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April 1, 2010: The 2 Most Important Things To Consider About Your Real Estate Blogsite-Website
Comments: 6 | Categories: Blog Lead Generation , Blog Organization , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
On nearly every call with a real estate blogger looking for advice, I end up having them consider both of the following. Everything else is at best tertiary to these concerns and can probably be satisfied by simply keeping these primary items in mind. 1. Why Are Your Visitors On Your Website? What brought them there, and what are they expecting? Did they do a search on Google and find an article that you wrote? Did they click from a link in your email signature? Was it a Tweet? a Facebook status update? a YouTube video? Did you tell them to go there? Did someone or something else? You need to consider the reason and the context of every actual and potential visit. This understanding will help you determine the 2 most important things about your online marketing strategy. a. Am I reaching my Target Audience? b. Are my visitors...

March 11, 2010: How To Approach Real Estate Blogging And Ensure Your Success, Guaranteed
Comments: 16 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Blog Discipline , Blog Dos and Don'ts , Blog Writing Tips , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
I sat here making an effort to finish writing an article covering the 2 most crucial things to consider about your website when I was derailed by the topic below. The following is based on a phone rant that I have let loose so many times that I’m starting to feel myself on auto-pilot, almost thinking about something else, as I explain the basic formula to guaranteed blogging success. It struck me that I need to write this down before I mistakenly consider it to be no longer relevant. The fact is that it couldn’t be more relevant for new and struggling real estate bloggers. I am adding this article to the Pre Class Homework that all of our new clients will receive, for it is the foundation of their path to blogging reward. 1. Define Your Target Audience/Ideal Reader In a past article I wrote this: Your knee-jerk first...

February 2, 2010: A Frenzied 5 Creative Ways to Use A Real Estate Blog to Demolish Your Market Competition
Comments: 31 | Categories: Blog Marketing , Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging
Today’s offering is a guest post from Tomato client and real estate blogging guru, Ben Roberts of Exit Pro Realty and TheExitPro.com. Thanks for the effort, Ben! — Readers of The Real Estate Tomato come in one of three flavors... They've got a RET blog and are always reading and improving their skills. They don't have a RET blog and are considering making the investment in their online presence. They stumble upon the Tomato and are in awe of the fresh ideas within these juicy posts... leading them inevitably to numbers 2 or 1. I can say this of course, because I'm a guest contributor. Regardless of who you are or what you want to glean from this blog, you come for information. How can I bump up my internet presence? What should I do to differentiate myself from others in my market? How can I convert more website visitors...

December 8, 2009: Real Estate Brokerage Websites - I Don’t Think We Are In Kansas Anymore
Comments: 17 | Categories: Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging
Beth Butler, former Broker for EWM Realtors in Miami, FL wants to get into the head of real estate brokers around the country. She wants to share her expertise in managing an incredibly successful real estate company blogsite with those that need to see the light. The playing field has changed, and many need a coach. Beth is that Coach. Real Estate Brokerage Websites - I Don’t Think We Are In Kansas Anymore By Beth Butler Just like in the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy tiptoes out of her house to find she is in an altogether different place than she left, so it is with the real estate brokerage business post market meltdown. As brokers gently lift their collective heads from dealing with the drudgery of the down market, the view out the window is not the same as it was. The business is forever changed. Budget cutbacks wielded...

December 3, 2009: New To Real Estate Blogging? 6 Simple Steps to Get You Started.
Comments: 15 | Categories: Blogging Peers , Real Estate Blogging
For the entire month of December I will be writing articles as contributions to what I call the Rewrite Project. Instead of writing on new topics, I am going to be digging through the advice archives and rewriting the "oldies but goodies". Why? Why not? But it is also an exercise to show you that you can never step in the same river twice, and finding relevant blog content to publish is as easy as looking in the rear-view mirror. The next article in my series of rewrites is the dismantling and recreation of “New To Business Blogs? The 6 Steps To Getting Started”. The irony of that article is that I had been blogging for less than 3 months, and here I was the expert. For some time now, I have been wanting to add emphasis to the points in this post, so here goes. The logic of this...

December 2, 2009: Exactly How The Long Tail In Real Estate Blogging Will Bring The Ready-To-Act Home Buyer.
Comments: 5 | Categories: Blog SEO Advice , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
For the entire month of December I will be writing articles as contributions to what I call the Rewrite Project. Instead of writing on new topics, I am going to be digging through the advice archives and rewriting the "oldies but goodies". Why? Why not? But it is also an exercise to show you that you can never step in the same river twice, and finding relevant blog content to publish is as easy as looking in the rear-view mirror. One of the first advice articles I wrote on the power of blogging was called “If You Write It They Will Come!" - The Long Tail In Real Estate. Starting with the title… it’s not bad, but it could have been better. For the rewrite I’m going with: Exactly How The Long Tail In Real Estate Blogging Will Bring The Ready-To-Act Home Buyer. Now that we have all made purchases...

September 11, 2009: How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Real Estate Blogsite
Comments: 41 | Categories: Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
Without doubt, the most common question that I get from brand new blogging clients is, "Can you help me choose a domain name?" The days of agents using their own name as their website identity are gone, and this has them left with the task of developing a new, powerful brand. After answering this question and setting up several hundred domains over the last few years the formula has become clear. That said, you could probably break everyone one of these 'rules' and still end up with an incredibly successful blog. But before we get the guidelines, you need to get into a Domain Buying State of Mind. What Are You Going To Be Blogging About? Ultimately your content will determine your success, not your domain name. However, taking into consideration what your topics of focus are to be make a nice direction for your site's name, and help potential...

