Jan 3
2014

WordPress for Real Estate (DIY Website)

Written by Chris Adams | posted in Websites | 0 Comments

This WordPress for real estate guide is geared for real estate agents or those looking to build their own WordPress based website. Building a WordPress site for your real estate business isn’t exactly cake, but it’s massively easier and cheaper than alternative routes. With that being said, the goal here is to build a full blown lead generating real estate website for $62.

Ambitious? Yes.

Achievable? Definitely.

Great way to ring in the new year? Heck yeah!

Stage 1: Identify your niche

I know a lot of agents will ignore me on this one, but if you don’t “niche down” you will pay for it some how and in some way down the road. That could be burn out, a drop in the level of customer service, feeling like you don’t own your time, and the list goes on. What’s worse than a corporate boss breathing down your neck? You breathing down down you neck.

What do niches look like? Here are some quick ideas:

    • Investors
    • Second home buyers
    • People looking for homes in city X
    • People looking for homes in community/neighborhood X
    • Horse property
    • Cabins, etc.


Stage 2: Pick a domain name ($11)

We’re going to take your niche, and convert it into a domain name. The key here is to pick a domain name that has the target keyword in it. For example, if home buyers search “Phoenix homes for sale” then you want something as close to phoenixhomesforsale.com as possible. Usually good domains like that are taken so you have to get a bit creative. This means adding something in front of, or behind your main keyword. Could be “pro”, “AZ”, “best”, “top”, you get the idea.

For a comprehensive guide on picking a domain, check out our post here.

Once you have some domain name ideas written down, head over to Name.com or GoDaddy and make the purchase. Cost for one .com domain name will be about $11 on Name.com or about $13 from GoDaddy.

p.s. I know you’ll be tempted to buy more than one, and unless it’s something really great, don’t. It’s just going to be another website you will have to build and advertise!

Stage 3: Choose a host ($12)

Your hosting company is the company that has the physical servers (i.e. computers) where your website exists. Now you can host your website off a server at home, but that is not fun at all. That’s where a company like Hostgator comes in. They make your website available to people all around the world, deal with “uptime”, fight off hackers and all sorts of other stuff.

The reason I recommend Hostgator is because that is the company I use and have used for a number of years now. They’re also very inexpensive, the plan I recommend for most real estate agents is the Business Plan which costs $12/month. Click here to look at that plan, and get signed up.

But if you plan on creating a website with more than 500 pages, then you will need a more robust hosting scenario, and in that case I recommend VPS.net. They are cloud based, and allow you to scale your server power up and down as well as a number of other beneficial features. Contact me if you’re considering going this route, and in the meantime check out their site here.

Stage 4: Install WordPress ($0)

Another great benefit to Hostgator is they make installing WordPress VERY easy. Watch this video as they walk through their “1-click install.”


Stage 5: Find your theme ($39)

Real Estate WordPress ThemeThe theme is another way to say the design of the website, and there are no shortages of them! But to save you some of time (a lot of it!), here are my top five recommendations with their respective cost. Click on each of the DEMO links to get a live sample of a site.

  1. WP Pro Real Estate 2 (demo) ($50)
  2. WP Pro Real Estate 3 (demo) ($55)
  3. Elegant Estate (demo) ($39)
  4. WP Estate (demo) ($45)
  5. AgentPress (demo) ($99.95)

Because WordPress is open source, there are quite a few free WordPress themes out there in the wild. While you can technically consider them options, none of them will compare with the ease of use you get with a paid theme. I wish it was otherwise, but the theme is well worth paying for.

Stage 6: Install your theme ($0)

Wordpress Theme InstallOnce you have purchased your theme, you will be to upload and install the theme.

To do that follow these instructions:

  • Login to your WordPress dashboard (i.e. http://www.YourWebsite.com/wp-login.php)
  • Click on Appearance in the left sidebar
  • Click Themes
  • Click Add New
  • Click Upload
  • Choose the .zip file, then click upload
  • Activate the theme

Most themes come with “demo” or “dummy” content that can be placed on the site and used as a placeholder. You should upload this content because it makes editing and modifying your site tons easier. Each theme will outline this process in their readme or setup text file.

Stage 7: Upload and install plugins ($0)

Wordfence vs.One of the biggest reasons WordPress is great are the abundance of free plugins that add functionality to your site. Below are my top free plugin recommendations.

I know there are a lot of great plugins out there, but be careful, don’t overdo it! Going overboard here can cause your site to slow down among other issues.

The process of installing plugins is straightforward. Here’s the process:

  • Click Plugins in the left sidebar
  • Click Add New
  • If you have the plugin downloaded on your computer, use the Upload function
  • If you don’t, click Search Plugins (which will search the WordPress plugin database)
  • Once the plugin is uploaded and installed, click Activate
  • Each plugin will have it’s own mini-control panel where you can modify the available settings

Stage 8: Permalink structure

Before we get around to adding content to our pages we want to make sure our permalinks are setup correctly.

