Reader Questions From Brian

Scott CostelloAll, Blog 2 Comments

Over the past 6 months or so I’ve been getting some great questions from people who read my blog.  I love answering questions about real estate investing and lead generating websites.  If you have any questions feel free to post a comment below or send me an email.

reader questions

Recently I got an email from Brian.  He had downloaded my Lead Manager software a couple years ago and most recently heard my appearance on the BiggerPockets Podcast.  Brian had some questions about websites and SEO.  As I was typing out the response to him, it occurred to me that this would make a great blog post…And here it is.

Brian’s Question

Hey Scott,
I actually became familiar with you when you launched the beta version of SI Lead manager. I was surprised when I received an email from you about investor carrot because I have been with them for a year or so. I listened to you on the (Bigger Pockets) podcast and was interested in your SEO techniques because it sounds like you get a steady flow of leads from your site.

And he goes on to ask…

What recommendations (do) you have about outsourcing the SEO for the site. I like the site’s functionality, but can’t invest the time in doing the SEO myself. Thanks a lot for you time.

My Answer

Yes, my Investor Carrot site has been doing very well.  They are my main source of leads at this point.  SEO is definitely time consuming when you have to not only do the SEO but learn what you need to do.  It’s a nice skill to have but we are Real Estate Investors not internet marketers here…Hire out your SEO needs.

The process I recommend for hiring an SEO guy

I recommend going to bigger pockets and asking around.  This is what I did.  It really helps to have an SEO expert who also knows your business.  This is because he/she will have a better understanding what your target market is looking for and where.

Places I wouldn’t use are, Elance or oDesk.  I prefer the personal recommendations I get from Bigger Pockets over those sites.   My SEO guy is an actual investor.  So I know he understands my business and goals.  That’s not something easily found on Elance or oDesk.

With SEO you get what you pay for unless you get lucky.  Typically people pay upwards of $1000+ per month for full SEO work on a website.  I found my guy (Post a comment if you want to know who it is), on Bigger Pockets from a referral of a friend.

Watch out for people who claim to be able to get you a ton of back links in a short period of time.  For sure they use some sort of software that spams your site all over the internet.  If Google catches you (and they do), your site will be punished and possibly delisted.  Just remember…

It matters more where your backlinks come from then how many you have.

When it comes to SEO there is really only one way to do it and that is the right way.  Any quick tricks or back link tools that can be used, while they might work at first, will only hurt your site when Google catches on.

This is what I do for my sites right now…

Investor Carrot – They do a great job of onsite SEO (interlinking pages, keywords,etc..) so I really didn’t have to do to much.  Here is what did do to my investor carrot sites…

  • Publish the content I get from Investor Carrot about 4 times a month (Pro+Content packages gives you that ability).
  • I reworded a lot of the pages (Home Page, landing pages and About Me page) just to make it more unique and show my personality more.  There are other Investor Carrot sites out there and this makes mine look different in the eyes of Google.
  • Another thing I did was make 20 to 30 copies of my home page and changed out the area from New Jersey to a specific cities that I wanted to market too.  So where it says “We buy houses in New Jersey” I changed it to “We buy houses in Trenton.”  I have noticed that I get more leads from those areas.

In addition to the onsite SEO that I mentioned above, I also put backlinks from my blog, bigger pockets and created a Google+ Business Page.  That’s about it. – this is a site a built from scratch to test against investor carrot.  I hired an SEO guy and a Content writer and went to work.  It’s been a little over a year now since I started the site and the results are really starting to show.  Here are the basics of what I did to this site…

  • Write good SEO content that went after specific keywords related to my target audience…Probate and Absentee owners (landlords).  We then would sometimes post those articles to my site and other times post it to article directories, BP blog and places like Zillow.  This built up back links.
  • We also concentrated on getting local citations* from business directory sites.  My SEO guy did this so I’m not sure which sites he did this with.

**A citation is any mention of your business out on the web, with or without a link. It can come in various forms but usually includes some combination of your Company Name, Phone Number and Address.**

There is so much to do that it’s worth it to hire an SEO guy.  I couldn’t afford to hire a full time guy, so I do a lot of the work myself to offset the costs.

It costs me $250 a month for SEO, but like I said that’s only because I do a lot of the work myself.  I also pay my content writer roughly $45 per article.  This is WELL worth it in my opinion because it use to take me days to write those articles.  Now I get them delivered to me by email twice a month.

Brian had some Follow Up Questions

What do you mean you built WeBuyNJHouses from scratch?  Is it an (Investor) Carrot site?? 
What I meant is that every part of the website I created and put together myself.  There is what I did…

  • Purchased a host (Media Temple),
  • Installed WordPress (from
  • Bought and uploaded a Theme Template (from Studio Press) to get the look I wanted
  • Hired out the content writing (well I actually wrote about 10 of the articles myself before calling it quits).
  • Hired an SEO guy to help tweak the Articles and do onsite and offsite SEO

The site is not with Investor Carrot in any way shape or form.

When you say you get content from IC that you post what do you mean?? 

I have the Pro + Content package from Investor Carrot for $99 a month.  Investor Carrot writes articles that you can then publish to your sites. You can publish up to 4 per month the last I checked.

These articles aren’t unique however….Well they do merge your company information and target market information into the articles. So that makes it a little unique.  Other people with investor carrot sites can publish these articles as well.  So not as good as writing your own content, but not bad.  Would work better if I supplemented the Investor Carrot content with content of my own.

Great Tool to Help You Out

This tip actually comes from Brian.  You can use a website call  This tool will allow you to see where a site has backlinks from.  This will help you beat your competition because you can then target the same sites for you backlinks in addition to ones you already have.  The more backlinks the better!

Happy Investing!


P.S. – If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments below or send me an email at

Scott Costello
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Comments 2

  1. Hey Scott,
    I’m new to Real Estate Investing, but I have a background in SEO/Internet Marketing. I kept bumping into you on Bigger Pockets and eventually made it to Struggling Investor. I was hoping to ask you a question or two, but your “Ask Me a Question” button seems to be broken (getting error: [contact-form-7 id=”3701″ title=”Contact Me”]).
    Is there any other way to contact you?

    1. Post

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