms and ever more sophisticated designs and templates have made it surprisingly easy to upgrade your image online. Here are few of my favorite resources:
Upgrade Your Blogging Platform:
If you're not already using them, I strongly suggest going with Wordpress as your blogging platform. The biggest reason to go with Wordpress is simple: because everyone else is doing it. While generally following the herd isn't a smart strategy (especially around bridges and cliffs, according to most mothers), it's the smart thing to do when picking your platform.
Why? Because of it's size, Wordpress has the most "plugins" (mini-programs, such as a prospect contact form, you can add to your blog), the most site designs, and the most resources in general available online. You can create a free real estate blog by clicking the link to go to Wordpress. Some people even use wordpress to create single property websites
Important Note: If you would like more flexibility and more customization options, you may want to take it a step further and host your own blog. This requires more work, but it allows you to install any theme you'd like. A lot of hosts (I use Dreamhost) are pretty inexpensive ($8-$10 a year) and offer a "one click install" of wordpress on to your website. If you're not that comfortable with technology though, I don't recommend this as you can easily get distracted from your main goal of generating good content and attracting readers to your blog. If you would like to try it, go to wordpress.org instead of wordpress.com.
Upgrade Your Blog Theme:
After you've picked your platform, the next big decision is deciding on the right theme. Your theme sets the tone for your entire blog, and it's important to spend some time on this and pick the right one. Note that you'll need to host your own blog to use outside themes; if you're using wordpress.com you can only choose from the themes they offer. Assuming you are hosting your own blog, here are some of my favorite theme resources:Smashing Magazine Real Estate Blog Themes
Much more than just a resource for themes, Smashing Magazine offers advice and ratings on themes, fonts, design elements and more.Blog oh Blog
Blog oh Blog offers both free and premium themes, which can range from $20-$80 dollars depending on the theme's complexity. Considering how long you'll be using your blog and how important it is to your business, this can be money very well spent.
Add some great SEO tools and plugins:
All in One SEO Pack
For SEO, I recommend the All in One SEO Pack plugin, available at the above link. Use it to make sure your site titles, descriptions, and meta data is optimized for the search engines.Analyticator
For tracking your visitors, If you're already using Google Analytics I recommend Google Analyticator:Wordpress Stats
Otherwise, try Wordpress.com Stats (already included if your site is hosted by Wordpress):
While there are literally thousands of great resources out there for improving your real estate blog, these three are great places to start. While of course your content is what ultimately makes the biggest difference to your success, taking the time every few months to upgrade your blog makes a big difference too. If you're new to blogging, don't miss our article on how to create a real estate blog.Don't forget you can also link your single property websites to your blog to increase traffic!
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