As an estate agent, you know you need to get some decent blog content published on your website! You may even have done some research recently and decided on some subject matter. You may even have sat, poised over your keyboard ready, but unable to make a start.
- How many words do I need to write?
- How long is this going to take me?
- Do I need to add keywords?
- Which keywords should I add?
- How often should I add keywords?
Those are just a few of the questions likely to be preventing you from taking action. Questions that then morph into more questions…
- How quickly can I get this out of the way?
- Is it really necessary to do this?
- How am I going to do this twice a week, every week?
And before you know it the fear has overtaken you and you’ve wasted another couple of hours over-thinking your content and have written absolutely nothing.
I know – it’s a chore
For most estate agents, creating blog posts is an absolute chore, because, let’s face it, it’s not really part of your remit is it? You want to be out there in the thick of it, conducting market appraisals and viewings. You want to be selling houses! Because that’s your lifeblood.
So, even if you are pro-active and block out the time to create content for your blog or news page, it’s likely that you want to get it over and done with as quickly as possible so that you can get back to doing what you do best and where your real focus is.
This is not to say you don’t care about your content, I’m sure you do, but it’s not one of your top priorities, even though it should be.
Writing content for your blog or news page doesn’t need to be difficult if you plan it out in advance. This way you can make it as pain-free as possible, starting with the all-important question:
“How many words do I really need to write?”
Well, some experts will tell you that you only need to write 200 words. Others will tell you that long-form articles, that’s 2000 words plus, are the only way you will keep readers interested and successfully drive an audience to your website.
So, what’s right?
Well, we all know that the attention span of humans is not great! If we’re not hooked into something immediately, whether that’s something we are reading, watching or someone we are talking to, our minds wander because we are all super busy with other things to think about.
The trick is to find the sweet spot that keeps your audience’s attention, not too long and not too short, but enough content to take into account Google’s algorithms – because of course, you want your content to be ranked in the search engines.
With this in mind and according to research undertaken by Orbit Media, the current average blog post length is 1,050 words. However, most businesses feel that 500 words is acceptable and is the length they most regularly publish even though 750 words is their preferred length. So, from this, we can work to an ideal of 750 words per blog post. This is long enough for Google to index and short enough for your readers to easily digest.
But, whilst 750 words is the ideal, your aim should actually be to make your posts feel shorter than that!
To ensure you keep the attention of your audience right to the end.
By adding bullet points, larger paragraphs at the start of your article and using sub-headings.
The idea is to hook your reader right from your first sentence so that they want to read on. This means you must engage immediately since ‘time on site’ is an algorithm that Google factors into their search results.
The fact is that writing an article of 750 words will take you at least an hour with no research (on a good day), a couple of hours with research and sourcing images and even longer if creative writing is not your best skill!
So how do you reach those 750 words when you’re sat, scratching your head having written 300 words, but are now regretting your decision to write content (even though it’s super important) and you feel like you’ve exhausted your topic?
Slick planning is the key
Make it manageable
If you’ve only succeeded in writing 300 words, what you probably didn’t do before you started was section your task up. Planning is key, so split your 750 words into four sections, each containing approximately 200 words – that’s 800 words in total – the perfect length!
It’s far easier to write about a topic when you have short ‘sub-topics’ to cover as you will be organized, and the workload will appear a whole lot lighter. Those 750 words are no longer daunting as they are now simply four lots of 200 words.
Think about what your target audience want to know
Bring your passion alive in your articles. If you’re not passionate, how can you expect your reader to be? So, speak to your readers and cover topics that they are interested in. For example, give them home-moving tips, provide information on how they can stage their home when selling, explain how they can choose services relating to property and so on. When you write, write from the heart – you will write better when you do!
Get it all out and edit later
Write your article as the words come into your head. Don’t worry about mistakes, grammatical or otherwise. You can tidy it all up later. Just keep typing and get all your ideas out in the open. Some of it won’t make sense but that’s fine. It will all fit together eventually.
Flesh out your content
This is probably the hardest part of the process. You might find yourself at a decent 550 words, wondering where you’re going to find the other 200! But whatever you do, just keep writing. Add in some research and hard facts and you will see your article starting to take shape.
Tidy it all up
Finally, you’ll need to go back to the beginning of your article and tidy it all up. It will be a mess at this stage but what’s important is that you have the main content, it just needs sprucing up, add your sub-headings, bullet points, split up your paragraphs, insert images and make it look like the masterpiece it is.
I know that writing a blog post is a frightening prospect, especially if you have never written one before, and writing for your business means your words shape your reputation, so they must be good and you have a right to be scared.
But, content is absolutely vital to your estate agency business to help make you an authority and to drive leads organically to your agency.
So, take a deep breath, summon your creative juices and get your first blog post written and published. It will be the start of a successful long-term content marketing strategy to benefit your business.