September 2, 2009: A Message About The Power Of Content, Any Content, For Your Real Estate Blog.
Comments: 16 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Real Estate Blogging , Teresa Boardman
Regular contributor, Teresa Boardman delivers a no-nonsense post on the (seemingly random) Power of (seemingly random) Content. Enjoy! Speaking of Tomatoes… By Teresa Boardman I get a little introspective this time of year and usually send Jim some kind of a post about things that I have learned. I have been writing my real estate blog for four years now and have over 1800 posts, not to mention a couple more blogs. The biggest lesson for me this year has been that no matter how strategic my blogs are there is a random element that usually works in my favor, but not always. I start by writing a certain type of content with a goal in mind. I put the content out there and something completely different happens. We make connections through our blogs and some of those connections are seemingly random and certainly unanticipated. Here is one example: I...

July 10, 2009: Tomato Twitter - A Better Way To Microblog On You Real Estate Blog
Comments: 12 | Categories: Announcements , Blog Syndication , Real Estate Blogging
Microblogging with the Tomato Twitter PlugIn Solves Two Major Challenges. 1. The biggest challenge to blogging is developing regular, unique content on your site. 2. The biggest challenge to syndicating your Twitter Updates to your blog is that often they are out of context and confusing to your blog readers. Now you can solve both of these challenges at the same time. Microbogging Is Blogging. Making/Finding time to blog is cause of death for most blogs. Although it is no replacement for rich, well-thought-out content, quick, unique updates relevant to your audience’s expectations are a great manner of keeping the regular content coming. Every update, long or short, is an opportunity to connect with your audience, and that is the goal in the first place. The Tomato Twitter PlugIn creates a widget that displays Micro Blogs (short text updates) on your blog, which then syndicate to Twitter. From the dashboard...

July 3, 2009: 50 Sound Real Estate Blogging Tips
Comments: 29 | Categories: Blog Dos and Don'ts , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
Most of my blogging efforts revolve around delivering sound real estate blogging advice. The articles generally take me at least a couple of hours to develop, format, publish and broadcast. I have dozens and dozens of ideas that are just waiting to be developed and published, but as we all know, the most challenging thing about blogging is carving out the time. Then it strikes me. Micro Blogging on Twitter would be a fantastic solution to my dilemma: a ton of ideas, and no time to get them into blog-shape. So, on April 25th, 2009, I started posting Real Estate Blogging Tips to Twitter, under the hashtag #reblogtips. Only having 140 characters with which to deliver sound advice forced each one to be clear and definitive. The following are a collection of 50 of those first two months of tips. 1. Near holidays, timely posts can drive HUGE traffic to...

June 25, 2009: The 11 Most Common Pitfalls For New Real Estate Bloggers
Comments: 6 | Categories: Blog Discipline , Blog Dos and Don'ts , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
We’ve trained hundreds of real estate agents to make the blog an effective marketing tool. We run them through a dozen hours of personal training classes, aiming to keep them on track to success. The following represent the most common issues that we help them recognize in or to keep them focused. ___ 1. Worrying About Design Before the Writing ___ This is akin to planning a wedding before you have even met your husband/wife to be. Before you even ‘deserve’ a great looking home for your blogging, you need to have shown a solid commitment to The Writing. Our process with our new clients is to get them to start thinking and acting like bloggers while their custom design is being developed. The process usually takes around 4 weeks, providing us with ample time to establish a strong commitment in the form of 10–12 well written articles. Not to...

June 11, 2009: The Easiest Way To Write 30 Real Estate Blog Articles Every 30 days
Comments: 22 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Blog Discipline , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
We all know that Teresa Boardman posts to her real estate blog every day. But most aren’t so inspired, thus making the effort seem unrealistic. The base formula for blogging success is obvious: More relevant content = More of everything you expect (traffic, search engine exposure, subscribers, leads, reach). So, like exercise, we know it’s good for us, we just can’t always get off the couch computer… and since you are already ON the computer, and not jogging, why can’t we get more than a post a week out of you? This article is designed to give real estate bloggers an outline/formula for publishing as much relevant content as possible. If finding the time to write is the challenge, then a new approach must be made in order to pick up the content pace. If the goal is to publish every day then you either need to schedule time every...

June 5, 2009: Ask Yourself, Why Am I Blogging? The Most Difficult Part Is Having An Honest Answer.
Comments: 13 | Categories: Blog Discipline , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
Blogging is a big commitment. By starting a real estate blog you are embarking on what could be a never ending writing adventure. If you are going to go forward with it, shouldn’t you ask yourself “Why Do I Want To Blog?” Blogging is a strategy. Yet, in order for the strategy to be something that you can really get behind, you need to understand and define your goal. You will defeat yourself, or rather blogging will defeat you, if there is no clear definition of what you want to achieve. If you are unsure of your goal, how can you be sure of how much time to dedicate to blogging, or whether it is actually ‘working’ for you? Do you want to be the most read blog in your city, community, niche? Do you want to generate buyer leads? listing leads? Do you want to help educate past, current...

