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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...

January 11, 2010: Simple Marketing Tip: Engage The Audience You Create To Avoid The Headache of Lost Opportunity.
Comments: 24 | Categories: Blog Dos and Don'ts , Blog Lead Generation , Blogging Advice
I believe I have developed TMJ. For the last month I have had frequent headaches and a persistent clicking in my right ear. The sensation varies from an annoying pop to a painful snap. I have been doing light research on the issue since it began, and am now really ready to find remedy. What does this have to do with Real Estate Blogging? Other than the fact that I can't be the only blogger out there suffering from TMJ and any solution I find will be much appreciated, I'm sure... the following post is a documentation of how I used the internet for research, found a potential solution, and yet the source failed to engage me as a reader/subscriber/potential-client. The mistake: Although I did find useful information on relief of TMJ, it was at the most critical moment that he failed to engage me. This mistake can be applied...

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...

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 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...

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...

February 7, 2009: Organic Search Placement - Why Real Estate Agents NEED It!
Comments: 21 | Categories: Blog Marketing , Blogging Advice , Guest Author
Denny Oh, Tomato Graduate out of San Diego, CA, sent me a link the other day letting me know it would make for good blog fodder. So I challenged him to make it happen, and he did Organic Search Placement - Why Real Estate Agents NEED It! By Denny Oh As I was deleting (notice, I didn’t say reading) all my emails this morning from my inbox, I saw one from RISMedia that caught my eye – Why Organic Search Placement is the Best Form of Advertising You Can Have. Granted, it’s a pretty boring, not to mention lengthy, headline, but it obviously worked. Since I use blogging as my primary marketing tool, I figured I’d take a look. The article didn’t really point out anything new, but it did reinforce what I already knew and it also motivated me to blog more. The author, Mike Parker, shared something he...

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...

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...

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 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 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 31, 2008: Photo Editing For Real Estate Blogs Couldn't Be Simpler - PicNik
Comments: 3 | Categories: Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Internet (Sites and Tools) , Teresa Boardman
From time to time we recommend tools and services that are universally handy for your real estate blog. Teresa Boardman, HRH, has a quick one to share with you, that has become a staple in her blogging routine. Photo Editing For Real Estate Blogs Couldn't Be Simpler By Teresa Boardman Nothing dresses up a blog post like a photo, especially on real estate blogs. Our readers really like to see some real estate when they stop by. Most photos need some editing before they can be published on the internet. They need to be lightened up a bit and made smaller, and it doesn't hurt to sharpen them and tweak the contrast a bit, and crop them as needed. Some of the photo editing software is pretty expensive and not all that easy to use. I have been using picnik (http://www.picnik.com) for much of my photo editing It is free...

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 29, 2008: Teresa Boardman Asks: Who Are You?
Comments: 15 | Categories: Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Teresa Boardman
I have written this post a few times and in a few different ways. I meet other agents on the internet because of their blogs. Sometimes I contact them by email or phone. Yes there are people who still use the telephone and have a two way conversation, but that is the subject for another post. Try contacting some of the real estate bloggers. I go to a blog and search and search before I figure out who the author is. After I find the author getting the contact information is often next to impossible. It may involve clicking on a form that sits in a queue somewhere, or a general office number where I don't actually get to talk to the person I am trying to contact. It is as if the person is saying that they are just too darn important to talk with but for some reason...

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...

March 26, 2008: All You Ever Needed To Know About Blogging SEO, But Were Afraid To Say So.
Comments: 31 | Categories: Blog SEO Advice , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging , Search Engines
I know what you are thinking…”not another SEO article, please…” SEO focused companies have secrets. They want you to think that you need them to get you to the top of the search engines. They want you to think that you need to learn the complex details or you will fail. They want you to think that there is so much that goes into it, that you'd be a fool to not put your faith in them. They want you to think that your success depends on their knowledge and tools. They want you to think that their advice will make "all the difference". Well folks, the truth is, when it comes to blogging, SEO consulting is a lot like cold medicine. When you catch a cold, if you don't take medicine you are going to be sick for seven days. However, if you do take cold medicine it is...

March 20, 2008: Blogging on a Saturday - How Rewarding It Can Be
Comments: 11 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging , Teresa Boardman
Blogging everyday is not easy. I know. At best, I’ve got a pace of 3–4 times a week. However, Teresa Boardman, our resident real estate blogging goddess, is pretty darn consistent. Looking back through her archives it’s rare to find a day left unblogged. So how does she find the motivation and creativity to keep it up? Here’s a peek into the history behind Teresa’s Saturday offerings (to the gods). Blogging on a Saturday - How Rewarding It Can Be Jim and I have both said this a million times, well now a million and one times: it is content that makes our blogs work. It is nice to have a pretty blog, and a blog that wins awards but if the intent is to meet people who have real estate needs then content should be a priority. Saturday's are my lowest readership day. At one point I considered not...

March 6, 2008: Real Estate Blogging Business Plan For 2008 - Boots On the Ground Will Help You Find and Service Buyers
Comments: 19 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Blog Writing Tips , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
The growth of Real Estate Blogging, although steady and noticeable, still has not lived up to the hype, and it never will. That’s not to say that it is being rejected as a competent means to the end: as an effective lead generation tool. In fact, we’re finding that blogging is not only keeping people in business, saving them marketing spend, and changing their outlook on real estate, but it is actually improving the industry. Anytime that you force an industry to establish, present, and defend opinion and insight, you’re heading in the right direction. The reason I feel that a rush to blogging as a marketing tool will never catch fire is because of a major deterrent called: Work. Writing for most is work. Sitting alone at a computer, being asked to pave the way to your marketing success through writing, is just not a reasonable endeavor for most....