Your site’s permalink structure dictates what URLs will look like.

For example, www.redtigertraining.com/blog-post-name vs. www.redtigertraining.com/?p=99 vs. www.redtigertraining.com/2013/07/04/name.

How your URLS look is up to you, but WordPress makes it easy to set this up. Here’s how:

  • Hover over Settings in the left sidebar
  • Click Permalinks from the drop down
  • Choose one of the options and click Save Changes
  • I personally prefer the “Post name” structure.

Wordpress Permalink Choice

Stage 9: What pages should you have on your site?

Now that we have all the formalities out of the way, it’s time to start adding content to your site! Content can be added as a Page or as a Post (aka blog post).

To add pages you’ll need to have an idea of the content you want to add first. Get out Word, Excel, or a Google Doc and start jotting down page ideas. If I was an agent in Scottsdale, AZ, here is where I’d start:

  • Home
  • About
  • Contact
  • Arizona MLS
  • Scottsdale Homes
  • Paradise Valley Homes
  • Grayhawk Homes
  • DC Ranch Homes
  • Scottsdale Land & Lots
  • Paradise Valley Land & Lots

SEO Tip: make each page focus on ONE item, place, or thing.

That’s why you’ll notice above I start breaking out the communities of Grayhawk and DC Ranch on their own page. I don’t try to stuff them all on one page. Now if I had a lot of communities I was targeting I might add a Scottsdale Communities page and link out to the various options from there, or have some type of map. But each page has a specific target in mind.

When a visitor gets to the Grayhawk page, they only want to see Grayhawk homes for sale nothing else. Just like when you go to the bakery department at your local grocery story, you wouldn’t expect to see boxes of cereal next to the loaves of bread. The store wants to sell both, but they section things up.

Stage 10: Adding the home page ($0)

Wordpress Theme Install InstructionsBefore we get to all the other pages you can add to the site, we need to get the home page out of the way. This page is usually very unique compared to the other pages and requires a whole different process than a normal page would, and it depends on the theme you chose too.

The easiest thing for you to do is check out the theme’s setup instructions. Any paid theme will have this, and will walk you through the home page setup process. By the way, having that “dummy” content setup like I mentioned in an earlier step will go a long way here.

Stage 11: Adding pages ($0)

Wordpress Add PagesOnce you have a list of pages you want on your site, and that home page out of the way, we can start adding your pages to the WordPress website.

Doing so is very easy:

  • Click Pages in the left sidebar
  • Click Add New
  • Enter a title for the page (i.e. Arizona MLS)
  • Add the content in the big box in the middle (add at least a little something so you have an idea of how it will look on the live website)

Parents & Children
Wordpress Parent and Template(Right sidebar in the Page Attributes widget)
Parent is where you select which page, if any, that will be the parent (i.e. Scottsdale Homes would be the parent for the Grayhawk neighborhood).

Page Templates
(Right sidebar in the Page Attributes widget)

  • Templates are pre-defined specialty page styles included with your theme.
  • Example templates include the Home Page template, or Contact page template that includes a Google Map, and other variations.
  • One thing to keep in mind on the templates, is that if you plan on placing an IDX on the page, you will likely need to choose a Full Page template (every good theme will have one). Choosing the Full Width page template will exclude the sidebars on that particular page, which opens up the space for your IDX and leaves more room for your visitors.

Featured Images
Featured Image WordPress(Right sidebar under the Page Attributes widget)
Some themes will have this option available to you, some won’t. If they do, simply click the Set Featured Image link and follow the dialogues.

Stage 12: Finding images for your site ($0)

Wikimedia Commons Real EstateImages help your site big time when it comes to bringing life to the page for your visitors, and helping your rank organically in Google. And finding great images for free is easy. Flickr.com has a ton of images licensed under the Creative Commons license, and Wikimedia Commons has great images that are free for you to use.

Flickr Creative Commons Attribution: these images can be freely used on your site as long as you give credit to the photographer. Credit is usually the name of the photographer, plus a hyperlink back to their site or Flickr page. Like this: Image Credit: Chris Adams

Flickr Creative Commons Attribution, No Derivatives: you can also use these freely on your website as long as you give the photographer credit AND you don’t make any derivative works of the image (i.e. don’t edit the image, you have to leave it as is).

Wikimedia Commons: Almost all content hosted on Wikimedia Commons may be freely reused subject to certain restrictions in many cases. You do not need to obtain a specific statement of permission from the licensor unless you wish to use the work under different terms than the license states.

Another great source of free images: you! Take out your iPad Mini, phone, or digital camera and snap some pictures.

Goal: place 1 relevant image per page.

So for my fictional website, I would find an image that says “Scottsdale” and another that says “Grayhawk”. Sometimes it can be as easy as taking a picture of the signage out in front of the community, select homes, or other times you have to get a little more creative.

A third option for images is to pay for them, and they get expensive really quick. But if you’re looking for options on this front, check out:


Stage 13: Adding images to your site ($0)

Once you have one image picked out for each page on your website (yes, including your contact page), we can add them to the site, and again, WordPress makes this very easy.

