Tucson AZ Real Estate Blog

Tucson AZ Real Estate Blog

More than an experiment a passion.

The premise for the experiment

  1. Setup a new domain name.
  2. Use WordPress as the basis
  3. Posts & Pages
  4. See how the search engines respond

The process that brought about this new venture is outlines in the posts I’ve written recently in this order:

  1. Real Estate Weblogging 101
  2. A Tucson Realtors Journey in Web Presence
  3. Building a Real Estate Blog Site or Refurbish

This new blog about Tucson is constructed on the basis of the things I’ve learned since starting real estate blogging.

What’s in a name?

We are told to have a URL that is rich in keywords. I didn’t know that before. Actually the first time I read it I didn’t even know what that meant. Now I have a good keyword rich name www.tucsonazrealestateblog.com

If you are just starting out do your best to find a URL that is keyword rich for your area. Don’t be afraid of the word “blog” either. I know it has appeared on a couple of “poison word” lists, but lists change and so do uses of words. Some of the best placing blogs in search engines have “blog” right in the url. Google has even created an entire www.blogsearch.google.com just for searching blogs. Did you notice that Google has “blog” in that URL? For this experiment I have included the word blog in the URL.

WordPress

I chose WordPress for my platform. This isn’t to say that other platforms aren’t good. I simply have never used anything but WordPress. The other day Jay Thompson call me the WordPress Wizard. I’m still glowing from that one.

Pick a platform that fits your comfort level. I know the reason a lot of bloggers have made changes to their site has been the limitations and restrictions of the first platform they started to build their blog on. Ask other RE bloggers for suggestions and make sure you pick to fit your abilities.

Choosing a Theme?

This one is probably one of the most important choices you will make. Many chose a them because the like the way it looks. My grandfather used to say, “Most fishing lures are made to catch fishermen, not fish” It doesn’t matter how pretty the theme is if it isn’t designed to bring your content to the internet so it can be found it isn’t a good theme.

I’ve used and tweaked a lot of themes in the last year. I’ve finally found some that are pretty easy to change and get my content to the Internet quickly. I don’t know all that is involved in this. If I did I would share it. I do know I’ve picked a couple of themes for the single property sites and those sites were never found. After waiting a couple of months in one case I changed the theme and in two days it was placing #1 in Google for its location.

I won’t recommend any particular theme or themes in general here. The right theme in many cases depends on how much you are willing or able to make changes to the theme in the theme editor. If you are comfortable doing this there are some great themes I would recommend using and tweaking for your blog. If not there are others to pick from.

Anyone wanting help here please contact me. I’ll be glad to share what I can. (No I don’t charge for this) Wow, another good reason to be a RE Blogger, you meet the nicest people.

It also depends on how you want your content displayed. I like lots of picture and I like room to write without making a post look like it is a novel. This means I modify or pick themes that provide me at least 600 pixels of writing and display space.

I like three columns, but have learned to live with two. It is hard to get three columns and 600 px to write in and keep it on the screen.

The theme for this new blog has been modified significantly since I first downloaded it. I have used it on several of the property blogs. It is great and gets the placement I want quickly on Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Post and Pages

I’m going to incorporate more pages on this blog than any I’ve created before. There is some content I don’t want moving down, and into achieves. I want it there all the time so I’ll have a pages index of content (I don’t know how I’m going to do this yet) for information I want to convey and make available not in posts.

Search Engine Placement

I’m going to expand on this in a separate post. Here is a little to chew on for now and a hint at how you can help your blog.

Everyone wants their blog to be found. We are told “Don’t write for the search engines, write for your readers” I agree completely with this statement.

Here is the issue.
If I can’t get my posts found on the Internet, how am I going to get readers?

Second, Once I get my content on the search engines how can I keep it there?

Remember this is just an introduction to these questions. Here is a quick answer to number 2 that will help RE Bloggers keep their content from falling into supplemental results or disappearing all together.

  1. Leave Comments on other RE Bloggers posts.
    I’ve noticed the post that continue to be indexed month after month are the posts with comments on them.
  2. Write posts with quality content oriented links in the post to other blog post both on your blog and on other blogs. (Yes, this is called link love; spread it around it will do you good)
  3. Allow a do-follow on comments. I moderate all comments on all the blogs because even with askimet and a couple of spam filters some thing will still slip through with words and links I don’t even want to read. This means only comments get on the blog I want there and so I use a plugin called do-follow that takes the no-follow tag off that WordPress automatically turns on for comment URL’s

This means if you leave a comment on any post on any of the blogs I author, and you put in your URL, you get a link back from that comment to your site.

I recommend other bloggers taking this same approach and help other bloggers keep their content indexed and allow do-follows on their comments so they are receiving quality links back to their blog site.

This is the part of the experiment where I need the help of others in the RE Blogosphere.

