7 Tips to Take Your Home Builder Blogging to the Next Level
Your home builder marketing is all in place, your blog is set up up and running, but you get the feeling it could be performing even better. New home construction is a highly competitive industry, and you’ll need to have everything working at 100% if you want to gain that crucial edge on your competitors.
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Don’t get left behind by the competition with a blog that’s only good when it could be great. Let’s take a look at some ways you can take your home builder blog to the next level.
1. Where Do I Get Ideas For My Posts?
There are all kinds of places you can draw inspiration from for your blog posts, but it’s important to make sure that your topics have mass appeal, and that might not always align with what interests you. One of the best ways to find new inspiration is from other people.
You could start by talking to your sales or customer service departments. Perhaps they’ve noticed a question or issue that comes up often that you hadn’t considered. Writing a blog post that explains a common problem could make their life easier as well as yours!
You can also use online tools such as Google to source your ideas. Try typing a part of your blog post idea into Google and see what it auto-suggests. These suggestions are based on what people are searching for, so there’s a good chance you might find a new idea based on a common question that people are asking.
You should also bear in mind that not all ideas will be the right ones at the right time. For example, you may come up with some great winter maintenance tips that would make an ideal blog, but you wouldn't want to post it in April. For this reason, it’s good to maintain a running list of ideas that you can draw from at any time. There are lots of tools you could use for this, including Trello, Evernote and Google Docs.
2. Make Your Writing Easier
There are lots of tips and tricks you can use to make the writing process more streamlined. One of the best ways is to determine a formula that works, and then stick to it. This will naturally involve a little trial-and-error, but once you find something that's right for you, it’s a great way to make sure your writing stays on track and you don’t take any time-wasting detours.
To make extra sure you stay on track, it can also be helpful to create an outline for your blog post before you start. Try making a bullet-point list of all the major points you want to cover and arrange them in a way that will be easy to connect. That way, you won’t have to stop while you’re in the flow of writing to think about what to cover next. It’s all laid out for you and all you need to do is connect the dots.
If you’re having trouble putting your outline together, don’t be afraid to draw inspiration from other sources. If you come across another blog post that covers an interesting topic, save it so you’ll always have a source of inspiration to draw from.
Some of the best ideas can come from combining two or more other sources in a new and interesting way!
You also don’t have to work alone. If you get stuck, consider bringing in someone else to pitch in some ideas. This could be anyone, and they don’t even have to be physically present.
Writing in an online tool like Google Docs allows you to instantly share your blog post draft with anyone, anywhere, and they can make edits and corrections in real-time. This can be an invaluable tool for writers who prefer to have a second set of eyes on their work before it goes out.
3. Improve the Quality of Your Blog Post
When it comes to quality, sometimes less is more. One commonly repeated piece of advice is to “Write for Your Grandma” - that is, try to keep the tone of your blog posts light and conversational, and avoid long words and complicated jargon phrases. You’re aiming for mass appeal, which means being able to communicate with people from all walks of life and experience levels. Keeping your language simple will also increase the appeal of your blog post to anyone who may not speak English as their first language.
Another way to keep your blog posts simpler and more appealing to readers is to rely on statistics and data. If you can back up what you’re saying with a link to a statistic that proves it, not only do you demonstrate trustworthiness to your readers, but it also saves you valuable space (and writing time!) having to explain your point.
4. More Effective Editing
Once your home builder blog post is written, you’ll need to begin focusing on editing. This is another area in which Google Docs can be extremely helpful - as with your collaborators, Google Docs allows you to share your finished draft with an editor, see what they change, and collaborate on the editing process together in real-time.
If you’re working with a few people on your editorial team, you can also use Google Calendars to create an editorial calendar that everyone can see and update as needed.
You may also find it helpful to keep an editing checklist as you work. This could consist of common errors, spelling mistakes, formatting issues, style/tone guidelines and anything else that commonly crops up. Not only does this ensure your posts remain consistent, it also saves you time and prevents small mistakes from slipping through unnoticed.
