Winning Wednesday: Introducing New Team and Individual Blogs

By
Services for Real Estate Pros

Even though it's Wednesday, I can't keep quiet. I have a confession – we've been working on more than fixing bugs for the past few weeks! I'm delighted to announce the immediate availability of our new Team and Individual Blogs. These replace the antiquated (and hilariously dilapidated) Outside Blogs.

Eh?! What's this! What happened to my old Outside Blog? Nothing! Your existing Outside Blogs will continue to function normally. If you'd like to upgrade an old Outside Blog to a new Team or Individual Blog, just click on the "Upgrade" link.

Grrr. Why would I want to upgrade? We've put a lot of effort into making this new platform the best (and easiest) way to supercharge your blogging efforts. A few delicious highlights include:

  • Gorgeous new themes: Find 15 new ways to play dress-up with your blog. And this is just the beginning – we've got a stack of themes waiting in the wings!
  • SEO-Optimized: We've been around the block a few times when it comes to playing nicely with search engines. You could read books and blogs for hours trying to optimize your site… or you could let us take care of the difficult bits while you concentrate on blogging and making connections.
  • Hyper-local: Remember the grueling work you did to prepare your posts for Localism? Watch it pay off in spades – your posts are automatically categorized by location, all the way down to the community level. Without being too much of a tease, this is just the beginning; we have several exciting features planned in this space!
  • Custom Domains: Wave goodbye to DNS servers, registrars, and hours of confusion. The process for adding a custom domain couldn't be simpler – just provide the domain name you want, and we take care of the rest! Absolutely no technical skill is required.

Amazing! Unprecedented! I'm willing to pay $96,543 per month. But how much does it really cost? Individual Blogs are $19/mo., and Team Blogs are $79/mo.

Pictures, please. 

Choosing a theme

Claiming a custom domain… it couldn't be any easier!

A view of contributors to a Team Blog

Your posts… categorized by location! Google will eat this up

Enjoy! I've already upgraded to an Individual Blog (minormissives.com) and can't wait to see how you utilize this new platform!

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  1. Nestor & Katerina Gasset 01/07/2009 01:58 PM
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Rainmaker
457,050
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
Destin FL Real Estate

AM I expecting too much?  After my new paid AR outside blog upgrade, my google rank for the new blog is way down on page 2, but the identical post on the regular, free AR blog is near top of page one google.  Also, the new paid domain name does not show up.  I am typing very specific keywords that only pull up my blog.  All page 1 and 2 results are mine, for example, similar posts on wordpress and blogger.  As I said, the upgraded $19 blog shows up very last on page 2 being beaten by all the other FREE blogs.  What am I missing?

Jan 10, 2009 08:15 AM #112
Staff
625,606
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
Community Evangelist

Wendy,

Is this a new domain that you registered through us? A brand new domain name is going to take some time to get any type of authority with search engines. I'm a little surprised it shows up right out of the gates at all. I know ActiveRain took a number of months when we first launched it to get any significant traction.

Jan 11, 2009 10:36 PM #113
Rainmaker
407,670
Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!

Bob,

Really AR has changed.  I no longer have my top tool bar to use.  I cannot add widgets under my picture, heck, I no longer can change my picture. My blogs to localism are and have been even though I wrote and told you all, temporarily disabled.  This site is not the same for free. Many of the "old ways" are gone.  My customers are telling me they can no longer read Localism through my web site. I don't know if you know this, however many member's are frustrated here because they can no longer use AR even basic AR as many of the rules have changed.

I'm not sure if I should keep my links to here or if I should remove them as my customers...plenty are frustrated trying to read Localism posts, etc.

I have written to all of you about this, not that it made anyone happy, but come on.  If you are going to change everything, please give us a warning.

We rely on you, we use this site as our main blog (some of us), and when things are changed without notice, it affects us.

Please do consider our concerns, as I know I'm not the only one.

