Blogging Your Listings
It is hard enough to maintain one blog. Why would anyone want to try and develop multiple blogs for their listings? Below are the options and answers for this subject. Please feel free to expand upon this topic with your comments.
1. Blogging your listings within your blog
This is when you write an article in your blog that is about a specific listing. The blog itself is not geared specifically towards the showcasing listings, but you figure you might as well drop them in there anyhow. This is the easiest and cheesiest way to promote listings with a blog. Easy because you don't have to create a separate entity just to post, and cheesy because your audience, although interested in your savvy, is not coming to your site regularly to check out a single, uninteresting listing.
2. A new blog for each listing
Each listing is a new blog itself. Generally, a template is created in WordPress or TypePad (I prefer TypePad for this one) and is published separately of the one's primary blog. It is wise to purchase a separate domain name for each listing (www.123ElmStreet.com for example) and have it pointed to the address of the template blog. Template blogs have addresses like this: http://yourblogsname.typepad.com/nameoflisting. The branded address above makes the blog/listing more marketable.
3. One blog for all your listings
All listings are published to a blog about all your listings. Think: SacramentoListingBlog.com. Create categories for each listing: Price, location, beds, baths, style, status etc. The blog is the ultimate CMS (Content Management System). You can add and sort any number of items. Visitors will recognize the categories and browse accordingly. Fantasic dump for all your 'solds' as well. Keep in mind that all blog posts will have a Permalink address as well, to which you can direct a domain name (www.123ElmStreet.com) for independent marketing of the listing. This will appease your sellers.
1. Will it help in the Search Engines?
Of course! When using a blog that is properly set up to ping the search engines, the content that you publish can be treated like 'breaking news.' This phenomenon will increase your reach in the search engines with every word you type.
2. Will it impress the seller?
It should... but I wouldn't bring it up if they have no idea what a blog is.
3. Will it impress the buyer?
If that's how they found the listing in the first place, of course. Otherwise, no.
4. Is it a lot of work?
For the non savvy, it could be. Adding a listing to a blog is no more than a bit of copy/paste and a little word processing/formatting.
5. Is it worth it?
If you consider broadened exposure in the search engines, a display of your emarketing savvy and another landing page for lead generation worth it, then yes.
6. Will it help sell the listings?
It will not hurt. But the exposure it can generate for you, your services, your commitment and your consulting is priceless.
7. What's involved?
You need to be into blogging. You need to have a professional blogging account like TypePad or WordPress. It takes some practice before you start going live.
8. How long will it take?
No more than 20 minutes a listing, and increasingly less as you get comfortable. Done.
9. Duplicate content?
If your listing information appears anywhere other than on dynamic result pages (IDX, MLS, Trulia, Realtor.com etc.) such as Craigslist, your company website, your personal website, etc. then you may have some duplicate content issues.
10. Copy and paste?
Postlets/MLS/Website/Emails: Change around the descriptions a bit and use the same html/content in multiple marketing efforts.
What do I recommend?
I recommend that you either create a blog for all your listings or, you build an exclusive section on your business blog. Mixing quality content with listing details is a bad idea. It will distract and turn off your readers. Blogging is about cultivating readership to incubate long-term leads. Listings are take it or leave it content and should not be woven in among your pearls of wisdom. So, if you must keep everything on one blog, organize the listings to appear seperately from the general articles.
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