I need Feedback on Folks Using Active Rain's Outside Blog

By
Mortgage and Lending with Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage

I NEED THE

INSIDE SCOOP ON ACTIVE RAIN'S OUTSIDE BLOG!!!

I'm really trying to expand my direct connect marketing this year.  I love our company's generic website.  It's really connected to some great SEO and I've, quite frankly, recieved a lot of business from it.  Active Rain has been my dream site as well.  Or should I call it my dream blog? 

I took a look at the outside blog and saw the testimonials from some folks that I know here.  My questions very simply are.....

  1. Are you Using Active Rain's Outside Blog?
  2. Would you Recommend it?
  3. Does it feed from the Rain?
  4. How would you compare it to Active Rain? and
  5. How is it different and does it compare to the free outside blog you get from Active Rain or is it the same?

Help me please!

 

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Joyce Godwin 01/22/2011 10:39 AM
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Rainmaker
396,327
Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team

What's the address of your "generic website"?  I'd like to get a look at it.

Jan 19, 2011 11:35 PM #1
Ambassador
739,304
Jeff Belonger
Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc - Cherry Hill, NJ
The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans

Larry... from what I know, it's not much different than this post on AR... you write here and just post it to your other site also... but you can have your own domain name attached to it.. I think that is the main difference and not much more. I would like to know if I am wrong about some of this... will sit and park.

jeff belonger

Jan 19, 2011 11:37 PM #2
Ambassador
881,063
Larry Bettag
Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage - Saint Charles, IL
Regional Vice-President

Cameron.....www.cherrycreekmortgage.com/lbettag

JB....again....sorry for blowing you off today.  Wasn't my intent.  Secondly....I'll let you know what I know!  Thanks bud!

Jan 19, 2011 11:52 PM #3
Rainmaker
212,207
Tim Bradford
American Midwest Mortgage - Cleveland, OH
NMLS 250013

Larry,

I do not use the Outside Blog for Activerain.   I suspect that you do at www.larrybettag.com

This image is what I see when using internet explore or Google Crome.   To me this is unacceptable in the formatting.  Will let you descide. 

Possibly this is the Free Version.   I do not know. 

Jan 20, 2011 12:15 AM #4
Ambassador
413,377
Virginia Hepp
ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Larry,  I do use an AR outside blog - when I write a post on AR, I can choose to put it also on the outside blog.  I do not send members only posts or how to posts to my outside blog.  It is for consumers.

Since it has only local buying and selling info, listings, neighborhoods, etc, it gets very good results in Google for the keywords that I write about.  It is the free one that comes with a Rainmaker account, or if you are grandfathered in (I think you are) - it would be $19 per month.

You could add an outside blog and have it be about a specific subject, like 1st time buyers or refi or government loans - whatever you want to promote.  Then you write posts like usual, but only put the ones that are on that subject on that outside blog.  SEO would concentrate on the outside blog for those subjects, since it would not be diluted by all the other posts that you write about all kinds of stuff.

When my outside blog comes up in search results, and someone chooses it - they get only my stuff, no links to my competitors, etc.  Mine all mine.  Steven Graham teaches a class on outside blogs and Bob Stewart just wrote a post on how to set one up - easy, it includes the url, which you choose and use your keywords in the title.

When I realized how well my outside blog was doing in search results, I wrote this.

 

Jan 20, 2011 12:41 AM #5
Rainmaker
188,020
Christina ONeal
At Home Real Estate Group - Ripon, CA
Realtor - Ripon California

well, i'm a newbie to the "outside blog".  I just got it in the last month or so.  #2 not sure...#3 yes...#4 I like it better because my clients don't have to login & it's completely all me.  I know I can change mine up a bit, but I haven't tackled that one yet.  #5  I like it better than the free feed we got from AR.   Hope you find out some more good stuff :)

my signature

Jan 20, 2011 01:06 AM #6
Rainmaker
1,771,250
Debbie Gartner
Floor Coverings International - Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

I was abt to say something very similar to Virginia.

Steve's class is great.  It's every Weds - go search for AR University calendar and it should come up.

I post all my public posts to outside blog at same time.  I can see from Google analytics I get more traffic from AR than outside blog as it gets more juice, but having both is better for Google juice.  I just figured out this weekend that you can put google analytics on Outside blog but not AR, so I just installed that.  Only a few days worth of data at this pt.

Jan 20, 2011 05:02 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,771,250
Debbie Gartner
Floor Coverings International - Westchester NY & Stamford CT - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl - Westchester hardwood flooring

Oh, you also have the ability to have guest bloggers on there and/or guest blog for someone else (I do this for 5 people across the country).

Jan 20, 2011 05:08 AM #8
Ambassador
881,063
Larry Bettag
Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage - Saint Charles, IL
Regional Vice-President

Tim....I do have the free version.  When I click on it, I don't see it the way you copied it.  I may be from computer to computer.