Here’s the play by play:
Wordpress Add Image

  • Click on Posts if you want to add an image to a blog post, or Pages if you’re adding an image to a page on your site
  • Click on the Post/Page you want edit
  • Click the Add Media button
  • Drag and drop your selected image from your computer
  • Once the image is finished uploading, enter the Alternate Text for the image (helps the SEO)
  • Select how you want the image aligned (right/center/left, p.s. right aligned images make it easier for your readers to read)
  • Select the size
  • Click Insert into Post

Repeat the above process for each blog post and page on your site.

Stage 14: Setting your main Navigation Menu

Your main navigational menu are the tabs along the top of all your pages. Setting this is pretty straightforward, although some themes will require you to use their special control panel to manage the main menu. Your theme’s setup instructions will have the specific instructions if needed.

Wordpress Add MenuBut for everyone else, here’s what to do:

  • Hover over Appearance
  • Select a menu to edit from the dropdown or click the link “to create a new menu”
  • Give the menu a name, and click Create Menu
  • To add pages to your menu, click the checkboxes next to their name, and then the Add to Menu button
  • You can drag and drop each page to the order you want, and you can even drag them sideways if you want to “nest” the page underneath another page
  • For the Theme locations option, check the Main Menu checkbox
  • Don’t forget to click Save Menu

Stage 15: Adding content to your sidebar

Wordpress Add WidgetsAdding content to your sidebars is as easy as:

  • Hover over Appearance
  • Click on Widgets
  • From here, you can drag and drop any of the Available Widgets to the appropriate sidebar
  • Once you’ve dragged and dropped a widget, it will expand, showing you the available options
  • Don’t forget to Save!

Widgets come in all different types. Some will be included with your theme. You get others when you download a plugin. And then there are the standard widgets included with WordPress. The easiest thing to do is drag and drop a few of them, and see how they look on your site.

One other item to keep in mind is that most themes nowadays have multiple sidebars. So there might be a sidebar for the homepage, one for the blog posts, and another for normal pages. When you are in the Widgets area of the dashboard most of these sidebars will be clearly identified, otherwise, your theme setup instructions will have more information on any custom sidebars the author included with your theme.

Stage 16: Setting up your footer

Adding content to, and editing your footer can occur in a couple of places. The first is in the Widgets area, as we went through in the previous step. Otherwise your theme will have a specific location within its own special control panel where the footer can be edited. Check your theme instructions for more information on where to edit the footer.

Your footer can be as simple or complex as possible. Maybe you only want to reference the copyright info and that’s it. But you can get as complex as adding a Twitter feed, Facebook feed, or any other number of items.

My recommendation: if you’re not sure what to add, keep it simple. Copyright info, a few regulatory images, and some basic contact info will be fine.

(Optional) Stage 17: Need more help?

If you need some additional help on your site, here are my top recommended resources.

  • oDesk (I use them all the time for all kinds of projects)
  • Elance
  • WP101 (Excellent tutorial videos on how to use WordPress)
  • Me! (Email)

Grand Total

Grand total to setup a WordPress for real estate website that you actually own: $62. And the site will actually look good and generate leads. Where can you find a better spend of $62?

Now that you have your website built you can begin the next stage, which is marketing the website. Things can definitely get tricky and expensive here, but keep an eye out for some cost effective strategies from me in the coming weeks and months.

Sep 17
2012

Real Estate Outsourcing

Written by Chris Adams | posted in Tech Tip Tuesday, Technology | 1 Comment

If you’re not outsourcing, you should be. There is no way you can be doing EVERYTHING and still be efficient, let alone make any money. Outsourcing especially makes sense for tech related items, prospecting, and any number of menial tasks such as data collection. Here are some great items to outsource, and do so at a significant cost and time savings to yourself.

What Can You Outsource

  • Craigslist posters/manager
Craigslist Posters

  • Social media managers
  • Email managers (i.e. drip email)
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)

  • Be careful not to hire spammers, unlike other outsourced initiatives, you won’t see the results of these efforts until everything is set in stone (i.e. after the fact), which could mean your website getting blacklisted from the search engines

  • Search engine marketing (i.e. PPC)
  • Graphic designers and artists

  • Creating specific images for your website, blog posts, etc.