June 3, 2009: How Does Teresa Boardman Post Every Day To Her Real Estate Blog?
Comments: 23 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Blog Writing Tips , Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging , Teresa Boardman
For most, the most challenging element of blogging is clearly finding time and the act of pounding out an article. Even our clients, whom we train, and train and train some more on the best approaches to blogging find that keeping a consistent blogging pace is difficult to maintain. So who better to get some advice on consistency than one of the only everyday-bloggers that I know, our great friend, Teresa Boardman of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com? Writing About WritingBy Teresa Boardman I never thought I would be writing about writing but I am. I consider myself to be a non writer but have found that with practice it gets easier. Writing a blog is like writing an email. There was a time in business before email when we used to send memos but that writing style is much more formal. The process was intimidating as my administrative assistant and my boss would...

June 1, 2009: An Honest Look at the Impact of Video on Your Real Estate Blog
Comments: 7 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Blogging Advice , Collaborative Articles , Real Estate Blogging
Welcome to our latest Tomato Collaborative Article where we cover the topic of Video in Real Estate Blogging. We recently had a Tomato Radio episode on the same subject, and this article is the collective opinion and insight from the contributors on our internal Matrix Blog. My question to our audience was What is the Impact of Video in your Real Estate Blogging? Below is my best effort at stitching together their comments in a comprehensive manner. Pros: The Audience Better Identifies With Author.Rob Saxe: Who I am comes through more on video than when I write an article. From experience, that video blogging as a marketing tool is indispensable and an absolute necessity for my business. Bruce Lemieux: A blog with compelling and informative written content can be a huge net to gather leads and build an audience. To pull leads into the boat and convert them to clients,...

May 11, 2009: Don't Miss May 15th Tomato Radio Episode: Online Video In Real Estate
Comments: 4 | Categories: Announcements , Blogging Advice , Interviews , Real Estate Blogging
This month's Tomato Radio Show is Dedicated to Discussing Online Video in Real Estate: Video Blogging, Live Testimonials, Property Highlights, Community Reviews, and More! In an article from Nov, 2007, I described the future of the real estate blog as something that will demand regular video updates in order to satisfy the audience that will no longer be hunched over their laptop. On tomorrow’s television (an all-in-one entertainment console), the internet and blogs will need to cater to those sitting 10 ft from the screen, making text that much more disengaging. Although we haven’t quite made it to ‘tomorrow’, there are a growing number of real estate agents leveraging video to gain exposure and earn a reputation of expertise. Their efforts today have not only prepared them for tomorrow, but more importantly, won them success today. We have 2 very special guests: From 3 to 3:30 we will be talking...

April 13, 2009: Introducing Tomato Radio! Conversations on Real Estate Blogging, Without a Net.
Comments: 9 | Categories: Announcements , Blogging Advice , Jason Benesch , Real Estate Blogging
We are thrilled to announce our latest advancement in connecting to the real estate blogging community: Tomato Radio Tomato Radio is an hour-long, live show on the 15th of every month.* We will begin each show at 3pm PST (6pm EST). Every show will be hosted by Jim Cronin, joined by a special guest (or two). Our format will be to speak on a pre-determined agenda for the first 30 minutes, followed by audience participation for the remaining 30 minutes. For example, we may discuss Blogging SEO with Justin Smith of Searching Solutions, or Real Estate Statistics with Mike Simonsen of Altos Research in loose interview style, to be followed by questions and input from the audience. We ask that all participation be limited to the topic at hand. Suggestions for Show Topics? Please email us. We are here to have a conversation with you, and for you. *If the...

March 31, 2009: Lost In The Crowd: Realtors Fail To Effectively Leverage Social Media.
Comments: 12 | Categories: Blog Marketing , Real Estate Blogging
Don't Get Caught On Your Knees Sifting For Gold When You Could Be On Stage, Making A Lasting Impression. I am so proud of the real estate industry. You've come so far! In the latter half of the 90's decade, as the Internet promised to be a modern gold rush, curiously, Realtors showed little interest. It wasn't until just recently that the Realtor's personal website was accepted as an obligatory expense. The irony is that now it has little chance of being effective. But today, I actually have faith in the real estate agent's embrace of the Internet as an effective marketing tool. As much as the $500 brochure website of yesteryear catered to the ego of the Glamour Shots® agent, it failed to jibe with their gregarious nature. Affable and outgoing agents couldn't recognize any immediate relevance to their obvious business model; network, network, network. Yet now, with the...

March 19, 2009: The Death of a Real Estate Blog.
Comments: 27 | Categories: Blog Discipline , Blog Dos and Don'ts , Blogging Advice , Collaborative Articles , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging
This edition of the Tomato Collaborative Blog Article is an effort to tackle the topic of *gasp* Quitting Blogging. Do you foresee an end to your regular blogging? How does the story end? Blasphemous, right? I mean, are we not RE.net’s biggest proponent of, and cheerleader for maintaining a thriving real estate blog? Darn right we are! But we also recognize that: 1. Most Real Estate Blogs Will Fail. 2. Careers Change/End 3. Blogging Can Become an Unwanted Distraction from Business. 3. Some Have Written All They Want To Write. Retiring – Quitting – Failing I see 3 ways in which bloggers head off to pasture. They retire, finally hanging up the keyboard, and perhaps their career. They quit out of frustration, feeling that the reward of all their blogging hasn’t been worth the effort. They fail, unable to keep up with the commitment to writing. We threw the above...

