When you first join ActiveRain you have a decision to make:
Rainer or Rainmaker?
Rainer: a non-paying membership that limits your visibility to other members of the ActiveRain community (well except for comments and answers you leave on PUBLIC posts).
Rainmaker: a member with a paid account OR has passed 500,000 points OR was grandfathered long ago. And the choice you make has a lot to do with whether your blogging has any chance of paying off for you.
If you're just planning to use the community as a social site, interact with other agents and seek out referrals, then Rainer will get the job done for you. No out of pocket costs and you're up and running.
However, if your desired audience is home buyers and sellers, you need to open up your wallet (slightly) and get the Rainmaker account. Relative to most expenses in real estate, a Rainmaker membership is inexpensive and gets cheaper with every 100,000 points you accumulate.
You can write the greatest real estate content out there for home buyers and sellers, but if you don't have a Rainmaker account, your blog posts DO NOT get indexed by the search engines.
With few exceptions, home buyers and sellers don't come to ActiveRain and sign up for an account. Instead, your best chance at being found by them is at the end of a Google search with your potential customers matching up with your content. And again, no Rainmaker membership, the bots don't crawl your content and you're NOT at the end of ANY Google searches.
So you have options, pay for Rainmaker early on and build up your content. Done properly you have the potential to find blogging has one of your best Return On Investments out there.
Or you can stall a bit. Build up your points to reduce the bill, even work to get your 500,000 points first, then go back and make your posts PUBLIC.
But personally, if your desired audience is the consumer, don't wait long. Maybe practice your blogging skills just a bit, then get the Rainmaker account and go full public.
While there's a lot more competition to catch the attention of the search bots than in ActiveRain's early days, ActiveRain can still be a productive part of your lead generation if you provide the right content to the public.
Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you have questions,
Bill & Liz aka BLiz