5. Optimizing Performance
Of course, taking your blog to the next level doesn’t just involve writing and editing - once it’s ready you’ll also have to make sure it does well by making it search-engine friendly and easy to market. There are all sorts of ways to do this, but consider trying some of these tips:
- Use Google Trends to search for some of your potential blog post titles to see which ones have the most searches. This can be an important indicator of which ones could be the most successful.
- Make it easy for your readers to pass your post on by adding social sharing buttons.
- Make use of analytics. Find out what’s working and what isn’t. Sometimes the smallest changes can make a big difference - in some cases even just changing a button colour from green to red can make a 21% difference!
- Customize your post promo for each social media channel. Each channel is different, and people consume media differently on each one, so find out what appeals to users on all channels and tailor your promos accordingly.
- Use your CTA’s! Take offers you already have and use them as starting points for blog topics to ensure that all your posts are as relevant as possible. Look for posts that perform well but have less-than-stellar CTA responses and see if you can update them to improve performance. Use different types of CTA - lead gen CTA’s, secondary CTA’s to provide options to readers not ready to become leads yet, and Smart CTA’s for a customizable experience.
6. Where Do I Get Ideas For The Next Blog Post?
Regular content is one of the keys to your blog’s success, so once your post is out there and doing well, it’s time to start thinking about the next one. It can be daunting to think about having to keep producing new content week after week, so how can you keep finding new ideas for your content?
One thing that can really help you to generate ideas is to repurpose your existing content. For example, if you have an eBook about a larger topic, consider using it as pillar content and breaking it down into several smaller blog posts to drive traffic towards it. You can also look for older posts that may be out-of-date that you can update and re-post. This not only generates new content and can help your search ranking, but it also builds trust in your blog by removing irrelevant or incorrect information.
Another way to repurpose your content is to consider alternate formats in which you could present it to new viewers. People like to consume online content in many different ways, and on different platforms, so try taking a look at your blog post and consider whether the information could be presented differently. Take a text-based post and see if it could be used as…
7. Avoid Burnout
It can take a while to get into the groove of producing blog content, especially if you have ambitious targets and are planning to post multiple times per week. For your own well-being, as well as your blog's, you'll want to avoid feeling overwhelmed or burnt-out. Consider trying the following tips:
Don't Be Overly Concerned About Length
If you have a word count target in mind but you feel like you've said everything there is to be said in half the amount of words, don't worry about it. Word count is largely not as important as quality of content, and short blog posts can perform just as well as long ones.
By the same token, if you've gone way over your word count but feel that all of it's essential to get your point across, that's fine too!
Don't Worry if a Post Doesn't Do Well
Obviously, we all want the things we work on to succeed, but it's only natural that a blog post will crash and burn once in a while. If you're blogging regularly, don't let this get to you - the next one's just around the corner, so focus on making that one do better. Writing blogs that appeal to people is an experiment, especially when you're first starting out, so it's perfectly natural to have the occasional misfire when you're discovering what works and what doesn't.
When judging what works and what doesn't, be sure to not get too hung up on the comments section. If a post has no comments, or just a couple of negative comments, that doesn't mean the blog post is necessarily a failure. People tend to comment on things they disagree with far more than things they do agree with, so focus on metrics like the number of views and shares instead. If a hundred people read and shared your post and only one person left a negative comment, that's a pretty good overall result.
Don't Overthink It
When you're right in the middle of writing, it can be easy to get fixated on the details. Remember - your goal is to present your reader with relevant and interesting information that'll provide them with value and keep them coming back for more. The position of that comma or whether or not you put that one section in parentheses probably isn't going to make a huge difference in the overall plan.
Similarly, if you're making a list blog post don't be too concerned with the number of items in the list. While there is some evidence that odd-numbered lists perform a little better than even-numbered ones, the most important thing is to get your point across as well as you possibly can.
As you can see, a home builder blog relies on consistency, regular updates and establishing a sense of trust between you and your readers. As you prepare to take your blog to the next level, keep these tips in mind and see how much of an improvement they make to your marketing efforts.
Originally published Aug 20, 2019