March 11, 2009: Come To RETechSouth And Learn To Set Up Your Own Free WordPress Website, For Free!
Comments: 6 | Categories: Announcements , Guest Author , Jason Benesch , Real Estate Blogging
Director of Technology, here at the Real Estate Tomato, Jason Benesch will be speaking at RETechSouth this month, and we’ve asked him to tell us a little bit about his presentation. Take it away, Jason: With the changing market, how are you now positioning yourself to put your business in front of future prospective buyers? Over the last 5 years, I have built a career and business around consulting real estate agents on how to better market themselves online. In this short time, I have witnessed arguably, real estate’s greatest shift in marketing. Radical technological advancements, brand new business models, and the ubiquitous use of the internet by home-buyers have forced today’s agent to reconsider everything they have been taught about generating leads. That’s the bad news. The good news: I can promise you that it has never been easier or more affordable to produce leads, cultivate your sphere of...

February 12, 2009: A Look Inside the Mind of a Real Estate Blogger - Is This You?
Comments: 17 | Categories: Blog Writing Tips , Blogging Advice , Blogging Peers , Collaborative Articles , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging
We are back with our popular Collaborative Article series, and the first one of 2009! A Look Inside the Mind of a Real Estate Blogger. My pitch to the gang was, “Now that you have been blogging for a while, describe how your thinking/behavior has changed.” 9 Tomato Bloggers hashed out our topic on the Tomato Matrix, and the result of my patch-work follows: Changing One’s Lifestyle Daniel Bates points out: “Blogging isn't a job or a hobby, it's a lifestyle!” One of the first things you notice, when you commit to putting blogging at the center of your online marketing strategy is the way it starts to overtake you thoughts. A mix of passion, commitment, and opportunity energize the brain, making it difficult to ‘turn it off’. A commitment to blogging means early mornings for some, late nights for others, and if you are like me, sometimes an exhausting...

January 22, 2009: How Do You Define Content For Your Real Estate Blog?
Comments: 13 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging , Teresa Boardman
Today we have the pleasure of publishing a tale of inspiration from our favorite Real Estate Blogging Goddess, Teresa Boardman. How Do You Define Content For Your Real Estate Blog? By Teresa Boardman My friends have been telling me for a couple of years that I need a photo blog. Honestly I didn't want to take the time, but a couple of weeks ago, on a cold Saturday night I built one. It has energized me and gotten me more engaged with my blogging efforts. So far all of the photos I have posted are out of my collection so I have not had to work at all to generate content. I could probably post every day for a year without ever taking another photo. The reason it has energized me is because in recent months it has been a challenge to find good news in the housing market or...

January 6, 2009: 8 Things That You Are Not Doing On Your Real Estate Blog, But Should Be.
Comments: 41 | Categories: Blog Discipline , Blog Dos and Don'ts , Blog Writing Tips , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
1. Microblogging Twitter is all the rage… and yet most blogging agents aren’t using it because they don’t grasp the value. Here’s another way to approach the Micro-Blog: Instead of catering to the audience in a Twitter Community, consider those that are actually coming to read your blog. Short updates from you about the market, your efforts as an agent, new listings, and news flashes are just the sort of thing that your readers will appreciate. Now pop them on your blog, and syndicate that back up to Twitter instead of the other way around. (More on this in coming weeks) Hot tip: When it comes to your blog, avoid the community babble that gave you the creeps when you first looked at Twitter: “Having a hard time deciding what cereal to get.” Your audience came for tangible real estate topics, not the stream of consciousness that you feel the...

January 4, 2009: Maureen Francis Captures Top Spot For The Inman Real Estate Blog Makeover
Comments: 7 | Categories: Announcements , Partners & Friends , Real Estate Blogging
This week hundreds of real estate agents will gather in New York City for Inman Connect, a bi-annual conference where the real estate industry comes together to discuss new ideas, technologies, niches, and trends. Our role in this year’s conference is to help one real estate blogger take their efforts to the highest level with a complete makeover. Fortunately, we won’t have to carry the burden of determining what the “highest level” is, all on our own. In addition to our two cents, we will be leveraging the wisdom and pocket change of Dustin Luther, Jeff Turner, Joel Burslem, Benn Rosales, Jay Thompson, Gahlord Dewald, and Daniel Rothamel. And, to make things that much more interesting, we will also open the discussion to the audience, who will be able to Twitter their thoughts on the project. We (the collection of names above) selected the winner of the Blog Makeover Contest...

December 13, 2008: Inman Connect NY Real Estate Blog Makeover Contest - One Day Left!
Comments: 2 | Categories: Announcements , Blog Dos and Don'ts , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
Our gift to Inman Connect NY this year is the complete makeover of one lucky, yet necessitous real estate blog. Be certain that the re-skinning of a blog is by no means a guarantee to improve your blogging, nor your ability to generate business from the effort. This is precisely why our approach to this makeover effort is going to go way beyond first impression aesthetic. In addition to a fancy new look and feel, the blog makeover is going to include (at a minimum) Constructive Suggestions regarding: 1. Headline Writing 2. Article Aesthetic 3. Article SEO 4. Calls-To-Action and Lead Generation 5. Sidebar Management 6. Widget Management 7. PlugIn Management 8. Meta data SEO 9. Comment Aesthetic 10. RSS and Email Subscription 11. Category Organization and much more… until they kick us off stage Wednesday. If you are interested in being in the running to be selected as the...

