From Start to Finish: What Goes Into Creating a Blog Post?

For those who have ever created a blog post for their real estate business, they know that if done well, it can be an incredibly time-consuming (but rewarding!) process. I’ve encountered real estate agents time and time again who have said: “Oh, right—I know I should be blogging, but who has the time?”

It’s true—you should be creating and sharing value through blogging with your audience, and it’s also true that it’s a time-consuming investment.

Whether you’re considering being your own blog writer (kudos to you!) or planning to outsource all or some of your blog, we want you to go into the process “eyes wide open.”

Below, I’ve included all that typically goes into a single blog post. I hope that this step-by-step list will provide you with insight into creating your own blogging plan!

1. Create a content schedule and strategy.

What should you write about on your blog? What type of content makes sense at this time of year? When will you write and publish each blog post? It will be important to establish how often you’ll post on your blog, what types of topics you should include to create a cohesive strategy, and how it’s all going to get done.

2. Research your topic. 

Unless you happen to know everything about the topic you’re writing about, you’ll have to do some research. Whether it’s something as small as figuring out when a business is open or as large as interviewing a few people to get the information you need, it will require some amount of research.

3. Draft and outline your post.

After you have a better understanding of a topic, you can create an outline of your blog post. How will the blog post be organized? After seeing all of your research, would this topic actually be better presented as two separate blog posts? Will it be a numbered listicle post, or is it better divided into a few sections with subheadings?

4. It's finally time to get writing! 

Brew yourself a cup of tea or pour yourself a glass of wine. It’s time to do some actual writing! If you’re feeling stuck, read some other blog posts to get your head in the right space.

5. Edit! (Don't skip this step!)

Once it’s finished, you might want to set your blog post aside for awhile. Maybe it’s an hour, maybe it’s a day. It always helps to return to edit with a fresh set of eyes. Click here for more tips on editing your own writing.

6. Figure out which photos to use. 

No matter what your blog post is about, it should have at least one featured image. Depending on your topic, photos can be an important way to keep readers engaged and entertained. This might involve taking your own photos, sending out a photographer to take photos for you, using Facebook images and giving due credit, or finding Instagram posts to feature. Sometimes, I spend just as long finding photos to include in a blog post as I do writing it. Photos are important! (Click here to check out “7 Ways to Get Photos for Your Real Estate Blog”!)

7. Formatting your post.

Now it’s time to upload your blog post to your website! For those who aren’t as familiar with blogging platforms, this can be one of the most challenging parts of blogging until you get the hang of it. Make sure your formatting is consistent, from font sizes to spaces. Upload any photos or other accompanying media, and make sure you have a featured image.

8. It's time to publish!

After previewing your blog post and making sure it all looks right, it’s finally time to hit the “publish” button! Check it again once it’s published to make sure the title is correct, the formatting is showing up right, and the photos are working properly.

9. Distribution.

Now it’s time to make sure people actually see your blog post. Have an action plan for every single blog post you publish. If you need some direction here, check out “11 Ways to Get the Most Mileage Out of Your Blog Posts.”

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And there you have it! As you can see, blogging is an investment of time, energy, and resources, but it’s just that: an investment. A blog post is an investment in your digital footprint that can serve you for years to come!  


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Thanks for following along!

Alyssa W. Christensen is the owner and managing editor of Home Scribe Creative.

If you have any questions, she’s happy to chat! Get in touch with Alyssa here.


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11 Ways to Get the Most Mileage Out of Your Blog Posts

If you've ever put together and published a blog post, then you know how much work can go into it. There's the planning and research, the rough draft and editing, finding/taking/editing photos, the formatting, and finally, the publishing and distribution. (Whew!) 

A blog post takes resources and time to create, and it's truly an investment in your business. And the awesome thing is that depending on the type of post, a blog post can "work" for you for YEARS to come. 

But this is only if you truly make the most of a blog post. Below, you’ll find 11 ways to get the most mileage out of that initial investment. Don't let your blog posts go to waste! 

