Before I get start I want to give special thanks to Trevor Mauch, Founder of Investor Carrot, for being generous enough to give me these great deals to giveaway. He is a hell of a guy. For example, about two weeks ago he sent me an email from his personal account telling me that he was doing some random searching and found one of my websites was ranked on the second page of Google for my keyword. That’s great customer service! Anyhow, Thank you Trevor!
Now getting back to the contest….There were some outstanding comments and questions asked for this giveaway. Hopefully I was able to answer them all to your satisfactions. Below I pulled out the questions and answers from the comments and displayed them in an easier way to read. Feel free to continue to ask any questions you might have by posting a comment below. I will be more then happy to answer them as best that I can.
Below are the winners of the giveaway. I will contact each by email and let you know how to claim your prize. There will be a special link that Trevor will supply you so you can signup with the discount.
So without further adieu…
The Winners Are…
Summary of questions and answers
Question: I see that you have three websites a main/home site, a seller site and a buyers site. I’m new to blogging so my question to you or Trevor is; what is the difference between having a separate blogging site such as this one, why not have this site attached to a blog tab on one of your other three sites? is there a special reason you and many others use a different site to blog?
Answer: To answer your question it’s all about “Keeping It Simple”. If you co-mingle all your sites into one it creates one huge, and confusing site. The reader won’t really know what your message is. That is important because your message should be different depending on who you are talking to and the entire website should shout that message.
Blog – It is for like minded investors who are trying to make it in this business. Place to learn what to do and what not to do. What works and doesn’t work. It’s a place to share my stories.
Company Site – This is a home base for my business. it is the closest thing you have to an all encompassing place you can direct people who want to know what you do as a whole. Your values, your contact information and a few places to collect leads in case someone finds this site while searching.
Seller Site – This is where I want all people looking to sell their house to go to. It has a singular message (in many different forms) that says I will buy your house at a fair price and can get you your money quickly. All directions on the site lead them to a Form to fill out so we can capture their information and contact them.
Buyer Site – This is where I want all people looking to buy investment properties to go. Singular message that says I have great deals, buy from me. All paths lead to a form where they will fill out so I can capture what they are looking for.
Question: I noticed that REItheme is used by investor Carrot is there something different that is provided by Investor Carrot that ReiTheme doesn’t provide?
Answer: Great question. Actually… REItheme was our old platform… before we totally rebuilt it from the ground up and re-branded it as Investor Carrot. I just wasn’t a fan of the name REItheme anymore and with where we want to take our platform… we felt it was best to start the code fresh and build our dream system from the ground up.
So, we do still have a few dozen investors on the old REItheme platform… most have migrated over to Investor Carrot.
Question: Since I am strictly a wholesaler do you think your service would be sophisticated? and also I do almost 100% of the work by myself … how much manpower is needed to manage this website? or do you guys offer a simple website for wholesalers like myself?
Answer: The setup of the entire site is simple and requires no real effort on your part. The Investor Carrot team does all the upfront work for building the site.
Now after that it is up to you how much effort you want to put into the SEO. If you want the site to show up on the first page in Google searches you’ll have to create some new posts and go out and build some back links. I don’t think you have kill yourself but a little effort will benefit you greatly.
Now if you want a completely hands off experience, I think they offer a $199/mo plan where they will write all the future content and keep your site fresh. That is a bit expensive for me because I have very little money to spend on these things right now, but if I did I would go for it.
In total hours, I would say if you spend 5 to 7 hours a month writing new content and building some back links you would be doing great.
Question: How does Investor Carrot help you in your probate investing?
Answer: Good question. I didn’t gear my message specifically to attract probate deals, although I will have a few pages setup for related keywords. What the website has helped me realize is that I can get a steady flow of leads by another means outside of direct mail.
If I get 30 new leads per month from the website, that will match me sending out 600 letters (5% response rate). So since that is about the amount of letters I send out per month I’d be doubling my leads.
Currently I’m getting about 10 or so new leads per month, but with a little effort to get higher up in the Google results and targeting a few more keywords I’ll get to 30 leads no problem.
Question: Does the theme allow you to target different cities in one county?. So say for example you want to write an article for one city#1 in its own category and have city #2 articles in its own category as well.
Answer: First off I want to say that this product/service is much more then a theme. However to get back to your question, you definitely have the ability to create as many posts/pages as you want and you can organize them anyhow you want. Your question was actually one of my questions before I signed up.
You can have create a category called Brooklyn and another called Bronx. You then create a unique article for each based around a key word such as “Sell Your House Fast”. Some say you can even have almost duplicate content and just change the city name with in the content. Makes it easier, but you do risk Google catching onto this tactic and penalizing you a bit.
Question: what put you over the edge in deciding to use the Investor Carrot team? As a technical guy, you could add the right plugins and widgets into a nice theme, create the right SEO setup, etc. So what *else* is it? Or is it really just a matter of time?
Answer: Fantastic question that you basically answered for me. It all came down to time. Sure I could have put this all together myself in terms of setting up the WordPress site, adding good plugins, creating the content and setting up the contact forms. All within my capabilities for sure.
I just didn’t want to spend the time doing those tasks because what little time I have I need to be spending on money making tasks. That doesn’t include building a out a website. As I mentioned in my post it would easily have taken me 9 months to create something that matched the investor carrot website setup.