November 26, 2008: The Commercial Real Estate Blog, Needle in a Haystack.
Comments: 45 | Categories: Real Estate Blogging
(Please note that if you are looking for help developing a custom, commercial real estate blog, we can help) Blogging has been the avant garde in real estate for a couple of years, to the point where there isn’t an agent that hasn’t at least heard of the phenomena. Inman dedicates two days to it, Realtor.com is on the bandwagon, and all the Big Box agencies have now been forced to consider it. One irony however, is that a liberal estimation of the percentage of real estate agents that actually call themselves ‘dedicated bloggers’ is less than .01. To think that such a small percentage of the industry has had such a big impact on it, to me, reinforces the reason it is so damn important. But the more alarming fact is that the world of Commercial Real Estate has completely overlooked blogging as a viable means of online marketing....

October 31, 2008: WARNING! Horn Tooting: The Inman List of the Top 25 Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers for 2008 Is Out, and We're On It!
Comments: 15 | Categories: Announcements , Blogging Peers , Real Estate Blogging , Tomato In The Press
After what has been an absolutely whirlwind year of company growth, product development and business travel, it’s hard to believe we had any time to blog at all. So, I have to admit, being recognized for the 2nd year in a row as one of the most influential real estate bloggers, came as a bit of a surprise… albeit a pleasant surprise. I’d like to think that the reason that I have been recognized as being so influential is because of the success of the many hundreds of real estate bloggers that we have developed over the last 2 years. Collectively our clients have published 10’s of 1000’s of great looking and informative blog posts. So as much as I would like to take the credit for this achievement, the real honor belongs to our incredibly talented staff and to the dedicated bloggers of Tomato Nation. Here’s the complete list...

October 27, 2008: 3 Years Of Real Estate Blogging - The Gift That Keeps On Giving
Comments: 18 | Categories: Blog Discipline , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging , Teresa Boardman
A very special post on the Real Estate Tomato today: Teresa Boardman takes a look at what 3 years of blogging on StPaulRealEstateBlog.com has done to her and her business. 3 Years of Real Estate Blogging - The Gift That Keeps On Giving By Teresa Boardman There are not many places where a blogger can write about blogging, except for here on the Tomato which is about blogging so once again I send my post to Jim. A year ago I sent a list of 40 observations I had made after two years of writing a blog. The observations still apply but the list is so 2007. My neck still hurts but not as badly; I found an exercise that helps. The only thing that has really changed from last year is that I don't talk anymore I just blog. I am kidding of course. Now that I have hit...

October 23, 2008: Why Should I Blog? - It's About the Value of Being Seen as the Expert in Your Niche
Comments: 9 | Categories: Blog Discipline , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
As I was standing at the podium at the Christie’s Global Conference talking about the marriage that is Real Estate and Content, an idea struck me that at the time I only had a limited opportunity to touch on... knowing it deserved more. The audience I was speaking to deals mostly in incredibly high end luxury homes. We're talking mansions, castles, villas and the like. What struck me was the idea that if you were to break down the value of their time when applied to working with one of these listings, you're easily looking at several hundred dollars an hour... and perhaps the prospect of putting several hours a week into blogging for business might be difficult to justify. The more I thought about it and considered the true value of real estate blogging, one question came to be the measure: What would you invest to be the leader...

October 14, 2008: Warning: These Simple Podcasting Secrets Will Increase Blog Traffic
Comments: 8 | Categories: Blog Marketing , Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging
As I head out of town for the week, thinking I really need to get an article published, our new friend Jessica Donovan from Real Estate License Direct swooped in with a guest post, on a topic that I have hardly covered: Podcasting. So lucky you; instead of having to wait until I get back with enchanting stories from the turquoise coast of Bermuda, Jessica is holding down the fort with this sweet post. Thanks Jessica! Warning: These Simple Podcasting Secrets Will Increase Blog Traffic By Jessica Donovan What if someone told you that you could increase your blogs traffic, subscribers and exposure with little to no work and without costing you a single cent, would you be interested? Listen, if hearing all of that wouldn't peak your curiosity, you may need to reconsider your means of generating new clients, because that would have the rest of us doing some...

October 13, 2008: Real Estate BarCamp Houston - Sharing Business & Technology Knowledge
Comments: 8 | Categories: Announcements , Blogging Peers , Real Estate Blogging
Disclaimer: I don’t normally drop press releases for events that I am not directly involved with, but for this one I needed to make an exception for 2 reasons. First of all, I want to be there, and be involved, but I just can’t swing it. I will have just gotten back from a trip to Bermuda for the Christie’s Great Estates Global Conference where I will be speaking with Dustin Luther and Marc Davidson. And secondly, my favorite Real Estate Blogging event so far this year was the first-ever REBarCamp in SF. Sure it was followed up with a Beer-With-Bloggers… but seriously, it was an amazing event that I was thrilled to be a part of. So, Mike Prices’s request to drop this announcement was an easy one to fulfill. Houston, October, 1, 2008 Real Estate BarCamp Houston is slated to take place on October 22 at the Shenandoah...

October 8, 2008: Tomato Nation - Interactive Google Map Showcases Tomatoes On The Vine
Comments: 14 | Categories: Announcements , Blogging Peers , Real Estate Blogging
I found myself playing around with Google Maps in preparation of an article I have been working on. The article is to be a comprehensive overview of the many ways that one can leverage Google Maps with a Real Estate Blog. I have seen bloggers using this tool in so many creative ways that I thought it would be nice to have single resource as an example of all the ways we have found it to be useful. Anyhow, while I was playing, I couldn’t resist creating a map to showcase what we commonly refer to as the Vine – Our client base – a.k.a Tomato Nation. Check it out: Tomato Nation - The Real Estate Tomato Vine We will be adding it as a fixture to our sidebar, so if you are ever curious if we have a client in your area… you are one click from knowing. I’m...

