ASK ALICIA: Is there a test to see how Pinterest, Houzz, AR compare?


Dear Alicia:

With everyone so taken with Pinterest, Houzz, and other social media, I hear that there's a conversation to be had about continued participation with ActiveRain.   The staging community has been having a conversation about this and it seems that several people are participating in AR because of loyalty and their own personal history with the site.   Of the comments that I've read, most people who remain with AR, do so because it's free (they've been grandfathered in).   Other brave souls have stepped out of the rain, and report no negative impact on their business or their online presence.

It's a very confusing blogosphere right now......

Signed: Anonymous



Dear Anonymous:

I understand your concern, and my colleague (Tom Scanlon) and I, have been having this exact conversation amongst ourselves, and with our internet colleagues. 

It seems to be universally agreed that AR was a great training ground.  The SEO that AR provided was unequalled in the community that it served (Real Estate related professions and professionals).   What was once a great community experience, is still a great platform, but not a great community experience.  Most of the group leaders have stepped away from their groups and only a few Blog-Nazi's stand guard over communities that offer little value.

Interestingly, most unsupervised groups, haven't been monopolized by inappropriate content.  On occassion a spammer or unwanted listing might appear on a group site that is dedicated to another topic but most of those offending bloggers move on when they realize that no one is paying attention.

Anyway, the question seems to be: "Will I fall off the internet if I switch my online marketing campaigns, and efforts to postings on Pinterest, Houzz, Wordpress, Google + and other formats"?

It appears that Pinterest has become a huge, huge, leader in the SEO world, and our recent efforts under the Houston Home Staging label, and under my 'real-name' label haved produced impressive results.  We've just discovered Houzz, and YouTube is a surprising contender for 'best SEO tool'.  Wordpress offers beautiful formats for professional blogs, and apparently connects all of our Google+ friends every time we post there (our apologies to our friends if they're getting emails from Wordpress about our posts - we just realized that this stuff was being sent <G>)


Below, you'll find the results of three Google searches.  What we're looking at, is the number of results, per search criteria, and where do those results originate from (AR, Houzz, Google+, or Pinterest).



The first search is for Houston Home Staging:

In this search for Houston Home Staging, we see nice placement on page 1 of Google.  In years past, you'd see many AR blogs posted from HHS and other ActiveRainers in the Houston Staging community...... now, not so much!




In the next example we'll Google "Staging Stories by Alicia Barrington" 

It's been a full-court-press for 'Staging Stories' and granted, there's absolutely no competition for this particular search, but isn't it amazing to see the amount of Pinterest, Houzz, YouTube, and Google+ content there is on the three pages of this search! (Frankly, even we're amazed).



Last, but not least, let's Google "Tom Scanlon ASP"  (Tom is  one of the founder's of HHS, and is now the Creative Director for Houston Home Staging -big title - no salary<G>!)

Very little has been done to market the Tom Scanlon ASP brand.   Houston Home Staging was developed as an independent brand from Tom Scanlon, but, in year's past, you'd see many AR blogs that had been posted under Tom's name.



So, what does this mean?   It means that for people who are involved in visual work (i.e. stagers, decorators, and actually, realtors as well) AR becomes a platform. 

  1.  It's a great platform to launch your blogs into the world of Google +.  
  2.  It's a great platform to combine the writer's efforts in other formats.
  3. It's a great place to bring your Houzz, Pinterest, or YouTube work, to be combined with the traditional AR blog format.  
  4. Utilizing your outside blog format, the writer will be able to transform their internal AR blog into a more attractive, coordinating blog from their Houzz, or Wordpress formats.  Here is an outside blog from Houston Home Staging, compare it to the format that you're currently reading.... much nicer, no?


Well, Anonymous, I know that this is a lot to absorb!  AR is still a valued, and valuable tool.   It's value has changed, and is changing.  I, for one, would like to continue participating with ActiveRain, but with things changing so quickly, I'm fearful that twelve months from now, I will most likely not be utilizing ActiveRain.   I no longer blog under my real name on AR because of time constraints, and frankly, have seen no diminution in my staging business.   Actually, I get more positive feedback from my Pinterest boards, and frankly, I don't have to worry about those nasty and offensive "your-post-has-been-removed" messages.

I hope this answers your questions.  Thanks so much Anonymous, and best of luck to you in your blogging efforts!

Sincerely: Alicia Barrington




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