This is part three of my series on local search.
Today I wanted to touch on another easy way to make some local cash, and make some new business contacts along the way.
Starting a local website that helps people move to your area is a great way to make a few extra bucks, and there's no real cost to you. Well, besides a domain and some web space. But if you've got a reseller hosting account, you're set.
First, get a good domain name that people will easily remember. Even a .info is ok, but I suggest a .com if one is available. Examples for a town named "Thaxton" would include:
Now that you've got a domain name and some web space, hop on over to Open Realty, download and install the newest version.
Next, find a nice template. There are plenty of free ones, or if you've got a few bucks in PayPal go ahead and pay for something nicer. Remember, you're trying to make a nice looking site, so if your design skills leave something to be desired, spend the few bucks to get a nice looking site.
Now that you've got a nice looking site, spruce it up a bit with local keywords and phrases. Add a few widgets, like local weather, maybe a page of links to other interests (keep these to a minimum though), things like the local theater, emergency numbers, etc. This is a real estate site so think of your visitors as someone who is considering moving to your area. What would they most likely be interested in reading about?
Next, visit sites like apartments.com and duplicate all the local apartment complexes to your site. I suggest you only put the minimum information, such as address and phone number. Here's where you can make a little money. By only putting the minimum info, people will call/visit these places for more info. Most likely the apartment places will ask their visitors/callers how they heard about their establishment. If people keep mentioning your site, they will probably check it out. Then they'll see that there isn't much info about them on the site. Here's where you cash out.