  • Content creators

  • Writing blog posts for your site
  • Writing guest blog posts
  • Writing content for your social media profiles

  • Website design and creation

  • Be careful who you choose – we see people pay for junk all the time!
  • If you are on a budget, consider installing the WordPress CMS on your server and then choose a theme (i.e. website design), prices for themes usually range between $0 and $200
  • A lot of hosts can install WordPress on your behalf, or Page.ly installs WordPress automatically
  • If you need your theme customized, consider hiring an outsourcer for that task

 

Where to Outsource

Outsourcing sounds like an easy enough concept, and it is. There are a great number of sites out there where you can find HIGH QUALITY freelancers. These are the most used, and overall best places to use.

oDesk.com

oDesk

  • When you submit a request you tend to receive a lot of interviewees, which gives you a lot of options
  • Option to bill things on an hourly basis, which is great for long term projects, and allows you to pay the freelancers upon completed work
  • Not many American freelancers to choose from, most are from India, Philippines, etc.
  • oDesk.com

Guru.com

oDesk

  • More native english speaking freelancers to choose from
  • Projects only, no billing by the hour
  • Some freelancers will require 25%-60% upfront before starting
  • Guru.com

Elance.com

oDesk

  • Projects only, no billing by the hour.
  • Elance.com

99Designs or crowdSPRING

99designscrowdspring

  • Great place to find graphic artists, website designers, logo designers, and other graphics focused freelancers
  • If you want to build a custom website for less than $1,500, either of these 2 sites are great choices
  • 99designs.com
  • crowdSPRING
 

Choosing the Right Freelancer

Knowing what you want to outsource, and finding the people is the easy part. Choosing the best freelancer can be a bit of a trick. Expect some trial and error, but that’s 100% ok. One of the great things about outsourcing work online is that there are plenty of freelancers to choose from, and getting up and running with a new freelancer takes just a few minutes. So if you feel like you hired the wrong person, it is easy and quick to move on. With that being said, here are some indicators of success, and good questions to ask your freelancers to minimize the chances of choosing the wrong freelancer.

  • Do not base your decision off the tests that a freelancer has taken, these tests tend to be a very bad indicator of future success
  • The best indicator of a competent freelancer is previous work history, and their ratings from other users

  • This is a double-edged sword because the more experience a freelancer has the more they charge
  • To get the most cost effective freelancer, hire someone who is fairly new but has work experience that meets your request very closely

  • Be wary of freelancers who have a lot on their plate (i.e. working on a lot of other projects)

  • Find someone with the experience you’re looking for, but only working on 1-3 projects additional projects
  • Ask about their school schedule and any upcoming final exam periods

  • Cheaper is not always better

  • Some freelancers will charge 1/2 rate but end up taking twice as long or more to complete the same amount of work
  • Don’t be afraid to fire a freelancer, it is a better usage of your time to find someone who can complete the work, instead of having to train them

  • Weekly reports

  • Always request the freelancer provide you with a weekly report on the activities they’ve completed thus far

  • Requesting bids for a project

  • Allow for at least 3 days for bids and applications to come in
  • Some of the best contractors we have worked with were found later in the process

  • Hire multiple freelancers for the same project

  • This won’t work in every case (i.e. coding a website), but for most other tasks this works great because it allows you to test out a few freelancers to sees which one understands and the work and finishes the work quickly
  • Should you find a freelancer that doesn’t understand the work, is unresponsive, or otherwise not a good fit, it is easy to discontinue the project with virtually zero downtime

  • If possible, do the work yourself before hiring a freelancer

  • Why? Because it will give you a better idea of the freelancer’s performance and efficiency
  • Sometimes this won’t work because you’re requesting work to be done such as web programming, design, etc. If that’s the case, be very picky in your selection of a freelancer, only choose someone who has plenty of verifiable history

Aug 1
2012

DIY Realtor SEO Guide #10: Article Directories

Written by Chris Adams | posted in DIY SEO Guide | 0 Comments

Article Directories Overview

  • Time Commitment: 1-3 hours total
  • Projected Exprenses: $0
  • Freebie: Email us for the giant list of 175+ real estate related article topics
  • Click here to download the printable check sheet

Action Steps

  • 1. Setup Accounts on These Article Directories: on EzineArticles.com, ArticleDashboard.com, and GoArticles.com.
  • 2. Deciding What to Write & Writing It: identify 6 real estate related topics and write an article about each.
  • 3a. Posting the Articles: post 1 article to an article directory (i.e. EzineArticles.com, ArticleDashboard.com, GoArticles.com) every week for 6 weeks.
  • 3b. Add Links to Each Article: add 2 links to each article in the Author’s Bio section, each link should point to a different page on your website.
  • 4. Apply Content Promotion Strategies to the article once it’s been accepted, click here to learn more.

Action Steps EXPLAINED

1. Setup Accounts on these Article Directories

2. Decide What to Write & Write It

  • Put together a list of 6 article topics
  • Having trouble thinking up topics? Email us for our list of 175+ real estate related topics.
  • Write 6 articles, 1 for each of the next 6 weeks
  • Can this be outsourced? YES! The entire process, or just the writing. Click here to find out how to outsource and where to outsource.

3a. Post the Articles

  • Week 1: post 1 article to EzineArticles.com
  • Week 2: post 1 article to GoArticles.com
  • Week 3: post 1 article to ArticleDashboard.com
  • Week 4: post 1 article to EzineArticles.com
  • Week 5: post 1 article to GoArticles.com
  • Week 6: post 1 article to ArticleDashboard.com
  • The standard article review turnaround is 7-14 days. This is from the time you submit the article to the time the editors of each article directory approve your article.

