I have been a "content marketer" for nearly 13 years, and it all started with this blog on ActiveRain.
Who would have thought it would come this far? That a traditional real estate agent in 2007 would end up generating tens of millions of dollars and enough knowledge to write a book on digital marketing? If you had told me that in 2007, I would have laughed at you.
I got started blogging because somebody I trusted recommend me giving it a try. My genius response? I told him that I didn't have time to write my thoughts in a digital diary, and I certainly knew that it would not generate business!
But I was wrong.
I was seriously wrong.
Fortunately, I respected his advice enough to give it a try, so I committed to thirty days of blogging and then I would evaluate the benefits of doing so.
After 30 days, my writing skills had improved, but I did not see a benefit. I decided to give it 30 more days. At the end of 60 days, I "got it."
The purpose of this post is twofold. One is to thank the ActiveRain community for much of my content marketing education, and the second is to shamelessly plug my new book, The Business Of Getting Business. It is available for the first time today in the US on Amazon.
My First Blog Post
To say that I did not know what to do when I started would be an understatement. Here's what I wrote back in July of 2007 in my first post:
Not exactly Pulitzer-worthy, huh?
Fortunately, as I wrote, members commented. They showed me the importance of a strong title and a strong opening paragraph, and soon I got better. In fact, several of my posts have been read many tens of thousands of times (proof the content marketing is the gift that keeps on giving!). It is not uncommon for me to see traffic to my blog that came from ActiveRain articles written more than ten years ago.
My Advice To Newbies
Start writing. You cannot produce good content until you first produce bad content! There is no reason to wait. Start writing and pay attention to the feedback you get on ActiveRain.
Pay attention to what others are writing. Why are the featured articles featured? Can you learn from them? (YES).
Start following people that you think produce good content, they will become your mentors. Comment and like the posts that are good and engage in the community. Join some groups and look at the wonderful content there. Some of my favorite groups and writers include:
- Bananatude - I came across this great group years ago when I read an article written by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana! . Some of the best writers on ActiveRain post here, I strongly recommend you join. It was in this group that I first encountered Kathy Streib , and you should follow her for her "What I learned from ActiveRain this week" weekly posts as she gathers some of the best stuff written here.
- Hyper-Local - If you want a wide array of topics that are focused on the writer's locale, this is a great group. Founded by Gabe Sanders , and visited and used by many mentor-worthy Rainers, Hyper-Local should be a group you engage with often. I love reading articles by great writers like Debe Maxwell, CRS , and many more.
- Old Farts Club - I think I've earned my way into this group as the title suggests. Founded by Myrl Jeffcoat , this group delivers from its foundation of collective wisdom. You'll find compelling content from many other great writer . too
- REALTORS - While not the most-original name, the Realtors group is always well represented and has lots of great new content. This group tends to be heavily posted and less moderated, so there is a wide array of topics posted here by the likes of Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400 and so many more good writers.
- Bartender, Make It A Double - Whereas the previous group's name lacked originality, this one founded by Chris Ann Cleland, has it in spades! How could you not join a group with such a cool name? Here you'll find great content from the likes of Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD , Michael Jacobs , Ron and Alexandra Seigel , and many more.
There are many other great groups and great writers, so my advice is to get out there and explore. Dedicate a few hours in your weekly schedule to learn from some of the best real estate content producers around.
If you want to know how I took my first lessons on ActiveRain and turned it into a business that helps me sell hundreds (soon to be thousands) of homes each year, please check out my book on Amazon, you won't be disappointed!