The internet is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you know the best way to reach prospective home buyers is online with content. On the other, home builders have already saturated the net with a billion blog posts (many of which cover the same topics over and over) thinking because they've created content, the leads will start rolling in.
That isn't how digital marketing works.
Time: 10 minutes
- The two foundational concepts behind every home builder blog post
- How to come up with unique ideas
- What makes unique blog ideas effective
- How to create engaging content again and again
If you'd like to read a summary of this post, simply click here.
If you're blogging for better traffic and lead conversion, you need to stand out with unique blog ideas. Unique blogs don't just help you get noticed, they help you crush your competition and sell more homes.
That being said, with so many home builder blogs already, we understand it can be hard to stand out while still providing credible information that draws your audience in again and again.
The good news is you can do both.
Behind Every Great Blog...
The first thing you need to know when it comes to formulating unique blog ideas is every post should be built one of two foundational concepts; narrow or broad. Having an understanding of each will help give your content direction and get better results.
Narrow concepts target a niche audience, typically within a certain geographic area. An example of a niche audience would be millennials in Toronto who still live at home and want to buy their first home. Narrow concepts use language and images that appeal to first-time buyers living with their parents who want an affordable new home of their own. They also take the market in Toronto into account.
Since narrow concepts target a smaller audience, their messaging is always personalized. The audience may be smaller, but its members will feel the messaging speaks to them. For this reason, many marketers feel narrow concepts edge out broad concepts. After all, narrow concepts are more direct. Plus, they're easier to measure and analyze.
In contrast, broad concepts cast a wider net. They appeal to as many different audiences as possible within a chosen demographic. For example, a blog targeted towards anyone looking to buy a home would be a broad concept.
Broad concepts can feel cold and disconnected from their target audience (i.e. the millennial first-time buyer) but at the same time, their reach is much greater. Their messaging appeals to more people and almost definitely lead to conversions, although it isn't clear how high those conversion numbers will be.
Applying These Concepts
Narrow concepts work well for websites, ad campaigns and consideration or decision level leads (see Navigating the Home Buyer's Journey for more information). But in the case of a general, awareness level blog, broader is better. The great thing about blogs is how diverse their content is. You can take a single subject (i.e. buying a new home) and find hundreds of things to say about it. The more things you can say, the more appealing your blog will be (plus, you'll never run out of topics to cover).
Coming Up With Ideas
Now comes the trouble of thinking of your own unique blog ideas. You want something original, but nothing too narrow. You also want something marketable - a blog that will get you traffic and leads.
Ideas Should be Personal
Many homebuilder marketers think of their blog in "shopping mall" terms. They think of their blog as their store, their content as their merchandise, and their readers as their customers. While the end goal is to generate traffic and convert leads, a blog is not like a store at all. A blog is a personal experience. Your personal experience. In that sense, a blog is more like a book. Readers are engaged by your thoughts and that's how they connect with you.
Ideas Should be Informed
Your content is what sells your blog, not the subject. If you pick a subject you know nothing about or isn't fully researched, you risk wasting your time creating low-quality content. You also risk damaging your reputation by tying that content to your name.
Get Ready to Get Stuck
Even the best bloggers get stuck for ideas from time to time, especially in the home building niche. Make these blogging roadblocks easier by adopting a few helpful writing practices ahead of time, including:
- Timed Writing - Whenever you're stuck, set a timer for 15-20 mins and just write. Don't overthink, don't hesitate and above all, don't edit! This is a great way to get your brain juices flowing and you'll most certainly have the start of something blog-worthy when your time is up.
- Use a Blog Title Swipe File - Having a list of pre-packaged titles in a blog title swipe file not only means you'll have a great inventory of engaging titles to pull from every time, but you can also scroll through these titles for potential ideas when you're stuck in a rut.
What Makes Unique Blog Ideas Work?
You've chosen an idea for your blog. Fantastic! Now how do you make it profitable?
There are two key ingredients to making any blog topic work. You must implement both if you want to garner any sort of traffic and conversion level:
1. Your Blog Expresses You
"Fake it until you make it" doesn't work in the homebuilder blogging world.
When readers catch wind that you're in it just for the end goal, they'll leave. They don't want anything to do with builders who make them feel like they don't matter. For that reason, you must always be authentic when you create content. Your content must be catchy and sound genuine at the same time.
Likewise, when you engage with readers, you should maintain that level of authenticity. Great content opens the pathway for great conversations. Great conversations end with a higher conversion rate.
2. Your Readers Need Skin In The Game
Unique blog ideas don't just give you a great platform to write about. They also give readers a reason to go to your blog.
Your blog idea should clearly communicate to readers what they'll get out of it. Maybe it's great content. Maybe it's the chance to engage with you directly and ask questions about your homes. Regardless, readers should know just by looking at your blog why they should keep reading.
