Find an Audience and Obey the On-Line Rules of the Road

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty

 Find your audience...and obey the Online Rules of the Road Review #5 Of The Weblog Handbook by Rebecca Blood

Chapter 5  starts with how to go about Finding an audience. I was pretty excited about reading this chapter as I think many new bloggers and even experienced bloggers can relate to this....we all want to be heard ...or better yet be read and understood...feel like we're connecting. 

Somehow knowing someone is listening validates us as's human nature I think to measure ourselves against the praise or acceptance we receive from others. Blogging is the perfect platform to achieve that.

Chapter 5 gives tips on How to Find your Audience, some of them are very basic... from registering your website, submitting your URL, the importance of metatags and optimizing your weblog/website. Keep in mind please that this book is a few years old and many of these tips have been creatively written about and explored right here on Active Rain. 

One thing that stands out in my mind is a very simple way of promoting your blog...add the URL to all your advertising, signature files...promote it to the public and your peers.  I think many of us here on AR already do that but it bares mentioning because some times it's the simple things...the no-brainers that we overlook. Adding the URL to you signature on your easy and how effective.

When I got to the second part of the chapter I really got excited as it has a section detailing with the Online Rules of the Road that we all must be aware of when joining a community site.

Playing Nice in the Sand box.

I thought this section was excellent and very timely! I know when I first joined Active Rain that I felt like I was playing in someone else's playground or backyard and I had no clue what the rules I read and read and tried to get a feel for the community...I wanted to know what it was all about before I made my first pitiful...and they were pitiful, attempts at blogging.

Some of the things that Rebecca writes about in this section really stand out to me and I think they apply particularly when joining an Online Community Site such as Active Rain.

    “Messages on a weblog are recorded for posterity, you are creating an online reputation "...and I think just like real estate sales being a reputation business so is blogging. Just think of all the different personalities’ right here on AR. I don't know about you all but I have definite opinions of some of our more vocal bloggers.   "People will form their entire impression of you based on the things you contribute!"  This is so very true!

     "Trying to remake any community in your own image will only alienate the current members"...spend some time reading so that you can get a sense of the community.  "Interact with others in an interesting and friendly way!" a friendly way. Its okay to disagree but defend or attack the issue not the people...belittling members for their opinion serves no purpose and only makes you look foolish. This day and age of Transparency...people can see right through that type of behavior.

    "You may gain more from lurking than by actively posting"...I can't tell you how true that is.  Reading the posts is educational and sometimes very even when I'm not posting I am definitely expanding my knowledge base...and unfortunately my bottom :)... If only I could read the blogs while walking on my treadmill!!!

Some things to remember...Rebecca's Rules of the Road

1. Don't post when you’re angry...No if and or buts about it...just don't do it.
2. Argue Facts...Not people
...Back your facts up without running people over.
3. Once you've stated your position
sit back and read what others might learn something...Don't be shy ask others why the feel the way they do.
4. Respond to personal attacks by ignoring them
...Don't get drawn into a flame war!!!
5. Don't hijack conversations
...This one is interesting as on AR several of us hijack posts, I think this is perfectly okay if you know the person...certainly not kosher if you do not.
6. Don't misrepresent other peoples positions
...Remember it is very hard to see the meaning behind the written words!

Making Connections in Blogosphere

...People really appreciate genuine comments....put some heart and soul into your comments!  People complain about the one or two word comments such as....great post...great blog. I know I've been guilty of that myself but sometimes a blog is so well written and covers so much that all I can do is add a "wow" and it is a genuine and heartfelt wow.   Make an effort to comment in other peoples blogs/posts and be sure to acknowledge or comment back to people who leave comments on your posts. Knowing that their work is being read and commented on is truly gratifying and is what makes many a blogger tick.

Linking...Is another great connection maker...but don't be disappointed if you link to a site and they don't link back. Be sure to click your links...every link you put in your post should be clicked through by you. 