Virginia...this was very helpful and I'm grateful for the link to what you wrote.  THANK YOU!

Christina...why do you like it better than the free feed?

Debbie....thanks.  I haven't done that either.  I'll run that over the weekend.  I, too, like guest bloggers.  I appreciate the feedback.

 

 

Jan 20, 2011 09:31 AM #9
Ambassador
413,377
Virginia Hepp
ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Larry - my regular AR blog usually comes up higher in google for generic terms and keywords.

My AR outside blog will usually come up higher for specific keywords and longtails because of the concentration of them.  In other words, my outside blog will have a higher % of the keywords.

You will also want to put keyword anchor text links directly to your outside blog posts.

Jan 20, 2011 12:22 PM #10
Rainmaker
654,359
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

My AR blog comes up higher in Google searches than my outside blog. But I also have a WordPress blog, and it comes out best of all, gets the most hits. When people call me after seeing me online, they don't know which one they saw me on, though. :-)

Jan 20, 2011 12:57 PM #11
Ambassador
670,276
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
ActiveRain Ambassador

Larry,

I believe that Virginia is spot on! Whenever I speak with someone about our outside blogs, I encourage them to use the outside blog as a niche marketing tool. For instance, you might consider using yours to focus specifically on FHA loans. So the only content you would send to the outside blog would be FHA mortgage information. Any and all other posts would not go to that blog.

By doing this, as Virginia mentions, it allows the keyword density on that site to be much more focused than your overall blog, which may also have content directed at your peers, or about other types of loan products.

Our members that are having the most success with the outside blogs, and getting them to rank well are using this targeted niche approach.

On the real estate side of things as an example (because there are more agents using them, which makes senese, we have more agents) you will see outside blogs focused on specific neighborhoods, specific towns, specific property types (Colonial Homes in Baltimore, Houseboats in Seattle).

The most important aspect of getting them to rank is the focus on a specific topic.

If you need help getting yours to look the way you'd like, Steven's class is a great starting point. But you can also call me and I'll help get yours looking the way you'd like.

Jan 20, 2011 01:10 PM #12
Rainer
84,814
Kim McMahon
Executive Realty Group - Skokie, IL

Larry~ I have an outside blog as well.  I have had formatting issues so I would definitely take Bob up on his offer.

Jan 20, 2011 03:22 PM #13
Rainmaker
118,392
Rick Cignoli
Norcom Mortgage - Watertown, CT
Sr. Mortgage Officer

Larry ... I have a question for you.  You've spent a lot of time blogging to earn +500k points and claim to have received a lot of business from this effort. Can you translate these points into actual $$$ you've earned from the time spent perfecting your blogging skills. I'm cancelling my Rainmaker account because there's no ROI in it for me.

Jan 20, 2011 04:48 PM #14
Rainmaker
188,020
Christina ONeal
At Home Real Estate Group - Ripon, CA
Realtor - Ripon California

Larry... I like my outside blog because it has it's own domain name now.  Active Rain free one is just www.activerain......../my user name   Thats not too exciting but I'm going to go take some online classes from Steven to see what I can learn.  I feel so new to this now & I looked it up, I have had an outside blog for 3 months now.

Christina Oneal

Jan 20, 2011 08:15 PM #15
Ambassador
881,063
Larry Bettag
Larry Bettag - Cherry Creek Mortgage - Saint Charles, IL
Regional Vice-President

Virginia....good to know.

Joetta...thus the confusion.  Now I'm really getting confused!

Bob....I so want in.  If I'm using niche marketing....wouldn't it work just as well on the free outside blog?  I'm just confused.  You're on my calendar though.  I want in!

Kim...thanks!

Rick.....I can tell you that I've closed 22 deals out of the 76 referrals.  I know that my average loan size is $237,000.  The net compensation to me has been a bit over 100 basis points.  So I'm making over $2,370 per deal (actually more, but let's be conservative here).  22 times $2,370.....$50,000+.  Plus I have others from my Active Rain referrals still incubating.  Also, I recieved no referrals my first 6 months.  I accumulates....then the momentum grows.

Christina...I'm so lost with this stuff and I've been here for almost 4 years!  You're 5 laps ahead of me!

 

 

Jan 20, 2011 10:58 PM #16
Rainmaker
240,331
Joyce Godwin
12810 Telge,Cypress,TX 77429 -Houston,Cypress,Spring,Tomball - Cypress, TX
RE/MAX Realty Center, Houston Area Relocation Info

Larry, Thanks for asking this question - I learned so much just reading the comments to your question!   I've never suggested anything before, but seems like the thing to do when you come across something really good, so I will suggest it and see what happens. 

Jan 22, 2011 10:30 AM #17
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Larry Bettag

Regional Vice-President
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