"Why would a real estate agent pay for a blog?"

By
Real Estate Agent with HER Realtors

dollar signFor those loyal souls who are waiting for an ActiveRain "outside" blog here's a question for you....

Why would a real estate agent pay for a blog?  

Frances Flynn Thorsen asked that question on her RealTown Report blog and got a response or two from Jim Duncan of RealCentralVA.com.  Hector Virgen with RealTown  also commented on Frances "Why would a real estate agent pay for a blog?"   Disclaimer:  I have a RealTown Blog... it's been around since late August 2005, Discover Columbus (it's old and ugly... be nice.) 

I understand the ActiveRain "outside" blogs will be priced at about 100 dollars a year.  

John Novak wrote Perspectives on Real Estate and Social Networking  about  Rismedia's "Real Estate Social Networking Really Takes Off"  (Disclaimer 2:  RealTown a social networking site with blogs, communities and more is a a joint venture between RISMedia and Internet Crusade.) Rismedia has lots about HouseValues investment in ActiveRain, RealTown and the Realtor.com social networking, including the free blogs from Realtor.com (WordPress.com blogs) another FREE option.  I know a bunch of people tried the Realtor.com blogs.  How are the Realtor.com blogs doing?

Maybe the question of why you would pay for a blog is not directed at those real estate agents loyally waiting to work with ActiveRain.  They're only going to pay about a hundred dollars a year. Maybe the question of why pay for a real estate blog has to do with one of the other real estate blog brands...  

Lots of devoted fans of these brands.

Tomato Blogs... 

RSS Pieces Blog ...

Or maybe the question is to non bloggers... those who are curious about blogging..."Why would a real estate agent pay for a blog?" (Disclaimer 3...I have a WordPress.org blog, I pay for hosting.... about 100 dollars a year...)

Disclaimer 4 This is about "other" blogs. Thanks for reading but please move along if you don't have anything to add about the new  "outside" blogs or "other" blogs.  If blogging on ActiveRain is all you need want or desire, I'm thrilled for you but this is about  "other " blogs, some free, some for a fee.   Save time, any comments about not having time for anything but ActiveRain will be deleted.  Thanks!

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Contact Maureen McCabe of HER Realtors* - 614.388.8249

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Information is deemed to be accurate but should be verified to your satisfaction.  Information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice.  Opinions expressed are solely those of Maureen McCabe.

 


 

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Rainmaker
315,766
Monika McGillicuddy
Prudential Verani Realty/Hampstead - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
I have google alerts set up for my market area, my name, real estate in general and it will pick up other peoples posts, articles and stuff like that...anything RE related in my area. My WP  shows up...yet my AR blog no longer does. I don't know why.
February 01, 2008 02:15 PM #21
Rainmaker
1,391,273
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Thanks all for the comments.

Hank a blog on your website could be / should be a wonderful thing.

hmmm has anyone ever asked AR about the mystery of the missing AR Google alerts? Do you Google to see if your posts are picked up?  I guess that's what I do with alll of my blogging.

February 01, 2008 02:39 PM #22
Rainmaker
315,766
Monika McGillicuddy
Prudential Verani Realty/Hampstead - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area

Yes, They show up on a Google search. Just not on the alerts. For example I would get an alert if you used my name in a post on AR...always. Still do on other blogs but on AR anymore.

There was some discussion about it a while  back but I'm not sure if it was ever answered.

 

February 01, 2008 03:06 PM #23
Ambassador
1,071,739
Jim Crawford
RE/MAX Paramount Properties - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Realtor - Atlanta Real Estate

Presonally I feel it is not about the price, it is about does it work?  Since ActiveRain.Com is so effective...why pay?   If they allowed a private label ActiveRain.Com that I could personalize and be as effective....I would pay for that!  Some firends of mine are paying, and I cannot see the value in the price they are paying.

February 01, 2008 06:38 PM #24
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

I've experienced the same thing that Ginger has. I've got the google alerts set up to notify me once a day, not ASAP. If I write a post on my WP.com blog, then when Google notifies me of the alerts, the post I did the day before shows up. Most amazing was on Jan 30, I wrote a post about the 30-yr anniversay of the 'big blizzard'. TWO HOURS later someone googled those terms and landed on my blog. That means that Google read my blog almost immediately!

When I was still posting on AR, it always took 24-48 hrs for Google to find it. Once I switched to my WP blog, I did SO much better on page 1. Just didn't get those results with AR. Plus, my WP blog has helped my web site as well.