3b. Add Links to Each Article

  • Don’t forget: The whole reason you’re posting these articles are for the backlinks (and a little bit of traffic) so don’t forget to include links to your website in each article you submit.
  • Each article directory allows you to include 2 links back to your website in the “Author Bio” section. Have 1 link point to the homepage, and 1 link point to an interior page of your website.
  • The anchor text for each link should be one of your keywords.
  • You may be wondering, ‘Why not just post all my articles to one site?’ Because the key to a good link-building campaign is diversity of links. Having links from these three different sites helps to accomplish link diversity.

4. Apply Content Promotion Strategies

Extra Credit

Take it up a notch and have 12 articles written for you (i.e. outsource it), instead of writing six for yourself. Rotate the postings of the articles between the three article directories.

Awesome Tools

For those of you who are extremely short on time or are looking to do some more outsourcing, check out DistributeYourArticles.com. The service is a little pricey but allows articles to be scheduled in advance and have them reviewed by their editors prior to submission.

Jul 15
2012

DIY Realtor SEO Guide #9: Guest Blogging

Written by Chris Adams | posted in DIY SEO Guide | 1 Comment

Of all the strategies that we have discussed thus far, guest blogging is one of the toughest, but simultaneously extremely valuable. Not only does guest blogging provide some great backlinks to your website it will also bring over a good amount of traffic as well.

Guest Blogging Overview

  • Time Commitment: 4 hours/month
  • Projected Expenses: $0
  • Freebie: Huge list of 100+ real estate bloggers that are open to guest blog posts (email me for a copy)
  • Want the printable check sheet? Leave a comment on this post below!

Depending upon the guest blog for which you write, you could see anywhere between a few new visitors to thousands of visitors in one day. These visitors in turn may convert into clients, and may like your content so much, they link back to it from their website, or become repeat visitors.

Action Steps

  • 1. Become a Guest Blogger for: WannaNetwork & BiggerPockets
  • 2. Encourage Relationships With Other Bloggers: sign up with MyBlogGuest.com and blog comment
  • 3. Find Blogs to Guest Post On: pick 24 real estate blogs from our list (email me for a copy) and email the blog owners requesting to be a guest contributor
  • 4. Guest Blog Post Creation: create and post a new 400-word guest blog post every 2 weeks for 12 months
  • 5. Apply Content Promotion Strategies to the guest blog post, click here to learn more

Action Steps EXPLAINED

When to Start Guest Blogging?

  • Start guest blogging once your own blog has two months worth of blog posts (i.e. around 4 posts).
  • Why wait? Give the traffic that is brought over from the other blog a reason to bookmark your blog and link back to your blog. If they don’t see any blog posts on your site they may never come back.

1. Become a Guest Blogger for

  • WannaNetwork.com: click here for the guest blogger guidelines and contact form
  • BiggerPockets.com: click here for the guest blogger guidelines and contact form
  • Becoming a guest blogger for BiggerPockets is different than creating a Member Blog (as outlined in the Content Promotion Strategies)
  • P.S. We’re not affiliated with either site

2. Encourage Relationships With Other Bloggers

  • Sign up with MyBlogGuest.com (click here) to encourage other bloggers to provide you with free guest blog posts on your blog
  • Finding Potential Guest Blogs on MyBlogGuest: Find bloggers interested in receiving your guest posts by going to the “Looking for a guest for my blog” section of the Forum and contacting those members interested

3. Find Blogs to Guest Post On

  • Email me for a copy of our huge list of real estate blogs that are open to guest blog posts
  • Pick at least 24 real estate blogs from the downloaded list
  • Email or call the blog owner using their contact form or email address if available. What should your email say? Click here to view a couple email templates and tips
What to Write?

  • Email us for our giant list of topics
  • Most bloggers are going to want articles that are very focused to their audience. Sometimes the blogger will give you some topic hints, other times it’s up to you to read through their blog to find topics and ideas.

4. Guest Blog Post Creation

  • Create and post on a different guest blog every 2 weeks for 12 months
  • The article should be at least 400 words in length (some bloggers require more)
  • Guest blog posts need to be of the highest quality – an article so good you would be tempted to post on your own blog
  • If you are a skilled writer then you should write these yourself, for everyone else, we recommend outsourcing the writing ( click here to learn more)
  • Include an image along with the guest blog post. A great place to find free images is Flickr Creative Commons (click here). These images are free to use, but make sure you give the original photographer credit either by linking back to their Flickr profile or adding a caption to the photo.
  • Keep a spreadsheet of all the URLs of your guest blog posts (this will help with Action Step 4)

5. Apply Content Promotion Strategies

Extra Credit

  • Instead of posting a guest blog post every 2 weeks – step it up to posting every week for 12 months
  • Find mortgage, appraisal, home inspection, and other real estate related blogs to guest post on
  • Reach out to other real estate agents in your office and in your network to see if they are open to guest blog posts

Awesome Tools

  • Find more guest blog opportunities: BloggerLinkup (click here)
  • Find more guest blog opportunities: BlogSynergy (click here)

Jul 1
2012

Guest Blogging Email Tips & Templates

Written by Chris Adams | posted in Online Marketing, SEO | 1 Comment

The Email Pitch

Pitching to a blogger is identical to anything else that can be “pitched” – just because it’s online doesn’t mean you’re not dealing with people. Because of this, the same offline rules apply for the online world. Trying to get the guest blogging opportunity is the same as trying to close any other type of deal. Here are 3 sites that provide pertinent information on pitching bloggers.