1. Take advantage of social media.

Each time you publish a blog post, you should be sharing it on all of your social media accounts, including platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. Create a "publishing" check list, and in addition to including things like proofreading and double-checking that links work, include the social platforms you need to share your post on.

This is one example of a graphic that was posted to Instagram to promote a blog post.  Click here to see more examples!

This is one example of a graphic that was posted to Instagram to promote a blog post. Click here to see more examples!

2. Create graphics to represent the blog post and share on Instagram (and maybe Pinterest).

After reading #1, you might be wondering how you're supposed to share a blog post on Instagram and Pinterest. Create a simple graphic that represents the blog post to share—something that will get people curious and encourage them to want to read more. Canva and PicMonkey are both free services that offer simple design tools. 

3. Install “share” buttons.

If your website platform allows for it, give your readers a way to easily “share” your blog posts right from the posts themselves. “Share” buttons at the top and bottom of the page are popular ways to do this, and they allow readers to post directly to Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and more.

4. Include links to your blog posts in email newsletters.

If you aren't sending out newsletters, you should be! (And not the ones with canned content from your brokerage!) My favorite email service is MailChimp, but there are lots of options out there. I recommend sending out a newsletter at least once a month. Your newsletter can highlight a few pieces of content you published since the last time you sent a newsletter. 

5. Reference older blog posts in your new posts.

Linking back to old blog posts to give context and additional information is a great way to avoid having to rehash information you’ve already shared. It also keeps people reading and exploring your website.

6. Re-share your old content.

Some blog posts are only meant to be relevant for a short amount of time, while others will be valuable for years to come. For these “evergreen” posts, be sure to share them again, although not right away—wait a few months, or even a year. If they still contain useful content, you’ll want to be sure people have another chance to view them.

7. Update old posts with new information.

Sometimes all a blog post needs is a little refresh. Don’t delete a post and start over—take advantage of any SEO traction a blog post may already have and simply update it to include new, relevant information.

8. Make sure your blog is SEO friendly.

There are all kinds of SEO (search engine optimization) tools and strategies out there, but focusing on creating rich content that incorporates a few keywords and phrases is a solid place to start!

For example, if you're writing a post on the best happy hours in your neighborhood, you'll definitely want to include the name of the city and neighborhood in your post (and definitely in the title), as well as phrases people might search for. Think about what you would Google if you were looking for a great happy hour—probably something specific like "the best happy hours in Seattle" or "happy hours in Capitol Hill."

9. Include a call to action.

After someone is done reading your blog post, what are they supposed to do next? A call to action can be many things—maybe you prompt someone to contact you, or maybe you share other relevant blog posts they may like to keep them on your site exploring. Whatever you do, don’t leave a reader hanging!

10. Notify anyone who is featured in the blog post that they've been included.

Whether you've put together a holiday gift guide, a post that features quotes from locals, or a list of top cafes in your town, you'll want to be sure and notify each person and/or business that they've been featured in the post. This could mean tagging them in the original Facebook post, sending them a personal email letting them know, tweeting the article and tagging them on Twitter, etc.

Not only will they probably be excited to be featured, but they might even share your post with their audiences, getting your post even more exposure! 

11. Share the post in a thoughtful way with people who might be interested. 

Taking the time to personally reach out to someone who might especially love your blog post is a great way to spread the word. Here are several ideas:

  • Comment on your own Facebook post and tag people who might be interested. For example, maybe your blog post is about new restaurants in Columbia City, and you just helped your clients buy a house there. Tag them in the comments and say they might be interested.

  • Share your blog post on Facebook with the person who inspired it, and thank them for letting you borrow their idea. 

  • If something comes up in conversation and your blog post has *exactly* the info that person needs, this is the perfect opportunity to share your post. (Acquaintance: "Do you know of any good brunch places in Fremont?" You: "Yes! Actually I wrote a blog post about my favorite Fremont brunch places. I'm going to send it to you right now!")