The long tail of my posts is working great to get the people I want to reach. I had an upscale listing appt this week due to my blog. I just put a home in-contract because the buyer read my blog, saw the house, read about the neighborhood and only viewed my listings in the neighborhood. I just never got those results with AR during the months I was posting to Localism. And to address Rich's initial comment, people don't google terms like ColumbusOhioRealEstate. They write in ordinary words, which makes the long tail so important.

So I say, FREE WP.com is great. It's what you write ... whether you pay to have it self-hosted or not.

February 01, 2008 08:35 PM #25
Rainmaker
1,391,273
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Jim Crawford wrote: "I feel it is not about the price, it is about does it work?  Since ActiveRain.Com is so effective...why pay?   If they allowed a private label ActiveRain.Com that I could personalize and be as effective....I would pay for that!"

You know they are right?  ActiveRain is offering "outside" blogs within a couple of weeks.

I vowed earler today to not allow any more comments like

"I think AR does a great job of getting my name out there; I just don't know that I have time for more than 1 blog. To each his own. "

and the "I second Kevins comment. I just dont have time for another blog and I love AR. I love the fact that it's free so you get this wide array of people on here posting."

This is not about what we have NOW on ActiveRain vs. paying for a blog but I know the conversation has turned to Google alerts for ActiveRain... which still IMHO is a lot better than the comments I don't care for... which boil down to, I like ActiveRain and have no time for anything else. 

I appreciate the comment about the long tail Elaine... This blog being named Columbus Ohio Real Estate, it ought to come up for that search.  People don't search that way from what I have seen although I don't mind coming up for that.  It is a tough search term, it is not necessarily the way someone will search. 

Great news on your business from your blog.

Consistantly writing is the key. It's content. Our focusing on ActiveRain having Google Juice encourages the spammy advertising posts that ActiveRain is spoiled by IMHO.

I get more traffic on my RealTown blog than I do on anything else. They changed the URLs in late September and Google can find it now.

Glad you got over your fear of commenting here.  

February 02, 2008 08:39 AM #26
Rainmaker
1,391,273
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Project Name TypeTodayYesterdayThis Month 
Columbus Ohio on ActiveRain.comReal-Time Stats and Visitor ReportsInstall Code and Customise Project SettingsControl User Access to ProjectSchedule Email ReportsDelete Entire ProjectStandard24174532 
ColumbusBestBlog.comReal-Time Stats and Visitor ReportsInstall Code and Customise Project SettingsControl User Access to ProjectSchedule Email ReportsDelete Entire ProjectStandard998195 
Discover ColumbusReal-Time Stats and Visitor ReportsInstall Code and Customise Project SettingsControl User Access to ProjectSchedule Email ReportsDelete Entire ProjectStandard687701,062 

Same topic on all three blogs yesterday... Groundhogs Day.  These are NOT unique visitors, these are page views.  Look at the numbers for yesterday.  

This is kinda sorta about Rich J's comment about "Columbus real estate..." as a search... no groundhogs aren't real estate and just because someone reads what I write about our groundhog does not mean I am going to get any business out of it...  I get a lot of traffic on my RT blog for long tail searches since the urls were changed at the end of September 2007.  Most of my traffic is from Google. 

February 03, 2008 11:53 PM #27
Rainmaker
315,766
Monika McGillicuddy
Prudential Verani Realty/Hampstead - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
Which is which..the links go to the stat counter. I can see the AR blog and I'm assuming your RT is the last one? Right?
February 03, 2008 07:55 AM #28
Rainer
112,847
Ryan Martin
Windermere Real Estate / Whatcom Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Commercial RE Broker
Maureen - I can see someone paying for a blog that is incorporated into their website. If you don't have the capability of  tweaking a Wordpress blog into looking like the rest of your website. Otherwise, I don't see any reason to purchase a blog. 
February 03, 2008 10:29 AM #29
Rainmaker
1,391,273
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Oops when I am on stat counter those link goes to my websites... I thought...  Thanks Monika I am going to break the links.

Discover Columbus is the RealTown blog.  Since RealTown changed the URLs on RealTown blogs I get lots of traffic from search engines, particularly Google.  A big part of it though is there is so much content there.  If you search for Groundhogs Day I have 2006, 2007, 2008 and by linking the new entries to the old people go from one article to an old one.  Right after they changed the URL in Sept. 2006 I could see all the "halloween" and "trick or treat" traffic for local events and schedules on Discover Columbus.   

February 03, 2008 10:38 AM #30
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Earlier this week, I checked my stats for my web site, for AR and my WP blog with a starting date of July 07 which is when I began my WP blog and ending this week.

