I remember when I first joined Active rain in August of 2010. I was brand new to blogging and really didn't have a clue on what to do. Thankfully, I found some wonderful people to guide me along - Charita Cadenhead was one of them. She always found the time to comment and offer encouraging advice.
Bill and Liz offer some wonderful advice here. Don't be afraid to ask for help and guidance. Get to know those who comment on your blog posts. When in doubt - ASK! :)
New To Blogging? There Are Resources To Help!
So you found Active Rain and created a profile. Maybe you even uploaded a photo so we know what you look like. You've read a few blog posts, maybe even left a comment or two and you're wondering what's next?
You may not realize that there are a lot of resources a click or a call away that can help ease your transition from a casual reader and occasional commenter to an active Active Rainer creating your own content for your area consumers and agents. Active Rain and its members DO want you to succeed and become an active part of this community, and we're here to help! As a whole, we don't bite :)
So what resources are available to you?
- You might not have noticed yet, but in the top right corner is a "Need Help?" link. Click it. Eureka!! Tons of your How To and What's What type questions are answered in the FAQs.
- Sign up for the Daily Drop! It's a selection of posts that the AR Staff found to be some of the best. They'll help you understand topics that get good interaction, how different bloggers write, and you might even find your own voice! Click Sign Up For Daily Drop and enter your email to join the list.
- When you clicked on the Need Help? link, did you notice in the blue bar that there are Video Tutorials and Classes and Guides? They're part of Active Rain University! The staff has put together some great How To videos on some of the most popular topics, and they also hold various Webinars (classes). Watch, listen and learn! You can also access Active Rain University by clicking on University from the main menu bar on each page.
- From the Main Active Rain page you've got a couple more options. At the bottom in the gray footer menu there's a "Contact ActiveRain" link. Click there and you get the choice of sending an email, or you can call 1-888-643-3837. Don't forget Active Rain is in Seattle, so they're Pacific Time Zone.
- Also on the bottom gray footer is an "About" link. Click there and welcome to the full Active Rain Staff including Cowboy the Chief Morale Officer. Bob Stewart and Kerrie Greenhalgh are the two people who will most often be the people addressing your concerns, or routing them to someone that can. And by the way, when you read someone in their post or comments saying something about Bob or Kerrie, there's a 99.99% chance that it's these two that we're talking about. They care and want YOU to succeed.
- Ambassadors. You might have noticed either some profile pictures next to a blog with an orange footer with a little orange star and the word AMBASSADOR. You might also notice certain comments with a orange star in a circle rather than a blue raindrop. You find the orange star, you find an Ambassador. We're here to help. We're not part of Active Rain staff, but for the most part we're pretty active members of the community. Got a question, ask us! We can't fix the technical issues necessarily, but we can answer many of your questions on the How To work and play in the Rain.
- Just ask. Anyone. Active Rain is filled with helpful people. We've yet to find another community like it. See something on someone's blog or post that you like and want to know how to do it? Just ask. Email them from the side bar connection, or pick up the phone and call. We've NEVER had someone refuse a request for help yet.
- Subscribe. Find people that you like the way they write? Click the Subscribe button and you won't miss a thing they post. Comment frequently and you'll start building relationships. The more people know you and know what you need, the better they can help you. Subscribe to Groups too. Active Rain Newbies is a great place for tips and one of the largest groups in the Rain.
- Search. Use the Search function. Lots of people have posted about how to do colored fonts (Scribefire for us), how to find a niche, blogging topic ideas, free picture sources and much more you want to know about.
- And lastly but certainly NOT least important, read the Community Guidelines! Back to the Main Page, gray footer bar, Guidelines. Click it. Read it. Don't break the rules. Active Rain bloggers are protective of this special place, and if you start pushing the envelope or get totally outside of the norms, they're going to let you know it. Don't blatantly advertise yourself in their comments, don't steal work and photos, links can get your comments deleted, it's okay to disagree but don't be a jerk about it. If someone has a Public post, remember EVERYONE can see that comment including potentially your area consumer. And those comments don't have an expiration date...that snarky remark may be around a lot longer than any of us.
So bottom line, there's lots of avenues for help. Be patient. Ask questions. Listen. Learn. Participate. And don't expect blogging to be an instant boost to your business. Your area home buyers and sellers aren't likely to find your first 2-3 blog posts and go "THAT'S MY AGENT!!" Keep working, blog regularly, build your body of work and give the consumers what they want and can't find anywhere else, and you WILL succeed!
So any questions? Ask!
Keep on Blogging!
Liz and Bill aka BLiz
The Liz Spear Team
Elizabeth & William Spear
RE/MAX Elite: Ask for us by name if you visit the office!
Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Office direct: 513-248-3660 Liz direct: 513-265-3004
Bill direct: 513-520-5305 Fax: 866-302-8418
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