March 4, 2008: Starting A Real Estate Blog? Grab That Email Database, Let's Get You Read
Comments: 20 | Categories: Blog Marketing , Blog Syndication , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
When I started the Real Estate Tomato, in June of 2006, I had one reader, me. Before the first month was over, I was averaging 30 unique visitors a day. Within 2 months it was 135 unique visitors a day. How did we get out of the gates so quickly? We did it in part, with an old friend: The Email Database. To make a business blog a successful marketing strategy, you need to have an audience of potential clients. Having been a consultant for online real estate marketing for 6 years before starting the Tomato, I had a mighty database of real estate agents, lenders, industry professionals and friends. If I was going to regularly write articles about leveraging the internet as a marketing tool for real estate, then this was the audience I would want to be paying attention. So I shoved it down their throat. Well, not...

February 28, 2008: The Real Estate Business Is Content, Not Home Selling
Comments: 11 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
The above might seem like an odd statement, but it couldn’t be more true. Let me use some examples of other industries to illustrate the point. The Music Industry The business is content creation; melodies, lyrics, videos, live presentations, etc. The product comes in the form of CD’s, DVD’s, downloads, posters, T-shirts, tickets etc. The Baseball Industry The business is content in the form of the actual game, the play-by-play, the TV broadcast, the reporting, etc. The product is tickets, jerseys and caps, hot dogs and beer, etc. The Restaurant Industry The business is content in atmosphere, presentation, description, expertise, service, etc. The product is meat, vegetables and alcohol, etc. You get the idea. The real estate industry is even more obviously tied to content, so much so that it is difficult to pin down the actual product. Some may argue it’s the service, but that’s actually the crux of...

February 20, 2008: Is Your Website Working Against Your Real Estate Career?
Comments: 37 | Categories: Blog Marketing , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging , Topics and Opinions
No one is denying that there has been a shake-up in the real estate industry. Empty cubicles, where there once was a waiting list, tell the story better than I could. A thinning of the herd is always a positive thing for those staying put, but the bottom line is that there will always be more agents in the field than ready-to-act buyers and sellers. So we ask, what are you doing to ensure that you are a 'stayer' in 2008? There is common saying that I can't see being much more appropriate than now: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Along with this national 'shift in the market', that has many agents looking for a new career, there is another 'shift' that will certainly lead to the frustration and demise of many seasoned and novice agents alike. The Digital Divide. In 1997, an agent having an online identity was...

February 8, 2008: Why Worrying About SEO Is Detrimental to Your Real Estate Blog
Comments: 36 | Categories: Blog SEO Advice , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
Last year I wrote a post called 96% of All Real Estate Blogs Will Fail. It has become more and more clear that I failed to mention another clear reason why real estate bloggers are bound to abandon their blogging efforts. S.E.O. Search Engine Optimization Realtors help buyers buy property. Realtors help sellers sell property. If this is going to their business model for success, it needs to be a full-time job. Business Blogging is a marketing effort. However, it is a marketing effort that, as we've pointed out countless times, needs to be a discipline in order for it to work. In order for a full-time REALTOR to install a demanding discipline such as blogging as a piece of their marketing puzzle, it needs to be something that is not a challenge to embrace. The more challenging that it becomes, the less likely it is going to work into...

February 5, 2008: Blogging Etiquette - The Blog Comment Policy - Do You Need One?
Comments: 27 | Categories: Blog Participation , Blogging Advice , Real Estate Blogging
Blogs are meant to be a two-way street. We are blogging for an audience. Engaging that audience to participate is a huge part of the the motivation and an element that can define a blog’s success. So where do you draw the line? What do you consider acceptable behavior by the audience, on your real estate blog? For a lot of real estate bloggers, their blog is an extension of their business. This means that their reputation, credibility, personality, works, message and even their career are potentially on the line with every article published. What are you doing to protect the above? The following are a number of items that range from mildly unacceptable to extremely offensive when it comes to the behavior of those leaving comments on your site. Setting a proper comment policy for your real estate blog can be used as a deterrent and for piece of...

January 31, 2008: Are You IN or OUT With Real Estate Blogging?
Comments: 32 | Categories: Blog Marketing , Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Marc Grayson , Real Estate Blogging
Our resident Internet Marketing Specialist, Marc Grayson of Webographers fame, has just sent over his first Tomato contribution of 2008, and it couldn’t have been more timely. I hadn’t told him when he submitted the idea, but I have been meaning to write on this topic for the last week. You snooze, you lose. Perhaps I’ll save my banter for the comments along with y’all. Are You IN or OUT With Real Estate Blogging? By Marc Grayson You may have thought I was referring to, "are you in with blogging or out with blogging". Actually, what we seeing today are differentiations in blogging and communicating online given: your peers (Inside) and to consumers (Outside). Should real estate professionals stick to one audience...having more than 1 blog? Why is this important? Let's take a look at what service providers are up to. What were seeing today in Web 2.0 are lines...

January 29, 2008: Recycle to Get The Most Out of Your Real Estate Blog Articles and Pictures
Comments: 12 | Categories: Blog Content Creation , Blogging Advice , Guest Author , Real Estate Blogging , Teresa Boardman
Because of the global exposure Teresa Boardman receives, and the fact that she is a regular contributor here, I am regularly asked how she is able to continually keep up the vigorous posting pace on her real estate blog. I can’t speak for her, but I can say that the article she just sent over give us some tips on how to get more than one life out of your blog articles and the pictures that you snap for them. I Already Said That By Teresa Boardman My blog has a lot of words in it. There are almost 1000 posts. Posts that I wrote a couple of years ago are still out there marketing for me. They work hard and people contact me because of them. Last week I got two inquires from posts I wrote in October of 2006. Writing words and taking pictures does take time. I...