How To Create Great, Engaging Content
The primary objective of any blog is to consistently post new content. In the home building industry, content needs to grab readers' attention - it must be high-quality, original, and engaging. You need to talk about "the right topics" to encourage traffic flow and conversion.
Even when you blog about something as broad as new homes, it can be hard to find "the right topic." Any builder can write about the benefits of buying a new home - they do it every day.
But what about a detailed comparison of new homes versus older resales? Or an informative post explaining what the down payment might be on different home styles (townhomes, single-family etc.)? That's great content. It's high-quality, original, engaging, relevant, and most of all, useful.
If you're struggling to come up with unique blog ideas for your blog entries, don't worry. We've included helpful tips for finding those ideas below:
Tip #1: Keep Up With Other Blogs
One sure-fire way to come up with blog topics is keeping up with other blogs both in and outside your market. Keeping other home builder blogs on your radar helps keep you current with what's going on in the industry.
While it may seem like a bad idea at first (you don't want to regurgitate or copy another builder's content), this is a great opportunity to take these ideas and create something new.
For example, let's say another home builder blogs about all their latest incentives, touting their promotions and reduced prices can't be beaten. Why not take that idea and turn it around? Explain to your readers that while your homes may be more expensive, it's because of the high-quality materials and craftsmanship that go into each and every home you build. This way, you're establishing trust by being upfront about your home prices and informing the reader they need to be careful about builder incentives.
You also get to tackle an old subject in a new light.
Tip #2: Read Forum Threads
Other blogs aren't the only source of topic inspiration. Forum threads are gold mines in terms of finding opinions on any given subject. Social media platforms are havens for thread conversations, especially Facebook, YouTube, and Reddit.
If you still have trouble finding threads that pertain to home building, try Google - you're sure to find a slew of threads on this subject.
Tip #3: Make A Personal Entry
Facts, statistics, and analyses make for great blog entries. But every now and then, it's good to shake things up with a personal entry.
A personal entry is just what it sounds like. It's you talking about your personal experiences. No numbers required. Start by writing entries about your team members. Get them to provide fun information such as their favourite foods, cartoon characters and the names of their pets. Show the reader the people at work behind your home building business so they can relate on a human level.
A lot of readers love personal stories and human connection, getting to see "behind the curtain" of your company.
Tip #4: Keep An Idea Journal
Many writers take a small journal with them wherever they go. Then, whenever they get a minute, they write whatever comes to mind. The time frame doesn't have to be long. They could write during an hour-long lunch break or a 10-minute wait at the grocery store. Why not do the same for your home builder blog?
Additionally, you can use your journal to make lists. You can list topics you want to write a post about. Likewise, you can list all of the points you want to cover in future posts.
Tip #5: Start Writing Right Away
When a great idea for a post comes to you, you shouldn't let it linger. In the time it sits in your mind, another builder could be writing about the same idea. If that's the case, they'll beat you to the punch. When you get an idea, it's best to start researching and writing straight away.
Tip #6: Post Consistently
There's nothing worse than finding a great blog only to realize it hasn't been updated in six months.
As we mentioned, part of making your blog successful is posting content frequently. Readers won't stick around when they realize your blog isn't updated regularly. From their end, it looks like your blog has been abandoned or you don't care about your readership. To keep up, stagger your posts. Make long entries once a month or every few weeks. Make your more frequent entries shorter.
You can also break long entries into a series of shorter entries and spread them out for even more blog content down the road.
For more handy blog related info, check out our previous posts, "7 Common Blogging Mistakes and How to Fix Them", "The Best Time to Post a Blog" and "Blogging Shmogging: Does Content Marketing Really Help You Sell Homes?".
The home building industry is saturated with blog posts and if you want to stand out, gain more traffic and convert more leads you need to come up with unique blog posts. Here's how:
- Approach every blog post with one of two concepts: narrow and broad. Narrow concepts zero in on a niche audience, are personalized and targeted, and are best for ad campaigns, as well as consideration and decision stage leads. Broad concepts cast a wider net and speak to a larger demographic with more general, awareness stage content.
- Unique blog ideas start with a personal and informative perspective. Your readers shouldn't see your blog as a sales pitch, but rather a personal story meant to connect and inform.
- When you get stuck, try timed writing exercises or referring to your blog title swipe file for inspiration.
- Unique blog posts are comprised of several elements. They are authentic and leave room for an open conversation. They also provide readers with a clear understanding of what they'll get from reading your blog (post) and a reason to keep returning.
- Consistently create engaging content by keeping these top tips in mind
- Keep Up With Other Blogs
- Read Forum Threads
- Make Personal Entries
- Keep An Idea Journal
- Start Writing Right Away
- Post Consistently