One Year Since Our First Active Rain Post and Just a "Few" Things We've Learned!
June 10, 2010, 8:56 a.m. We hit submit and our first ever blog post was out into the blogosphere. After months of lurking and the rare comment, we were in the pool! We were one of the lucky ones, we got comments the first time:)
Well, since then, 600 posts, 330,000 more points, 74 Featureds, 456 Called Shots, 17,000+ comments received, over 15,000 comments left, and 232 subscribers gained and treasured! Yeah, we've had a busy year!
Our only regret? That we didn't start earlier, MUCH earlier!
What have we learned? Well WAY too much to even list, but here's a PARTIAL (but LONG) List! Our apologies for those with short attention spans...oh dang, almost EVERY agent has a short attention span! :)
- We have a blogging voice & color....this blue is almost all we use now!). Oh, and TITLES MATTER!
- That your brokerage doesn't matter in the Rain! We have friends at KW (Cindy in Inday & Chris in Cupertino) and at brokerages large AND small...like one person small! We value you all for what you bring to the Rain!
- That you can make more friends here than we would EVER have dreamed!
- How to add photos, links, space our work, embed photos and make Google custom maps.
- How to start TWO Outside Blogs with Active Rain, and the patio home niche blog has brought us a new construction purchase contract that will close as soon as the home is done!
- More about social media and expanded significantly our use of Facebook, and Twitter is brand new to us this year!
- A bit about SEO, not that we're even beginning to be wizards by any means.
- That we have A LOT to do and learn: Facebook Fan page, Wordpress blog, Realbird? All that and more to do....someday! :) And you know what else? Someone here will answer EVERY question we can ever have!
- Did we mention the friends? The community here is BEYOND outstanding, and we keep adding more super people to our circle every week! And when we say COMMUNITY, we REALLY mean it! There's something really special going on here!
- That positive attitudes dominate? That negative comments are rare, and so are the number of people here that don't "get it", and those folks mostly disappear after awhile. In the interim, if a jackass appears, don't let 'em get you down or slow you down! Do your thing!
- That an alter ego, Miss Bad Manners and her posse of SMAK and Fluffy, would give all of more laughs than we could ever imagine (and that a few folks wouldn't understand she WASN'T real!) :)
- That the relationship with the people here expands beyond blog posts and comments? We're connected on Facebook, Twitter and we've had more phone conversations that we can count! And that someday, we WILL meet some of these folks in person!
- That when things are crazy and you need a mental break, a virtual vacation is just a mouse click away? Beaches abound courtesy of Tish and Amy and Karen on the East Coast, we can cool off in Maine with Andy, head to New Hampshire ski slopes with Steve, hit the Tennessee mountains with Michael, visit Texas with Joni & Scott & Jerry & Marchel and Oklahoma with Judi, a whole host of friends have Arizona covered for us, and another bunch for Denver, want some wine, head to Sonoma county with Sssssynthia, and for L.A. visit Jane and Endre, and Paul in Washington is an endless source of some of the best pictures involving water and sky you'll ever see. And that ladies and gents, is just scratching the surface of where we can go in a few short clicks!
- That friends give nicknames, and that's how BLiz came to be!....and back before she was Madam Ambassador, Charita was BDAMB from BHAM! :)
- That no matter how full we think our subscription list is, there's always room for another....and another.
- That if we want a laugh, go visit Alan or Nino and for something totally different Mr. Sardi, Paul Slaybaugh or Lenza :)
- That if we want to see how to promote local communities, visit Anita in Warner Robins and Steve in NorVa.
- That some people collect some real gems of posts, and we look forward to Pat's and Donne's post each Sunday for the weekly best we missed. And Anna Banana with her Bananatude group :)
- That if you need advice, just pick up the phone and call Barbara aka Ma :)
- There's a subject matter expert for EVERYTHING! Lenn is the Copyright queen, we've got Home Inspectors and Mortgage folks at the top of their game, Craig Daniels for all kinds of techie stuff that we less savvy folks can put to use, SEO folks too...even though sometimes it seems like magic and pixie dust :)
- Sending a short note to your new subscribers is a good thing :) Subscribers become friends too. You learn their habits, they know yours. They'll support you when you need it, and you for them. And if you go missing, they'll send out the search party!
- That Featureds aren't really valuable for the 100 points extra, but for the extra chance to get to know more people, form some more bonds and maybe add an extra subscriber or two! :)
- That it "isn't about the points, but it is too!". The dichotomy of the system is a stroke of genius and keeps those competitors of us sufficiently motivated to keep climbing the ladder, and to have a lot of fun along the way (Hello Roger Mucci rhymes with Gucci!). And where's Cyndeeeeee and her wreath post?
- That challenges USUALLY teach you something you need to improve your business. Blogging every day isn't such a bad thing. Blogging hyper local is a GREAT thing. Using Video (something we need to do more of) is also a GREAT thing.
- That blogging has "forced" us to be more aware of our community! You want to do hyperlocal posts, you've got to find out what's going on! Take pictures, contact your local tourism and business associations, etc.! Those groups LOVE the extra publicity.
Okay, we'll "quit" now! We could go on like this for pages! We didn't talk about Google Juice, but if you're NOT a Rainmaker yet, you're REALLY shorting the potential to get yourself in front of your home buying and selling public. It'll be one of the best investments you'll ever make in yourself AND your business. And the DAILY continuing education here...oh wait, we said we'd stop didn't we!!??
Keep on Blogging, you know WE will!!
Liz and Bill aka BLiz
P.S. We wish we could have mentioned EVERYONE who's special to us here, but just trying to catch the flavor of the Rain today!