Blogging is really taken off recently for real estate professionals looking to spread their online marketing efforts thoroughly. There are 3 blogging platforms that are relevant right now. One is Tumblr, one is Blogger and the other is WordPress. WordPress being the number one choice to blog and have a website. Don’t get this confused, a blogging site and a traditional website are the same thing these days. Before there was there was separate platforms one where you could blog and one where you had a traditional style website. Now they have been integrated into one. Most websites today are based from blogging sites like WordPress. WordPress is what I prefer to use and is what this site is built on.
There are two different WordPress platforms. One is WordPress.com which is a free hosted site and WordPress.org which is a self hosted site that you maintain and pay for. Hosting has a minimal fee. If you want to get your feet wet and try blogging with WordPress.com and get started right away. All you need to do is create a free account. If you’re serious about your online marketing I would suggest going with WordPress.org and creating your own self hosted website that you will control and own 100%.
From here on out I will be talking about WordPress.org the self hosted website. First thing you’ll need is to have a domain. A great way to choose a domain is to base it on the area you are working or the subject. If you work a specific city or community or a specific topic, it is best to have that subject or title in the domain. For example, you’re selling homes in Newport Beach. You would choose the words Newport Beach within your domain. If you are selling in specific communities within Newport Beach, choose the name of those communities. Similarly if you target short sales or luxury homes you may want to have those keywords in your domain.
The most popular place to purchase a domain is Go Daddy. If you want a discount on your domain or any other purchase contact me and I’ll forward you a working promo code that will give you 20 to 30% discount on your purchase.
Next you will need to host your website. You’ll need to purchase hosting. Prices range from $7 a month or $60 a year. Popular places to purchase self hosting is Go Daddy, Host Gator, Dream Host or if you want further advanced hosting with more security there is WP engine with an added cost.
Now that you have your hosting and domain in place, all you need to do is install WordPress which hosting providers will provide via a one click install. It’s very simple. Once you are in the install, enter your information and WordPress will create the website in seconds.
Next, you log into your website and start blogging. There two ways you can write in a WordPress website. You can write a post or a page. The difference is a post is where you write content for your particular subject, like this article. You can forward posts to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. People can comment to your posts just like on Facebook or Twitter. A page works different. A page is static. It is created once and it will never change. An example would be a contact us page or a community page describing the area.
WordPress has many features. I’ll just discuss the basics. You can add themes which change the look of the website and plug-ins that add additional tools WordPress does not have. A theme will change colors fonts, layouts of a page. Plugins work like an app on your mobile phone. You download and install. Then the app or plugin will provide extra tools. A word of caution, only use themes or plugins form known companies or people you trust.
When you write your content for a post or page it works just like a word processor program like Microsoft Word. You can add bold, italic, justify, change colors, etc. When you completed writing your content you’ll need to do a couple of things before you publish the page or post.
In a post, you’ll need add the post into a category you created. That way you site will be organized and Google will also be able to sift through your site easily. Also you can create tags which will organize your site further so when someone searches for you site for a particular term, matching contact will appear in the results. A tag is just simple descriptions one or two words. You can then publish your post by pressing the publish button and the post goes live to the world.
A page is a little simpler. You just title your page. Write the content. Then publish.
WordPress does offer a lot of advanced features where you can add information for SEO, schedule your posts, add sophisticated plug-ins and much more. If you’d like to create a WordPress site, I’d be more than happy to help. Just contact me and I will walk you through the steps to get blogging. If you want more information on advanced WordPress functions let me know and I will help you out.
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