March 5, 2011

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Agent Strategies: It’s All About Content

This week’s Agent Strategy comes from Canadian real estate agent Brian Madigan, a real estate author and commentator. Madigan is behind the website, and here he shares why he first started blogging, and what he thinks makes a good real estate blogger.

You would think that after blogging for close to three years that I would know what I’m doing. I don’t.

I’m not very “techie” and know little about blogging platforms, SEO, IDX, or any of the other things that the experts seem to write about.

I was writing for a local newspaper once a week, and a business magazine once per month in 2005 and 2006. Then, the worst thing happened. The newspaper folded and went out of business. What was I going to do with my two unpublished articles?

Someone suggested blogging and I had two blogs done and ready to go, plus I had all my two previous years’ worth of inventory, some 100 in all.

So, that’s how it started. Since I had practised law for 25 years most of my articles had something to do with a particular real estate issue, from boundaries to fences, joint ownership to matrimonial homes, marketing properties to problems with disclosure.

After a few years, I found myself on several blogging platforms publishing 15 new articles per week. They were frequently posted by myself in five locations and reposted by others in another 15. Let’s do the math! For every new article I write, it appears in 20 locations on the Internet. If I write 15 per week, that’s 300 Internet postings per week, or 15,600 in a year.

I have absolutely no idea how Google works, how it ranks things, or what it likes to look at. But, what I do know is that if I publish an article, Google will find it in two or three minutes. It used to be months, if at all.

Lots of people on the Internet are using my content. They are just reposting it with a link back to me. In most cases, they didn’t seek permission, they just took it. However, my volume at 15 per week makes it worthwhile for them to keep using it, since it’s guaranteed to be fresh.

People often ask how I can come up with new topics every day. The answer is fairly simple. I take a theme and expand it. I write a small portion each day and publish it. I focus on content, not the SEO features. Other people who are taking courses in SEO will look into that. I just simply focus on content. You must be persistent and consistent to be successful. And, needless to say, your content needs to be worthwhile. It doesn’t have to win the Pulitzer Prize, it simply needs to be well-researched and professional.

I wrote 225 articles about the law of disclosure. I strung all the articles together into about 300 pages and submitted it as a continuing education course for real estate agents. It was approved by the Real Estate Council of Ontario as a continuing education credit course. I cut it back to three hours for classroom presentation. Now, I teach the course and get called as an expert witness in litigation involving real estate agents.

Then, I started a series on the standard form agreement of purchase and sale. It’s a four page document but my summary runs 145 pages in length.

I am now writing courses on chattels and fixtures, the law of torts, the history of real property law, reviewing the survey, legal non-conforming uses, condominium conversion and Canada’s Competition Tribunal.

However, you can’t just write about real estate law, if you are looking for real estate business you need to write about the markets. Each month I produce an Indexed Performance Report. It compares a variety of items in the local real estate market to the stock markets, the consumer price index and the price of oil and gold. Everything is indexed to base 100, so it’s very easy to use and compare. It is followed closely on several continents.

I also provide monthly and half monthly commentary on current market conditions. Many in my readership are real estate agents and as it turns out a good number have also become my clients.

So, if you were hoping to get a hot tip about how to trick Google, I have no idea.

Just publish and do it frequently and consistently!


Related posts:

  1. Agent Strategies: Blogging Plus SEO
  2. Agent Strategies: Hyper Local Blogging
  3. Agent Strategies: A Big Fish in a Little Pool
  4. Agent Strategies: A Social Media Combo
  5. Agent Strategies: Real Estate Blogging that Works
  6. Agent Strategies: A Real Estate Marketing Mix
  7. Agent Strategies: Listings Are Not Enough
  8. Agent Strategies: Keeping them Interested
  9. Agent Strategies: Video Blogging for Visitors
  10. Agent Strategies: From Pretty Things to Closings

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