Creating a blog is easier than launching a Web site. The best part is that you do not have to understand html or Internet programming to be able to start a blog. If you can email, you can blog. It is really that simple!

Builders and developers will benefit from increased Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for their Web site from blog traffic and Google rankings. More and more companies are starting to blog for business. In fact, Internet studies show that 63 percent of Internet users read or participate on blogs – up from 54 percent last year.

Blogs provide an opportunity for builders and developers to interact with current homeowners and potential homeowners. Social media provides corporate America the opportunity to be transparent – to be real. Your audience will forgive you if you are not perfect. They will not forgive you if you are not honest.

Here is the step-by-step process of how to set up a builder or developer blog.

1. Where will the blog be hosted? Will your blog have its own IP address? Options include:
• Hosting the blog on the same server as your company’s Web site.
• Hosting the blog or on a totally different server.
• Will your blog be a button on your existing Web site?
• Hosting through Blogger or Word Press as a subdomain.

2. What software will you use to build your blog? There are lots of free programs available. The two most popular are:
• Blogger – this program is owned by Google and often indexes with the search engine faster than other programs.
• Word Press – incredibly user friendly and easy to customize.
• Other software includes Xanga.com, TypePad.com, MSN spaces and many, many others.

3. How will your blog look?
Formatting or designing your blog can be a very simple process. Free blog software provides some very basic templates that you can customize with specific colors and themes. You will need to choose the number of columns and whether your blog will have ads or not. You do not have to be a computer techie or an 18-year-old to do this. If you want a more complex theme, you can have your blog custom designed by an Internet or marketing company, much like you would have a Web site designed.

4. Who is the author of the blog?
Will the president of the company be blogging? Will the entire company participate? Who will be posting articles to the blog? Choose your approach. Your blog needs to be engaging and provide information or opinions that readers are interested in. Blogs aren’t meant to be marketing spin.

5. What content does the blog include?
Does the blog talk about industry trends or the process of building a home? What will your subject matter be? Position yourself as an expert. Builders and developers have a great opportunity to position themselves as experts on different facets of building and developing. What makes you tick? Maybe your blog is on green building or developing practices or on building for the 50-plus buyer. Other topics could include design trends and upgrades or workforce housing. Pick a topic and talk about it. Of course, you can include other subject areas in blog posts, but it helps to be known as the expert on one specific topic. Do one thing and do it well.

6. How often will you post?
The most successful blogs have content posted daily. In order for your new blog to be successful, you will need to post at least three times a week. A good blog builds relationships with readers, increases SEO and gives blog readers a reason to come back to your blog on a regular basis.

7. SEO for your blog?
Now that you’ve built your blog, you need to register it with other blogs and Web sites, linking to other sites, posting on other blogs, track backs, etc. Consider adding an RSS feed. There are lots and lots of ways to increase traffic to your blog

8. Options are endless with Web 2.0.
What bells and whistles do you want to add to your blog? Think about audio and video podcasts, virtual tours and more.

Remember, Social Media is NOT about technology, it is about YOU. There has been a shift from Mass Media to New Media. Previously it was an investment to launch a publication or radio station, but now anyone can become a publisher online. With 85 percent of homebuyers shopping online first, it is important that they find your company and see you as an expert in your field. Buyers are cynical and the organizational or corporate voice isn’t trusted as much anymore. Get involved online early on before you have to be.

Need help? That’s why TopBuilderBlogs.com was started. We can help you get started. We can create your blog, help set-up it up, start it with some initial posts and train your staff on how to get the most out this tool. Let us help. Contact Us today!



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Blogs for Home Builders by mRELEVANCE