When you clicked on title you might be in disbelief. For those of you that fit that description, hold on until the end and see if I can't convince you that Blogging is really a lot like email. Since this is a blog post called Blogging for Beginners, let's start at the beginning.
What's A Blog?
In simple terms, a blog is just a collection of "writings" called "posts" that are held together. Similar to journaling or writing in a diary in the past. Everything is electronic, so now your diary can be public if you so desire. Of course, most bloggers use it more as a jounalistic outlet or perhaps as part of their support for their clients. In short, a blog is just a collection of "notes."
Anatomy of A Blog
Title - This is the focus of the blog.
Content - This is your actual writing.
Category - This is where technology comes in, but it's super helpful because it lets you categorize your writings. A simple example for real estate agents is simply to use Home Seller and Home Buyer categories.
Tags - Tags aren't super helpful, but sometimes they can be used to further categorize your posts. For example, let's say you wrote two posts about selling your home, one was about selling your home in the winter and the other post was about questions clients ask about selling their home. You could do a tag called, "FAQ" for the second one and "Staging" for the first one if you wanted.
Meta Description - I know this one is going to throw some of you but don't. If you're on Active Rain, then you have a lot options that I'm not going to cover, but I will on this one. Your meta description is your description of what your blog is about to Google and the would be "searcher."
Side Note: This is covered in our Digital Marketing podcast, but your title and meta description are what the "user" sees when they are searching. Thus it's your chance to ge them to click.
Active Rain Specific Things - there are great little question mark icons "?" that will explain what each of these are: Audience, Active Rain Topics, Hyper Local Pages, My Groups, and My Outside Blog.
How To Start Blogging
If you are an ActiveRain subscriber chances are you already have some of this information. What you might be missing is how to start blogging.
Here's my secret....
Go to your email and look in your sent folder.
Chances are really good that you recently answered a question regarding earnest money or how to buy a home or perhaps how to avoid foreclosure. It could be a question about the best place to retire or perhaps the top neighborhoods to raise a family in Atlanta (in my case). All of these questions are not only great topics for blogs but great for real estate SEO (search engine optimization) as well as being just easy for you to write about.
Want to branch out?
Write about the real estate market.
Want to take that to the next level?
This is why my advice on blogging for beginners is to tell them to treat it like email. An email has a subject (like a title), and the content. If you can email then you can blog!