Jan 11, 2009 11:47 PM #114
Ambassador
408,567
Virginia Hepp
ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Bob.  Sorry, I don't get it.  I read every comment above and still don't get it.

I have an old AR outside blog.  www.mesquitenvrealestateblog.com   It works, but I haven't put much on it because it never came up on Google searches like my AR and localism stuff does.  So I forgot about it.

If I upgrade it for 20 bucks a month....

Can I post to that upgraded old outside blog ONLY, without it going to AR or Localism?

I know that I can't do that now, I have tried.

I don't want to get put in duplicate content purgatory.

Can you help me?  In English?

Jan 11, 2009 11:48 PM #115
Staff
625,606
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
Community Evangelist

Karen,

If this was happening for everyone, my inbox would be flooded. I'm really sorry about these challenges but I do not think they are affecting everyone.

My first guess is that there is spmething specific to the browser you are using, although I could be wrong. Can you please call me tomorrow and let's see if we can get things straightened out. However, I can assure you that not all of the things you mentioned have changed. In fact, none of them have changed. I just used the toolbar to bold this sentence, so I know that's working just fine. and if you go over and look at my profile, I just changed my picture so I know that works.

You can reach me at 425.753.7340

Jan 12, 2009 12:38 AM #116
Rainmaker
457,050
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
Destin FL Real Estate

Hi Bob, Yes, it's a new domain registerd through AR about a week ago with the upgrade www.destinrealestate-sells.com      The search I use to pull up the specific post gets all other results - just mine - 2 pages - but nothing from the new upgraded blog.  I understand I've been told this may not get good search engine results for a month, perhaps?

Jan 12, 2009 09:08 AM #117
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Everytime I look at someone who has done the new blog it shows an error on page for line 2, character 13 and says it is missing the ";" which is expected. I'd love to participate but it seems the coding errors should be worked out first. Have you guys noticed these errors? Search Engines don't like coding errors so just wanted to ask and I'm just concerned it will affect SEO rankings.

Jan 12, 2009 11:06 AM #118
Rainmaker
88,475
Kevin McGinnis
Decker Bullock Sotheby's International Realty - Greenbrae, CA
Marin County Luxury Homes Expert

One feature I would love to see is the ability to organize our posts into categories (not just geographical locations) and have them displayed on the side of the page. Am I missing something? Does this already exist?

Jan 12, 2009 12:04 PM #119
Rainmaker
91,725
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

The 15 themes are lame...they are all geared towards major real estate companies.  How does that help me and why am I paying 19$ a month for that? And why doesn't any of my content that I've already published not taken over to the new one?  And can I take my url with me if I cancel?

Jan 14, 2009 08:17 PM #121
Staff
625,606
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
Community Evangelist

Amy,

There are two that are geared towards being customized. Toward the end of the month we will be releasing quite a few more customizable templates. Then moving forward after that we hope to have new themes every friday for at least a little while.

As far as your content filtering over, we didn't want to send every post of yours because we don't know if you want every post over there. Some people may create their blog specific to a certain niche they work and only want certain posts. Right now the interface is a little tough to get large numbers of posts but we will consider making an interface that allows people to pull their posts en masse.

If you cancel we'll figure out how to transfer the domain to you, sure.

Jan 14, 2009 10:22 PM #122
Rainmaker
134,027
Janie Coffey
One Sotheby's International Realty - Coral Gables, FL
GRI - Miami Real Estate

to make this as useful to me as my regular 'ol orignial AR Blog (not the outside blog, which I like the look of better) we need to be able to add widgets and have tags. 

without tags, if the blog content is not geograhpic specific, how will a reader ever be able to find something written in the past? 

without widgets and content tags (in addition to the geographic tags) I can't upgrade.

I will watch and wait and hope these are added as I would love to upgrade at that time.

