While the term "blog" was not coined until the late 1990s, there has been several precursors in the form of online diaries and political journals. Special interest blogging, while still popular, paved the way for today’s business blog, which is now a standard marketing endeavor for real estate agents. Whether they’re making a name for themselves online, establishing credibility as real estate gurus, or just lending personality to “that agent I saw on that sign once,” successful agents' blog like their lives depend on it. And frankly, their livelihood does depend on it.
Although a real estate agent I am also a blogger outside the realm of real estate. I know firsthand that there are a host of challenges that come with blogging. Besides thinking about which SEO tactics to implement and creating picture-perfect graphics is every blogger’s worst nightmare: writer’s block.
It’s easy to blog about topics the media are already buzzing about, but that’s just it – it’s already circulating. News organizations are always ten steps ahead, and once something’s trending, well, that dent you made in your SEO efforts will remain about as deep as a puddle. That original content you spent hours carefully crafting? It’s far from unique. And in the hyper-competitive world of real estate, standing out is a necessity.
Enter the blog topic generator. Instead of drawing inspiration from what’s trending, I self-tested a few nifty sites that aim to produce quality blog ideas. Here’s what I found:
1. HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator - All it takes are three keywords – I used “real estate,” “real estate agent,” and “house” – and HubSpot’s algorithm does the rest: five days of blog-worthy topics. The site does contain a disclaimer which spares them backlash for any less-than-stellar ideas, but this generator’s a winner in my book.
2. ContentForest - True to its namesake, ContentForest really does grow content. Their handy Title Tool doesn’t come up with original titles, but it does provide a list of high-ranking ones that you can use to spawn your own ideas. The best part? You can shed a positive light on any negative Real Estate related blogs. If you don’t care for the top 10 suggestions, keep clicking through. With a never-ending list of titles, you’re bound to find inspiration. My keyword for this search was “real estate.”
3. Portent's Content Idea Generator - One of a few strategic tools from the Seattle-based digital marketing firm, this generator was fun to play with. The site cautions that it’s addicting – and while the results are mostly humorous (and sometimes grammatically incorrect), they did spark some creative thinking.
Although they are not topic generators these honorable mentions are worth noting. If you want your blog to focus on what’s hot and happening in real estate, give these a go:
InboxQ - This is not exactly a topic generator, but it does help conceive ideas. This tool rounds up Twitter questions related to your industry – questions that often go unanswered. Write a blog in response to one, and you’re all set with a timely and relevant post. Interact with the tweeter who posed the question too, to foster engagement.
Google Alerts - Local, local, local! I cannot say it enough the importance of providing local content to your followers. Google Alerts will soon become your most trusted advisor. Using keywords and phrases, Google will alert you when a news journal, blog, or image has been published. You could use phrases like "Real Estate in Wisconsin," "Madison, WI," "Questions About Real Estate."
What tricks do you use to write unique blog content?