Alyssa W. Christensen is the owner and managing editor of Home Scribe Creative. If you have any questions, she’s happy to chat! Get in touch with Alyssa here.


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Need Real Estate Blog Post Ideas? Here Are 10 Smart Brainstorming Tips

I’ve met so many real estate agents who want to blog or create other types of content (videos, podcasts, Instagram stories, etc.), but they’re just not sure where to start. One of the biggest hurdles to starting a blog can be deciding what topics to focus on, and for those who have been blogging for awhile now, it can be hard to know where to turn for new ideas.

If you need to get your creative juices flowing again, you’ll find 10 brainstorming tips below that are sure to help you get your blog back on track in no time!

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Brainstorming Tip #1: Have a place to collect all of your ideas.

This first tip is key! It might seem pretty basic, but none of this will work unless you can actually remember your brilliant blog post ideas. When it’s time to sit down and finally write, you’ll want all of your ideas easily accessible in one place.

Create a note on your phone where you can easily jot down ideas, or get a real notebook (a small one is best!) that you’ll always have with you. And when you get an idea, get in the habit of writing it down ASAP.

Brainstorming Tip #2: Write what you know.

What are you an expert in? What is your niche?

Do you specialize in condos (or would you like to work more with condo buyers/sellers)? Then write about condos. What are some new condo buildings you’re excited about? What are your favorite condo buildings in the city? What condos allow pets? What do people always ask you about condos, or what’s a common issue that’s constantly coming up?

Focus on things you already know a lot about to show off your expertise and build trust with potential clients.

Brainstorming Tip #3: Write what you don’t know.

Writing a blog post can be a great “excuse” to learn about something new. Is there something you’ve been wondering about, or do clients keep asking you the same question, and you’re not sure what the answer is?

Make it your mission to find out everything there is to know about the new zoning laws that everyone’s confused about, or find out about that mystery development and be the first one to break the story. You’ll probably have to do a little digging, but being the first to talk about something is a great way to become a valuable resource (and great for SEO, too!).

Writing about something you don’t know about also creates an excellent opportunity to reach out to people who you wouldn’t normally have a reason to reach out to. You might be able to interview a city council member, a local business person, or other prominent members of the community who are happy to have the exposure.

Brainstorming Tip #4: Write about what you love.

If you’re naturally interested in something, you’re much more likely to create quality content about it! When someone is truly interested in the thing they’re talking about, their enthusiasm is contagious, and it makes for a much more engaging experience when you can tell they’re genuinely into the topic at hand.

Let’s say you love snowboarding and you hit the slopes every chance you get. You might be wondering something like “But what does snowboarding have to do with real estate?”

Your snowboarding passion is the perfect opportunity for you to create some amazing content that will show off your expertise and connect you to other likeminded folks! Even if snowboarding is the thing that just breaks the ice. Here are just a few snowboarding-related ideas that come to mind:

  • My 3 Favorite Places to Ski & Snowboard Less Than 2 Hours From Seattle

  • Get to Know Your Neighbors: 4 Ski & Snowboard Clubs in Seattle

  • Top 3 Places in Seattle to Shop for Snowboarding Gear

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! You can show off why Seattle is a great place to live for people who like to spend as much time on the slopes as possible, while at the same time allowing people to “get to know you” and build trust with you before they reach out to hire you as their real estate agent.

Brainstorming Tip #5: What are your favorite things about your city?

If you had someone visiting your city for the first time, what would you want them to see? What are your favorite hangouts, and what are the tourist sites that are worth visiting? This is a content goldmine!

For example, I have a serious sweet tooth. I could easily take people on an ice cream tour of Seattle (where I live), or on a tour of the city’s best macarons. Suddenly you have some great content here:

  • 5 Must-Visit Ice Cream Shops in Seattle

  • Where to Get the Best Macarons in Seattle

  • Have a Sweet Tooth? Here Are 7 Not-t0-Miss Dessert Spots in Seattle

These can easily become blog posts, but this would also make a great video tour, too.