The reason why I chose Investor Carrot was…
- It was created by someone who invests in real estate
- The content was top notch
- The depth of the input forms was great (multi-step input forms, auto responses that look like they came from your iPhone, downloadable PDFs and more)
- I liked the visual look of it as well
Question: So maybe this is a question for Trevor but what makes this different / better than the other REI website programs that are out there, where users can plug in their own information?
Answer: Many of the other services/products that I’ve seen have been either just basic themes where you had to supply all the content or were way to expensive. I found that Investor Carrot was a great mixture of the two types. They had a great theme, got you started with quality, SEO friendly content and contact forms. Once they set it up you a person who finds your site has all they need to contact you by email with their house information. No need to do anything yourself. So this makes it better then just a theme you can buy.
What makes this better then expensive DO ALL services is that they do all the upfront stuff for you, but you have the control to create new content, modify the theme if you like and the messages that are sent out. The DO ALL places that I’ve looked into are very restrictive.
Question: Are their any constraints to the system? As someone who is familiar with WordPress (but far from an expert), can I add other plugins that I like or does Investor Carrot limit those?
Answer: The look being generic and having lots of similar sites just like yours. Well if you don’t modify anything it will look exactly like another person’s site that didn’t modify anything. You have the ability to tweak a lot of different things from color, images, heading, number of columns. You can make it look fairly unique. It will still have the WordPress look if you know what I mean though.
The one thing you can’t do is install your own plugins. While at first this was a bit of a drawback, I realized that it is not really a big deal. It had almost all of the plugins you’ll need like SEO tracking (They use Yoast).
Question: So as someone who has now used the system for a little while, what’s one thing that you really wish would have been included in the Investor Carrot package?
Answer: Here are a few things from a technical perspective and from a general consumer perspective that I didn’t like about investor carrot.
- I do not have access to the back-end database like I do with my other WordPress sites. I would love to be able to pull the leads it generates directly into my Lead Manager software.
- I can’t take the content and setup to another hosting company if I decide to move on.
- The content on the site can’t be used directly on another site. No cutting and pasting. It’s great content though!
- It does require you to update the site with new content every so often to keep Google happy. (though they do offer a plan where they will write all content for you in the future)
- If you don’t make any customizations, your site will look almost identical to someone else’s site who didn’t make any changes. It’s easy to make changes though, so you can separate your site from others fairly easy.
You have to judge for yourself how big these items are for you. For me they aren’t that big of a deal.
Question: Their site mentions 3 reports included in the pro package. What do those 3 reports cover?
Answer: The 3 Reports that are included are…
- Free Guide: 5 Ways You Can Stop or Avoid Foreclosure In Today’s Market
- 3 Ways to Passively Participate in the Current Real Estate Market
- Top 10 Questions Private Lenders Should Ask Before You Lend
Question: Besides saving time what are some other pros in having Investor Carrot build your website? As opposed to a do it yourself WordPress website?
Answer: Time is a big factor in going with Investor Carrot, but here are a few other reasons why I chose to go that route…
- There knowledge of SEO is higher then mine, so the implementation is very search engine friendly
- The site would be up and ready to collect leads in less then a week, instead of months if I were to create it
- Not having to build up a site allowed me to spend more time on money making activities such as direct mail
- Gave me a chance to experiment with allowing someone else to do the work.
- The site design is better then what I could have done…at least in my opinion
In the end though it all really comes down to how I want to spend my time these days. The time spent isn’t just putting together a website using WordPress, it’s also the knowledge of correctly putting together the website. The content should be worded a certain way, the input forms should get the right information and just all those little details that I could only learn with trial and error. That trial and error takes tons of time learning and running experiments. I did not want to spend my time doing that.
Question: for someone who is the opposite of tech-savvy (I tend to disable any tech devices and programs in my vicinity), how user-friendly is Investor Carrots? How much extra time would it require to get over the learning curve? How can this work for those of us who want a high-performing website, but really need to be hands-off, but don’t have tons of money to hire SEO experts and IT people to manage the site?
Answer: Investor Carrot uses WordPress as their base site manager which is great. They even simplified it somewhat. So to answer your question it’s very easy to learn how to write new posts. If you are not SEO wise, you can simply write posts about what you would search for if you were a motivated seller. Like someone might search for “I need to sell my new jersey house”. So you write a article (1000 words) about why someone in that situation should contact you and what you can do for them. It’s much simpler then you might think. If you write 1 new article based off a possible Google search someone might do a month you’ll be doing good.
For instance…I had my sites setup last April. At first I made some adjustments to the current content that they wrote. I just wanted some things reworded, but that was it. I haven’t touched the sites in more then 5 months since that time. At first the leads were few and far between, but over the past few months they have picked up. The reason is that Google likes sites that have been around for a while, so the extra few months of “Age” on my sites have helped it rise in the search Results.
You definitely have to put some effort into keeping the site active by putting up some new Posts every once in a while. You don’t have to kill yourself to do it though. If at some point you do get some extra cash you can hire someone to come in and make your existing content more SEO friendly.
In short, it’s not maintenance free, but it’s a heck of a lot more maintenance free then creating and maintaining your own site.
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