Email Pitch Templates

Feel free to use the following templates but here are 2 quick rules:

  • Add your own voice
  • Mix things up, don’t send every single blogger the same cut-and-dry template

Template 1

Hello,



My name is __________ and I am a real estate agent in ________ (city, state). If you are interested in getting a unique real-estate related article for your site, just let me know – I would be happy to do it for you.



You can see a sample of my writing here:

 __________ (your blog URL) 

 and a few other places if it matters.



Anyway, just let me know if you would be interested in having a unique article contributed to your blog – I would be excited to get the chance.



Best Regards,
_____ (your name)
_____ (your phone number)

Template 2

Hi there,

My name is _____ and I run a real estate related blog, __________ (your blog URL). I’ve just found __________ (bloggers website URL) a couple of days ago and really think it’s well put together. I was hoping you’d be interested in a guest post about _______ (topic). I’d promote my guest article by posting links to it on my social media profiles as well as linking to it from my external resources page.

Please check out my site and let me know if we can work together.

Best Regards,
_____ (your name)
_____ (your phone number)

Jun 15
2012

DIY Realtor SEO Guide #8: Your Real Estate Blog

Written by Chris Adams | posted in DIY SEO Guide | 1 Comment

The process of building backlinks to your website is great, but you’ll also need to be doing something on your site as well to keep the visitors coming back on a consistent basis. Which means you need a blog. A blog is intimidating, especially knowing that you’ll need to be creating new posts on a consistent basis. But don’t let that hold you back, check out the action steps below to help you start and maintain a blog.

Overview

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour/week
  • Projected Expenses: $0
  • Want the the printable check sheet? Leave a comment at the end of this post!

Action Steps

  • 1. Write & Post 2 New Articles Each Month: it’s easiest to write them in advance and schedule them to be posted
  • 2. Apply Content Promotion Strategies to each blog post you create, click here to learn more.

Action Steps EXPLAINED

1. Write & Post 2 New Articles Each Month

  • Write the first 2 articles ASAP and post a new article to your blog every 2 weeks
  • Continue writing two new blog posts each month
  • Make sure you are posting the articles to your blog and not an ActiveRain blog or anything of that nature, otherwise you will not be building up your website
  • Can this be outsourced? While we don’t recommend outsourcing your blog posts it is not out of the question, click here to learn more about outsourcing.
Common Questions & Problems

  • I don’t know what to write about: Email me for the giant list of topics.
  • I’m not a good writer! You might not be a Shakespeare, but many people are interested in your unique perspective (especially prospective clients).
  • I can’t spell or my grammar sucks! You have colleagues, friends, parents, siblings, cousins, children, etc. Send them a copy, ask for a review of the spelling and grammar.

2. Apply Content Promotion Strategies

Extra Credit

  • Write 4+ new blog posts each month instead of only two
  • If you are running a self-hosted WordPress blog then download and install the ComLuv plugin(click here) to encourage more readers to interact with you on your blog by leaving blog comments

Jun 1
2012

DIY Realtor SEO Guide #7: Real Estate Content Promotion Strategies

Written by Chris Adams | posted in DIY SEO Guide | 3 Comments

Writing consistent blog posts is no easy task, and with the glut of content swirling around the internet at any given moment, it would be nearly impossible to stand out, unless you have help. That’s why Red Tiger training is so important. The following Action Steps will help you help yourself.

What makes this approach awesome is that it serves dual purposes. Not only will it help in getting backlinks to your site (i.e. SEO) but it will get your content in front of a wider audience (i.e. more traffic to your site).

Content Promotion Strategies Overview

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours/week
  • Projected Expenses: $0
  • Want the printable check sheet? Leave a comment below!

Apply these action steps…

  • Every time you add a new blog post on your blog
  • Every time you add a new blog post on a guest blog
  • Every time you post a new article to an article directory
  • To the blog post where you left a new blog comment

Action Steps

  • 1. Join Realtown: (Realtown.com), and create a blog
  • 2. Join Trulia: (Trulia.com) and create a blog
  • 3. Create accounts on Facebook and Twitter: if you have not done so already
  • 4. Post “teasers” on Realtown and Trulia: post a 3+ sentence excerpt about (a) your new blog post (b) your new guest blog post, (c) an article you posted to an article directory, or (d) a blog comment you left on another blog post. Make sure there are 2 links in the excerpt that point back to your website.
  • 5. Attach a Link to Your Facebook Business Page Wall: copy and paste the URL of: (a) your new blog post (b) a guest blog post, (c) an article posted to an article directory, or (d) a blog comment.
  • 6. Tweet on Twitter: tweet the link to: (a) your new blog post (b) a guest blog post, (c) an article posted to an article directory, or (d) a blog comment.