October 7, 2008: Hey Real Estate Bloggers, Where Are You Aiming When It Comes To Subscriptions and Subscribers?
Comments: 3 | Categories: Blog Dos and Don'ts , Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging
Today’s post is a special treat! Dave Smith of the Real Estate Blog Lab (and many other blogs) has found that he has so much to say, that he needs yet another outlet… and we’re happy to be there for him. We are looking forward to publishing at least a couple of posts a month from him, focused specifically on our most popular topic of Real Estate Blogging Advice. So, without further adieu… Subscriptions and Subscribers: Where Are You Aiming? By Dave Smith Much is made of getting Traffic, Readers and Subscribers to your blog. However, not all blogs should have the same goals. If your blog is monetized then it is clear that you want as many readers and subscribers as possible to see your pages. But how many of us who are Real Estate Bloggers have actually monetized our blogs and are looking to make money from traffic...

September 25, 2008: Use Your Real Estate Blog to Reach Out and Touch Someone, They'll Touch Back
Comments: 6 | Categories: Blog Writing Tips , Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging , Teresa Boardman
♫Reach Out and Touch Someone♫ Remember that jingle? Use Your Real Estate Blog to Reach Out and Touch Someone, They'll Touch Back By Teresa Boardman The telephone company AT&T used to use it. That was before telemarketers made answering the phone a truly frightening experience. Jim and I have had a few conversations over the years; yes it has been years, about voice. However, neither one of us has written much on the topic. It isn’t an easy topic, and I think I have begun to understand it a little better, by listening to the feedback I get from my readers. When they meet me in person they tell me that I sound just like my blog. Good thing because I do everything I can to keep my blog real, honest and unique. I do that by writing about the ordinary in my ordinary voice. That voice is the easiest...

September 24, 2008: Real Estate Blogging: Money for Nothing, and Your Clicks for Free.
Comments: 6 | Categories: Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
I can’t take credit for the title, it came from a conversation I had with Steve Letterman about the value of Real Estate Blogging vs. Pay-Per-Click advertising. He was explaining how the current rate for a particular target keyword phrase he uses is $2.60/click… and just how quickly that can add up. What inspired the call was that he was also seeing bloggers of ours appear in the top spots for this same term, without the nagging financial investment. “Your clicks for free,” was how he put it. He was curious as to how this happens, and how quickly he can expect similar results if he were to put in the effort…”What is the effort, exactly, by the way?” In an effort to save my fingers from fatigue, here are links to the articles that I have already written, inspired by others with the same questions: Kick the Pay Per...

September 22, 2008: My 6 Favorite Things About BiggerPockets.com
Comments: 3 | Categories: Blog Marketing , Marketing Solutions , Real Estate Blogging
Josh Dorkin and I have had a few conversations over the last few weeks, and the more I learn about what he is doing the more I like it. I know we normally stick to blogging advice here… but there’s a tie-in with the praise, I promise. BiggerPockets is a real estate social network and resource directory that currently boasts 22,354 members. Since its founding in 2004 as an investing portal, BiggerPockets has revolutionized the way people in the real estate world network, make deals, learn about real estate, and market themselves and their businesses. Some of the many capabilities for members (membership is free) include: Marketing1. The BiggerPockets Bulletin. Think: Digg for Real Estate. Share your blog articles, links, images, etc. on their real estate social bookmarking platform. BiggerPockets Bulletin is a closely monitored, a spam free environment that receives 1000’s of unique visitors a day. Want exposure? Post...

September 21, 2008: Join me for Viscape University's Panel Discussion on Blogging Your Real Estate Business To The Top
Comments: 0 | Categories: Announcements , Blog SEO Advice , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
As you know, we think the blogosphere and Internet offer a great way to market your real estate business and drive leads to you for FREE. Viscape.com, a Web 2.0 social marketplace for buying, selling, and renting vacation homes, agrees. That's why they've invited me to participate in a virtual panel discussion on how to blog your business to the top on Monday, October 6 at 9pm EST / 6pm PST. The Bay Area Team and Caribbean Islands Realty owner and blogger Jim Walberg will also be on the panel with me. Jim's extensive knowledge of search-engine optimization and his blogging strategies have helped CaribbeanIslandsRealty.com get more than 35,000 hits from 16 different countries each month. Jim and I will be talking about the ins and outs of blogging and marketing real estate on the Internet. We'll also share some of the strategies that have made our businesses so successful....

September 19, 2008: 6 Secret Resources for Finding Real Estate Blog Topics That Attract Buyers.
Comments: 14 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Blog Lead Generation , Blogging Advice , Internet (Sites and Tools) , Real Estate Blogging
“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” -John Buchan Actually attracting real estate buyers through the act of blogging can be seen as a lot like fishing. It’s the location of the bait, not the quality of the equipment that hooks the fish. Knowing what to write about, at the right time, can be as rewarding as a favorite, yet little-known fishing hole. One species of Ready-To-Act Buyer is the newly or soon to be relocated. Knowing what questions they have and where they are finding their answers can have you standing waders deep in favorable opportunity. New-to-towners have a ton of questions that they are using the internet to answer: Where to stay? Where to eat? What activities are there to do? What to avoid? …and so on. To me, the value of...

