Michael Russer, a.k.a. Mr. Internet®, is CEO of Russer Communications. He is a leading speaker and author in the real estate industry and has been writing about Internet marketing and virtual outsourcing since the dawn of the commercial Internet.
Photo Blog Your Way to the Top of the Search Engines
Posting photos to your blog provides both fast and interesting content that will get you more clicks.
February 1, 2010
There is no question that blogging can be a powerful tool to help you and your Web site stand out from the crowd and generate new business. And, as many have already discovered, it can be time-consuming and a lot of work—until now.
Here's an innovative way to post compelling content to your blog in just seconds that will also help propel your site to the top of the search engine results.
Photo Blogging: Cell Phone to Blog Post in 90 Seconds Flat
Photo blogging is a way to leverage what you do best every day—look at properties and use your cell phone—to create fresh search engine relevant content for your blog even several times a day. Here's how it works:
- Snap a picture of a listing in your market area with your cell phone.
- Compose an e-mail with the address of the listing as the subject line and just a sentence or two describing the property.
- Send the e-mail to a special address (which we'll discuss in a second) at which, once it's received, it will instantly post your subject line as the blog post title, insert the photo, and follow it up with the descriptive text as the main body of your post.
Note: It probably goes without saying, but unless you have an agreement with the seller, do not present yourself as the listing agent when promoting these property photos.
There you have it—about 90 seconds total (unless you're all thumbs like me; then it might take you two minutes). And what is really cool is that you haven't broken your daily routine to do it. And there's no more staring at a blank computer screen trying to figure out what to post while you could be out looking at properties—because you'll already be out looking at properties.
Now at this point you are probably thinking: "Awesome—I can do that! What's that special address I need to send these e-mails to?" As you might have guessed, there's just a little bit of set-up you have to do before you start photo blogging.
The first thing you want to do is set up a free account at Posterous.com. Once you've completed that, you'll be able to send your cell-phone posts to firstname.lastname@example.org, and it will know who sent it (it also works with e-mail sent from any device, including your computer). Now if this is far as you go, Posterous will automatically create your blog and handle updating it via your e-mails. However, if you want to maximize the Google "juice" that a frequently updated blog can give you and have a look and feel that is consistent with your brand, there are a few other things that you'll want to do:
- Create a subdomain from your main Web site domain that points to your photo blog. For example, if your main site domain is LuxuryMountainHomes.com, then you may want to set your photo blog URL to photoblog.LuxuryMountainHomes.com with links to it on every page of your site. By doing this, search engines like Google will attribute the new photo blog content to your entire site. And since you used the property address as the post title, your site's relevancy for your market area increases with every submission.
- Have your Web designer modify the look and feel of your Posterous blog to be consistent with that of your main Web site.
By doing the above, you now have a way to constantly add high-relevance blog content to your site, day in and day out, without breaking a sweat.
Note: If you already have a blog with more traditional content, be sure to make your photo blog separate from it. Not everyone subscribed to your current blog will want to receive your photo blog posts throughout the day. Remember, the main benefit of a photo blog is quickly and easily adding search engine relevant content to your site on a regular basis, not necessarily to inform a reader base.
One Practitioner Found Success in Just a Few Months
Walter Burns is a condo specialist with Weichert, REALTORS®, in Hoboken, N.J. Thanks to his social media efforts—a large part of which is his photo blogging—his average transaction prices have soared from $250,000 to over $600,000 in a short period of time. You can see his photo blog by going to http://photos.livingonthehudson.com/. Notice that in addition to his photo blog, he has a traditional one as well, and both are seamlessly integrated into his main site, www.LivingOnTheHudson.com. If you examine both, you will see that the frequency of his posts to his photo blog is far greater than his regular one. And for good reason—it's so darn easy!
Whether you're brand new to blogging or a seasoned social networking pro, photo blogging is one tool you should be using on a daily basis. If you can take photos and text with your cell phone, you can photo blog.
NOTE: Mr. Internet®, RUSSER Communications, its staff, and officers receive no compensation whatsoever from any third-party vendors (unless he/they are directly involved with the creation and/or improvement of a vendor service or product), and make no recommendations as to the suitability of the products or services mentioned in this article. Always thoroughly investigate any product or service before trying or purchasing it.