WordPress for Beginners

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Associates CA BRE# 01048160

I have had my own business blog site for the better part of five years. When I first signed up to have my own custom blogsite built, I was still pretty new to ActiveRain but knew I would want to continue with the experience of blogging about real estate, my community and provide regular local real estate market reports.

Being a neophyte to blogging, I was never really sure that I would make a difference in my business but others assured me I would never regret the time or the resources to build the site out and advantage myself as a local expert with a strong internet presence.. 

I had for years various static websites where content was rarely changed or added to only seldom and this seemed to make sense that bringing my experience to bear in the market place would be an idea that would put me out ahead of many others in the real estate business in may area.

The custom blogsite was built and came on line and I was generating a lot of activity from other real estate bloggers. I soon learned though that relying on your host to make your blogsite significant may not always be the best way forward, especially if they are concentrating on building their business while you are trying to build yours.

I soon lost interest as my site was proving not to be as functional as I had originally hoped and the design of it limited what could be done with it. I re-focused my energies with ActiveRain and only occasionally added anything to my own site. It did have an IDX service link and that kept it of interest to those that would go to it.

Recently I started to think about this again and wondered why I have relied solely on one site like ActiveRain when I should have also kept up the other site to keep it as vital as I could with at least good and current information. I just couldn't get over the idea that the site that cost thousands of dollars to build was not what I wanted. I had spoken to a number of professionals in website design and they said it would cost more to repair the site to make it function they way I think it should than it would be to start over and create a new and more vital site. That was not the answer I had hoped for and I just let it go out of my consciousness.

The only thing I had going with the site was that the domain was now significantly aged and is valuable because of the way the Google Algorithms work in recognizing aged sites as being stronger and as one would say, "In it to Win it"

A short time ago, I found a great tool that began to change all my thinking on the subject. It was a bookazine ( a book in magazine format) called "WordPress for Beginners" that I purchased from Costco. WordPress also has a similar on line course. Check out the link.

I wish I had seen something like this that would have helped me better understand how simple creating sites and making them useful to enhance our online presence. While using WordPress to add posts and publish them is not complex, recognizing and using the needed plug-ins and understanding their use and some of the other advanced features take a bit of focus to learn. 

In real estate we build our business and if we are lucky we stay very busy with real estate and with all the new technologies to keep us busy learning, being  at least somewhat active in social media, etc, it just didn't seen like I was ever going to learn this aspect of my blog.

That brings me to this point. If you want your own blog and want to build one yourself, this bookazine will walk through with support CD tutorials that comes with it and I am undertaking this learning process now. It is going to take a while but with this new tool, I feel confident that by making the learning of building my own new blogsite a goal, I can get this accomplished. 

In the process, there are things here in this training manual that as I learn and build out the new site, I can share here on ActiveRain. I will give thought about how I can do that perhaps by finding some tutorials found on YouTube that I can add to give a more robust understanding of the process.

At the very least I will learn how to relate what I think would be the best in an outside webblog that I can get enthusiastic about.  I'll keep you updated on my progress. 

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Ambassador
1,486,641
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Ultimate - Manassas, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

William  I have a WordPress site that has basically the same layout as my static site - it works well for me

Aug 28, 2012 07:22 AM #33
Rainer
215,675
Nan Jester
Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery

I have bookmarked this one to study later. I have wondered about wordpress for a while.

Aug 28, 2012 07:24 AM #34
Rainer
32,319
Glenn Gurvitch
My Area Realty - Wellington, FL

Thank you for sharing. 

Aug 28, 2012 07:27 AM #35
Ambassador
1,108,445
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Realtor
HOM Sotheby's Intl Realty, 949-510-2395 - Laguna Beach, CA
Laguna Beach & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

That's neat....I've been thinking about this also. I have a Wordpress for dummies book which is oddly helpful also.

Aug 28, 2012 07:36 AM #36
Rainmaker
874,464
Fred Carver-Top Realtor Victoria, BC
Re/Max Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Victoria BC Real Estate Consultant

Hi William...The problem is we're doing so much as Realtors with all the new tech tools and online tools...there are just so many hours in a day, or week...and being consistent is import. This Summer i've fallen behind here, due to holidays, visitors and Real Estate. I added a Blog to one of my web sites on the front page several years ago and i add to it weekly, which helps the web site SEO.

Congratulations on your feature.

Aug 28, 2012 07:37 AM #37
Rainmaker
244,186
Brad Rachielles
CENTURY 21 Prestige Properties, Ca BRE# 01489453 - Upland, CA
REALTOR, CDPE, Upland, CA

William,

This is truly unusual to find a William Johnson post without a stunning photo. It is not unusual to find a William Johnson post with great value. Thanks for the information. Bookmarked. Will be following.

Aug 28, 2012 07:50 AM #38
Rainer
391,721
Kristine Ginsberg
Morris County, NJ: Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Morris Plains, NJ
Morris County, NJ Stager

William - wow, can I relate to your story. I also bought a website through my staging certification and never did anything to it because I didn't know the value or how to use WordPress. After reading so many posts and visiting so many websites I hired a web developer who created a completely new website and learned how to blog. This has significantly helped my ranking. Excellent information and thanks for sharing your story. I think there's a lot of AR members who can benefit from this information!