Jan 18, 2009 07:55 AM #123
Ambassador
254,244
Keith McMullin
Port Aransas Realty, Inc - Port Aransas, TX
Port Aransas Real Estate

I need some advice, but first let me say that I continue to be very impressed with AR and the results it can deliver with SERPs.  I set up an outside blog when they were introduced.  I used a domain that was basically sitting idle and thought I might as well put it to use.  I did so without thinking about the impact that it might have on my main AR blog and SERPs.

I upgraded my existing outside blog the day you guys announced it.  That was largely based on the enhancements for search engines.  Now I am wondering if my primary AR blog would be better served by not having the outside blog.  It may be coincidental (I'm not sure) but I have noticed that when I include a post in the outside blog and/or localism the post doesn't show up in google blog search and/or alerts.  In some cases it shows up days later.

AR blogs are cached regularly multiple times a day.  My outside blog hasn't been cached in twelve days.  The bottom line is that I am keenly interested in the performance of my AR blog and the outside blog is just a convenience to give people a URL that they can easily remember.

I know everyone has different priorities with their outside blogs, but I would really appreciate any insight. Thanks from a happy AR member...Keith

Jan 18, 2009 10:49 AM #124
Rainmaker
457,050
Wendy Rulnick
Rulnick Realty, Inc. - Destin, FL
Destin FL Real Estate

Keith, my new upgraded blog, www.destinrealestate-sells.com, was purchased immediately, has yet to show up.  I was told this could take months?

Jan 18, 2009 11:08 AM #125
Rainmaker
231,290
Lina Robertson Jones
Ozark, Nixa, Republic & Willard Real Estate - Springfield, MO
REALTOR, Springfield MO Area Homes for Sale

I was also charged twice, yet only have one blog.  How do I get a credit for the second charge?

Jan 19, 2009 11:06 PM #126
Staff
625,606
Bob Stewart
ActiveRain - Seattle, WA
Community Evangelist

Lina,

I have issued a refund for that duplicate charge.

Jan 19, 2009 11:59 PM #127
Rainmaker
39,586
Moriah Martin
Keller Williams Real Estate - Allentown, PA
REALTOR - Lehigh Valley

Hello Jorgen!  Thank you for explaining the differences between the basic Outside Blog and the Upgraded ActiveBlog.  I will be upgrading myself within about 60 days.

Thanks Again for your help!

Feb 25, 2009 10:18 AM #128
Rainer
6,588
Jeffrey J. Katz
RE/MAX Advantage Plus - Boynton Beach, FL
P.A.

Jorgen,

I have a suggestion. 

I just signed up for a new outside blog.  During the process I was given a web address I can use to view/edit my new outside blog until such time that the Internet propagates my custom domain name.  I did not write the name down and I am not yet able to access my outside blog.  I know I will not have a problem once the Internet propagates my domain name.

The suggestion: As part of your sign up process, send an email to those that choose a custom domain name, with the directions for accessing the outside blog until such time that the Internet propagates the web address. 

Thanks!
Jeff

Mar 03, 2009 01:30 PM #129
Rainer
9,880
Team Pulsifer
Coldwell Banker Shield Heritage - Clarkesville, GA

I am looking for the basic differences that would warrant me paying 19 dollars a month for an Active Blog vs the free one and how it works with the localism sponsorship I just bought for a small town in north georgia

Mar 18, 2009 09:36 AM #130
Rainmaker
1,394,720
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

How could I forget this post!  I remember the line "These replace the antiquated (and hilariously dilapidated) Outside Blogs." and used that line over and over and over....

Looking for help for a new Rainmaker re: using a Domain he owns.  I know I own the Domain DiscoverColumbusOH.com but I guess I was already using that with my "antiquated (and hilariously dilapidated) Outside Blogs"

Aug 01, 2009 10:55 AM #131
Rainer
169,730
Mike Leibel
CIR Realty - Calgary, Chestermere, Balzac & Airdrie - Calgary, AB
Associate Broker

Does the outside blog offer integration with wordpress, twitter, linked in and facebook like my free  wordpress blog does? 

Oct 26, 2010 01:40 PM #132
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Jorgen Hahn

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