July 31, 2008: Miss Out On Inman Connect 2008 SF? - Taking Your Real Estate Blog To The Next Level - The Panel
Comments: 11 | Categories: Blog Marketing , Blogging Advice , Blogging Peers , Real Estate Blogging
Last week, at the Inman Connect Conference in San Francisco, I had the pleasure of sharing a panel with Dustin Luther (4Realz.net), Daniel Rothamel (RealEstateZebra.com) and Nicole Nicolay (MyTechOpinion.com). I may not be most impartial judge, but I truly felt that the topic was the most interesting of all Wednesday’s panels. There are several hundred bloggers that have found certain levels of success with their real estate blog. Now these bloggers are hungry to take it to the next level, so I saw the timing of this panel to be perfect for so many in the RE.net In case you missed it, here is our panel below in it’s full form, as moderated by RealEstateShows.com’s Jeff Turner. The next day, there was a great article on InmanNews.com that gave an editorial overview of our panel. Feel free to check it out, there’s a nice jump in the comments as well....

July 30, 2008: Twitter Explained for the Real Estate Blogger
Comments: 22 | Categories: Real Estate Blogging , Web 2.0
I knew that Todd Carpenter's guest post was going to open a can of worms for me. I spent a good part of yesterday fielding questions about "this Twitter". I know I'm not the first to bring an explanation to the interweb, but it's going to save me from having to do it again. Do you remember when you first grasped the idea of texting on your cell phone?I remember thinking, "Who on Earth would waste their time doing such a thing?" Now, texting has become such a part of my daily communications that I send and receive several hundreds of texts a month. Initially, Twitter struck me exactly the same way. However, now it is starting to become an integral part of the way that I 'feel' connected to my online network. For the Newbie, Twitter is an Awkward Tool.Short messages, describing what you are up to at the...

July 28, 2008: People Really Do Want You To Tweet About Your Cat.
Comments: 28 | Categories: Blog Dos and Don'ts , Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging
We’ve got a special treat for you this Monday after the Inman Connect Conference in SF. Guest blogger Todd Carpenter from Lenderama.com and DenMod.com has delivered a quick and hard point about the use of Social Media in the Real Estate Industry. Thanks for the post Todd… but now I am going to have to explain this whole Twitter thing to our base. I didn't even make it through the first session of Inman Blogger's Connect before posting to Twitter with discouragement: "I can't spell, have bad grammer, don't care about comments & am intensly personal on twitter. Maybe I'm not cut out for this." Yes, I can see now that I misspelled "grammar" and "intensely". All the better to prove my point. After all, I'm writing this post and you're reading it. I guess I am cut out for this after all. For the most part, the advice covered...

July 11, 2008: Exactly How Timely Real Estate Blog Articles Can Attract HUGE Traffic Numbers
Comments: 27 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
Last year, in late June, Gena Riede, author of SacramentoRealEstateBlog.com, wrote a blog article about the locations of all the local fireworks displays throughout Greater Sacramento, CA. She couldn’t have predicted what this simple report was going to do to her traffic count for the next week. Around the time she wrote the article, Gena’s blog was averaging 200–300 visits a day. However, shortly after hitting the Publish Button, these numbers were left in the dust. Several hundred, soon grew to several thousand unique visits a day, quickly falling back to Earth by the 5th of July. (Inserting disclaimer… I know, hits aren’t equivalent to business) Well, the word got out, and I’d have to say that the phenomenon is not limited to the Sacramento area. Judy Peterson gained 1000’s of uniques for her post about 4th of July in Main Line, PA. John Bunn gained 1000’s of uniques for...

June 23, 2008: Real Estate Blog Growing Pains? Share the Load, Multiply the Success.
Comments: 32 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Blog Lead Generation , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging , Web 2.0
In preparation for my participation at Inman Connect 2008, I have been thinking a lot about our panel topic, Growing Pains: Take Your Blog to the Next Level. Today’s post is a run-together of the relevant points on this topic, the way I see it. If you are experiencing “Growing Pains” in your blogging, I guess it would entail that you have been at it now for at least the last year, and in some cases much longer. In addition, you probably find the following list familiar. 1. Your blog is at the center of your Online Marketing Strategy. 2. You enjoy the Discipline of blogging regularly. 3. You have integrated your blog into your Offline Marketing. 4. You are Generating Leads and Clients as a result of your blogging. 5. You have earned Prime Position in the Search Engines for desired terms. 6. You are recognized as an Authority...

June 9, 2008: A Clever and Effective Way To Gain More Real Estate Blog Subscribers
Comments: 22 | Categories: Blog Marketing , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
About a month ago I received, in the mail (yes, the kind with real letters, bills and magazines) an envelope with 3 items in it. The first was a a New Blog Announcement, something like a Baby Announcement: It’s a BLOG! The second a business card showcasing the Blog Address and contact information for Michael Bergin and Virginia Amos (on the reverse), proud new owners (and authors) of GWSleptHere.com. For those not “in the know” – GWSleptHere is embracing the common local claim to various local destinations in greater Alexandria, VA, that the Father of our nation, President George Washington, slept on the grounds. The third item was a a faded $1 bill likeness (you know, the one with George Washington on it) offering a quick and easy was to receive a $5 Starbucks Gift Card: Subscribe to GWSleptHere.com. I found the marketing idea so clever and fun, that I...