Aug 28, 2012 07:53 AM #39
Rainmaker
581,134
Corinne Guest
Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
Barrington Realty Company

Congrats on getting back in the web game. Once you have mastered the basics of Wordpress you'll be moving at light speed and the finer details can be tackled as you go along. Good luck and let us know when we can take a peak at your work.

Aug 28, 2012 08:23 AM #40
Rainmaker
233,685
David Grbich
Ventana Coastal Properties - www.FindCARealEstate.com - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484

William - thanks for sharing - I know my own experiences are similar. I have learned much over the past couple of years in working with a wordpress site and would have been more successful sooner with tips this book offers. Regards Dave

Aug 28, 2012 08:26 AM #41
Rainmaker
1,503,567
Ron & Alexandra Seigel
ra@napaconsultants.com - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Marketing
William What an informative and thoughtful post. I do miss your picture! A
Aug 28, 2012 08:28 AM #42
Ambassador
1,657,818
Tammy Lankford
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Your Lake Sinclair Expert (706-485-9668)

I think many of us can identity with you William.  I know I should be doing more, but the time/ the knowledge/ ugh. 

Aug 28, 2012 08:47 AM #43
Rainer
49,983
Larry Kimsey
lk services - Hercules, CA

Super post. I suggest that every agent maintain a website and a blog.  Use the blog to attract readers, and contacts then send to your website for capture. Have a top, sticky website like Market Leader, http://www.marketleader.com, for  lead generation and lead capture.  I have implemented a system for one of my clients, Watermark Properties.http://blog.wmpre.com, in the SF East Bay. The www.wmpre.com site  is a wordpress blog.  The blog pushes leads in the capture site: http://www.ebpre.com. www.ebpre.com is a marketleader site. 

Aug 28, 2012 01:04 PM #44
Rainmaker
820,881
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

William - I've done it both ways.  I had a professionally designed WordPresss blog that cost me thousands to set up and $250/month for a webmaster to maintain.  The company went out of business and gave me the blog, but had converted it to Drupal.  If you think learning WP is hard, try Drupal! 

I decided I needed another blog and figured out how to set up a WordPress blog in one weekend about a year and a half ago.  I blogged about how I set it up to help others on AR.  It's now ranking pretty good, but not as good as the Drupal blog or the AR blog as those are older and I post more frequently on them. 

I don't spend a lot of money on my blogs now.  If my blogs need updating, I hire someone to do it, and then go back to administering the blog myself.  My blogs cost me $10/month to run on BlueHost. 

You should put your website URL in your signature so that we can go on it and make comments.  The more comments from others with well ranked blogs, the better it is for your SEO.  I went on your blog (found the URL in your profile) and left a comment to congratulate you on your recent award.

Aug 28, 2012 05:37 PM #45
Rainmaker
1,228,701
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

William - This is a wonderfully written piece about your journey with blogging.  Your own initiation into the arena sounds similar to my own.  I was coaxed into blogging by others, who sang the praises!  I have a web domain, and it would be fairly easy to be inspired to built a blog within it.  I have neglected to do so these past few years, opting instead to post blogs almost solely here on ActiveRain.  I am VERY interested in what you will share of your experiences with WordPress.  I haven't rubbed elbows with it at all!  

Aug 28, 2012 06:01 PM #46
Ambassador
1,334,259
William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - San Diego, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE
Hi all, I will be spending my evening watching some of the RNC convention and will get back and answer all your terrific comments. For those of you that found this post on the FEATURED blogroll yesterday, you may have noticed that today it is no longer featured. I sure hope it wasn't anything I did?
Aug 28, 2012 07:09 PM #47
Rainmaker
152,325
Lee R. Alley
John L. Scott - Everett, WA
Senior Advisory Broker

Thanks William for the peer-nudge (gentler and more positive than peer pressure).  I look forward to tagging along with you on this journey.  Please keep us updated on your progress, your decisions, and how it performs for you.  

Aug 30, 2012 07:46 AM #48
Rainmaker
314,220
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

I subscribed because I want to follow your journey and have one too! What is the link to your WP blog?

Sep 03, 2012 02:27 PM #49
Rainmaker
169,399
Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070
Wells and Bennett Realtors - Oakland, CA
California Homes for Sale in the East Bay

great post and thanks for the link to the WP lessons.

Sep 04, 2012 08:34 PM #50
Rainmaker
2,168,831
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Have a great day and an outstanding weekend.


Be sure to have your camera in hand to capture the special moments that you will want to share.


Sep 07, 2012 03:23 AM #51
Rainmaker
372,472
John Mosier
High Country Realty - Prescott - AZ - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent & Land Man 928 533-8142

William Johnson  -- I found this article long after you wrote it. Looks like it is still has valid information. I recently purchased FlexIDX for Wordpress and I am being severely challenged because I know neither Wordpress or FlexIDX.

Dec 21, 2014 08:31 AM #52
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San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE
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