Pat Kennedy offers some wise advice for new bloggers.
Every tip is important, but I'd like to emphasize the importance of adding your photo. We all want to see who you are!
Follow these tips and you'll not only enjoy your time on Active Rain, your business will prosper.
This week, I'm spending a lot of my blogging time allowance looking for some good newbie bloggers. And as I read through some of your earliest posts, I am seeing you doing some of the same things that many of us did in our blogging youth. So here's some unsolicited advice:
1. Your Active Rain profile picture needs your face - my humble opinion. Not a cutsy logo. Yes, I know. A lot of bloggers use their logo, their kid, their dog - whatever. But I think there is only one person on Active Rain who might be ugly enough to substitute something elso for his/her own mugshot. And even s/he uses his/her own photo.
2. Before you post what you've written, some of you (probably accidentally) click the box saying it's not your content. If you are using something that someone else has written (with their permission, of course) you check that box. But if it is your own material, do not check this box! I've seen bunches of new bloggers who are writing posts that really do look original, and it still winds up with the "X" mark.
3. If you change the color of the font you are using, don't make it a pale color. You want your posts to be easy to read, and if you use gray or light blue, you make it less legible.
4. Stage your post. A lot of us use many original photographs. There are also companies that provide reasonably priced clip art to bloggers. You have to be careful about where you get your graphics so you don't run afoul of the copyright laws.
5. When you are new, it's good to try to "reciprocate" comments. In other words, if someone comments on your blog, click a link to their's and see if they have any comment worthy posts. At some point, you'll find it impossible to do this and run a real estate practice at the same time, but when you're new, it's a great way to get noticed.
6. As a new blogger, you might have time to respond to every comment, but as you start getting lots of them you might have less time, especially if you are in the business of listing and selling houses. Read all of the comments you get and try to respond, but don't beat yourself up if you don't get to all of them.
7. When you mention other bloggers in your posts, send them "Link Love" - an email with a link to your post so they can stop by to see what you have written. If you get a "Link Love" post from another blogger, follow the link and leave a comment.
8. When you are new, get into the habit of writing lots of comments on other bloggers' posts. Like many bloggers, when I am deciding who to comment on, I look to reciprocate, commenting on bloggers who have commented on mine.
9. Try to balance your posts, with a mix of local information, market statistics, listings, and opinion or information posts. Your local posts, market information and listings will make your phone ring from consumers. Your opinion and information posts will get you noticed by other bloggers ane the Gold Star Pixie in Seattle.
And 10. If you feel shy about jumping in with that first post, find a blogger you like to read, and ask them if they will mentor your blog efforts for a while. And I'll bet they'll say yes!
Blogging on Active Rain is educational, fun, and will greatly improve your writing skills over time. It's also a chance to form some great friendships with people you might not otherwise get to know. Oh, and you might have to join a support group. It is a little bit addictive - it's the points thing!
So blog on!