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Real Estate Blogs – 3 Steps to Earning Subscribers

? A real estate blog is a great addition to your marketing communications plan. First of all, blogs are easy to use. If you can type an email, you can publish a blog. So if you’re not particularly web savvy, a real estate blog is a great way to build a presence online

A real estate blog can also improve your search engine visibility, sometimes dramatically. This happens for a number of reasons. Because blogs are easy to publish, bloggers usually post frequently. Some search engines prefer sites with frequently updated content.

Blogs also increase search engine visibility by helping your grow your link profile. If people enjoy your blog and link to it, they are increasing your link popularity and your search engine visibility.

How to Earn Blog Subscribers

Publishing a blog without subscribers is like smiling in the dark. You know you’re doing it, but nobody else does. In the beginning, you’ll be doing exactly that. But the goal is to attract readers and earn subscribers over time, and that’s what we’re going to talk about.

Notice I said you have to “earn” subscribers. The notion of “build it and they will come” does not apply to real estate blogs, or blogs in general for that matter. There are millions of blogs on the Internet, but the really good ones are harder to come by. You want to put your blog into this “quality minority.” Here are three steps to doing just that.

Step 1 – Create a Blog Worth Visiting

The first step in gaining blog subscribers is to create a blog worth joining in the first place. Don’t just shovel content onto your blog from other sources, as I often see people do. Give it some thought. Give your real estate blog its own purpose and personality.

Strive to make your blog a “must read” for your target audience. Ask yourself, “Who am I writing for, and what kind of content do they want and need?”

Step 2 – Make it Easy to Subscribe. RSS stands for really simple syndication. It’s an easy way for readers to subscribe to your blog. You can make this process even simpler by creating RSS subscription buttons (commonly referred to as “chiclets”). For instance, if your blog visitors have a “My Yahoo” page, they can simply click the “Add to Yahoo” button on your blog, and presto … your blog’s RSS feed will be added to their My Yahoo page.

Anytime you update your blog, it automatically updates the subscriber’s Yahoo page (or MSN page, or RSS reader, etc.). That’s the beauty of RSS.

Creating RSS Buttons? Here’s an easy way to create six of the most commonly used RSS buttons in one easy step. Visit the “Chiclet Generator” at the link below, enter the URL for your RSS feed, click the “Generate” button and you’re done.

Chiclet generator: www.kbcafe.com/rss/chicklet.aspx The FeedBurner OptionIf you don’t want all those little buttons on your blog, you can use FeedBurner. This will simplify things into a single button, but subscribers will still be able to choose their RSS reader. With FeedBurner, you also have the benefit of knowing how many subscribers you have.

RSS to Email

Some people aren’t yet down with the whole RSS thing, but they still might want to keep up with your real estate blog (especially if you’re providing quality real estate info about the area). For these people, you can offer an RSS-to-email subscription option.

With this approach, the visitor signs up with their email address (instead of grabbing your RSS feed). Each time you post to your blog, it will be sent in text format to the subscriber’s email address. You can even determine the frequency of emails — daily, weekly, every time you publish, etc. Neat, huh?

There are several RSS-to-email services you can use. For a good overview, visit the link below:

http://www.masternewmedia.org/news/2006/05/23/rss_to_email_how_to

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Step 3 – Post Often with Quality Content

The most important step in building a successful real estate blog is a step that never ends. If you want people to find your blog useful (and, ideally, subscribe to it), you’ll need to keep the blog current. You’ll also want to make it as useful as possible.

Publish things your target audience really wants — real estate news, property listings, helpful tips and the like. Make it a blog they can’t live without, and they’ll want to stay connected.

Good luck, and happy blogging!

* You may republish this article online if you retain the author’s byline and the active hyperlinks below.

About the author:

Brandon Cornett is a real estate marketing specialist and author of the Agent’s

Guide to Search Engine Visibility. Get more helpful advice by visiting http://www.armingyourfarming.com

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