Create Content by Offering to Answer Questions

One of the easiest ways to create good content for your website is to offer to answer questions about real estate and your area online.

Before you start asking for questions

Before you start asking for questions to answer, think through your process. You want to consider: How you’ll get your questions. You can offer to answer questions you get posted in comments if you’re doing a blog. In fact, this can also be a good way to start your blogging. You can also offer to answer questions sent by email and or text. You’ll also want to think about what kinds of questions you’re willing to answer. If, for example, you’re not comfortable answering questions about the details of financing, you can either skip those or get your favorite banker to answer them on your site for you.

Set up a page about Q&A on your website

You’ll need a page on your site that explains things how to submit the questions. Be specific. For example, you can ask that any emailed questions have a subject line like Q&A. People won’t always follow these instructions, but when they do it helps you sort your email. You could even provide a live email link with the subject already provided. You can also offer a form for questions on this page – make sure you know how to set up your autoresponder. Spell out what kind of questions you’ll answer (probably real estate questions and questions about the area you represent), that you reserve the right to publish any question you receive and that you’ll protect the questioner’s identity by posting their questions anonymously. You also need to say that you reserve the right to edit the questions for length and clarity. Finally make it clear you may not answer all questions that are sent. You can say something like “questions will be chosen on the basis of their value to the larger audience, and not all questions will be used.”

Seed some Q&A’s on your site in advance

Think up several questions you can post with their answers in advance. You want these to help get everything started. Feature each question on your homepage with the question’s title and link that to your answer. Each time you answer a question, make sure you also offer to answer questions at the bottom and link to the Q&A about questions you created.

Other ways to promote your Q&A

Create an archive on your site that lists all the questions with links to their answers. Chance are you’ll find the questions fall into categories – like questions about loans, and questions about buy and questions about selling. You can sort your archive making it easier for your readers to find what they’re looking for. Send a press release to your local newspapers and news sites announcing your availability to answer questions via your website. Get in the habit of inviting new clients to ask a question on your site. In fact, when a client asks you a question that would work on your site let them know you’ll be paraphrasing the question and answering it there. Announce your Q&A in your newsletter or any other communication you send or give to clients. Turn your Q&A into a column for the local newspaper. Once you have 10 or 20 questions asked and answered on your site you may be able to off the same content to your local newspaper so they can repost it. Your Q&A can also be used in advertisements. If you’re doing print advertising, your Q&A’s can be repurposed for that use too. Go on the radio and/or TV with your Q&A. You can also use your Q&A as a basis for a radio or TV show and get incredible marketing mileage. Get a partner to help answer questions. You don’t have to answer all the questions yourself or do all the promotion either. If you enroll a couple of experts to answer questions on your site they can also promote for you. You might even be able to get a title or escrow company to sponsor your column and make a bit of money from it. A Q&A column is easy to do and can be parlayed into many uses to promote you and your real estate business. If you’ve got questions about how to do a Q&A ask them here and I’ll probably have an answer for you.
Anne Wayman real estate writer