ActiveRain - Your Tags Are Virtual Folders

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

I've written a couple of articles recently about using tags in your ActiveRain blog posts. I think there is some improvement in this topic, but from my browsing around different blogs, I still see that I'm not sure the concept is still all that clear for some people. So let's continue our discussion on this topic.

Let's take two examples to illustrate. First, as listing agent, you are going to write an article to help your sellers to consider what they should consider for showings as regards to their dogs. The second blog post you are going to write is about an upcoming event in your local town.

Let's pretend that all the blog articles that you wrote, you saved on your local hard drive. (maybe you shouldn't pretend, but that's a different topic!) If you are a prolific blogger you will have lots of articles. How will you organize them? Well of course, you are going to make folders and then also subfolders depending on how many subtopics there are.

So, for starters, you will create folders labeled for buyers, sellers, and local info. Next in the sellers folder you will put a showings subfolder with articles to help sellers prepare. In the local info folder, you will put subfolders for events, restaurants, shopping, etc.

Now here's the point of the day: When you tag your articles, think of this folders and subfolders analogy because tags are like having virtual folders.

So let's tag the article that you are writing about advice of what to do with pets for showings.

Tags: sellers, showings, pets, dogs

Tags are a way of organizing, recalling and hopefully sharing. You want more mileage out of your articles right? You want consumers to know you are a pro at what you do and they need to hire you. What are your specialties? You had better be writing blog articles about all your specialties. Think about this, consumers who come across your AR blog will not know about tags or tagging but YOU DO. Why not put on your profile page links to your articles in each of your specialty areas? If you are a listing agent, why not put a big link to your articles for "sellers". You can do that if you strategically use your tags.

Tags also help you locate specific articles in your archives to share. What if you have somebody that is listing with you and they have dogs. Don't say "I know I wrote that article earlier this year, now where is it?" Ten minutes (twenty minutes?) later you find it. If you tagged properly, you can find it under 30 seconds.

Was the above mentioned article about showings and pets related to you or your target area? NO it was a universal article. Notice in the tag list there is nothing about your name or your location. Now you may want to stuff those things in there because you are all worried about SEO (we get a little crazy with SEO don't we!). Resist the urge - you should not do that.

Let's take a second example for tagging. In my local town there is an event coming up next weekend called Applefest held every October. Let's say that if I were a real estate agent who wants to represent myself as "a local expert" you better believe I'm going to be writing about this! I will write an article before to tell everyone about it and then I will write an article after showing photos of the day and how it went.


How am I going to tag those articles?
Tags: Warwick NY, Warwick NY events, applefest, things to do with family

Every one of those tags is useful to call up similar articles. The town specific one will show articles not only events but shops, restaurants, parks, etc. The second tag could have been simply just tagged events but in this case the extra mention of location is really to emphasize locale and for visual effect you are targeting that location.  The applefest tag would call up articles for all years and your before and after articles (e.g. how was it LAST year). The last tag would call up all the other articles that you have written helping families see there is so much about your area that they will enjoy

Again, (most) consumers are not going to understand tags but you do. Tags can be used to your advantage and invest some time THINKING and STRATEGIZING on how you can leverage them. They should not be "that dumb step I have to take everytime I post."

Let's do a quick review of HOW to use tags by grabbing the corresponding URL. First, go to your blog page where your articles are listed. In the address bar, append /tags and press enter. There you will see what's called your "tag cloud". These are all the tags that you have used and they are all LINKS. Click on the specific tag that you want to feature. That takes you to a page listing all the matching articles. Go to the address bar and select the URL and copy it to the clipboard. Now head over and edit your profile page and put a link to this listing. Put a headline, Do you want to know about all the local events in our area? Click here and then create a link using the URL you have in your clipboard. You could do something similar in sending a helpful email to your clients with lists of articles that you think they will find helpful.

So, do you understand tags just a little better now. I hope so!

In fact, let me use tags to create an article list of my other posts talking about using tags

aha! now you've got it! :)

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Toronto, ON

Craig - As always, great tutorial and fantastic advice on optimizing the usage of features in ActiveRain.

Sep 25, 2010 03:39 PM #20
Tammy Pearce
Haute Realty 214-994-6474 - Dallas, TX
Tammy Pearce

Thank you again for great information.  I am guilty of the "dumb step every time I post" thought process!  Well, I was before I read this article :)

Sep 25, 2010 05:12 PM #21
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

This is sooooo great, Craig.  I am going to use this on the next related post.  And I am going to be more careful.  I have about 9000 tags right now.   Yuk!