May 28, 2008: Tomato Bloggers At Inman Bloggers Connect 2008 SF and PageRank Surges
Comments: 26 | Categories: Announcements , Blogging Peers , Real Estate Blogging , Tomato In The Press
It seems that while we’ve been busy toiling the last couple of months on the development of our latest and greatest: the Real Estate Broker Blog 2.0, there have been a few significant updates that were worthy of mention, even if a tad belated. Not only have I accepted the invitation to participate on a panel at the much anticipated follow up to last year’s huge SF Bloggers Connect event, but it seems that 3 other Tomato Bloggers will be upon on stage… representing! I will be tackling the topic: Growing Pains: Take Your Blog to the Next Level Beth Butler (EWM Broker and Tomato Blogger) will be joined by our Director of Technology, Jason Benesch, discussing: Group Blogging; How One Broker is Making it Work. And just recently, Matt Fagioli (Broker of Diamond Dwellings, Tomato Blogger & Coordinator of the successful RETechSouth): Building a Real Estate Brokerage in a...

May 22, 2008: The Real Estate Broker Blog 2.0 - Plug In To The Solution
Comments: 20 | Categories: Announcements , Blogging Advice , Products and Services , Real Estate Blogging , Web 2.0
Last year we launched the first of it's kind Real Estate Broker Blog. Because of its innovation and wild success, Beth Butler, the Broker responsible for the project, has been asked to speak at Inman Connect in San Francisco this summer. Her topic: "How One Broker Is Making Group Blogging Work" Here's a quick overview of the EWM Project's current stats: -14 Offices with 750+ Agents -400+ agents have posted since launch last year. -100+ post regularly (a few times a month) -10,000+ Posts to date -Easily 100's of Leads Generated (sales, leases, listings, press requests) -Dozens and dozens of Sales -60 Percent of Inbound Traffic from SE's (read: Google) -1000's of Daily Hits Well, from all that we learned over the last year, designing, developing and managing this massive project, we've found some room to make improvements. In fact, we learned so much, that the entire approach has changed...

April 30, 2008: Finding Time To Blog As A Real Estate Professional
Comments: 34 | Categories: Blog Discipline , Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging , Teresa Boardman
This might just be the most ironic post we’ll ever publish here on the Vine. Teresa Boardman, the real estate blogging goddess from St. Paul, sent over this post to help us get some fresh content on our pages. It couldn’t have come at a better time. With all of my time spent on the recent growth of our company and the development of some very exciting projects, including an entire Tomato Makeover, it’s nice to have a few reliable contributors. Finding Time To Blog As A Real Estate Professional By Teresa Boardman I am contacted by people from all over the country who would like to start a business blog or who already have one but are struggling with it. People make the same type of comment about not having enough time, not understanding how I find the time or saying that is takes too much time. Marketing and...

April 15, 2008: Exactly Why You Should Bore Blog Readers With Real Estate Statistics
Comments: 34 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging
Things have been a bit quiet here at the Vine for the last couple of weeks, and that only ever means one thing: We’re Growing Again. We’ve recently brought on 3 additional members to our team in order to bolster our strengths in design, service, and training. Our publishing pace always suffers when I have to be so “hands on” in training and transistion. Look for a surge next week! Fortunately, we have the support of guest bloggers. This week, Margaret Woda (FocusOnCrofton.com) makes her Real Estate Tomato debut with an excellent post on her person experience with blogging about her local real estate statistics. Take it away Margaret! Why Bore Blog Readers With Statistics? By Margaret Woda My community real estate blog “for and about Crofton, Maryland” is picking up steam with more hits and page views each month. Creative, articulate, helpful – these are adjectives I’ve read or...

March 30, 2008: Writing Your Real Estate Blog Primarily to Google is a Squandered Opportunity.
Comments: 31 | Categories: Blog Marketing , Blog SEO Advice , Blog Writing Tips , Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging
Thanks to the recent frequency and quality of guest posts, I’ve had the pleasure of taking a little time off from shouldering the content on the Tomato. Keeping in stride, we have another treat for you. Todd Carpenter, ubiquitous RE.net participant, and owner and author of the globally appreciated mariah.com (a web 2.0 real estate network of websites), just emailed over this solid piece weighing the value of blogging for Search Engine exposure. Writing Your Real Estate Blog Primarily to Google is a Squandered Opportunity. By Todd Carpenter What’s the difference between a blogging expert and a real estate expert? Blogging experts may or may not understand how the real estate industry operates. Take, for example the theory forwarded that, for the sake of superior Google search results, bloggers should not write about their community. That instead, they should stick to posts that are only about real estate itself. You’ll...

March 26, 2008: Can My Real Estate Blog Help Me Talk Like a Woman?
Comments: 28 | Categories: Blog Writing Tips , Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging
John Coley, still my favorite Lake Martin, Alabama blogger, sent over this gem, and I couldn’t wait to post it for your enjoyment. Can My Real Estate Blog Help Me Talk Like a Woman? By John Coley I recently got rejected on a listing presentation, and it hurt. Unless you're a realtor that signs up 100% of your listing presentations, you know what I mean. This one was particularly painful because it was to list a couple's lake home and help them buy another. The combination of the two homes would have been about $2 million in gross sales, which buys a lot of groceries in Alabama. It also hurt because I felt I had a really good relationship with the husband. He contacted me out of the blue. We talked a lot. He liked the way I marketed other homes in the area. So I was surprised to hear...