Action Steps EXPLAINED

1. Join Realtown

When creating an account follow these general guidelines: be honest, use your real name, a picture of you, and a brief bio. If you already have an account then don’t worry about creating a second.

  • Click here to join and create an account with Realtown
  • Once you have the account verified and have added all your details, click “Create Blog” on the right sidebar
  • Give the blog a title (hint: use your keywords in the title)
  • Give the blog a description, keep it short and succinct (1-3 sentences)
  • It might ask you to login again, that’s normal
  • Once logged into the blog entry area, click “Edit My Blog Profile” on the left and add your website’s URL in the Website Address field and save the changes
  • Then click “General Settings” on the left and fill out the following fields: Meta Keywords, Meta Description, Entries Per Page, Recent Entries, and set the “Privacy Default for New Entries” to Everyone (don’t forget to save!)

2. Join Trulia

When creating an account follow these general guidelines: be honest, use your real name, a picture of you, and a brief bio. If you already have an account then don’t worry about creating a second.

  • Click here to join and create an account with Trulia
  • Once you have the account verified and have added all your details to the “Edit profile” area, click “Blog” on the left sidebar
  • This is the area where you will add new entries

3. Create accounts on Facebook and Twitter

Most everyone will have an account on both platforms, but make sure of the following:

  • If your Twitter account is strictly for personal use, create a new account geared for your business
  • In the following steps we’ll be using your Facebook Business Page, so make sure it is setup (click here to set one up)

4. Post “teasers” to your blogs on Realtown and Trulia

  • What’s a teaser? A 3-5 sentence excerpt that gives a brief synopsis about an article but points the reader to the full article which is located elsewhere (kind of like a movie trailer)
  • What will the teaser be about? It will an excerpt of: (a) your new blog post (b) your new guest blog post, (c) an article you posted to an article directory, or (d) a blog comment you left on another blog post
  • What’s the purpose? To drive traffic back to the original article, and to add backlinks to the original blog post (or original article)
  • Add 1 link after the teaser that links back to the original blog post (or original article)
  • Add 1 link after the teaser that links back to any page on your website (i.e. home page, contact page, MLS search page)
  • Realtown specific directions: Click “Add New Entry” on the left sidebar to add your teaser
  • Trulia specific directions: Click “Blog” on the left sidebar to add your teaser

Don’t copy and paste the original blog post over to any of these accounts, otherwise you risk duplicate content penalties with the search engines.

5. Attach a Link to Your Facebook Business Page Wall

  • Copy the URL of: (a) your new blog post (b) the guest blog post, (c) an article you posted on an article directory, or (d) the blog post where you left a blog comment
  • Sign into Facebook and navigate to your business page
  • Go to your “Wall” click the “Link” icon, and paste the URL into the field, then click “Attach”
  • While it’s not required, your can add a comment about the link
  • Finally, click the “Share” button
  • That’s it – very easy and simple to do

6. Tweet on Twitter

  • Tweet the link to: (a) your new blog post (b) the guest blog post, (c) an article you posted on an article directory, or (d) the blog post where you left a blog comment
  • Directions: How to Tweet on Twitter (click here)
  • Don’t get banned! Click here to learn how.

Extra Credit

As you’ve probably noticed, all the sites you signed up for fall under the “social media” designation. There is nothing wrong with building a network of followers on each of the websites. In fact doing so will help expand your brand and bring in more traffic to your site.

Want to take your content promotion to the next level? Check out the Advanced Content Promotion Strategies. Warning: this section is not recommended for everyone, only for those who have a firm grasp on the above and are ready to dive head-long into social media.

Awesome Tool

Really short on time? Check out the free) Firefox Addon: AddThis as it will make posting items to Twitter and Facebook extremely easy.

May 15
2012

DIY REALTOR SEO Guide #6: Advanced Content Promotion Strategies

Written by Chris Adams | posted in DIY SEO Guide | 1 Comment

With the advanced content promotion strategies we will take advantage of some of the biggest social media sites on the web. These sites have the potential to bring in enormous amounts of traffic and really help our your SEO, but also require some more time on your part.

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours/week
  • Projected Expenses: $0

Apply these action steps…

  • Every time you add a new blog post on your blog
  • Every time you add a new blog post on a guest blog
  • Every time you post a new article to an article directory
  • To the blog post where you left a new blog comment

Action Steps

  • 1. Create Accounts on These Sites: tumblr.com (click here), wordpress.com (click here), digg.com (click here), stumbleupon.com (click here), reddit.com (click here)
  • 2. Post to WordPress.com and Tumblr: post a 3+ sentence excerpt about (a) your new blog post (b) your new guest blog post, (c) an article you posted to an article directory, or (d) a blog comment you left on another blog post. Make sure there are 2 links in the excerpt that point back to your website.
  • 3. Bookmark on Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit: bookmark the link to (a) your new blog post (b) a guest blog post, (c) an article posted to an article directory, or (d) a blog comment.