This book also covers techniques and strategies that might back fire on you as you build your audience.
1.Cross-Blog Socializing..Talk that is not focused on an exchange of ideas but instead focused on small talk
2.Revolution-  May be fascinating to you but tedious talk to others
3.Becoming Notorious-Being mean isn't fun especially for your audience

"Allow yourself the luxury of imperfection, you will not be perfect ...ever.  But by writing everyday you will become a better writer and by articulating your ideas you'll find out... what you think" 
A path to self discovery via your blog...your online diary. Grow with it and your voice will begin to emerge.  Ahhh how sweet that

So in Closing...
This was a timely chapter to cover considering the events happening in our own on line community.
I came away feeling that the crucial message in this chapter  was...  now that you've found your audience...don't spit in their face.
Over all I have enjoyed reading this book, while I had misgivings due to the fact that it is an older book. I am so glad I bought it and read it. I strongly suggest that if you are new to blogging and blogging in a community that this book is a must read.

My chapter ended with some very fitting words..."Do your best because you love it, appreciate the readers who visit, and don't allow your statistics to ruin your fun."
I can't help but feel it should have read don't let your points ruin your fun

To read the previous reviews of this book -
   BLOG History 101 -- Review #1 - Mariana Wagner
   Why BLOG - Review #2 - Ines Hegedus-Garcia
   Creating and Maintaining Your blog-Review # 3 Ann Cummings
   Finding your Blog Voice -Review # 4 Ann Cummings
Posted by

Jay and Monika McGillicuddy, Southern NH and the Seacoast area real estate specialists.

Jay and Monika McGillicuddy, covering southern NH and the Seacoast area. If you’re thinking of selling or buying a southern NH or Seacoast area home give us a call…we’d love to help make your home ownership dreams come true.

E-mail Jay and Monika or call or text at 603-548-7728

Jay and Monika McGillicuddy, NH REALTORS

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty

603-944-9172 direct line

603-434-2377 office



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Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate
Majestic Properties - Miami Beach, FL
Monika - my e-mail notification is busted - sorry it took me a while to come back.  I think the only time I would delete a comment is when there is profanity - and hopefully having an e-mail address to let that person know that type of language is not tolerated in my posts.  But I do think deleting comments is a big mistake otherwise.  (obviously it depends on the comment and post, let me not generalize).  It's good to keep a sequence of events, and at the same time it could be proof of how to handle adversity which could ultimately help your business.
Jan 27, 2007 02:01 AM #28
Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
Hi Moni, this was a fabulous writing job, not surprised, you are very good at this! Your comment about things being posted 'in posterity' on the web made me think about a Forum I joined this week. It is an Ohio Forum, so it's good for me to learn all about what is happening in my State. Anyway, it got to the part about username. I saw a lot of people posting there with monnikers that don't identify them at all. I decided to go with my name, for the very reason you stated. I want to make sure I am saying things that I don't mind other people seeing, so why not just use my real name. Stay warm!
Jan 27, 2007 02:11 AM #29
Roberta Murphy
San Diego Previews Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes
MONIKA: Rebecca Blood should be smiling! You're a "star" at finding your audience. 
Jan 27, 2007 04:00 AM #30
Ray Nellum
Envision Real Estate Group, LLC. - Fort Smith, AR
Fort Smith Real Estate


Is there an end to your great post?  You are one of the most informative bloggers in our community, and I hope everyone appreciates what you do for our community.  Thank you again.

Jan 27, 2007 04:42 AM #31
Karen Hurst
Rhode Island Waterfront!


Excellent synopsis of that chapter and much needed in AR right now. I am highlighting it in the Newbie section as well.

Jan 27, 2007 04:49 AM #32
Randy Prothero
eXp Realty - Mililani, HI
Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645

All good tips, I am sure my sarcastic sense of humor is addressed in there too.

Jan 27, 2007 05:25 AM #33
Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area

Ines...I absolutely agree with you. There was a comment on one of my posts a while back that I wanted to delete. The person started to attack me a little bit instead of the issue...while the comment was unflattering to me I really thought the commenter came off looking I left it up. But I was tempted :)

Thanks Carole for your very kind words. I've joined a few forums and in all but one I've used my real name.  I noticed many people had funky ID's but I went with ..Moni or Monika....figured I wouldn't post anything that I would be ashamed to attach my name to. Only exception was an Aruba Forum...I became Aruba Chick. Not sure why I didn't do Aruba Moni??? 

Roberta..My goodness...your comment is so sweet! Thank you so much. I had to read it twice!!! :)

Wow! Ray Thank you ever so much. This is a great community and I am so touched that you feel I've contributed to it. I have learned so very much for so many people here...I'm thrilled to be able to give a little back.

Karen...So nice to see you gf....Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my post!  I though this chapter was excellent and very timely.