Brainstorming Tip #6: What other agents and brokerages writing about?

Check out a few other brokerage and agent websites and make note of the types of content that they’re publishing. Of course, this isn’t so you can copy them—it’s so you can see where you might be able to fill in the gaps, and also so you can make sure that your content is unique from what they’re publishing. Don’t do what everyone else is doing! See what agents in your city and what agents in other cities and states are blogging about can be inspiring for your own content calendar.

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Brainstorming Tip #7: What are local publications writing about?

This is similar to #6, except this time you’re going to take a look at local magazines and websites to see what the hot topics are. And once you’ve covered all of those, take a dive back into the archives and read headlines. Again, this isn’t so you can copy them—use this as a jumping off point and to inspire your own ideas.

Brainstorming Tip #8: What are people around you talking about?

What types of recommendations are people asking for on Facebook? What’s the latest restaurant or business in town that everyone’s excited about? What city developments or closures are stressing people out? Keep your ear to the ground.

Brainstorming Tip #9: Ask questions.

Post on Facebook that you’re brainstorming blog post ideas, and ask for your audience’s input. Ask them what they want to know or have been struggling to find. Maybe they’re on a quest for an amazing vegan restaurant, maybe they need ideas for where to take their out-of-town relatives, maybe they’re tired of their gym routine and need a new workout suggestion. Answering these questions all make great blog post ideas.

Brainstorming Tip #10: What’s your unique perspective on a current local issue?

Maybe it’s interest rates, or maybe it’s the state of the national economy and how it is directly affecting your city. Whatever the topic might be, avoid rehashing information that’s already out there and provide your own unique perspective.

The “opinion” category of content is probably the scariest type of content for most people. It can be intimidating to put your opinion out there—what if you’re wrong, or what if people disagree with you and then don’t want to work with you? These things might happen, but sharing your opinion and unique perspective will set you apart from the herd. Share the facts behind your perspective, ask questions, and invite others to share their own thoughts and opinions. It’s all about stimulating conversation, making connections, and building trust with your audience!


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Thanks for following along!

Alyssa W. Christensen is the owner and managing editor of Home Scribe Creative.

If you have any questions, she’s happy to chat! Get in touch with Alyssa here.


You might also be interested in…

7 Ways to Get Photos for Your Real Estate Blog

In my experience, one of the most challenging parts of putting together a blog post for my real estate clients is finding photos to use.

When you publish a blog post, you’ll always want at least a featured image. Most website layouts have the featured image representing the blog post in various formats, and it usually displays prominently within the blog post itself as well. This is also the image that Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms will “grab” and feature when you share the link to your blog post.

It’s important that your blog post’s featured image is:

  • Eye-catching

  • Related to the content of your blog post

  • Non-offensive

  • Legal for you to use

There’s a lot to be said about finding the right photo(s) to use with your blog post, but here, I’m going to delve into a few great places to find featured images for your blog posts.

1. Take your own original photos.

This one is the most obvious, so I’m going to get this one out of the way first! Using your own unique photos is always the BEST choice if you have this option available to you. If you have a phone that takes decent photos (even an iPhone can do wonders—see examples of photos taken with the iPhone 6 here!), use it to your advantage. If you have your own DSLR, even better!

Whether you plan to blog about your local community or home inspections, you’ll want to get in the habit of snapping a few photos whenever the right moment presents itself. Getting breakfast at your favorite restaurant? Take a few photos of your meal, a photo of the outside of the building, and a fun selfie of you with a cup of coffee. When you go to blog about your favorite breakfast spots, you’ll be so glad you have these photos stored and ready to go!

2. Hire a professional photographer.

Getting high-quality, original photos can really take the overall quality of your website and blog up a few notches. One great way to do this is to plan ahead. Let’s say you’re working on a 12-month content strategy with 5 blog posts per month. Typically what I’ll do for my clients who have their own photographers is I’ll make an outline of all 5 blog posts for the upcoming month, make a list of key components of each blog post, and give that list to a photographer. The photographer can spend a few hours (or even a day, depending how long your list is!) taking photos of everything on the list. Voilà! You have all of the photos you need for the next month of content.