Action Steps EXPLAINED

1. Create Accounts on These Sites

When creating these account follow these general guidelines: be honest, use your real name, a picture of you, a brief bio, and consider keywords in the account name. For example a Posterous account with a keyword in the account name would be: shortsalespecialist.posterous.com. If you already have an account on any of these accounts then don’t worry about creating a second.

2. Post to WordPress.com and Tumblr

  • Post a 3+ sentence excerpt about : (a) your new blog post (b) your new guest blog post, (c) an article you posted to an article directory, or (d) a blog comment you left on another blog post
  • Add 1 link after the excerpt that links back to the original blog post (or original article)
  • Add 1 link after the excerpt that links back to any page on your website (i.e. home page, contact page, MLS search page)
  • Directions: How to post to WordPress.com and Realtown (click here)

Don’t copy and paste the original blog post over to any of these accounts, otherwise you risk duplicate content penalties with the search engines.

3. Bookmark on Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit

  • Bookmark the URL: (a) of your new blog post (b) of the guest blog post, (c) of an article you posted on an article directory, or (d) of the blog post where you left a blog comment
  • Directions: How to Bookmark on Digg, StumbleUpon, and Reddit (click here)
  • Don’t get banned! Click here to learn how.

Extra Credit

As you’ve probably noticed, all the sites you signed up for fall under the “social media” designation. There is nothing wrong with building a network of followers on each of the websites. In fact doing so will help expand your brand and bring in more traffic to your site.

Awesome Tools

Really short on time? Check out these invaluable (and free) tools that make posting to some of the above sites very easy.

May 1
2012

Posting to WordPress.com, and Realtown

Written by Chris Adams | posted in Online Marketing | 0 Comments

How to Post to WordPress

  • Go to WordPress.com, in the upper left corner, enter your login details
  • Once logged in, hover over “My Blog” near the top left corner and click “New Post”
  • Add a title
  • Add the 3+ sentence excerpt (or any other content)
  • Upload any images or videos (only if needed)
  • Assign it any “Categories” or “Tags” (see the right sidebar)
  • Click the “Publish” button on the right sidebar

How to Post to Realtown

  • Go to Realtown.com and login (upper right corner)
  • Click “Manage My Blog” on the right sidebar (it might ask you to login again, that’s normal)
  • Click “Add New Entry” on the left sidebar
  • Add a title
  • Enter a URL title (remember, don’t use any spaces)
  • Add the 3+ sentence excerpt (or any other content)
  • Add any tags, if needed
  • Click the “Add New Entry” button at the bottom of the page

Apr 16
2012

Don’t Get Banned

Written by Chris Adams | posted in Online Marketing, Social Media | 0 Comments

If we could just ignore these sites we would, but we can’t. These social media websites play a part in how search engines rank your site, and can bring a tsunami’s worth of traffic to your site in one day.

But users on these sites hate spam and will often perceive self-promotion as spam. If they think you’re spamming their network not only will they cancel your account but might even ban your website from ever appearing on their site in the future.

What do we mean by ‘self-promotion’? That is, promoting content that provides you with a direct benefit of some kind. It’s not that self-promotion is outlawed, but heavy self-promotion will get you into trouble. Sites like Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon may ban your website outright, but Twitter generally doesn’t take such a hard stance. Instead you’ll notice a lack of followers instead for over self-promotion.

Follow These Steps to Keep you account from getting banned

  • At the broadest level, be an active member of the community (at least somewhat)
  • Promote two pieces of someone else’s content every day (i.e. digg it, stumble it, reddit, retweet it)
  • Keep at least a 10:1 ratio, 10:1 meaning promoting 10 pieces of content that is not your own to promoting 1 piece of content that belongs to you

Here’s What We Do

The best way to get involved in these social media spheres (as well as any others) is to integrate them into your daily workflow. Here’s how we integrate them into our daily routine:

  • Wake up, grab some coffee and breakfast
  • Spend 1/2 to 1 hour checking news from our RSS feed aggregator, or other online services (like reading the morning paper)
  • Whenever we come across a good story/article, we do a couple things to it: we digg it, we stumble it, reddit, and retweet it (the actual process only takes 1-3 minutes)
  • We end up doing this to 3+ articles each morning
  • In addition, we head over to Digg.com, and Reddit.com – pick out one article from their home page and leave a quick comment on it (takes roughly 7 minutes total)
  • We repeat the entire procedure at the end of the day too.
  • With out routine as outlined above we usually only promote 1 of our content pieces every 2-3 days.

Make the process painless

Want to make this as quick and painless as possible? Download the AddThis add-on to your Firefox browser – it allows you with one click to digg, stumble, reddit, and retweet. It’s one of our favorite and most used Firefox add-on.

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