Sep 25, 2010 06:26 PM #22
Lee & Pamela St. Peter
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522 - Raleigh, NC
Making Connections to Success in Real Estate

Craig, thanks for the recap - (I've bookmarked and HIT that suggest button!)  The timing for me is perfect.  I'm like Jeff ~ I have a lot of boo boos and a TON of different tags.  I'm going to take the time to get structured.  I'll go back and start editing my past posts. 

Sep 26, 2010 08:48 AM #23
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Chris, I may just be a little slow today but... I was with you on the tags until you got to the cloud and grabbing the URL. Are you saying that we should link to our blog posts on our AR profile?

Sep 28, 2010 06:55 AM #24
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Connie - once you find your tag and get the URL you are almost there - you can use that URL as a hyperlink to give second life to your articles - why not edit your profile page descriptive areas and include a few links (based on tags) that spotlight groups of articles for CONSUMERS who just found you. You are leading them to what you want them to see instead of hoping that they find your best articles!

Sep 28, 2010 08:34 AM #25
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Craig, again thankyou, I have a lot to learn


Oct 01, 2010 11:13 PM #26
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

This is one I want to go back and read. I need to get a focus on tags and just start. Thanks for so much valuable information.

Oct 03, 2010 05:10 AM #27
Mike Mayer
Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC - Lafayette, LA

Please keep the posts coming. They're not only informative and helpful, but a delight to read! I always learn something in what you share.

Oct 19, 2010 04:23 PM #28
Wayne B. Pruner
Oregon First - Tigard, OR
Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI

Thanks for the clarification Craig. I have been pretty haphazard with my tags.

Oct 22, 2010 04:23 PM #29
Jim Courtney
OklaHomes Realty, Claremore Oklahoma - Claremore, OK

Craig, thanks for this tags post. I understand the concept but I don't think I am doing that well. I like the folders analogy as it makes it easier to visualize (from a former teacher). :)

Mar 10, 2011 04:18 PM #30
Michele Norris
Crystal Realty - Incline Village Nevada - Incline Village, NV
((( Buy or Sell, Call Michele ))) Lake Tahoe NV

Craig, I just subscribed!

Mar 15, 2011 01:49 PM #31
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

everyone - enjoyed your comments, thanks...

Michele - thank you for subscribing :)

Mar 15, 2011 02:19 PM #32
Jeremy Joslin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - South Windsor, CT
Professional Real Estate Marketing and Sales
Thanks.  I understand them much better now
May 07, 2011 01:31 PM #33
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Guess what I have been doing ALL DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jun 05, 2011 03:09 PM #34
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

Craig~ I'm officially on overload now. Your blog often reminds me of how much I DON'T know and how much I have to go back and do to maximize my AR existence! I'm making progress, though. I have added ScribeFire to my repertoire.

Jun 05, 2011 04:43 PM #35
Colette Gray
Helping seniors age in place everywhere in California, Arizona, NV, Washington, Oregon - Redondo Beach, CA
Senior Loan Officer, HomeSafe Reverse Mortgages
Hi Craig, still going through all of your great posts.  I can't wait til you switch to video blogging so I can see what you're doing.
Jun 11, 2011 11:47 AM #36
Deborah Laemmerhirt - REALTOR® Brookfield,Newtown,Roxbury,Bridgewater,Washington,Sherman
Keller Williams Luxury Homes International - Brookfield, CT
Luxury Homes,WaterFront,Equestrian,NewConstruction

Hello Craig, this was a very informative entry.  I confuse tag words with website key words.  The file explaination gave me a good visual on how to use the tag words to locate articles.  I was able to try it out while referring to the blog post. 

Aug 10, 2011 08:07 AM #37
George Fanucci - Los Altos, CA
Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions

I wanted a way to get a list of all my blog posts. This should work, after I go in and tag each post with the tag "blog" and use the URL


Feb 12, 2012 05:18 AM #38
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Craig, just discovered you and your wealth of information. Going to make a point of reading your past and current blog posts. Thank you so much. Can see by the previous comments that I am a few years short of great info. What is that saying? Oh yeah, Better  ate Than Never :)

Jul 31, 2014 04:00 AM #39
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Craig Daniels

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