Randy...I'm going to borrow TLW saying here "wink-wink" when in doubt add a few winks to be safe or a smiley face at least until they get to know you and your sense of humor. Thanks for reading Randy.

                                        Thank you all so much for the kind words :) 

Jan 27, 2007 07:34 AM #34
Dianne Abrams
Dianne's Dynamic Designs - Fredericton, NB

Thank You

I am soooo new at this blogging thing but I have had respones & I am simply amazed at that. Not knowing that I should respond, (I did to a few) but after reading your article it has inforced the camaraderie I feel when I see a response on my e-mail

Thank you


Jan 28, 2007 12:10 AM #35
Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area

Dianne...You're very welcome. Comradeship is what helps makes an on-line community successful...building relationships...can start simply by commenting and acknowledging those comments people leave for you.  I've seen a few blog posts that have tons of comments but nowhere does the original poster ever acknowledge those comments...makes you wonder if they even came back and read the post after they posted it.

Thnak so much Dianne for reading my post :) and welcome to Active rain!


Jan 28, 2007 12:28 AM #36
Diane Rice
Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL - Lansing, IL

Hi Monika,

I'm very impressed with what you shared, and realize you had our best interests at heart when you wrote it.  Thanks for thinking of really DID NOT HAVE TO DO IT...but YOU DID!  I personally appreciate your contribution to Active Rain...thanks again!

Jan 28, 2007 10:33 AM #37
Monika McGillicuddy
Prudential Verani Realty - Atkinson, NH
NH Real Estate Broker
Thanks so much Diane...Your words are so sweet :) thanks for reading and commenting I really appreciate it.
Jan 28, 2007 12:24 PM #38
Sheron Cardin
California Moods Inc - Selma, CA
ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend!

Hi Monika,

This is a generous post that you have made for the good of the community and I do REALLY APPRECIATE your commitment to AR. I have learned sooooo much about my peers through reading their thoughts and really listening. Being an authority on something is not what blogging is about as much as it is sharing what you know and learning what you don't know. I like connecting with others through the written word because it is a slow and careful analysis and interaction. Person to person and phone conversations loose much of the essence of the word where blogging can be fully realized for the points that are being made. I will study all your chapters. Thank you very much

Stage It Forward! 

Jan 29, 2007 05:50 AM #39
Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
Sheron...Thank you so much for your touching comments. Blogging is about sharing and learning and like you I've learned  so much from reading the blogs!  Keep blogging!!!
Jan 29, 2007 07:18 AM #40
Derek and Mariana Wagner
Springs Top Agents- Keller Williams Premier Realty - Colorado Springs, CO
Springs Top Agents - Colorado Springs REALTORS®
Monika- I am SO sorry... I read this a couple times and thought I responded... DER! This was awesome. AND timely, for many reasons. You made some excellent references from this chapter, and put this together very well. THere is so much to learn...
Jan 30, 2007 04:33 PM #41
Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
Not a problem Mariana...I appreciate your comments. Thanks so much.
Jan 31, 2007 03:53 AM #42
Virginia Halter
RE/MAX Signature Properties - Harrisburg, NC

I am learning everyday from posts like this.  I am in that first stage of blogging that you were talking about, "Those pitiful attempts."  I am getting more comfortable with it though, with posts like this that give a roadmap-ish between speaking your mind and remaining community friendly and open.


Thank you!!! 

Jan 31, 2007 04:46 AM #43
Freddie Moorer
Weichert Realtors - Plainsboro, NJ

I like you post. It hits on all the important details of writing for an audience. Thanks!


catch me here


Jan 31, 2007 05:53 AM #44
Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area

Virginia...LOL I had some pretty pitiful ones!  I always read as many as I could and then I learned to comment on them and importance of that. This book is really full of great advise for a the newbie as is the book we reviewed last month. In case you missed them you find some of them here

Thanks so much for commenting!


Freddie...Thanks so much for the kudos on my review and thanks for taking the time to comment! 

Jan 31, 2007 06:57 AM #45
Nancy Lohman
Highlands Ranch, CO

Hi Monica,

I love the way you put your words together.  Very easy to read, I felt like you were talking directly to me. I will definitely get the book. The common courtesy theme sounds like something everyone could use.


Jan 31, 2007 11:33 AM #46
Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
Thank you so much Nancy...your comment really means a lot to me thank you so much for sharing your feelings about my review!
Jan 31, 2007 01:10 PM #47
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