Given its ease of use and free availability, I am surprised more Crystal Coast area agents do not have Wordpress blogs. Don't get me wrong, I love my AR with its robust SEO and promotional features and awesome link juice, but Wordpress remains my favorite.
I'm not talking about the joeschmoe.wordpress.org or whatever those blogs are type of wordpress implemention. Not that there's anything wrong with them, but I'm referring to hosting your own. I've done several of them on godaddy.com's Linux servers. These are usually so straightforward I could probably train my dog to install them.
I've also done them on Windows boxes with direct (actually physical) access. It's more of a hassle, but can be done and can actually work better than on a Linux box in my opinion, but I'm a Windows guy anyway. Which is wierd because the Windows people I worked with at the time said I crossed over to the dark side when I opened up a Windows machine to PHP, MySQL, and Wordpress.
These feelings are understandable since some previous versions of PHP were deemed too insecure. But PHP 5 is solid (for now), as are the latest versions of Wordpress. Once you open up IIS to PHP and install MySQL on a windows box its all so easy from there. I was instantly amazed at the simplicity of it all. Every time I dig into some PHP I am more and more amazed by it.
But that's what makes WP so awesome, is you need to know absolutely ZERO code. And on the newer Windows servers, IIS has built-in support for PHP. MySQL also comes in a Windows install package so, its even easier to do nowadays.
I found an awesome beach theme for my Crystal Coast blog today that really jazzed it up.
But be warned there are a few things to be aware of with Wordpress. One of the features that makes it so powerful, can also spell disaster for the novice blogger.
Duplicate content is highly frowned upon by Google and other Search Engines, so be sure to no-follow, and robots.txt pages, and links that may have duplicate content. One of my client's sites just had a Google penalty applied to their site due to this issue.
The good news is that they'll most likely recover before summer and still book their rentals for the year.
Please don't let this scare you away from hosting your own Wordpres blog on your own domain, or even on your own Windows Server. The WP platform also has built-in features to automatically alert Google and a multitude of other search engines when you add new content.
AR rules, but remember to create your own content somewhere on the web that YOU REALLY own.