Inbox: How do I connect my blog with my website?

I got an email this morning with a question I’ve received many times in different formats, so I figured it was worthy of a blog post:

Hello Dustin,
I am just reading the article in the Realtor Mag. I would like to talk with you about blogging. How do you set it up to connect to your web site? Is it easy? Are their any cost?

I broke your question into two parts.

Part 1: How do you set it up to connect to your web site?

As I see it, there are three main options:

1) Your blog is hosted on a different domain than your agent website

  • Link from your blog to your website (and assuming you want to send traffic the other way), then a link from your website to your blog)
  • Use a widget to grab the latest headlines from your blog and add them to your website. I don’t recommend grabbing ALL of the text from the post for duplicate content reasons, but there is nothing wrong with grabbing the headlines and/or a snippet of text

RCG Screenshot

2) Your blog is hosted as a subdomain or subdirectory of your agent website

  • It is a very viable (and not necessarily difficult to implement) to have your blog be part of your website and this has the benefit of concentrating the inbound link benefits that you’ll get from having your real estate site.

3) Your blog is your agent website

  • I got tired of managing a largely ineffective agent website and actually took the site down completely once we started to get so much more traction through Rain City Guide. There’s no reason you couldn’t still have all the typical features of a agent website (about me, testimonials, MLS search, etc.) on a typical agent blog.

Part 2: Is it easy? Are their any cost?

Easy is very relative depending on the outcome you want to see. Setting up a blog is relatively painless (and free) on WordPress.com or Blogger. There are also real estate specific blogging solutions, some of which are free (ActiveRain, Zolve, RealTown, and REALTOR.com) and some of which cost money (Incredible Agent, Ubertor, Real Estate Tomato, RSS Pieces and Realivent). Obviously, when you’re willing to pay, there is often better integration, education and the ability to customize the blog to fit in with your online marketing plan. (Don’t have an online marketing plan? It might be time for a 4realz Education. 🙂 )

I’ve had it in mind to do a bit more research on existing blog platforms specific to real estate (costs, features, etc.). I should have something ready to publish within the next few weeks.

Published by

Dustin Luther

Current lead up the team managing Brand and Influencer Engagement programs for Dun & Bradstreet. You can find me on Twitter (@tyr) or LinkedIn (DustinLuther)

8 thoughts on “Inbox: How do I connect my blog with my website?”

  1. I want the same thing, dump my static site and just integrate on my wp.org. But when people go to search they have to click again, then it takes them to my search site.

    Any way to frame it so it is right there?

  2. Howdy, Dustin! Love the new name for our site – Sand Castles? Wish I had thought of it. 🙂

    I have mentally flopped on the whole idea of merging the static site and the blog for awhile now, but for now I keep coming back to the conclusion that I like the degree of separation. I cross market them, for sure, and the little widget on “San Diego Castles” has helped drive traffic to the blog (and links on the blog to the site), but for now the audiences for each are mostly different. I think it was on an Inman Group discussion that someone suggested that people expect to see a traditional web site look one way and a blog another. I agree that this is mostly true so, for now, I won’t be merging the two.

    If your website is a pretty canned experience, with common content (the content you would find on any site in any town in America) and primarily a host for your IDX feature and About page, then losing the distinction probably makes a lot of sense. For me, I have created such a monster of content – stats, neighborhood info, floor plans, and such – that it would be a daunting (although not insurmountable) task to marry the two. And, at this point, it would require professional intervention. So some day, but not yet.

    Note to Jay – You have implemented the one-site-does-all concept beautifully and are the exception.

  3. Kris,

    That’s such an odd mistake I made… For some reason, I just skipped over the “iego” part in your URL and assumed it was Sand Castles… (which seemed interestingly relevant to someone from San Diego!).

    Anyway, I agree with you that there is definitely a place for both a traditional website with a separate blog. I used to argue in favor of combining them (as I did with my wife’s site!), but now that I’ve been working closer with Jim Marks, I’m starting to see the benefits of having a website (separate from a blog) that is purely geared toward lead capture and conversion. As you say, the two different options appeal to different types of people….

    1. It can definitely be done, although the exact method will depend heavily on your blog platform. If you’re using WordPress, then it can be done, although you need to configure the options under the settings on your dashboard.

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