3. Use searchable libraries with free high-res photos.

A few of my favorite photo resources include Unsplash, PicJumbo, and Pexels. (There are SO many out there now—a Google search for “free stock photos” will have you swimming in results!) Many of these libraries explicitly state on their websites that their photos are FREE and available for any type of use. You are encouraged to give the photographer credit, but you’re definitely not required to.

(Tip: Some of these websites have become so popular that you’ll see the same stock image over and over again in various marketing campaigns. Try to choose a photo that you might not have seen before!)

4. Buy stock images.

While there are a lot of free stock images out there, you might not be able to find quite the image you’re looking for. Or maybe you’ve found the perfect picture that’s free, but you’ve seen it used too many times already. This might be a could time to invest in some paid stock photography.

If you already visited PicJumbo, then you may have noticed that while they have many photos available for free, they also offer a paid version. This will give you access to even more photos to choose from. A few other examples of paid services include Shutterstock, Adobe Stock,

5. Embed photos from Flickr.

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If you’re searching for something more local or you can’t find what you need on one of the larger sites, Flickr is another great option. However, you should be a bit more careful with Flickr, since each photo has a different license setting when you initially search for something.

In the image to the left here, I’ve searched for “Seattle” and several results have popped up. Now, you’ll want to click on the little arrow to the right of “Any license” to select the type of license you’d like to search by, depending what your needs are.

Once you click on a photo, you’ll want to make sure you’re clear on the terms of use. Below, you’ll see I’ve circled “Some rights reserved.” Click on this to see all of the details regarding use. You might only need to provide attribution when you repost, or you might not need to do anything at all when you repost.

I’ve also circled a little arrow on the right. Click this to find the “embed” option. This makes it easy to embed the photo in your blog post, and doing so will automatically grab attribution information and make it obvious where the photo came from (Flickr!).

6. Embed Instagram posts.

Including Instagram posts within your blog post is a great way to show a true local perspective. You can easily do this by embedding an Instagram post from public accounts. Find the photos you’re looking for by searching for a relevant location, hashtag, or by finding the particular business/org/person/etc. on Instagram.

Embedding an Instagram photo in your blog post is easy to do: in the screenshot on the left, you’ll see 3 dots in the righthand corner. Click on this, and you’ll be presented with a few options in a white pop-up. Select “Embed” to copy the code and embed the Instagram post directly in your blog post.

The downside of this is that the person or account with the photo you’re featuring may one day make their account private, or delete the photo or the account. This will leave you with a blank photo in your blog post. It’s worth it to go through some of your more evergreen blog posts once a year or so and make any necessary updates (like replacing deleted photos!).

7. Embed Facebook photos.

Embedding Facebook photos in your blog post is the same concept as embedding Instagram photos.

To keep things looking more uniform in your blog post, you might choose to use only Facebook photos or only Instagram photos. However, it can be helpful to mix it up if, for example, you can’t find photos on Instagram of a business that you want to feature. If that’s the case, you might try looking on Facebook and find that they have more of a presence there.

To embed a Facebook photo, click on the photo you’d want to use, and in the bottom righthand corner of the photo you’ll see “Options.” Click on this, and you’ll be presented with a pop-up. Select “embed” to get the embed code for the photo.

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Important Note: Just because a photo is on the internet does not make it free and available for you to use on your blog. Do not do a Google search and just grab images you find!

Luckily, free photo websites have expanded greatly in recent years, meaning there are plenty of legal options for you out there. If you DO accidentally use a photo that you don’t have permission to use and someone calls you out on it, just apologize, give the photographer a compliment, and take down the image immediately.


Alyssa W. Christensen is the owner and managing editor of Home Scribe Creative. If you have any questions, she’s happy to chat! Get in touch with Alyssa here.


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