How to Use Farming 101 to Get Blog Traffic

You heard you need a blog. You heard it’s the magical marketing wave of the future. You won’t be successful unless you write on the internet. Everyone says it; it must be true. So you went and got one. Now you’ve got a blog.

You’ve written 5 posts in three months. You looked at your Google Analytics and if you’re reading it right you average 3 viewers per day; although one time you had 16 viewers in one day. But it’s possible you’re reading it wrong; you’re not really sure.

You don’t get it. Everyone has been telling you, ‘if you build it, they will come.’ So where are the dang baseball players? You mowed down this whole cornfield and built this stadium and where the heck is everyone???


Well here’s the hard truth: In blogging not only do you have to build it, but you have to build it again and again regularly. If you’re not posting 3-5 times a week, the general public has no hope of finding you. And here’s an even harder truth: Even that is not enough.

The thing is, five years ago you could build a real estate blog and regularly post decent content and at the end of the day walk away with a reasonable audience. Now… well now the word is out. Now everyone and his Cousin Janet knows a blog has the potential to generate business. So everyone and his Cousin Janet has a blog. This means there is too much competition for blogging to really be easy.

The game has advanced and if you want to be successful, you need to advance with it. Luckily, we already know the rules. We’ve learned and been mentored on the rules from the very beginning of our careers as real estate agents. The playing field is slightly more technologically advanced, but we’re savvy and can figure out how to play.

Let’s think back to Farming 101. How did that work? We had content (a mailer) that we wanted to disburse to the public. We had some kind of information we decided was useful or would make us stand out in some way. We didn’t just drop it on the corner and hope the wind would blow it to potential buyers and sellers, did we? No, we targeted a neighborhood or group we wanted to receive our information.

And what else was the big key to farming? Oh, that’s right: it has to be done often. People need several ‘touches’ to even realize you’re there, right? They won’t even look at your first mailer, but maybe by the 5th, they’ll know who you are. And if you keep doing it, then when they have a housing need, they’ll think of you.

Ah yes, well the internet and blogging works the same way, believe it or not. You start by creating your blog ‘content’, but that’s just the first step. From there:

1.       Choosing your neighborhood – Who in the blogosphere are you looking to target? Is it local people? Mommy bloggers? Foodies? What types of other bloggers might be interested in your content AND be able to use your services? Figure this out so you’ll know who to look for.

2.       Sending out your mailer – Seek out and read the blogs of these people. Comment on their blogs. Let them know you’re reading their content and entice them to come see yours.

3.       Systemize your regular mailing cycle – One comment isn’t going to do it any more than one mailer does. Keep track of who you’re commenting on and how often. Give yourself a minimum number of comments per blog before you take one off your list. If after the first comment they may visit your blog once; after the third, they might feel like you are reading them regularly and reciprocate. Don’t let this be a random chance encounter, make it your job, just like you do your farm mailers.

In the blogging world, we call this ‘Creating Community’. If you do it enough, it will snowball on its own, just like with farming. A homeowner you’ve been mailing to for years tells her sister how good you are and then you get a call. That’s how it all works, right?

See, it’s not so different from what we already know. It’s not easy, but hey, if it was, everyone would be doing it, right?

 

 

Photo credit: cwwycoff1 on Flickr. CC Licensed.

About Elizabeth Newlin

Realtor. Mom. Foodie. Blogger. Dancer. Wino. Kidder. Not in that order. Read more of my real estate stories and experiences at www.RealEstateTangent.com. Or don't. I don't care; it won't hurt my feelings. No, those aren't tears, I'm chopping onions, shut up!
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28 Responses to How to Use Farming 101 to Get Blog Traffic

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention How to Use Farming 101 to Get Blog Traffic | Real Estate Blog Pro -- Topsy.com

  2. Mike says:

    Wonderful. Just having a blog is far from enough.
    Me, I'm not the mailer type but what I would do is go out and find local other blogs and comment on them.
    Laying down digital breadcrumbs locally. All leading back to my blog.
    But hey, that's just me. : )
    Anyway you can get more and relevant eyeballs to the message, the better.

  3. Mike says:

    I totally suck!
    Skimmed from my phone.
    Something to be said for using the big screen.
    My recent post 1 Post- 50 Sites…

  4. Mark Caley says:

    As a beginning blogger this article is a great reminder that activity is key. Tom Hopkins coined the acronym "GOYA". That and knowledge are all that's needed. Thanks.
    My recent post San Antonio 2011 Local Housing Forecast

  5. I like your analogy to "farming." Like farming, blogging with regularity over time will lead to results. It takes lot of dedication.

    I have started two hyper local blogs for neighborhoods near where I live. I have been considering taking the farming analogy a step further and advertising in mailers to the area to see if it helps drive traffic.

    What do you think? A little old school to go with the new school? Is that a good idea or not?

  6. Thanks Elizabeth, this is helpful. Somewhere I thought I heard that commenting on others' blogs doesn't really work anymore, but this gives me confidence. I reread Crush It last night and am feeling good about my future in real estate.

  7. Liz Benitez says:

    This is was I have been hearing from my "BLOG Mentor" it is nice to know I am not being lead astray 😀
    My recent post Ahhh the Wonder of Warm Weather

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  9. Mack Graham says:

    This Real Estate posting is very important article. It’s a helpful service for anybody.
    Thanks
    Mack
    “Stratus Building Solutions”

    My recent post It's World Smile Day today – smile at someone this weekend. 🙂

  10. Great read! Good to know we are on the right track 🙂

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  13. Thank you, Elizabeth for sharing that. I love the meaning that you have put to farming and I find it essential to be farming on my blog so that people find it an interesting read.

  14. chris landry says:

    As for me, quality content is the most important above all when it comes to blogging. 🙂
    My recent post Chris Landry Mortgage

  15. Thanks for sharing the useful information..
    My recent post Hello world!

  16. A lot of people get into blogging and Internet marketing with unrealistic expectations. It does take planning, persistence, and a certain amount of passion to succeed with it. I think the passion part of it is necessary because if you don't enjoy writing and sharing ideas with other people, then you'll run out of steam and quit after publishing a handful of poorly-read posts. I'd guess that's what happens to at least 90% of the people start a blog. (probably closer to 98%). I'm juggling three different blogs, right now, which might be overly ambitious. Here's my list of blogging tips for small business owners: http://bloghomebusiness.wordpress.com/
    My recent post The Cornerstones of Real Estate Marketing Success

  17. Ray Nellum says:

    Elizabeth,

    This is a tried and true post. I think it is even more so important today. Some will build a site and once they don't receive the "Immediate" gratification, they quit. Then its on to the next thing. Blogging takes a huge commitment and Jay once said, it's a Marathon!
    My recent post Designer Again Consignment

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  19. Sarah Endrew says:

    The thing is that investing a billion dollars in Moxy hotels sounds harder, but is in fact a lot harder than it sounds.
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  20. I like the way you have written and compared offline marketing(Farming) to online farming! We need to consistently farming online with regular posts. Thanks Elizabeth for awesome article!!
    My recent post Rent to Own Home Program in Bay Area

  21. Thanks Elizabeth for sharing the useful information..

  22. Keep doing in the same way really it has been updating about house inspector this is real estate thank you. I am very happy to know about this blog, usually assume people will say yes, because why live your life.

  23. I like your analogy to "farming." Like farming, blogging with regularity over time will lead to results. It takes lot of dedication.

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