  • I’ll provide posts and content on the Tucson AZ Real Estate blog that you will want to read and enjoy reading.
  • There should be ideas there other bloggers can use as seeds for their own posts.
  • I’ve already installed the do-follow plugin on this blog so if you leave a comment you get link back to your blog.
  • I’ll keep sharing what I learn from this experiment right here in the lab so everyone benefits from what is learned along the way.
  • I’ll keep posting here in the lab and providing links to your posts and blogs as they pertain to the post topic.

I’m asking for RE Bloggers to:

  • Read the blog
  • Comment when you want to, or need a back-link : )
  • Put it on your blogroll because it is a good blog not just because I asked
  • Let me know what you think of it either on site or here in the lab

I think this is going to be a great experiment and experience. I’m excited about putting it all together with

  • A Clean New URL (just two weeks old)
  • A new Theme
  • A new approach to Posts and Pages
  • Tightly focused, hyper-local content

Tucson AZ Real Estate I’m putting the link down here for those that don’t want to scroll back to the top. This should be fun and educational. If it helps any blogger new or experienced it will all be worth it.

Final note: In the recent post Real Estate Blogging Hot Topic of the Hour I talked about why you write. I said this blog is for RE Bloggers and it is. This new blog is for anyone interested in Tucson. It isn’t a sales blog, it isn’t a service blog, it isn’t to get clients. It is about the community in which we work and live. If you want to have a Great RE blog don’t sell it. Build it right and they will come. I can’t believe I said that. Thanks for your support.

Comments

  1. [adds tucsonazrealestateblog to Google Reader]

    There’s a lot to digest in that post…but my favourite part were the words of wisdom from your grandfather.

    “Most fishing lures are made to catch fishermen, not fish”

    I’m close to launching a local RE blog and will add it to our blogroll.

    Cheers.

  2. A good way to come up with a domain name is to first find out what the top searches in Google and Yahoo are. You can do that by checking http://inventory.overture.com

  3. I just wanted to let everyone know that we have received our first PR. We are now PR 2 YES! We have been waiting for 5 months for this. However, we did lose some traffic with Googles new update. They really tightened the belt. Hope all is well with everyone.

  4. Paul,

    Yes I started seeing the new updates late last week. Some new sites are getting their first PR our existing sites have stayed pretty much the same.

    The Lab being an exception, which I still can’t figure out and wish I could.

  5. I wonder why that is? Well I like this Blog and I see that others do as well. I can’t imagine why you have not seen an increase in you PR. Is it safe to assume you live and work in Tucson? We have recently expanded our service out there and I was wondering if you had any advice for advertising in Tucson. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Paul,

    The PR increased on this site. A lot of post that had no PR before are now PR3. I don’t know why?

    Of all the blogs I author this one has more posts indexed and with PR3 rankings than any of the RE blogs.

    I do work and live in Tucson. We don’t do any advertising in Tucson as far as I know, so can’t be any help there.

  7. Jim Morris says:

    Good Morning Dave,
    You have inspired me. I am not in real estate. I have been a photography critic for the past 18 years. I figured that I would have to give that up when I move to Tucson from LA. It dawned on me yesterday that if I set up a blog and have people submit images I can comment on their work then post the photographs and critique on a blog. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Jim,

    That is a great idea. I know a guy in Tucson who sets up blogs all the time and would be glad to help in any way he can. : )

  9. Jim Morris says:

    Cool! That would help a lot. I am reading ‘Blogging for Dummies’ now to get a little background info. I’ll contact you later and get the guys name, rate and horse power.
    Thanks Jim

  10. Jim,

    You’re cracking me up here. I’m the guy, and you get the best rate there is.

    It will be a privilege to help you get it going. Then I’ll just have to start submitting some images from time to time.

    I have set up a few blogs. I haven’t counted lately but I know it is over 20.

    Have a great week, and keep reading. Another good book is on WordPress Blogging

  11. Got the domain name (DIGAblogPIX.com) and the book is on the way. What do you recommend for hosting? I got the name through Yahoo. Should I use them for hosting? ($11.95 per month)

  12. Jim,

    I recommend godaddy for hosting. I also buy my domains through them for 8.95 a year, but it doesn’t matter who you buy it from just how much you pay. I like godaddy hosting since it is less than $70 a year and you get complete control.

    If you read the posts on this blog about setting up single property websites under that category it takes you right through buying the domain name to buying your hosting and installing wordpress.

    Like the domain name, very catchy.

  13. I useually use yahoo domain hosting, they can be trusted. hear godady jumps the price upon renewal.

  14. Anthony,

    Actually GoDaddy has never upped a renewal on any of my domains or hosting and I’ve got over 40 domains and multiple hosting packages with them.

    I will tell you that if you wait and let your domain expire for 2 days you can renew for 6.99 instead of 8.99. But don’t forget to renew or it will be more than 2 bucks in pain.

    Because my domains and hosting are with them it is very easy to maintain and set up. All under one umbrella.

  15. Great info. Love this blog, not just this post, but the whole blog, I just keep coming back and I guess that is the point right?

  16. James,

    You are always welcome. Thanks for compliment. Glad you like hanging around the lab.