According to StatCounter, the traffic to my AR blog was 5324. According to my web site's internal stat recorder, I had 6231 visitors to it. And per my WP blog stat record, it obtained 12,668 visits. Golly gee, why do I focus on the WP blog and not AR.

I'm not sure I agree with Ryan that a blog must look just like a web site. I like the fact that it can look more casual, less formal. It makes it more fun that way, but that's just my opinion. I think it depends on the objective of the blog and the domain name of the blog. It can be made formal if one wants it to be. Some of them are very, very nice & classy. The name I selected would look a little strange if I tried to make it formal like my web site.

February 03, 2008 09:36 PM #31
Rainmaker
1,391,273
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Thanks Ryan and Elaine for the comments. 

There are lots of options for real estate blogging... It's not one size fits all.  Free works for some, others want something else. I've seen great blogs on websites, great blog that have a lot of the capabiities of a website and great stand alone real estate blogs.

 

 

February 04, 2008 12:33 AM #32
Rainer
138,958
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker
Monika as of this comment has 5-6 from WP and 9-10 from AR. Not bad.
February 05, 2008 09:38 PM #33
Rainmaker
1,391,273
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

5-6 and 9-10?  Place on Google? with what search? Clients from WP and AR?

February 06, 2008 02:42 AM #34
Rainer
138,958
Jay McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Exeter, NH
Real Estate Broker

I was half asleep typing this last night.

Using the search term ...  hampstead new hampshire real estate

She comes up 5, 6 with WordPress and 9-10 on the first page of Google with AR posts.


 

February 06, 2008 06:21 AM #35
Rainmaker
1,391,273
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate
Thanks Jay! 
February 06, 2008 06:47 AM #36
Rainmaker
133,730
Jennifer Kirby
Kirby Fine Homes - Minneapolis, MN
The Luxury Agent

I have three outside blogs, a website, an then there is AR. As far as AR, the only thing I have been able to pull up high in rankings is my AR profile, it pulls up everywhere. Not once have I seen a blog post from AR rank high. Case in point, I blog about historic homes. I have tested it out by posting the same post on AR and on my outside blog. The outside blog post always comes up on google, but the AR ones never do. For my search terms, my outside blogs always rank high because I am able to SEO the title page and meta tags myself....you can't do that with AR.

 In regards to paying for a blog. I have heard many people say that they suggest a real estate agent go to Typepad or Wordpress because it looks more professional, and that they hate Blogger. I have been with blogger for two years now and I love them...best of all because it is free. All I care about it writing good content and then having it rank high in search engines. My sites look good and they get traffic. That's all that matters. I do not see myself moving to an AR outside blog, especially if they make you pay for it.

February 07, 2008 12:40 PM #37
Rainmaker
1,391,273
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

It is interesting that some people are sure AR has the lock on Google Juice and Monika, Elaine, you... get better search results on your other blog... of course what a lot of people are saying is they don't want to do anything else... they don't have time and ActiveRain suits them fine... 

The "outside" blogs on AR  are definitely going to cost money but not much.  I think "outside" is what ActiveRain started calling them... I think maybe Premium or another word might be better.  I don't know as I ever thought of my blogs as outside blogs before.  They might as well have a crack at it... look at all the blogs RSS Pieces and Tomato Blogs have sold as a result of meeting people via ActiveRain. 

That's one thing I have always been impressed with.  ActiiveRain  promoted, actually ran the Project Blogger last summer where the contestants all started a blog on another platform. 

I thought of them as "My other blogs..." or as my REAL blog...

Thanks for the comment Jennifer... I think I thought you had two other blogs.. you have four with AR! You and Jeff Dowler are prolific.

February 07, 2008 01:20 PM #38
Rainmaker
508,210
Mitchell J Hall
The Corcoran Group - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan, NYC
Hi Maureen, My other blog is on a free google blog spot but with my own domain. It does much better on google then my active rain blog and profile.  Maybe they penalized me for having some duplicate content because they lowered my AR profile from pr 4 to pr 3 and my ar blog from pr 3 to PR2. My other blog is PR3. It gets more traffic too. Frankly I rather have my own blog come up in searches first because its all me. AR has other agents on it.
February 07, 2008 08:23 PM #39
Rainmaker
1,391,273
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate
Mitchell I don't think I even knew our profiles or individual blogs had PR.. my WP blog went from a PR 5 to a PR 3 recently. It made me very sad.  Thanks for your comment.
February 08, 2008 04:39 AM #40
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Rainmaker
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